Advisors are told over and over how important it is to have an online presence, but many are forgetting about compliance when building their websites, leaving them exposed to lawsuits and regulatory actions. “You could have an SEC examiner looking at your website right now,” said Cathy Vasilev, a compliance consultant and co-founder of Red Oak Compliance Solutions in Cedar Park, Texas. Vasilev said advisors need to make sure that every page on their website has a boilerplate disclosure at the bottom that includes the firm’s name, regulatory bodies it registers with, states in which advisors can or cannot work, and contact information. Information from outside sources needs to have disclaimers and portfolio performance information needs to have proper disclosures. Vasilev recommended advisors schedule compliance teams to check their websites at least once a quarter.
Merrill Lynch launched a new longevity training program for human resources and benefit plan professionals on Monday. Working with the University of Southern California’s Leonard Davis School of Gerontology, the firm will provide web-based training around retirement and aging issues to 35,000 companies where Bank of America Merrill Lynch provides retirement plans. The program follows the firm’s rollout of a similar course for its advisors in April.
Popular industry pundit Michael Kitces, who speaks regularly at industry conferences on retirement issues for advisors, gets a lengthy profile in Bloomberg, revealing how he is “hacking” his own plan by avoiding “lifestyle creep,” or the tendency for people to spend more as they make more. Kitces drives a ten-year old KIA (“I know people with very nice cars who will work 20 years longer than me”), he and his wife use Mint.com to track their household budget and his mortgage is his only debt. His biggest expense? Buying into the partnership at the $1.4 billion advisory firm Pinnacle, where he is director of research. Kitces, 37, says he is trying to save 30 times his annual spending to achieve the “financial flexibility” that eludes many near-retirees whose expenses rose along with their incomes.
Adventurous Baby Boomers are looking further than the sunbelt to live out their golden years - they're going overseas, mainly to Central and South America. According to Kathleen Peddicord, publisher of Live and Invest Overseas, the international retirement hotspots for Americans are Mexico, Costa Rica, Belize and Panama. For those on a budget, look to Nicaragua and Ecuador. Or the extra-brave should check out Medillin, Colombia, she told Casey Dowd of Fox Business. When retiring, keep in mind health care expenses and options - Peddicord said Medillin is good in this regard, and don't expect to work. "The more appealing option anywhere, I’d say, would be to start your own business. You could do this anywhere," she said.