Correspondence/Self-Study CE Course
Summaries & Learning Objectives


The Advisor’s Guide to Medicare and Medicaid

Course Summary:

The Advisor’s Guide to Medicare and Medicaid provides a detailed study of Medicare, Medigap policies, and Medicaid. In each of these programs, the areas of eligibility, enrollment, benefits, deductibles, and co-payments are analyzed in great detail. This course also includes a chapter on Medicaid Planning discussing the issue of transferring assets during the “crisis stage,” use of Trusts, qualifying Medicaid Annuities and Promissory Notes. The new 2010 Medicare supplement plans are explained in detail as is how the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 affect Medicare and Medicaid.

Learning Objectives:

At the conclusion of the course, the student will be able to:

  • Define the basics of the Medicare and Medicaid Programs
  • Identify the various Parts of Medicare (A, B, C, and D) and their mechanics
  • Determine program eligibility for Medicare and Medicaid
  • Calculate the advantage between Original Medicare and Medicare Supplemental Insurance
  • Select appropriate coverage options
  • List the arguments pro and con of Medicare reform
  • Distinguish the role of Federal and State governments
  • Apply ethical standards for Medicaid planning
  • Define the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 and the Affordable Care Act listing the affects on Medicaid planning

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Estate Planning

Course Summary:

There is a widespread misconception that “estate planning” is of importance only to the wealthy. This is due, in part, to the emphasis of the financial service industry on planning for estate taxes, which only concern larger estate owners. The truth of the matter is, every person, young or old, who has a family or owns property, needs an estate plan. A good estate plan will allow a person to reach desired economic, legal, and personal objectives. Estate Planning is an educational tool to help financial advisors through the maze of programs, rules and regulations that affect many if not all of their clients, their spouses and dependents.

Learning Objectives:

At the conclusion of the course, the student will be able to:

  • Illustrate the need, objectives and steps necessary for effective Estate Planning
  • Distinguish real and personal property
  • Apply the rules of ownership and transfer of property
  • Define the probate process
  • Assist with types of will preparation
  • Introduce the need for power of attorney and living will
  • Recognize the history of and changes effecting the Federal Estate Tax
  • Calculate estate and gift taxes on the Federal and State levels
  • Implement Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax
  • Select and apply appropriate Trust strategies
  • Assist in creation of Family Limited Partnerships
  • Utilize techniques in asset sales and protection
  • Determine appropriate action for non-U.S. citizens
  • Define and apply use of charitable giving

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The Advisor’s Guide to Annuities & Ethical Practices

Course Summary:

This course has been developed to give the financial and insurance professional a complete guide to understanding annuities, annuity tax laws and contract structure, and their suitability and ethical marketing practices.

Learning Objectives:

At the conclusion of the course, the student will be able to:

  • Present the history and basic use of annuities
  • Define the various classifications and relative terms
  • Assist clients in selecting suitable investment vehicles
  • Calculate rates, charges, fees and distribution
  • Apply annuity tax laws and FINRA rules
  • Identify the parties to an annuity contract
  • Structure the contract to best benefit the client
  • List unfair marketing practices including anti-money laundering
  • Reinforce their own ethical standards and principles

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The Advisor’s Guide to IRAs

Course Summary:

This is a continuing education course that covers all aspects of Individual Retirement Accounts. The course is designed to help the financial advisor or insurance professional benefit the client with more in-depth information concerning the history and specific types of IRAs; investing; protections; estate planning; and education.

Learning Objectives:

At the conclusion of the course, the student will be able to:

  • Describe the history and creation of the Individual Retirement Account
  • Select specific and appropriate IRAs
  • Determine eligibility for participation, rollovers and distribution
  • Apply all contribution and tax rules
  • Present the use of the IRA as an investment vehicle
  • Explain protection of IRA assets in retirement and estate planning
  • Establish a Coverdell Education Savings Account

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Retirement Plans for Small Businesses

Course Summary:

Small businesses constitute an essential element of the U.S. economy. Approximately 30 million small businesses operate in the United States, making up the vast majority of employer firms in the country. Collectively, these small businesses employ nearly 80 million workers or approximately half of all private sector employees. This course is designed to review and clarify the diverse business structures and the benefit plans available to each.

Learning Objectives:

At the conclusion of the course, the student will be able to:

  • Identify Small Business structures recognized by the IRS
  • Know federal law regulating qualified retirement plans including ERISA
  • Distinguish between Defined Benefit and Defined Contribution Qualified Plans
  • Define basic characteristics and advantages of each type
  • Determine eligibility requirements for employers and employees
  • Apply all applicable rules and fiduciary responsibilities
  • Introduce 401 (k) plans, Simplified Employee Pension IRAs; Simple IRAS
  • Select appropriate tax advantaged vehicles such as Individual Retirement Arrangements; ROTH IRAS; payroll deduction IRAs

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The Advisor’s Guide to 401(k) Plans

Course Summary:

This course has been developed to enhance the financial advisor’s 401(k) knowledge and provide updates on the most recent 401(k) plan guidance. With recent tax law changes, Department of Labor requirements and court settlements, this course extends beyond the basics to cover special 401(k) testing rules and design options, as well as, ERISA and fiduciary responsibilities of the “parties of interest.”

Learning Objectives:

At the conclusion of the course, the student will be able to:

  • Relate the history and evolution of 401(k) plans
  • Identify the various elements in setting up and operating 401(k) plans
  • Relate the advantages and disadvantage for both the employer and the employee for setting up and participating in a 401(k) plan
  • Describe the contribution limits, the minimum participation requirements and vesting requirements
  • Manage the nondiscrimination rules and testing procedures for a 401(k) plan compliance
  • Able to apply to the ADP and ACP tests
  • Recognize the various Safe-Harbor plans, their designs and benefits
  • Know the differences between a traditional 401(k) and a Designated Roth Account (DRAC)
  • Determine the contribution, conversion and distribution rules of the Designated Roth Account (DRAC)
  • Know the various distribution rules and how to calculate required minimum distributions for 401(k) plans
  • Identify the various investments that can be made to a 401(k) plan
  • List the various qualified default investment alternatives
  • Outline the various ERISA and Fiduciary responsibilities

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The Advisor’s Guide to Disability Insurance

Course Summary:

Disability insurance, often called DI or disability income insurance, is a form of insurance that insures the beneficiary’s most important asset – against the risk that a disability creates a barrier for a worker to complete the core functions of their work.

In this book, we will examine what disability income (DI) insurance is and the various reasons why it is needed. It also describes the financial problems that DI insurance attempts to solve and explains how it has developed over the years. Finally, the book discusses how important DI insurance is to our society today.

Learning Objectives:

At the conclusion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • Examine the origins and need for DI
  • Define various policies and terms
  • Determine eligibility
  • Apply mandatory and optional provisions under the Uniform Individual Accident and Sickness Policy Provisions Act
  • Outline the Social Security Disability Program and eligibility requirements
  • Review the basics of Group Insurance for Short Term, Long Term and Special DI policies
  • Calculate benefits
  • Appreciate the underwriting process
  • Access existing tax treatment of DI products
  • Reevaluate their personal ethical practices, standards, and compliance

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Guide to Retirement Planning Strategies

Course Summary:

This course has been developed to give the financial advisor or insurance professional (licensed agent) a complete guide in the retirement planning process. The course will focus on the five step retirement planning process and examine the various risk factors needed to be considered when developing a retirement plan for your client. It will examine the various sources of retirement income based on the three-legged stool (Social Security, Employer Sponsored Retirement Plans, Savings and IRAs) and introduce a fourth leg to the stool consisting of insurance products and working in retirement. Also addressed is the complex topic of retirement plan distributions and the many rules and regulations that surround this issue. Finally, the course addresses the subject of health care and long-term care planning in retirement with a discussion of Health Savings Accounts, Medicare, and LTC Planning with the use of LTCI and Hybrid LTCI policies as well as the use of reverse mortgages.

Learning Objectives:

At the conclusion of the course, the student will be able to:

  • Apply the five steps in the retirement planning process
  • Identify the various risk factors in retirement planning: Longevity, Inflation, Market Risk, Withdrawal Risk
  • Design a strategy for managing retirement income
  • Determine a Sustainable Withdrawal Rate
  • Identify the various sources of retirement income
  • Know the strategies to maximize social security benefits
  • Describe the various types of qualified retirement plans available through an employer—DB and DC plans, their features, benefits, and limitations
  • Describe the features, benefits and rules of 401(k) plans including the uses of life insurance in a 401(k) plan
  • Relate to the distinctions between traditional and Roth IRAs and when (and how) they can be properly employed to accumulate retirement funds
  • Outline the rules for qualified plans and IRA rollovers
  • Recognize the fundamental rules regarding early and required retirement plan distributions (and the associated penalties for noncompliance)
  • Calculate Series of Equal Periodic Payments
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the use of annuities in retirement planning: Deferred vs. Immediate and the Deferred Income Annuity
  • Present the importance of planning for rising health care costs in retirement
  • Identify the various parts of Medicare, what it covers and does not cover
  • Describe the triple tax-advantages of a Health Savings Account
  • Introduce the need for LTC planning in retirement and the role of LTCI policies and Hybrid policies
  • Describe how a Reverse Mortgage can be used as a supplemental income source

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The Advisor’s Guide to Social Security Benefits

Course Summary:

The Advisor’s Guide to Social Security Benefits has been written primarily for financial advisors and insurance professionals to increase their knowledge and comfort zone to be able to assist their clients in navigating the often-complex world of Social Security Benefits. While the rules governing Social Security are complex, this book will equip the advisor with the information and heuristics to make the most of Social Security benefits. Although there is never just one right answer for the questions client may ask about Social Security, it is important to understand the options available in each client’s case.

Learning Objectives:

At the conclusion of the course, the student will be able to:

  • Relate to the historical background of the Social Security program
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the Social Security Trust Funds and their future outlook
  • Determine the methods used to calculate Old-Age retirement, Survivor and Disability Insurance (OASDI) benefits
  • Calculate the Primary Insurance Amount
  • Recognize how PIA benefits are reduced due to the Windfall Elimination Provision, the Government Pension Offset, and the Retirement Earnings Test
  • Distinguish when is the best age to elect to claim Old-age retirement benefits, and survivor benefits
  • Identify how coordinating spousal benefits, using switching strategies such as: File and Suspend, Claim Now, Claim More later, and the Combination strategy can maximize married clients benefits
  • Apply the rules that apply to special situations, including widow(er)s, dependents, and divorced spouses to secure the maximum family benefit
  • Know how Social Security benefits are taxed and the affect on retirement tax planning
  • Explain the eligibility rules and benefits of the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) Program and the Supplemental Social Security Income program
  • List several recommendations to preserve the Social Security program for the future

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The Advisor’s Guide to Social Insurance Programs

Course Summary:

The Advisor’s Guide to Social Insurance Programs is an educational tool to help advisors through the maze of programs, rules and regulations that affect many if not all of their aging Baby Boomer clients, their spouses and dependents.

Learning Objectives:

At the conclusion of the course, the student will be able to:

  • Define the history and purpose of Social Security
  • Describe the various OASDI programs
  • Calculate Old-Age retirement benefits
  • Review the various auxiliary benefits provided by Social Security
  • Explain the advantages and disadvantages of when to apply for Social Security benefits
  • Realize the importance of Social Security (OASDI) benefits to women
  • Review the intent and purpose of the “surtax” on Social Security benefits
  • Recognize the background of the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program
  • Determine how the changing demographics and social insecurity have affected the OASDI program
  • Relate the history and the administration of the Medicare program
  • Distinguish the differences between HMOs, PPOs, and MSAs
  • Relate to the history of Medicare Part D
  • Determine eligibility for Medicare Part D
  • Recognize the ethical and moral implications of Medicaid planning

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Understanding Social Security,
Medicare & Government Benefits

Course Summary:

Understanding Social Security, Medicare, and Government Benefits is an educational tool to help financial advisors through the maze of programs, rules and regulations that affect many if not all of their aging Baby Boomer clients, their spouses and dependents.

Learning Objectives:

At the conclusion of the course the student will be able to:

  • Recognize the basics of the history and creation of the Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Federal Government and Veteran Benefit programs
  • Determine eligibility requirements of retirees and their families including survivor benefits
  • Calculate benefits and taxation for recipients
  • Apply strategies to maximize Social Security benefits
  • Identify the affect of the program on women
  • Distinguish the differences and eligibility between Social Security and the Social Security Disability Program
  • Introduce the changes that demographics and financing will have on the future of Social Security
  • Define Parts A – D of Medicare including eligibility, costs and benefits
  • Assist clients in selecting appropriate supplemental Medicare policies
  • Assist clients with Medicaid eligibility and benefits
  • Identify clients who are Federal employees or Veterans and assist them is selecting entitled benefits

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