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Weekly Commentary Presented By: Arif Halaby
I always enjoy reading articles that provide reminders of some retirement pitfalls to avoid. This week’s article identifies four: “Not Saving Early Enough”, “Understanding How Long You Will Live”, “Not Taking Into Account Healthcare Costs” and “Lack of Balance in Your Portfolio”. For the last pitfall the author writes “It’s important to have a balanced and varied retirement portfolio in order to reduce risk. One common pitfall is relying too heavily on one savings vehicle – it will be difficult to obtain consistent growth if your portfolio lacks diversity. For example, one product that can nicely supplement a 401(k) is a Fixed Indexed Annuity (FIA), which protects your principal from the uncertainty of market volatility.” We have always believed in FIAs and welcome your call if you would like to learn more about them.
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We are taking a break today from sending you an article to read this week because we know many of you are preoccupied by these difficult days. Market volatility undoubtedly doesn’t feel good to anyone, and neither does not knowing how many more difficult days are coming. It's times like these that we believe preservation of principal is most important. It is what we’ve always believed is prudent and beneficial, through strong days as well as difficult ones. We believe your savings are irreplaceable and we make every recommendation with this fact in mind.When times like these occur it provides a good reason to re-evaluate your specific situation - time horizon, risk tolerance and cash flow to name a few things. If you have questions or want to look at making some or more of your hard earned money safer from market risk, please call us. We are here to help, and look forward to fully explaining some options you may want to know about.
I saw a great presentation the other day and thought to share it with you. When answering the question “Why consider an FIA?” the author responded by saying “At a time when savings are still recovering from the financial turbulence of recent years and baby boomers are retiring in ever-increasing numbers, FIAs offer the opportunity for growth through a steady, guaranteed lifetime income stream, all while protecting the principle from the uncertainty of market volatility.” Let me know your thoughts on the article and if you have any questions about an FIA. We’re here to help you with your retirement plans.
This week I thought to send you an educational article that I found informative. It begins by telling us that “In today’s volatile economy, it can be hard to feel balanced while riding the roller coaster stock market. A diversified retirement plan is essential, and indexed annuities can add balance, giving you some peace of mind—no matter what happens on Wall Street. As with other financial products, it’s important to understand the product and its benefits.” After you’ve read it, give me a call. We’re always here to answer any questions you might have.
From time to time I am asked to provide resource calculator tools that can be used to plug in numbers such as age, income, social security benefits and years to retirement so that individuals can see if their resources are in line with what they believe their retirement needs will be, whenever that time comes. This week’s article provides a detailed “Retirement Calculator” which may help you determine if a fixed annuity that provides a guarantee of income for life is something that might help you in achieving your retirement goals. Call us if you would like to talk about this further, or if you have any questions. We’re always here to help.
Did you know that nearly one in three people between the ages of 18 and 34 – millennials - have no money saved for retirement, and one in four report owing more money than they have currently saved. That’s what this week’s article stated, along with writing that according to the same survey, 52% of millennials “showed interest in products like fixed indexed annuities that provide guaranteed lifetime income while ensuring the principal investment is never lost.” I wonder if that is because millennials realize that they need to preserve whatever they do end up saving. What are your thoughts? We look forward to hearing from you and are always here to talk about your savings strategies for feeling good about your retirement.
This week’s article reminds us that determining how much money one will need to save in order to have a secure retirement depends on “the ultimate unknowable: How long will you live?” The risk of running short is called a “longevity risk”, and this risk is of concern to many approaching retirement age. The Obama administration last year established rules to foster a new type of annuity that would provide a steady monthly payment until you die. If you are interested in this type of product as part of your retirement planning, call us. We’re always here to help.
I frequently discuss individuals’ concerns over their inability to count on enough monthly income from their employer’s pension plan to provide them with the retirement income they want to receive. This week’s article also addresses these concerns and states “Present day retiring Baby Boomers are in search of that guaranteed income. Fixed annuities, simply said, are designed to guarantee income, offer peace of mind and provide protection. Nearly 90 percent of annuity owners buy them for just that; because they provide retirement savings and protect contract holders from losing money.” If these are your objectives, please call us so that we can discuss some options that may be available to you. We’re here to help.
This week’s article begins with this well known saying, but continues with admitting that “another truth is that money is something in life. Without money, we cannot enjoy the basic necessities of life that is food, clothing and shelter. Therefore, wise use of money and saving it for future purposes becomes important. Whether you are working in a company as an employee or running your own business, there comes a time when you need to call it a day and that is when the need of a steady source of income arises. This need can be fulfilled in many ways like keeping a part of your income in fixed deposits, investing in stock market etc. There is another way to fulfill this requirement- by way of annuities.” Call us if you are interested in this option. We are here to help you navigate your way to retirement.
I thought to refer to you this week’s article as in the past I have, from time to time, referred you to articles from the Society of Actuaries Retirement Committee who studies trends in retirement and life expectancy. This week’s article, written by another organization, refers to those past studies in discussing their response to questions asked regarding interest rates and annuities and “assessing the financial implications of living longer”. I’m happy to send you this article as it reinforces the benefits of some of the options that we can offer you in your retirement planning. Take a look and call us if you have any questions. We’re always here to help.
The Insurance Information Institute referenced an interesting article about senior years that I thought to share with you. It said that “by the time you retire, your accumulated wealth is probably at its height. The challenge now is to manage your assets so that they last as long as you do. Insurance still plays an important role at this stage of your life.” One of the topics discussed in the article under the Financial Planning section was the idea that married retirees “ review their financial situation and determine how much income a surviving spouse would lose” when the other passes away. The article gave an example of how a surviving widow might end up with a 40% reduction in family income due to loss of the other spouse’s social security check. We agree with the article when it states that one of the strategies for seniors should emphasize income-producing instruments that can supplement Social Security. If you would like to discuss this, call us. We’re always here to help.
“Over the last 20 years, FIAs have been a part of the longest and strongest bull market in U.S. history, as well as witness to two of the worst bear markets since the Great Depression. Through it all, indexed annuities have done exactly what they were designed to do — provide the potential for a little more interest than a stated-rate annuity would pay while still protecting premium and credit interest from market risk.” This week’s article discusses Annuities from the view point of different market environments.. If you would like to discuss where Annuities might fit into your retirement plans, give us a call. We’re here to help.
CNN had an article I thought to share with you this week on the Ultimate Guide to Retirement. It spoke about Annuities being “a popular choice for investors who want to receive a steady income stream in retirement”, and it reviewed how the income you receive from an annuity “can be doled out monthly, quarterly, annually or even in a lump sum payment.” There are various choices available to you, so take a look at what the article discusses, and then let us know if you have any questions. As always, we’re here to help!
Families often find themselves in the middle of conversations about finances with members of a younger generation. This week’s article states that “according to a recent report, a third of U.S. workers nearing retirement are destined to live in or near poverty when entering retirement. An underlying cause of this is the sharp decline in employer-sponsored retirement plans over the past 15 years.” Given “the shift in the retirement landscape toward more of a “pay-for-yourself” era”, we thought to offer out our services to younger members of your family who may want to know what options are available to them in planning for their future. Feel free to give them our contact information. We are always here to help.
We thought this week’s article would be of particular interest to you because “every industry has its own vocabulary, and it’s no different for retirement planning. Understanding this sometimes confusing language is crucial as you begin making financial decisions that will impact your lifestyle once your working years are over.” We know how difficult it is to make decisions involving your retirement money, especially when family and friends always want us to believe that they know more than we do! Use this article to help you take control of those uncomfortable conversations, and call us if you have any questions. We’re always here to help.
I encourage you to read this week’s article written by a Law Professor and an Associate Dean of a Law School, each with years of experience in the investment world. The two wrote an article expressing their opinion that, “As advisors and clients continue to search for reliable retirement income alternatives, one bright star has emerged among the many contenders: the fixed indexed annuity .” We think the same way. As you plan for your retirement and try to understand all of the options available to you, call us so that we can tell you of some that we find useful in these difficult times. We look forward to speaking with you, and are always here to help.
I often read the Insurance Information Institute’s memos because their goal is to improve the public’s understanding of insurance. This week they provided information which relates to a question I am often asked. The Instituted stated, “You should review your annuity portfolio as often as you would your other investments. Depending on the type of annuity, you should review it at least once a year. Of course, a major change in your family such as a serious illness, a new baby or even starting a business should trigger a call to your insurance agent or company representative to discuss changes in your financial planning.” Call us if you would like to review what you own, as we are always here to help you.
This week’s article is interesting because it answers the question that many of us are afraid to ask; “Is there any system out there that is going to take care of me when I retire?” This week’s article spoke of a wide study and analysis of just this. We are told in the article that “One common denominator we found across the regions and through the survey data: regardless of where you live and who you are, your golden years will depend on your willingness to taking financial planning into your own hands.” We have some ideas that may help you in your planning. Call us to see if they will work for you. We’re here to help.
The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), a federal agency has released a report entitled Ensuring Income throughout Retirement Requires Difficult Choices. The two most important choices involve “delaying the age when you elect to start receiving Social Security payments”; and “the other big piece of advice in the GAO report is that middle-class retirees should convert at least half of their retirement savings into a lifetime income annuity.” Call us if you are interested in learning how to convert your savings into lifetime income. We’re here to help, and always enjoy hearing from you.
With every year filled with new and different tax law changes, I thought to share with you this week’s article. It provides what I thought is a very concise explanation of the new 2015 law reducing the number of IRA to IRA rollovers that can take place before an adverse tax consequence comes into play. The article states “Individuals are allowed to receive a distribution from an IRA and roll the funds over to another IRA, or the same IRA, within 60 days to avoid any taxation issues. In prior years, the IRS’s position was that this rule applied to each IRA. This meant if you have five IRAs, you could take a distribution from each IRA and roll it over to the same or another IRA within 60 days without any issues. However, the code was very clear that a rollover from an account was allowed only once in a twelve month period. After the recent Babrow v. Commissioner tax court decision, the 12-month one rollover limitation now applies to all IRAs, meaning that only one 60-day rollover is allowed per 12-month period no matter how many IRAs an individual owns.” These are the type of details we like to keep you informed about. Call us, we’re here to help you navigate through the difficulties of retirement planning.
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