We have often discussed that one of the biggest risks to a comfortable retirement is running out of money too soon. Sometimes the difficulty is in figuring out where you stand, so I thought to share with you an on-line calculator which “helps you determine your projected shortfall or surplus at retirement. You can also see just how long your retirement savings will last.” If your results project a shortfall, call us to discuss some options you may not have considered. We’re always here to help.
The other day a friend told me that sometimes it was easier to explain what something was by telling what it was typically used for. This week’s article does a good job of telling us that “the usual purpose of a deferred annuity is to accumulate value for a retirement income that is typically received as a monthly payment to supplement retirement income from other sources such as Social Security. Income from the annuity value may be taken for life or a selected number of years. This plan is called an annuity both during the period of accumulation of funds and during the pay-out period. Deferred annuities may be either IRA plans or non-IRA plans.” Should this be something that you think would suit your needs, call us. We are always here to help.
This week’s article that I thought to share with you is called “The Secret to Generating Lifetime Income.” It states that “one solution to help ensure lifetime income is adding a fixed indexed annuity (FIA) to your retirement portfolio. These products can help balance your portfolio and generate guaranteed income for life.” We certainly don’t keep these products a secret, as they are frequently used by retirees to supplement social security income. Call us, we are happy to explain how they work and to discuss if they might be a good option for you to consider. We’re always here to help.
“While a whopping 94 percent of Americans currently give themselves a passing grade on retirement, a third of them have confessed to stopping retirement savings at least once”, according to a new report cited in this week’s article. Stopping savings can happen for a variety of reasons ranging from loss of a job and income to added unexpected expenses. Because these events can also happen in retirement where income that is not derived from guaranteed investments declines, or health care costs go up, it is best to plan for these bumps in the road. Call us, we may have some choices you can select from to help you have an income you can rely on, and an income that will survive a bump in the road. We are always here to help.
The editor of this week’s article wrote that “An annuity can be a very smart retirement investment for many people. That’s not just because an annuity can provide a secure revenue stream — a monthly check — for the rest of your life, no matter how long you live. On top of that, the longer you live, the more you get what’s called a “mortality credit” as you outlive other people who bought into the annuity. The income gain from that can be many times greater than any other secure investment you’re likely to find.” To help explain the different types of annuities, the editor called on an economist from the prestigious University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School to give some pointers to help understand what might be the right, or wrong one for you, including differentiating between a fixed and variable annuity. Take a look at what he said. We think you will find it of interest when you reflect on what your goals are.
Now that it is May and tax season is behind us, it may be a good time to reassess how retirement has impacted or will impact your living expenses. This week I thought to share with you a chart that may help you with this assessment. “Your living expenses may increase or decrease at retirement but will likely not stay the same.” You can use this calculator to help compare living expenses that you have now to the day that you will retire. This may help you to plan your savings requirements accordingly. Call us if you need help in doing this analysis. We’re always here for you.
This week’s article made me think about the old adage “What goes up must come down.” Getting older always seems to involve a race against time, and if you know that you have to live off of your savings in retirement, what do you do if there if there is a decrease in your nest egg when you have run out of time to try to make any losses back? Go back to work? Spend even less than you are now? When things are good it is human nature not to remember the risks, even though they are still there, just not actualized. “Fixed indexed annuities are one of several tools that you can use to limit downside risk. You may want to reassess your strategy to see if you can implement these tools. Investing in retirement or even in the years just before retiring always presents a difficult challenge. On one hand, you need to continue growing your assets so you can fund your lifestyle and fight inflation. On the other hand, you want to avoid significant declines because you may not have time for your investments to rebound. One way to protect against this risk is to use tools that offer upside potential but limit downside risk exposure. For example, fixed indexed annuities give you the ability to earn returns based on market performance without experiencing downside market loss. In a fixed indexed annuity, you earn interest every year. The interest rate is based on the performance of an underlying index, like the S&P 500. If the index performs well, your rate may be higher. If it performs poorly, your rate may be lower. However, these policies always have a guaranteed minimum rate, so you will never lose money even if the index declines in value.” Call us if you want to talk about options that limit your risk exposure. We’re always here to help.
This week’s article discusses the situation when a company offers to cash out the pensions of certain retirees and former employees and instead give them a lump-sum payment. In the past we have discussed the difficulty in being confronted with this type of situation. “For most retirees, a guaranteed stream of income for life is a better option than a lump sum.” But these types of situations require a thorough talking through to ensure that you are making the best possible choice from among your options. Call us if you find yourself trying to evaluate this or a similar situation. We are always here to help.
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A common concern when planning for retirement is the difficulty in knowing exactly how much income the retiree will have, and how long that income will last. It is also sometimes difficult to understand how different products work. Because retirees often choose to purchase an annuity with a guaranteed lifetime income to help them with this part of their retirement planning, I thought to share with you a short video that “breaks down the guaranteed lifetime withdrawal benefit that provides predictable income in retirement.” After you have watched it, call us with any questions you may have. We’re always here to help.
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From time to time we come across publications that are beneficial for anyone owning or thinking of owning an annuity to have. This week’s publication is a glossary of terms that are often used when discussing this particular type of product, and it is in a form that is easy to print out and reference in the future. We thought to share it in order to better enable you to have a clear understanding of your options as you plan for your retirement. It is important to make independent decisions about what options are best for you, and without a clear understanding of the meaning of words describing certain product features that may be difficult to do. Take a look and let us know if you have any questions. We are always here to help.