PLANADVISER - May/June 2020 - 2

publisher's note //
publisher: Alison Cooke Mintzer
creative director: SooJin Chun Buzelli
managing editor: Judy Faust Hartnett
managing editor,
John Manganaro
editorial staff: Lee Barney, Rebecca Moore,
Michele Theodore, Amanda Umpierrez,
Karen Wittwer
A Time to Save
IT'S SHOCKING, from a workforce perspective, what has
happened in less than three months of the COVID-19 shutdown:
Work from home is now the norm for many Americans-with
some high-profile companies saying their
employees might be able to work remotely permanently; the
phrase " essential worker " has entered our lexicon, involving
a large swath of employees across the pay and skill spectrum.
Not to mention that over 40 million Americans have
filed for unemployment, and, as of this writing, we have seen 10 straight weeks
with millions of claims. Until this year, our country had never seen a weekly figure
of even 1 million. And millions of self-employed Americans such as freelancers,
who wouldn't normally qualify for unemployment benefits, are filing for " pandemic
unemployment assistance " to get financial aid.
These numbers are simply staggering, though the last released figure for May
shows a decline in continued claims-i.e., the number of people claiming regular
unemployment benefits for consecutive weeks. Like so much else lately, it's unclear
if that signals revitalization of the labor market or is simply a blip on the chart.
In the midst of all of this, Americans' concerns about the economy are also
apparent, reflected in their spending and saving behaviors. For example, the Bureau
of Economic Analysis reported at the end of April a 5-percentage-point increase in
the American savings rate-from 8% in February to 13.1% in March. I think it's
worth noting, this was the highest savings rate recorded since November 1981.
This figure is a double-edged sword in that, for the economy to recover, for the
unemployed to go back to work, Americans need to be spending money. However,
for all of us in this industry that prioritizes saving, planning and financial wellness,
this is also an opportunity.
Sadly, unemployment has hit one in four workers. Even if your clients aren't
laying people off, the crisis likely has affected many of their workers' households.
Issues of financial wellness are top of mind for so many-what can they afford,
what should they spend on, where do they need to cut back, for how long will their
paychecks keep coming?
For advisers, this may be the time to communicate with your plan sponsor
clients and their employees-not just participants-about financial wellness
and some of the myriad topics that includes. It seems contrarian to be thinking
about reminding people to sock money away and stay the course. But, as spending
drops-7.5% in April, noted the Bureau of Economic Analysis-Americans who are
still employed can, and likely should, save that money.
Perhaps we should be broadly discussing how to help people establish the emergency
account they always knew they needed. I'll acknowledge this ignores a great
many others who also need help-people who were laid off or furloughed, who
work at a company without a plan, but I don't have ideas for how to help them;
however, I'd love to hear ideas from anyone who does.
At a time when stores are closed and people can't be out spending, when they
may be reordering their life priorities (but that's a topic for another day), they
may be thinking about the importance of financial security in uncertain times.
The small part that you-and our industry-can play in creating and distributing
communications that can help them achieve this might well be welcome.
-Alison Cooke Mintzer, Publisher, PLANADVISER
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2 | May-June 2020

PLANADVISER - May/June 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of PLANADVISER - May/June 2020

All That Goes Into a Practice
Compliance When It's Tough
A Case For Both
The Alternative Workplace
Damage Control in a Downturn
An Uptick in Customer Arbitration?
Client Relationship Summary
Evaluating Reg BI Compliance
PLANADVISER - May/June 2020 - Cover1
PLANADVISER - May/June 2020 - Cover2
PLANADVISER - May/June 2020 - 1
PLANADVISER - May/June 2020 - 2
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PLANADVISER - May/June 2020 - 11
PLANADVISER - May/June 2020 - 2020 PLANADVISER DCIO Survey
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PLANADVISER - May/June 2020 - All That Goes Into a Practice
PLANADVISER - May/June 2020 - 21
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PLANADVISER - May/June 2020 - 23
PLANADVISER - May/June 2020 - Compliance When It's Tough
PLANADVISER - May/June 2020 - 25
PLANADVISER - May/June 2020 - 26
PLANADVISER - May/June 2020 - 27
PLANADVISER - May/June 2020 - A Case For Both
PLANADVISER - May/June 2020 - 29
PLANADVISER - May/June 2020 - The Alternative Workplace
PLANADVISER - May/June 2020 - 31
PLANADVISER - May/June 2020 - 32
PLANADVISER - May/June 2020 - 33
PLANADVISER - May/June 2020 - Damage Control in a Downturn
PLANADVISER - May/June 2020 - 35
PLANADVISER - May/June 2020 - 36
PLANADVISER - May/June 2020 - An Uptick in Customer Arbitration?
PLANADVISER - May/June 2020 - Client Relationship Summary
PLANADVISER - May/June 2020 - Evaluating Reg BI Compliance
PLANADVISER - May/June 2020 - 40
PLANADVISER - May/June 2020 - Cover3
PLANADVISER - May/June 2020 - Cover4