Your clients need a plan for their digital assets – and Jamie is the expert to help you get the conversation started

Jamie Hopkins is the Director of Retirement Research at Carson Group, a national wealth management firm that offers coaching and partnership to financial advisors. He is also a Finance Professor of Practice at Creighton Heider College of Business, a nationally recognized writer and researcher, and regular contributor for Forbes, InvestmentNews, and MarketWatch.

In this episode, Jamie joins host Mike Woods in a discussion about digital assets – an increasingly important aspect of the estate planning process. It’s crucial for advisors to understand why their clients need to take their digital assets into consideration as they plan their estates. Don’t miss this podcast if you’re curious about digital assets, including:

  • Why the digital assets you don’t consider—including email, social media accounts, websites, bank accounts, and more—might be the most important 
  • Why leaving them out of your planning can result in identity theft and issues with succession planning
  • How to discuss it with your clients – especially those who don’t consider their online accounts to be “assets”

In the next 10-15 years, digital assets are going to be a huge issue for estate planning. Get ahead of the curve and bring this key value add to your clients by tuning in to this important discussion!

How are successful financial advisors getting ahead? What are the major trends and challenges affecting financial advisors today? Which strategies and tactics do you need to grow faster? Find out here in the Market in Motion Podcast for Financial Advisors by FMG Suite, where we discuss the most important issues affecting financial advisors with the industry’s leading figures.

One More Thing! Did you find this discussion informative? Share your thoughts in the comments section below, subscribe to get updates delivered to you, and please share this episode if you found it informative.

Mike Woods: Today, I'm excited to be joined by Jamie Hopkins, who is the Director of Retirement Research at Carson Wealth. Hi, Jamie.

Jamie Hopkins: Hi. Good to see you again.

Mike Woods: Good to see you. I hear. Congratulations are in order. Yesterday, the Carson Group promoted you to Managing Director of the current firm's coaching division.

Jamie Hopkins: Yes. I took over our coaching business and the amazing team of leaders there. It's funny stepping into a leadership role of a group of people that are supposed to lead advisers. That's their job. It's very different. There are no followers.

Mike Woods: All leaders. A full pack of E type personalities. It's well deserved, Jamie. I've known you for some time now, and I can't think of anybody more deserving. I wanted to point out too, that in addition to your work with Carson Wealth, you're also Associate Professor of Taxation at the College of Financial Services in the Retirement Planning Program.

You teach courses in Retirement, Estate Strategies and Life Insurance. Today, we're going to tackle the Secure Act. We're going to drill down into the legislation and how it's going to change the retirement planning landscape in the years to come.

Jamie Hopkins: That was basically for me early Christmas. I know everyone else's spending all their time and updating things and sending out new documents, and I was just in my zone right then. I was really excited.

Mike Woods: You were, and you've been way, way out in front of this issue. Last year, you published several articles and it was coming. I think it was on the radar, it was off the radar, it was common, it wasn't common, but since the law has passed, you've had several articles published, and one in Forbes magazines. What I've been impressed by is when I read articles on the Secure Act, if it's another person's byline, they are likely to quote you in the piece.

Jamie Hopkins: It's been really good. Funny thing is, I forgot about it, but I think my first story that I wrote last year at the beginning of 2019, was for investment news. I actually called it like 2019 will be the year of retirement legislation. The Secure Act and Reza were two of the bills I discussed there.

I get put in there that those are really the only two that I see any likelihood of passing. Just barely got done. We got pretty far ahead of this back in the summer. It passed the house back in June. We built a calculator, we wrote white papers, we build PowerPoints, we build presentations, we got all compliance approved by the end of the summer.

Then here we are, we just sat on that. We had ad campaigns, marketing everything. We just sat on it then, and we had a whole website design. We bought securermd.com, which was a great one. We had all this stuff sitting there, and we just turned the switch in December when it finally passed. We did, I think it was 2,500 retail leads in the two and a half weeks after the Secure Act passed. That's just the power of marketing and being on top of it. It's fun.

Mike Woods: You don't get too many things that pass the house 417 to 3. You really don't.

Jamie Hopkins: If you tell people that today, the 417 people in the house agree on something, they probably won't believe you.

Mike Woods: They won't agree. They would say, "No, no. That was a misprint. Somebody missed a number somewhere." Let's do this. Let's first talk about the major changes, and then talk about some of the lesser-known provisions. The major changes to the inherited IRA, and the age going from 70.5 to 72. Let's go. I'd love to get your perspective on those.

Jamie Hopkins: Those are the two that I'd say have caught headlines. The 70.5 to 72, we'll start there. Honestly, it's a somewhat minor change, but it did get a lot of headlines because almost every retiree has to worry about RMD. It impacts a lot of people. The reality is, the impact is somewhat small, it gives you either a year or two years longer to defer out RMDs.

The only big issue that I have from that perspective right now, is just making sure if you're talking to clients, that your clients that turned 70.5 last year, or possibly even 71, aren't pushing and avoiding their RMD for 2020.

The reality is, they even got notices from some financial companies, banks, some broker-dealers sent out notices by the end of 2019 saying, "Hey, you owe an RMD for next year for some people that turn 70.5 later, and for other people."

It's just being very clear on what is romaine, if you reached age 70.5, by the end of 2019, you started your required beginning date, which means you need to take an RMD for 2019 due by April 1st, 2020, and you'll owe another one for 2020. That's a big deal.

I get asked that almost every week at this point. I know that there are going to be advisers that get that wrong, consumers that get that wrong this year. We don't want to get that wrong. Be ahead of that one.

Mike Woods: We've received several questions on that. I've been on half a dozen webinars, and that always comes up, this question, do I have to take an RMD if I turn 70.5 in 2019?

Jamie Hopkins: Yes. Then the next one that's tied to that, it wasn't part of the Secure, but useful to have as an adviser in your back pocket. IRS has proposed guidelines outright changing the lifetime factor table, the numbers you use to calculate RMDs.

That is expected to get finalized here pretty soon, and either see that go into law, probably 2021, could be 2022, but in the next couple of years, we're going to see new tables. That's going to reduce the RMDs. That's actually going to have a bigger impact than the pushback to 72, is in effect for 2020, but just be on the lookout for that. A lot of people have asked me about that too, "Did the Secure Act change the lifestyle factor table?"

It didn't, but it is going to change almost concurrently, probably within a year of the Secure Act passing. That's, again, just keep it in your back pocket, be aware of that.

Then I know you brought up the stretch provisions. By far and away, from a tax perspective, the biggest aspect of the bill, the bill in and of itself, Secure Act, sounds really good, setting every community up for an enhanced Retirement Act.

Mike Woods: Nice to hear.

Jamie Hopkins: That sounds beautiful. Every community, and if you look at the tax impact of the bill, it is a tax revenue-generating bill. From a total deficit perspective, it's about flat because the government actually expects to spend more money because of the bill. This is the double whammy. Literally, they're raising taxes on you, and the government says by raising taxes on you, it got more complex.

We think it's going to cost more money for us to implement this bill, and we're going to spend those raised taxes without any value. This is literally like they raise taxes and spend it, by raising taxes, we had to spend more money to enforce the raising of taxes.

From that perspective, it's terrible. It's a tax revenue generator, and it's a government spending bill. Not really ideal. I don't think a lot of people fall on the side of that looking ideal as a consumer. Reality is it's in effect, it's here. What we see with that piece, is that's like 95% of the tax revenue is coming from that specific stretch IRA provision part. Removing the stretch, taking it from most people away from lifetime stretch and distribution of inherited accounts to 10 years, unless you fall into one of the exceptions.

The exceptions are fairly limited, but surviving spouse is the big one, if you are leaving your account to somebody who's not more than 10 years younger than you, a child of the account owner, that's a minor. It's not any minor. It's actually the child of the account owner, who has to be the minor. Grandchildren don't count. Disabled individuals under federal law, and chronically ill.

Chronically ill, I get the question a lot too, which is who counts as chronically ill? Chronically ill is to activities of daily living. It's essentially the long-term care provisions at the federal level. A lot of people don't know that one, but that's where that comes from.

Mike Woods: Got you. Initially, the government said it was going to net 15.7 billion, but they've walked that back quite a bit.

Jamie Hopkins: Yes. I don't have a great grasp on-- To be honest, I think they've underestimated the tax revenue from this bill. The more I start spending time looking at the impact, I keep seeing things, I'm like, "There's no way they put that into consideration." When you think about something like the 199 Cap A deduction, if a 55-year-old is inheriting $1 million IRA, taking $100,000 distributions, they very well could be losing that 20% QBI deduction here in the future.

There's no way they put that into their calculations. Now, the total impact of that, I don't know how frequent that's going to be, but there's a lot of those small things of net investment income tax we've already seen some questions about. Those higher distributions from IRAs in a 10-year period, they're going to be subjecting people to additional taxes and losses of other benefits that there's just no way was in the calculation of the government.

Most of the time, the government underestimates revenue. They just do. Whenever they say, "This bill is going to create X." This one I actually think, in the long run, we actually could be, or I should say the government overestimates how much revenue they're going to get from a bill. I think this one actually could be the opposite.

I don't know. A lot of this stuff is long play. Tenure distributions, and especially the multi-employer plans. That's a big question mark. That could be the biggest aspect of this, or it could be another dud. It's a big question.

Mike Woods: I tell people, the wealthy people like to play a game, like to play a sport, and it's called keep away, keep away from the IRS. we're just really getting going with digesting what the Secure Act is all about. There will be smart people putting together calculations and looking for different avenues. I suspect retirement planning today will look much different in five years, based on the Secure Act.

Jamie Hopkins: I think a couple of things got big boosts inside the Secure Act. David McKnight, I don't know if you've ever read his stuff. He's got the book Power of Zero. I think that strategy actually gets a pretty big shot in the arm right now because he's been banging the drum for a while that hey, income tax rates are going to skyrocket at some point. It's funny because 10 years ago, he was saying that you fast forward 10 years and income tax rates have not gone up. They've actually gone down somehow.

We're at the point, I don't think anyone believes anymore that in another 10 years, we're going to have lower income tax rates than today. I don't run into people believing that. Then we get to the Roth conversions, we get to put things that have tax free income in the future. Life insurance is one of those. I think that you don't move money out of your IRAs into Ross and life insurance. Both of them are going to look very, very palatable.

It's an easy story to tell. I do it in front of rooms all the time. I say, does anyone think tax rates are going to be lower in 10 years? Nobody raises their hands. I'm saying once you pay your taxes, pay them now. That's a powerful strategy. I think that's going to get a big boost from this Act, kind of side piece that's always not what's expected, but what might occur.

Mike Woods: Jamie, let's switch over. We got the major ones. Let's talk about some of the minor ones, the lesser-known that are getting more play. As the days turn to weeks and weeks will turn to months. I'm talking about the 529 plan, and the withdrawal from the IRA to pay for a child or an adoption.

Jamie Hopkins: We'll hit the 529 first. The 529 one, meaning you can take $10,000 now from a 529 plan as a qualified federal expense from a 529 distribution to pay for student loan principal or interest per beneficiary or their siblings. Odd peace there. However, and I made this important, it's a federal exemption for the 529. This state-level is still a question mark. We went back a couple of years ago, task and job act allowed that K-through 12 distribution from 529.

A lot of States said, Hey look, we're not going to consider that. That's fine at the federal level it meets it, but not at the state level. If you've got a state income tax deduction for funding your 529, you pull it out for those non-qualified state exceptions like K through 12, or we don't know yet about the student loan.

It's possible that some of those States are going to file a suit here with the federal and say, Hey, we follow the federal. The federal says student loans are good, student loans are good, but some States are going to say no. If you take that money out to pay student loan interest, we're going to recapture, we're going to remove that income tax deduction at the state level you got for funding the 529. That is a downside. We just don't know yet.

People keep asking me, I was out in Colorado, I guess last week, and that came up in an event. Somebody asked me, what do you think they're going to do? I have no idea what Colorado is going to do, but I know Colorado didn't get the K through 12 qualified at 529 deductions. I think if they were hesitant on that site before, I would consider being hesitant again here. Wait and see on that. I love the provision, but you have to have a 529 funded. Money's got to be there in order to do this, and it's a small amount, the 10,000.

Then we can just hop right into the other ones since you brought it up, which is the 72 T that that early withdrawal, 10% penalty tax rate, they created a new exception for that, which is birth of a child or adoption of a child within 12 months of that legal date of adoption or birth, you can pull $5,000 as an individual from an IRA or defined contribution plan. 401k included, and not be subject to the 10% penalty. That's per individual. Husband, wife, have a kid. Both could pull out $5,000 each from their IRA. No penalty tax, tax if that applies.

The cool thing about this bill, I'll say there are two really nice features, you could make it three, so we'll just make it three. Everyone likes the power of three. The first one is public policy-wise, this feels nice because childcare is so expensive. Having a kid is so expensive. The medical bills around that are so expensive. Just to have something in the bill recognizing this is nice.

The second one is, you don't have to track expenses. That's not very normal for these exceptions. Typically, if you've got to keep all your receipts and documentation, you just have to show the kid was born.

Mike Woods: Interesting. I didn't hear that. That's fascinating. You just had kids born, take five grand.

Jamie Hopkins: There's no other tracking of it. You just have to be sure that you file that the kid was on your tax return, and basically that they exist. There's filing on the federal level for that, but that's it. No expenses, no receipts. If your insurance covered everything at the hospital, you still qualify for the $5,000 exemption. That's pretty cool.

Then the third part, which is pretty unique and new, they added a feature where you could actually write, Hey, back the money. We used to call this leakage. You could take it, it sounds bad. It is bad. Money leaks out of the account, and it's using all this money for things that are not retirement-related expenditures. We worry then people don't have any money for retirement. They'll actually allow you to pay back this money into the account.

You can almost think of it like a loan. It's not. As soon as I said that, then people started asking me questions, how it interplays with the loan provisions. It doesn't, but it's like that idea that you can put it back in. There is some complexity on how you can repay it, but it can be repaid. If you're really just in a cash flow crunch, we had somebody already contact us at Carson in January, husband, and wife, the Henry's, the high earners, low asset, just bought a vacation home, about to have a kid.

Don't have a lot of cash. Not sure they're going to use the exception yet, but they have money in an IRA. They just wanted to know about it, and we'll see. I think there are kids that might say like in the summer, Hey, we're a little tight on cash, 10 grand would really help. Then next year, pay it back. That's a possibility where you can see that come into play.

Mike Woods: Interesting. Fascinating. Fascinating that you don't have to track the expenses. Boy oh boy, do you think about that with your health savings account where you have to account for every penny that comes out. This you can take five grand. If you're in such a position, you can go to Hawaii.

Jamie Hopkins: Yes, there you go. I don't know a lot of parents their first year that spend 10 grand to go to Hawaii or so, but I'm sure they are there. I guess you have the babymoon. I guess if that was still sitting on your credit card, you hadn't paid it, you have the kid, now you have a penalty-free distribution event.

Mike Woods: There you go. Those are just a couple of the provisions. There are more. Jamie, I wanted to keep bouncing us ahead because I wanted to get to some things that I'm sure you and your team have looked at rather closely because common wisdom for retirement income says you spend your taxable money first, and then your tax-deferred income, followed by your tax-exempt income, your taxable money, your money in your regular account, then your tax-deferred, money you'd have in your traditional IRA, and then you'd spend your Roth IRA money last.

The thinking that to keep the tax-deferred income growing and the exempt tax-deferred income growing as long as possible. Does the Secure Act put that common wisdom on its head? Does a person inheriting an IRA-- I look at it and think, gosh, if I have $1 million in my IRA and $1 million in a regular account, if I enter retirement now, I may be more inclined to spend my IRA first and then transfer the traditional account to my kids because there are no restrictions on that.

Jamie Hopkins: Also, I mean, when you start wrapping in the legacy pieces here. If you have a non-qualified account or brokerage account. I usually say non-qualified now, because not everyone's in brokerage, but non-qualified assets. You've got stocks, they get a step up in basis too at death.

We're transferring essentially that income tax and getting rid of it. Where is our IRA? We're not, we're going to pay income taxes on that at one of the two. To some degree, it is best to leave. I think that we're going to-- For people who are looking to leave a legacy, I think we're going to see a big change there.

I would tell you, to be honest, for the last two or three years, when we do deep dives of planning, that rule of thumb doesn't hold up all that well anyway. What we're doing a lot of is trying to convert money, right that 62 to 70, we're doing so many conversions right now. Because we're in a low tax rate environment, we've gotta get that money out.

The person's recently retired, they don't have a lot of income. They haven't started RMDs yet when their income's going to go up again, I mean, so there's a lot of play to move that. The biggest thing is really tax diversification too. When we looked at a lot of accounts, we were doing some of this last week, we pulled up an account, 96% or something of their investable assets was in tax-deferred. They had a tiny bit of qualification and like a $7,000 Roth. [laughs]

Mike Woods: Oh, boy. Oh, boy.

Jamie Hopkins: It was just all this taxable money, it's all subject to RMDs, and it's like, we really got to start a conversion strategy, and they're in their 50s, so it's okay, so they've got time. That's a terrible outcome when they get to retirement. When you're running the two projections years, it's so much better to get some of this converted when we can, staying within our brackets, getting that control by the time we get there, so that's big.

I think that the other two states are kind of good, Roth looks really, really powerful today, non-qualified still looks really good because we still have step-up rules, we still have long term capital gains. The qualified assets keep looking worse and worse, to be honest. You're getting some people out there that are pretty heavy hitters in the academic world that are starting to look at the qualified retirement assets and saying,

"Is this really that good of a deal anymore?" You're basically investing long term capital gains assets, you're getting ordinary income tax on them, you're having forced distributions, and now you're having a heavy force distribution time period over 10 years. To be honest, it's still beneficial, but it doesn't look like it used to, to some degree.

Mike Woods: Yes, the balloon is off the rose a little.

Jamie Hopkins: Yes. They've kind of whittled that back a little bit from the federal level. As I said before, I think we're going to see a lot of Roth conversions. I think we'll see some higher withdrawals for higher net worth people out of IRAs to fund life policies. That strategy has been around for a while, but I was watching Bob Keebler and some of the other people again say "Hey, look, this got some teeth again."

I think the story is easy, so I keep telling people, it's not a big strategy that we use at Carson, but I kind of-- As you've seen, I tend to take this more almost third party look of even the place I'm at all the time, so [laughs] everyone's always happy with me there. [laughs]

Mike Woods: Yes. Well, it's true.

Jamie Hopkins: It's kind of how I look at things. I'm like "Hey, that's a good strategy." [laughs]

Mike Woods: I said on a webinar, and they spent 10 minutes on using life insurance, is that wealth transfer channel versus thinking about a traditional IRA anymore. You talked a lot about the Roth IRA, let's just take a minute with that too, because you recently wrote an article for Forbes, and you talked about how the spotlight is on the Roth IRA and how powerful it is in estate planning. Let's spend a little bit of time on that because I think that's something that listeners need to hear.

Jamie Hopkins: Yes. When I start a Roth conversation, I typically start with one of the things I already said, which is, where do you think tax rates are going? Is there anyone in the room who thinks tax rates are going to be higher in 10 years than they are today? Then I asked you to raise your hand, nobody raises your hand.

It's like, "Well, when would you rather pay taxes then? When they're higher in the future or when they're lower today?" We'd rather pay when they're lower today, so then convert, that's your decision. You've answered the questions to get to where you should be.

Now, that's only one piece of the puzzle. The second piece really becomes, if you've got growth assets, you've got a long time horizon. Again, where do you want your growth assets to be? Of course, I want my growth assets to be in the account that grows tax-free, not the one that's low tax today and high taxes in the future, right?

If I could put something $10,000 away in something today and it's going to grow to 20 million, I don't want that to be in a traditional IRA. That's really, really high taxes then when I have to take that out. I would love to put 10,000 into something, have it grow to 20 million in a Roth, that's awesome.

Mike Woods: Yes, absolutely.

Jamie Hopkins: That's a good place. When you start thinking about your asset location decisions, our growth assets, we want to try to position them into Roth accounts as much as we can. The other thing is I asked people, so if you had a million-dollar account and I came to you today, Mike, I said you had a billion-dollar IRA. You're 69 years old, about to turn 70, we can make it 71, now I'm about to turn 72 and you're gonna take RMDs soon.

As a client, would you pay something not to have RMDs anymore? Would you give me 50,000 and make it in 950,000 and you don't know any RMDs? I think a lot of our clients would say, "Yes, I'll give you 50,000 out of my million, not to have any more RMDs for the next 25 years, yes, I'll do that today."

Mike Woods: Absolutely, right.

Jamie Hopkins: The whole point about that is that there's some value in control, there's some value in having the government not tell you what to spend your money on. If you're willing to pay 50,000 for that, then that's the taxes on some amount of money on conversion. Tell me what that is, what's your number that you're willing to pay just not to have required minimum distributions anymore? If there's a number there, there's some amount we can convert. That, to me, is also a powerful thing.

Then from the estate planning under the SECURE Act, here's the best part about it. The Roth IRA is still subject to the 10-year distribution, but if I've got a million dollars and I'm looking at Roth or traditional, what I rather have the account as a Roth, it will just make it 750,000 versus a million-dollar IRA, do I want to take $100,000 out a year at the traditional, or would I rather have a Roth at 750?

Because what can I do with the Roth, I could literally just let that thing sit for 10 years and grow tax-free for 10 years as an heir, and pull money out in any year and never have any taxable income from it. That's awesome. Whereas the traditional, I'm going to try to level those distributions as much as possible, I don't ever want to be in a year where I have to take a million-dollar lump-sum distribution because my taxes are going to be-- I'm going to be subject--

Yes, I'm going to subject that to the highest marginal rate possible for the majority of the money, and that's not a good strategy. The Roth, when we start looking at the 10 years, is also just better. It's better from an RMDs, it's better from a growth perspective, it's better from taking advantage of taxes today, and it's better from estate planning. Everything else being equal, it's got like five or six additional checkmarks to it today.

That doesn't mean I think everyone needs to get all their money in Roth accounts, I've seen some people comment on my articles. I try not to read comments anymore. I actually published over 100 articles in Forbes, Kiplinger, investment news, Barron's last year which was crazy. I try not to read comments because that's the internet troll.

A lot of people were like "This guy just loves Roth." I'm like, one of the reasons I talk about Roth is because they're underutilized today. Not because I think everyone needs to get into a Roth account, but they're underutilized. When we look at the numbers plain simply, people have more tax-deferred money than they have Roth money. What we need to get is a better tax diversification balance. When I push on the value of Roth, it is because people aren't using it enough.

I use this dumb example at one point like people don't have to push this stuff we already know. I don't have to go on TV and say, "It's really important, Mike, for you to breathe air every day. Like it's just really important, right? If you want to stay alive for a long time, you have to breathe air, and I'm not going to build a campaign about breathing air, maybe clean air but not just breathing air.

Well, we know that already, I don't need to sell you on that, but eating healthy, or different ways to eat healthier, different ways to work out, or better ways to sleep, yes, we know those things help, but the basics people just know.

That's why I hound a couple of strategies, and I really hound the reverse mortgage and housing wealth side, and we've talked about that before too. It's not because I think that that's better than other strategies, but I know it's underutilized, and the same things are true still today in the Roth world. Maybe not in the advisory world, advisers are pretty good with Roth today, but the general consumer world vastly underutilized.

Mike Woods: Vastly. When you look at the statistics, it's staggering how much money is in traditional IRAs versus Roth IRAs. What you touched on there was a tax diversification strategy, because I think as you and I are here in 10 years, will the Roth be treated the same way?

Well, maybe, maybe not, who knows, we know what it is today, but it's short-- you can't have a 10 to 1 ratio, or a 20 to 1 ratio with your money in one basket.

I think this is because the SECURE Act has done a real strong wake-up call to people trying to get a little more tax balanced. I think that's the moral of the story, that's the outcome, people should take from us.

Jamie Hopkins: Yes. We've got a plan for today with the flexibility to adjust in the future, that's what it's all about. I've got to deal with the laws today, but I don't want to build a plan that's inflexible and can't change as the law has changed, because the laws are going to change, right? The markets are going to change, all of that's going to change. We have to build that flexibility.

Mike Woods: Yes. I remember when the trial balloon was first floated on this, for the SECURE Act. Withdrawing your traditional IRA in 10 years, that was probably like, I don't know, say 2,3, 4 years ago and it came up, I went down, but then, it got traction and now here it is that we've got a plan. We've got to have a plan that's flexible enough to account for that.

Jamie Hopkins: It's funny that a lot of the provisions in this have actually been around a long time. Some people are like, wow, that was really surprising. It passed at the end of the year. I don't think, to be honest, I've been somewhat surprised that these provisions haven't passed sooner. Really the tenure provision we got is better than we could have. If you're thinking from an advisor and tax perspective, we actually got a pretty generous one. There is a five year float out there. There's a five-year with no minimum cap on it. This was a little bit more flexible though, some people pushed for the tenure with equal tenure distributions. This gave us more flexibility than that.

Some people have been asking me, is there any chance that DC, party-switching or just boot switching is going to overturn or change the Secure Act? Not in any substantial way. You brought it up before 417 to 3 votes. In the Senate, it actually had 97 votes. They were trying to get a hundred, Ted Cruz and two others were opposed to the bill. Due to the 529 language, actually, not on the other ones.

529s are going to keep getting modified. The whole student loan side, nobody has the solution for yet. That's that piece will absolutely change. The removal of the stretch has gone. We actually got probably lucky it wasn't worse than a 10 year distribution period.

Mike Woods: Absolutely. As I pointed out, it could have been worse. They could've said all the money that's in the traditional IRAs is locked there at this point. They can't move it out. There's this or there's more certainty to the revenue. At least with this, you have flexibility too in your decisions.

Jamie, let me close you with the one question. You've been awesome today. I want to end with the notion about, we've touched on it a little bit with Roth conversions and using life insurance, but I want to talk just a little bit about how you talk to financial advisers about making money with the Secure Act. It seems like they're a little bit caught holding the bag. They have to talk about it, but when it comes to drawing up trust, that money's going to go to lawyers. In some ways, it doesn't necessarily benefit them, but how are you spending it? How are you talking to advisers?

Jamie Hopkins: If you're an adviser that leads with planning, you can hit people with three or four really quick things. That is, again, you mentioned a trusted review, beneficiary review, charitable planning is going to be a big one, then your legacy. Those are tied together. I say legacy because it's not just what's the tax implications of the new 10-year stretch, but it's really what did you want to leave that money for?

That's going to have more of an impact. That then we'll drive to, do we need life insurance? Do we need conversions? Do we need a trust? Those areas are really, really good. If you're leading with planning, you're going to get a lot of value out of those today. They're quick and conversations to just get into how a client really feels about things.

Again, who do you want to leave the money to? Charitable, planning, and legacy. That's really tied to the Secure Act. Now, there are two other aspects that you can make money on this or driving business. Both of them are going to come later in the year. I've told you if I think I did training on Tuesday and I told advisers this, write this down because later in the year, you're going to start thinking about this. The first one is the multiple employer plans. You've got to start bringing that up in the fall. They're not on the market yet. They're coming in 2021, but those could be a game-changer.

I still shrug. I don't know. I've been somewhat skeptical, but they're coming. They're going to have value for those clients you have that are running SEPs and simples and don't have retirement plans today. You're going to be able to get in front of them in the fall when places like Fidelity and John Hancock and TD and Schwab start announcing what they're going to be doing on these, all of those places are getting into the market.

They're going to have some type of advisory benefit there. Get these plans set up, start talking to them saying, Hey, look, a cheap 401k is coming on the market that somebody else is going to manage to file the 5,500 forms. You're just going to plug in your employees and we're going to run in this thing. It's going to be really great for you. Really simple, really low costs, really valuable. You've got to start those conversations. That's not a one day sale. As I told the room, if you're not going to talk to them about it, somebody else is willing.

Start that before it rolls out. This fall, get ahead of that. The other one is around the annuities. Not every adviser is going to be selling annuities or selling them inside of plans, but that new provision is also coming. If you're on the annuity sales side, start thinking about how am I going to incorporate my annuity business inside of these retirement plans? Am I going to play a role in that, because they just opened up the door for this?

We're going to see more and more plans adding annuities. If you're not on the annuity side, it also means talking to your clients about what they're investing in. Actually getting back to that planning and saying, Sally, I know you've got this 401k. Just be aware over the next couple of years, there might be some different investments, and before you make an investment, decisions in your 401k.

Let's sit down. Let's talk through those. Let's understand what is available there. Because you're just trying to be that trusted professional that they're going to go to. Obviously, if you're on the sales side, that's how you're going to make money. The other one is just getting ahead of it because again, the annuity people are going to sell them there. If you're not selling the annuities in the plans, then you just are looking like that trusted professional that's providing advice. Again, I think getting ahead of that, because the Alliance for lifetime income is spending a lot of money there. They're sponsoring the rolling stones.

Again, they were after the Superbowl or whatever. Millions of dollars are being spent on advertising here on these annuities. There was a big lobbying effort, The traditional adviser, you're competing against that, and they're making some really good progress right now on that side. I'd say, keep your eyes open on that, and that story on the life and annuities right now is really powerful with that, with those tax, because some of those tax sites related to the Secure Act, qualified money, some of that non-qualified annuities and life insurance look pretty powerful.

Mike Woods: Perfect. I do. I'm doing a webinar, as I mentioned later today to talk to advisers. The first thing I'm going to tell them is if they haven't put an email out, if they don't have something out, they've got a plan onto getting it out within the next couple of weeks. You've got to be on record as saying, you know what's going on here because it is, whether you like it or not, we've opened a new page.

Jamie Hopkins: Yes. I know you've got an FMG suite. I have materials on this. You said you build a lot. Then obviously Carson, through Carson coaching, we've got a lot of materials too. We actually, partner up together and that side too. If anyone's listening to this, you say, man, I really need information on that. Reach out to the two organizations. We have a lot of content and good things out there, and we can help you get some of those things out the door because you have to. February now where we're shooting this, and you can't still be sitting on the sidelines saying, I haven't looked at it yet.

Mike Woods: You can't. You can't do it. Jamie, thank you so much for taking the time out of your schedule today. I greatly appreciate it. I know you're traveling quite a bit, and know you're doing quite a bit, with Carson coaching, and we greatly appreciate it.