Annuities As Income, Not Investments
06.11.13: In the article, “Annuities as Income, Not Investments,” Market Watch explores the value of annuities as part of your retirement income strategy. In fact, according to one expert, “It is the single best way on a risk-adjusted basis to maximize one’s ability to spend in retirement without concerns about running out of resources.” Given that running out of money in retirement is one of the biggest concerns facing pre-retirees and retirees today, annuities are definitely something to consider. Contact us today to review your retirement income needs and determine if a fixed annuity is right for your overall retirement plan.
Draining IRAs Too Soon Poses Big Risks
05.28.13: Did you know that the consequences of dipping into your IRA before you reach 70 ½ are significant? In doing so, you may be putting your standard of living at risk according to “Draining IRAs Too Soon Poses Big Risks” by Market Watch. However, some experts argue that in some cases it makes sense to take money from your IRA before age 70 ½. So how do you determine which strategy is right for you? Retirement income planning can be tricky and the “best strategy” is truly unique to each person’s situation. Contact us today to schedule a review of your retirement plan so we can determine the right plan to fit your lifestyle and retirement goals.
Retiring on CDs Not Viable
05.14.13: Gone are the days when retirees could live off the returns from certificates of deposits. In fact, “today's low CD rates and rates on other savings vehicles could cause retirees to run out of money before they run out of life.” In “Retiring on CDs Not Viable” by Bankrate.com, the article also warns that the low-yield environment has impacted the old 4% rule to the point that it is no longer viable. Now that tax season is officially behind us, this is a great time to review your asset allocations and consider if a guaranteed income product is right for you. Contact us today to schedule a review of your retirement plan to be sure that it will support you throughout your lifetime.
What Are Your Real Retirement Costs?
04.23.13: Often times, I find that people who come to me for help are so busy saving for retirement that they haven’t stopped to ask what exactly they’re saving for and, more importantly, how much they will need to live the way they want to during retirement. In “What Are Your Real Retirement Costs?” by U.S. News & World Report, the article reviews the “five important yet often-overlooked retirement costs that you’ll want to consider.” Do you know how much you need in order to live the life you want in retirement? Contact us today to discuss how we can create a comprehensive retirement plan tailored to your needs.
Preserving Your Assets in Retirement
04.09.13: This article from Fox Business, “Preserving Your Assets in Retirement,” underscores the importance of protecting your retirement assets from losses while ensuring that your money lasts your lifetime and beyond. With products like fixed indexed annuities, you can do just that. Contact us today to review your retirement income needs and determine if a fixed indexed annuity is right for your overall retirement plan.
What Is The Present Value Of Your Social Security Benefits?
03.26.13: Many Americans are counting on their Social Security income to help support them in retirement. The big questions many people often have are: how valuable are my benefits and how exactly can I maximize those benefits? Forbes helps shed light on the answers to these questions in: “What Is the Present Value of Your Social Security Benefits?”
Say Goodbye to the 4% Rule
03.12.13: No doubt you’ve heard about the 4% rule when it comes to the conventional wisdom on retirement withdrawals, but will that strategy actually work for you given the current environment? According to “Say Goodbye to the 4% Rule” from the Wall Street Journal, “it’s getting tougher to tell.” The article then goes on to suggest three options as alternatives to ensure that your nest egg is ready for retirement.
10 Things Everyone Should Know About Social Security
02.26.13: When it comes to Social Security, people often have more questions than answers. In “10 Things Everyone Should Know About Social Security” from U.S. News & World Report, the most important facts about Social Security are readily explained. The article covers everything from how your benefits are calculated to understanding your full retirement age along with eight other important facts that everyone should know about Social Security.
3 Tips for Tapping Your Nest Egg
02.12.13: While much is written about building up your nest egg, do you know what to do when it’s time to start taking money out? The article “3 Tips for Tapping Your Nest Egg” from CNN Money, helps sheds some light on determining your withdrawal strategy. The article discusses what rate you should plan to withdraw at, where you should pull your money from first, and how to continue fine-tuning your plan well into retirement.
Seven Resolutions to Get Your Nest Egg in Shape
01.22.13: In the spirit of New Year's resolutions, we wanted to share with you some great tips on how to get your nest egg in shape for 2013. If getting your retirement plan in order isn't already on your list, it definitely should be. In “Seven Resolutions to Get Your Nest Egg in Shape,” the Wall Street Journal offers advice on how to get back on track in planning and saving for your retirement. Call us today to discuss how we can help you create a personalized retirement plan so that you can enjoy the peace of mind you deserve.
What the Fiscal Cliff Deal Means for Your Taxes
01.08.13: In “What the Cliff Deal Means for Your Taxes,” Market Watch has prepared an easy to understand cheat sheet of the tax changes most impacted by the fiscal cliff deal recently passed by Congress. Significant changes have been made to income tax brackets, the alternative minimum tax, capital gains and dividends, Roth IRA conversions, payroll taxes and estate taxes. Click here to learn more.
Your Retirement Benefits - What to Expect in 2013
12.11.12: With the New Year just around the corner, U.S. News & World Report recaps the changes to expect to retirement benefits in “Your Retirement Benefits: What to Expect in 2013.” Did you know that the costs and benefits of 401(k)s, Social Security and Medicare will all be adjusted next year? Those working will be allowed to contribute $500 more to retirement accounts while retirees will receive slightly larger Social Security checks. Additionally, Medicare Part D coverage will improve although premiums will increase slightly to support this change. For a full list and explanations of the retirement benefit changes you can expect in 2013, please click here.
Retiring On The Edge of The Fiscal Cliff
11.27.12: With the fiscal cliff on the horizon, Market Watch offers 10 ways to protect your retirement savings in “Retiring On The Edge of The Fiscal Cliff.” According to the article, “One of the biggest risks that retirees and pre-retirees face is that of taxes; not just paying them but the risk that tax policy will change and throw a big wrench into one’s plans. Well, that risk - in the form of the fiscal cliff - is now upon us and retirees and pre-retirees must now develop a plan of action for their portfolio should all, some, or none of the scheduled tax changes and spending cuts become a reality on Jan. 1.” Click here to read more.
IRS Guide for Retirement Payouts
11.13.12: The Wall Street Journal recently published the article, “IRS Guide for Retirement Payouts” which examines the idea of utilizing the Internal Revenue Service’s Required Minimum Distribution tables to craft your retirement withdrawal strategy versus the conventional “4% rule.” “Rather than withdrawing a set dollar amount every year as with the 4% rule, a retiree withdraws a percentage of his retirement savings. That percentage rises slightly every year. The idea is to avoid the kind of outsized withdrawal during a market setback that could hurt the retiree later in life.” Determining your retirement income distribution strategy is key to enjoying peace of mind in your retirement. Ready for some peace of mind? Click here to read more.
What’s Your Magic Retirement-Savings Number?
10.23.12: Fidelity Investments, the nation’s largest 401k provider, recently released guidelines to help evaluate if you’re on track to meet your retirement income needs based on your current savings. According to Fidelity, “eight” is the magic number meaning the typical person should save eight times their ending annual salary to afford retirement. The catch: most of our situations aren’t typical, they’re unique. In fact, according to the Wall Street Journal article, “When ‘Eight’ Isn’t Enough,” which examines Fidelity’s guidelines, there are many variables involved in determining how much you will need in retirement – everything from when you started saving to the return on your retirement funds to when you plan to retire. Additionally, “retirement experts suggest that once you are in your 50s, you should consult a financial planner or experiment with online calculators to figure out the number you need to support the retirement you want.”
8 Social Security Myths Exposed
10.09.12: The most recent government-issued report projects that Social Security benefits will have to be reduced starting in 2033 when funding runs out. While this may seem like a long way off, this is a year earlier than previously expected and, as pressure continues on the Social Security system, this timeline may be even further reduced. It’s no wonder then that these days the biggest question on the minds of many pre-retirees about Social Security is: Will it be around when I retire? In “8 Social Security Myths Exposed,” Money Talks News separates fact from fiction by explaining the most common misunderstandings about Social Security. Should you begin collecting as soon as possible or hold off? Will you be able to live comfortably on Social Security alone? Are you eligible for Medicare as soon as you can collect Social Security? For answers to these questions and more, please click here.
Index & Variable Annuities: Exploring the Similarities & Differences
09.25.12: For those considering investing an annuity, it is important to know the differences between index annuities and variable annuities. While there are several benefits across all annuities such as tax-deferred growth and guaranteed income payments there are also some significant distinctions. As an annuity consumer, you must determine your financial needs, evaluate your risk tolerance and review your goals in order to make the appropriate annuity choice. In the article, “Index and Variable Annuities: Exploring the Similarities and Differences” you can view a side-by-side comparison to help you determine which retirement investment strategy is right for you. Click here to read more about the key differences of index and variable annuities.
A Retirement Plan Beyond the Financials
09.11.12: U.S. News and World Report recently released a fantastic article called “A Retirement Plan Beyond the Financials. While planning for the financial side of retirement is perhaps the most important (and most discussed) part of retirement planning, we often neglect to plan for the life we want once we're retired. Considering many people will enjoy retirement for 20 to 30 years, it's a good idea to start thinking about what you will do to create a “fulfilling and stimulating retired life.” To read more about planning the lifestyle you want in retirement and creating your “retirement happiness,” please click here.
10 Critical Retirement-Saving Mistakes
08.28.12: U.S. News & World Report offers excellent tips on how to avoid the “10 Critical Retirement-Saving Mistakes” such as retiring with too much debt and withdrawing Social Security payments prematurely. Many of these classic mistakes can be easily avoided with appropriate planning to ensure your financial security in retirement. To read the article in its entirety and learn all about the retirement savings mistakes you should avoid, please click here.
10 Things You Should Know About Social Security
08.14.12: AARP answers the most frequently asked questions about Social Security in “10 Things You Should Know About Social Security.” This quick read is packed with great information every individual should know about Social Security benefits, covering everything from eligibility to how to maximize your benefits. Understanding your Social Security benefits is critical to your overall retirement plan. To read the article in its entirety, please click here.
Q&A: Stanford Economist John Shoven on Social Security
07.24.12: Lower interest rates and longer life spans can significantly affect your retirement planning. So how can you get the most out of your social security benefits? One strategy to consider: delay social security benefits and rely on your other investments earlier. Stanford University economist John Shoven offers guidance on how to get the most out of current Social Security benefits and explains the problems at the heart of the retirement crisis. To read the article in its entirety, please click here.
IRA Rules Get Trickier
07.10.12: "Uncle Sam is about to get a lot tougher on individual retirement account mistakes - and that could trip up investors who aren't careful." This article, “IRA Rules Get Trickier,” from the Wall Street Journal highlights costly IRA mistakes and reviews the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration's report on the hundreds of millions of dollars the IRS is losing by not collecting penalties for IRA errors such as missed required minimum distributions and excess contributions The IRS will start cracking down on this, possibly beginning later this year. Be sure you're working with an an educated advisor who can help you avoid these costly mistakes. To read the article in its entirety, please click here.
Get the Basics on Indexed Annuities
06.26.12: If you're interested in learning about the role of a Fixed Indexed Annuity as part of your overall retirement plan or know someone who is, we've got a great 3-minute video for you by the IAL Council. Fixed Indexed Annuities offer the potential upside of stock market-linked growth without loss of principal due to market downturns. For those looking to create guaranteed income for life and a stable, predictable standard of living, fixed annuities are a great option to consider as part of your overall retirement strategy. To watch the video in its entirety, please click here.
Barron’s Picks the Top 50 Annuities
06.12.12: The cover story on the May 26th issue of Barron's Magazine features their picks for the Top 50 Annuities. Barron's reviewed hundreds of products to identify their top 50 choices among a wide range of annuities and carriers. As the article highlights, Americans are eager to lock in steady retirement income. To read the report in its entirety, please click here.
The Reasons to Consider a Fixed Indexed Annuity
05.22.12: Considering a fixed indexed annuity, but want more information? Visit FixedAnnuityFacts.com for a full report about the benefits of fixed indexed annuities including: safety from market loss, growth potential, tax advantages, income guarantees and beneficiary planning advantages. To learn more, please click here.
Is There Really a Perfect Life Insurance Contract?
05.08.12: Fox Business recently published, “Is There Really a Perfect Life Insurance Contract?” which explains how indexed universal life insurance policies (IUL) may offer an ideal solution for many consumers in today’s market. There are lots of options out there and benefits can vary significantly by policy and company. It is very important to make sure that the policy you are considering truly fits your needs. The best way to ensure that is to choose an independent advisor who works with several different companies versus an advisor that works for a single company. To read the article in its entirety, please click here.
5 Important Steps to Update Estate Plans
04.10.12: AdvisorOne recently reported on the importance of reviewing your family’s estate plan. Keeping your estate plan current is essential in protecting your family and assets and updating your plan every few years will ensure your plan reflects your current circumstances. The article, “5 Important Steps to Update Estate Plans,” discusses the reasons estate plans need to be reviewed and updated, and outlines the steps to take in order to ensure its accuracy. To read the article in its entirety, please click here.
How Much Does Retirement Really Cost?
03.27.12: Reuters rcently reported on a new report from the nonprofit Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) entitled, “How Much Does Retirement Really Cost?” The key question in retirement planning is: “How much income will you need to replace after you quit working?” Because most retirees’ spending and savings habits change once retirement starts, income analysis is a critical part of retirement planning. To read the article in its entirety, please click here.
Indexed Annuity Insights: Reaching Retirement Goals
03.13.12: The Indexed Annuity Leadership Council recently released an informative video featuring a retiree’s personal story about reaching his retirement goals using indexed annuities. To view the video, please click here.
Obama’s Latest Retirement Rescue Plan: Annuities
02.28.12: CNN Money recently published an article entitled, "Obama's Latest Retirement Rescue Plan: Annuites." According to the article, the Obama administration has proposed new rules to help retirees make their savings last throughout their lifetime - by investing in annuities. To read the article in its entirety, please click here.
Retirement Planning in the New Normal
02.14.12: Fox Business recently published an article entitled, "Retirement Planning in the New Normal." According to the article, "Prudent planning going into retirement would dictate that a healthy percentage of your portfolio be moved to fixed investments as you age." What exactly are the fixed investments recommended in the article, you ask? Fixed indexed annuities. These excellent products offer the potential upside of stock market-linked growth without loss of principal due to market downturns. To read the article in its entirety, please click here.
Health Care Expenses & Retirement Income: How Escalating Costs Impact Retirement Savings
01.24.12: The Insured Retirement Institute (IRI) recently released its report, "Health Care Expenses and Retirement Income: How Escalating Costs Impact Retirement Savings." This is a great read which reviews the effect of rising medical expenses and the strategies available to help alleviate the financial impact on your retirement income. According to the IRI, "Health care costs are one of the biggest concerns for Boomers as they enter retirement and is also one of the largest threats to Americans' overall retirement income security." Are you prepared to cover future medical expenses? To read the report summary or access the full report, please click here.
5 Ways To Make Retirement Planning a Priority In The New Year
01.10.12: As we kick off 2012, this is the perfect time to consider how to make retirement planning a priority in the New Year. According to a recently published article by ING, “71 percent of Americans do not have a formal investment plan to help them reach their retirement goals.” The article offers five simple but important retirement planning resolutions for 2012 that can help keep you on the right path to meeting your financial goals. To read the article in its entirety, please click here.
Retired? Here’s How to Cut Your Tax Bill
12.27.11: CNBC recently published a fantastic article about how retirees can cut their tax bills. Ideas include delaying withdrawals from a 401(k) or traditional IRA, setting up a Roth IRA Rollover, properly managing required minimum distributions (RMD) withdrawals, and considering Stretch IRAs and annuities. As the year comes to a close, this is a perfect time to start thinking about your plans for 2012. To read the article in its entirety, please click here.
Annuities: A Retirement Income Solution?
12.13.11: Bankrate.com recently published an article about how to use fixed annuities to create a retirement pension. Consider this: "For those at or nearing retirement, annuities offer a flexible solution to a range of back-nine challenges from income and estate planning, to long-term care insurance." Intrigued yet? To read the article in its entirety, please click here.
Funding the Post-Pension Retirement
11.15.11: The Wall Street Journal recently published a thought-provoking article addressing the challenges that many retirees will face in the coming years as it relates to funding their retirement. Countless retirees will be tackling retirement without a pension and instead will rely heavily on Social Security and accumulated savings. This will make retirement asset-allocation and withdrawal strategies even more critical to one's overall plan. To read the article in its entirety, please click here.
Social Security Benefits to Go Up 3.6 Percent
11.01.11: The federal government recently approved a cost of living adjustment (COLA) for Social Security benefits in 2012, the first such COLA to the program since 2009. To read more about how this may impact you, please click here.