Will a financial advisor’s Client Portals cause SEC fines?

Hey Financial Advisors,

BLOCKBUSTER article… SEC is examining cases in which clients give advisers usernames and passwords to accounts they are not the custodian of… SEC is considering fines due to worry over “Madoff” like situations where the client’s accounts are plundered by the advisor.

Does this mean that client portals and “aggregation” is now a problem that may cause fines from the SEC?

Read this article for yourself and see what your take is on this issue.


2016 IRS Contribution and Benefit Limits for IRAs and 401ks

Due to the government’s estimate of low inflation, most of the limits are NOT CHANGING for 2016.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) highlighted the following limitations that WILL change in 2016 from 2015 levels:

  • For an IRA contributor who is not covered by a workplace retirement plan and is married to someone who is covered, the deduction is phased out if the couple’s income is between $184,000 and $194,000, up from $183,000 and $193,000, respectively.
  • The AGI phase-out range for taxpayers making contributions to a Roth IRA is $184,000 to $194,000 for married couples filing jointly, up from $183,000 to $193,000. For singles and heads of household, the income phase-out range is $117,000 to $132,000, up from $116,000 to $131,000.
  • The AGI limit for the saver’s credit (also known as the retirement savings contribution credit) for low- and moderate-income workers is $61,500 for married couples filing jointly, up from $61,000; $46,125 for heads of household, up from $45,750; and $30,750 for married individuals filing separately and for singles, up from $30,500.

Unchanged Limits

However, most limitations remain unchanged from 2015, including:

  • The elective deferral (contribution) limit for employees who participate in 401(k), 403(b), most 457 plans, and the federal government’s Thrift Savings Plan remains unchanged at $18,000, as does the limitation under Section 402(g)(1) on the exclusion for elective deferrals described in Section 402(g)(3).
  • The annual compensation limit under Sections 401(a)(17), 404(l), 408(k)(3)(C), and 408(k)(6)(D)(ii) remains unchanged at $265,000.
  • The catch-up contribution limit for employees aged 50 and over who participate in 401(k), 403(b), most 457 plans, and the federal government’s Thrift Savings Plan remains unchanged at $6,000.
  • The limit on annual contributions to an Individual Retirement Arrangement (IRA) remains unchanged at $5,500, and the additional catch-up contribution limit for individuals aged 50 and over is not subject to an annual cost-of-living adjustment and remains $1,000.
  • The limitation on deferrals under Section 457(e)(15) concerning deferred compensation plans of state and local governments and tax-exempt organizations remains unchanged at $18,000.
  • The limitation on the annual benefit under a defined benefit plan under Section 415(b)(1)(A) remains unchanged at $210,000. For a participant who separated from service before Jan. 1, 2016, the limitation for defined benefit plans under Section 415(b)(1)(B) is computed by multiplying the participant’s compensation limitation, as adjusted through 2015, by 1.0011.
  • The limitation for defined contribution plans under Section 415(c)(1)(A) remains unchanged in 2016 at $53,000.
  • The dollar limitation under Section 416(i)(1)(A)(i) concerning the definition of key employee in a top-heavy plan remains unchanged at $170,000.
  • The dollar amount under Section 409(o)(1)(C)(ii) for determining the maximum account balance in an employee stock ownership plan subject to a 5 year distribution period remains unchanged at $1,070,000, while the dollar amount used to determine the lengthening of the 5 year distribution period also remains unchanged at $210,000.
  • The limitation used in the definition of highly compensated employee under Section 414(q)(1)(B) remains unchanged at $120,000.
  • The dollar limitation under Section 414(v)(2)(B)(i) for catch-up contributions to an applicable employer remains unchanged at $6,000. The dollar limitation under Section 414(v)(2)(B)(ii) for catch-up contributions to an applicable employer plan described in Section 401(k)(11) or Section 408(p) for individuals aged 50 or over also remains unchanged at $3,000.

Compensation Limits

  • The annual compensation limitation under Section 401(a)(17) for eligible participants in certain governmental plans that, under the plan as in effect on July 1, 1993, allowed cost of living adjustments to the compensation limitation under the plan under Section 401(a)(17) to be taken into account, remains unchanged at $395,000.
  • The compensation amount under Section 408(k)(2)(C) regarding simplified employee pensions (SEPs) remains unchanged at $600.
  • The limitation under Section 408(p)(2)(E) regarding SIMPLE retirement accounts remains unchanged at $12,500.

A complete list of the changes from the IRS is available here.

Eating Bacon will help you reach Age 116?

Susannah Mushatt Jones just turned 116 and is now the world’s oldest woman!


The Secret Ingredient to Living Longer?

At age 116, she says that she eats  a steady diet of bacon, eggs and grits for breakfast. A sign in her kitchen reads: “Bacon makes everything better.”

She was born in 1899!

If you or your spouse live to be 116, will you be able to afford it?  Or will you be stuck on a “fixed income”?

Consider running some numbers using the RetirementView program.  You can download a free demo version from our website at: http://www.torrid-tech.com

Read the full article about Susannah at this location:


Massive Flaws in Web Calculators

7641782-300x218Have you tried to use a “web calculator” to plan your retirement?

There are literally THOUSANDS of these tools littering the internet.  How do you know if they are any good?  The fact is: YOU DON’T KNOW.

So then one would ask, “Should I use a FREE tool that I have no idea if it’s any good to plan my REAL LIFE and my very real RETIREMENT?”

Well, when you put it like that, the answer is probably no.

I’ve designed our WebCalcs software to do many basic calculations for people.  We’ve even deployed these on the websites of huge Fortune 500 companies.  But listen I invented the idea and even I will tell you these web calculators were never designed to replace something as accurate and detailed as the Torrid Technologies RetirementView software.

I’ve analyzed hundreds of web calculators over many years, here is a list of just a FEW of the MASSIVE FLAWS and PROBLEMS that you should consider when using free web calculators especially retirement calculators:

– most free retirement calculators don’t account for your spouse.  What about their income, savings, retirement plans, and social security?  You need to put your info all into one place.

– most web calculators don’t properly account for taxes.  Since your IRAs and 401ks will have withdrawals taxed like ordinary income in retirement, then TAXES become an important part of the plan.  If you don’t account for them, OUCH you are going to be broke!

– most of them don’t calculate Required Minimum Distributions as part of the retirement calculator.  These RMDs are required by the IRS and force you to pay taxes.  Now in some cases you will meet your RMD requirements automatically in your retirement plan.  But how do you know for sure?  You don’t.  A tool like RetirementView builds the RMD calculations right into the software.

– most calculators online are on public websites so who is tracking and storing the info that you put into the software?  BIG BROTHER probably.  If security and  privacy are important to you, then consider using ScreenIncome_smthe RetirementView desktop tool

– most internet retirement calculators don’t let you model one time events that can seriously IMPROVE your retirement.  Things like your life insurance if you were to die, part-time job income, rental property income, a retirement package, selling a business, selling real estate or rental properties, annuity payments or lifetime annuity income.  Only a package as detailed as RetirementView can help you with all of these things and more.

– most online retirement tools don’t let you model your “expenses” in retirement except for “enter a goal” and “enter inflation”.  That can be baby thinking and planning.  You’ve got to get more detailed especially the closer you get to retirement.  Without a detailed budget or without modeling your expenses in major periods, you are betting your future on cloudsTorridRSPBanner-nestegg120x90, vapor, and smoke.  Who wants to risk it?

I could go on and on about how many times I have seen major flaws in online retirement calculators and retirement planners on the internet.  If you are SERIOUS about not running out of money in retirement, then you should download the free trial of our Retirement View software.

P.S. I meant to tell you that our St. Patrick’s Day special has been extended through March 30th!  If you want to use a “real” calculator to plan your retirement, and not a junky fake one found on a  website, then click here to get the St. Patrick’s Day special
through Monday, March 30th, Midnight.

Personal Edition SPECIAL: http://www.MakeRetirementSimple.com/personal

Couples Edition SPECIAL : http://www.MakeRetirementSimple.com/couples


Palm Desert and Palm Springs


I posted a few info nuggets for you that might help you plan your trip for the FocusFifteen conference.marriott-palmsprings-sm

Don’t forget your sunglasses, shorts, bathing suit, and golf clubs if you play!


Just thought I’d set this up for the convenience of everyone.

Looking forward to meeting you.  Stop by our Lucky Booth #13!

I will also be on the financial planning software panel on Wed. at 10:30am!


-Tim Turner

Torrid Tech Founder

P.S. Our special meet, greet, demo session is TUESDAY night 6-7pm in

Desert Salons 1-4  — be there and you might win and Ipad Mini!

4 Things Mt. McKinley Taught Me About Business


Mt. McKinley

My oldest son Zac got accepted into the UGA vet school this year, a big accomplishment after years of hard work on his studies.  I got to thinking about rewarding him with a trip and decided to make it a father-son getaway so that we could spend some time together before his intense 4 years in vet school.

When I asked him where he wanted to go, he said he’d always wanted to go to Alaska and see Denali and Mt. McKinley.  I was suprised because I had never heard him even talk about Alaska.  Growing up in the hot south, we tend not to be “snow people”.  After doing some research I realized this could be a great trip for us.

I asked Zac “Hey were you thinking of this as trying to climb Mt. McKinley because that is pretty difficult”.  He said no he just wanted to go hiking and just be able to see the wilderness up there.

Our trip took quite a bit of planning to set up.

1). First lesson I learned is to “Plan Ahead”.  Since we travel a lot I know this already, but this trip re-enforced the notion.  We had a hard time booking just about the entire trip.  It was not easy to find flights that fit our time frame, so it included a return trip on the “red eye” flight.  We could only get one night at the Denali Lodge so could not stay there more than one night.  Since some of the tours left at 5am you had to be there the day before.

This left us with only one option – to see Denali and drive to Talkeetna afterwards.  Based on all that we got the last 2 seats on one of the eight hour tours into Denali. If you haven’t been there, almost all of the tours require you to get on a bus and have the national park service shuttle you out an back.


Tim and Zac in Denali

So I almost messed up the entire trip by not booking early enough.  We managed to put an itinerary together by the skin of our teeth.

2). Second lesson I learned was to “Set Goals”.  Without setting goals our businesses flounder.  We don’t know where we are going or how we are getting there. And we need to measure “something” in relation to those goals.

For our trip to Alaska, Zac enunciated the goal as to “visit Denali and see Mt. McKinley”.  So that isn’t that specific but for travel it is enough.  For our businesses that would usually be too vague.  “Improve customer service” might be an overarching theme but not really a specific “goal”.   “Answer all inquiries within 30 minutes” is a more specific goal.

Our goal did get more specific when the only window we had to go was between August 1st – 6th.  So a set budget, a set tim frame, a set target of sites… now you see why this whole trip reminded me of “business” a little bit.

3). The third lesson I have is to “execute a plan to reach your goals”.  This is where most people fall down.  They never follow through.  It’s all just a bunch of talk.  In this case, I did the hard work and the research and booked the trips.  I paid all the deposits.  I booked the plane flights.

Then we really executed the plan by actually going.  We got to go Salmon fishing out in the bush.  To get there we had to take a plane which I had to arrange in advance.  We had to get up at 6am to get out there.  Zac triumphantly caught a silver.  I caught other fish but not the silver salmon.  Apparently they weren’t running this year for some reason.

We rented a car and drove to Denali enjoying the sites and vistas the entire way.  We got to go on our tour into Denali… eight hours on a bus.  Four hours into the park and then four hours to get bac


Er, what is that in the brush?

k out.  Did you know that Denali is 2 million acres?

We got to see several bear families – typically a mom and two cubs, moose, and elk.  We got pictures of them literally walking by the bus.  The wildlife pretty much ignore the buses as if they weren’t there (unless someone makes a lot of noise).
4). The fourth lesson I have is to “persevere in the face of setbacks and failure”.  We all encounter problems, setbacks and failure at times – both in life and in business.  When we got far enough into Denali to see Mt. McKinley… we couldn’t.  It was an overcast day with rain at times.  All of the peaks were shrouded with gray.  The guide said you are more likely to see bears than Mt McKinley and he was right.

But we had come so far to give up.  OK I’d like to say we rented gear and decided to hike towards it but that wasn’t possible.  You can’t get a permit except through a lottery even to walk out there on your own.  Plus our schedule was tight.  We drove to Talkeetna to stay at the Lodge there residing that we got to see Denali but not Mt. McKinley.  We weren’t sulking about it because it was a fabulous trip. We were having a great time.

when we awoke the next morning, I opened the curtains to see what our “mountain view” room got us. Lo and behold we were blessed to see Mt McKinley and all the peaks rising into a clear blue sky with just a few white wisps floating around.  It was glorious.  Even despite our failure the day before, we ended up succeeding anyway.  We got some great pictures of Mt. McKinley and of course some father-son pictures that I will always treasure.

Anyway I didn’t have to worry too much about Torrid Tech while we were away because we have such a great team that I can rely on.  But the memories and the lessons from this trip will last a lifetime.
DSC02430 DSC02431DSC02421  DSC02315 DSC02321 DSC02333 DSC02339

Can your Home help you with Retirement?

We get emails and calls all the time from people asking whether their home can be used to help with retirement…

Specifically you have several options:

– selling your home and downsizing to a smaller place, possibly in a state with no income taxes

Sell your home and downsize to a townhouse?

Sell your home and downsize to a townhouse?

– getting a reverse mortgage that you can use to help ends meet in retirement; this should be used as a last resort

– consider having a renter by renting out your basement or spare bedroom.

There are definitely pros and cons to these different options.

Check out these resources:


Using Your House for Income in Retirement” – comes from the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College.

Do you know anyone who has used their home to help with retirement?

Where do you want to visit in retirement?


Azure Water around the Isle of Capri

My wife and I were blessed to be able to visit Italy this past summer.

We had never been there before but heard many good things about it.

We were able to visit Capri, Sorrento, Pompeii, Amalfi, Positano, Florence, Lucca and Siena.

The food was great… everywhere we went.

The views were incredible.


I think this is in Florence…might be Siena though

The memories…

It was like a “retirement” trip of a lifetime, although we aren’t yet retired.

I hope that when we do finally retire we can take more trips like this.


Positano Italy on the Amalfi Coast

Where would you like to go visit either now or when you are retired?

Let me know by commenting below.





Ways People Know You Are a Salesman

People are uncomfortable around “salesman”.  They are afraid they will be “sold” something they don’t want to buy, or that they can’t afford.

Thus, people get nervouse when they “spot a salesman”.  They want to run away.  Have you been to a car lot and had a “salesman” start approaching you before you have even gotten both shoes on the ground out of your car?

If you are a financial advisor or insurance agent or similar “professional”, you don’t want people being “nervous” around you.  Your whole business is built on “trust”.

Here are some things to ABSOLUTELY AVOID if you want to build the most trust and avoid being viewed as a “salesman”:

Don’t display trophies or awards in your office related to being a “top salesman”

Don’t be too easily and readily accessible.  People that are difficult to meet with are not likely to be salesman.

Don’t be “too eager”.  This shines through as “desperate”.

Don’t be “pushy”.  No one likes this at all.

Don’t rush the prospect.  They feel like you are pressuring them into a decision.

Don’t be over-confident or glib with quick ready answers to every objection.

Don’t be a “product pusher”.  You need to discuss each person’s needs and recommend custom solutions.

Don’t  be evasive in answering questions, especially direct ones.

These are some of the top tell-tale signs.  Avoid these and you will be more successful.

I give credit to Matt Zagula and Dan Kennedy from their book “Trust Based Marketing” for their insights in this area.  Thanks Matt and Dan!

I Got a Phone Call…

I got another phone call from an advisor recently…
It’s typical.  Not sure you want all the gory details.
He called and said he had heard about our software and was thinking about getting it.  I asked him “What are you using now?”
He said he was using a tool called (BLEEPED)  (I don’t want them to try to sue us)…. and that he was just SICK of using it.
“Oh, why?”  I coyly asked having heard this same story 100 times before.
“It’s just too complicated”, he responded.  He then went on to tell me how it takes forever (i.e. 2 or 3 hours) to punch in all the data it wants.  After all that, he would print an 85 page report.  85 pages!
Can you imagine your angst when your ink cartridge runs out midway through the printing and you don’t have a spare?  Not to mention the cabinet space required to “keep a copy” for your compliance people…. Egads.
He then met with the prospect.  At some point he gave the prospect the “big report”.  He said the prospect actually said to him “What’s this?”  The advisor thought that the client would be impressed.  He wasn’t.
They proceeded to try to “go through” the big report… try to explain it… try to make sense of it… try to get the client interested… try to get the client to show any emotion and … most importantly… try to get that “eyes glazed over” look off his face.
It didn’t work.
Let me repeat that.
It didn’t work.
The big long fact finder followed by the multi-hour headache inducing data punching and the printing of the massive report… DID NOT WORK to convince the prospect to become a client. All that work down the drain… all that work for nothing.
“I’ll think about it”, the prospect said.
You bet he will.  He will think about how you wasted his time.  He will think about how he wishes he had never met you.  He will think about how he will NEVER do business with you.  You won’t be managing his money.  You won’t be selling him any annuities.
In fact, he may never talk to you again.
The saddest part of this phone conversation… is that it ALL COULD HAVE BEEN AVOIDED!
“How?”, you ask.  By using something MUCH SIMPLER.  By using something that TAKES LESS TIME.  By using something the prospect UNDERSTANDS.  By using something that the prospect leans into with curiosity to FIND OUT MORE.
Yep.  That’s what RetirementView does.  Gets them leaning in.  Gets them wanting you to help them.  Gets them interested in hearing more.  Gets them wanting you to fix their shortfalls…. Gets them wanting to buy annuities… Gets them wanting you to manage their money and save them from their inevitable painful “ran out of money” retirement situation….
Hopefully you can see now why so many financial advisors are mega successful using RetirementView... because it really is helpful and the clients really do pay attention and learn from it.
If you want to walk through the gates into the LAND of KEEP IT SIMPLE and to the VALLEY flowing with milk and honey, then it’s time for you to get on board… this is not some mystical magic wand, but I must say it is awfully close.
Click Here to Finally Get Going (if you haven’t already)

Hope this is helpful and… HAPPY PLANNING!

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