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Weekly Commentary Presented By: Mike Volner
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.
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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.
Since tomorrow is officially “Tax Day”, and we all think retirement at one point or another, I thought to share with you an article describing ways to minimize the tax burden on retirement income. The article states that “A Fixed Indexed Annuity, or FIA, can play an important role in your retirement planning process as it provides a low-risk vehicle that can provide guaranteed lifetime income. What’s more, FIAs can help you minimize your tax burden. This tax deferral is important because it allows even faster growth of the annuity. In addition, FIAs don’t have government-mandated contribution limits. That means you are allowed to save as much as you would like. Finally, once you begin to withdraw (or annuitize) the funds, only the interest will be taxed – leaving your principal tax-free when you need guaranteed income the most.” Call us if you would like to discuss other aspects of an FIA, we’re here to answer any questions you may have.
The U.S. Government Accountability office (GAO) has released a report entitled “Ensuring Income throughout Retirement Requires Difficult Choices” and it tells Americans “Buy More Annuities!” The theme of the report is one we have heard time and time again, and reiterates that thought that regardless of the benefit schedule of the social security system, it “cannot be relied upon to replace a person’s pre-retirement salary.” Call us if you are looking for options that might supplement your retirement income. We’re here to help, and always look forward to speaking with you.
The good news is we are living longer, and while we have discussed in previous commentaries options that can provide an income you can’t outlive, I thought to share this week’s article with you because it discussed yet another use for annuities. The article tells us that “an annuity, properly used, can help seniors significantly mitigate the high costs associated with health care for the elderly.” Call us if you have concerns about your long term health care, or other financial questions. We’re here to help and can discuss options that might be available to you.
Did you know that one of the most important jobs of “chief market strategists” at Wall Street’s biggest banks and investment firms is forecasting what the stock market will do over the next year? This week’s article tells us that “Strategists do this every January by predicting where the S&P 500 will close on Dec. 31”. While the article is somewhat tongue-in-cheek in its comparison of the forecasts of professional strategists to what they describe as the “more frequently accurate Blind Forecaster”, what the article reinforces is the desire to plan ahead. That’s what we’re here to help you do. Call us if you would like to discuss options that can provide for an income in your retirement that you won’t outlive.
20 years ago, in 1995, Fixed Indexed Annuities were first announced to the public as a “key component for helping plan a secure, dependable source of income for retirement.” We thought you might want to read the quote in this week’s article which states that “regardless of the ebbs and flows of the market, the security and dependability of FIAs has been a constant for two decades and counting. While the economy over the last 20 years has been volatile, the popularity of FIAs has continued to grow because of the important role they play as part of a balanced retirement-focused portfolio.” We agree. If you would like to discuss how an Annuity may help you achieve your retirement goals, call us. We’re here to help.
I’m always curious to learn what happens when new retirement initiatives are announced. It is now one year after the myRA was announced. Did you know that the only way to contribute to a myRA account is through payroll deductions? And that there is a maximum limit of $15,000 that can be held in those accounts until they are required to be rolled over into a traditional IRA? The article is also of interest because it reminds us of something that we can probably all relate to regardless of the type of retirement account that we have. The author says that “it is important to think about how to convert your portfolio into income that will last throughout retirement. Fixed indexed annuities can play an important role in strengthening your retirement plan by providing that vehicle of guaranteed income.” Call us if these issues are of concern to you. We’re here to help strengthen your retirement plan.
I was interested in the comments in this week’s article where it stated that “Higher-earning people tend to live longer” and “For those turning 65 in 2015 (born in 1950), one in five men is expected to live beyond his 90th birthday, while one in five women will still be alive at 93.” While it is always difficult to determine how many years should be taken into account for our life expectancy when we plan for retirement, it is ironic that the good news of living longer is sometimes also viewed as bad news because we will need more money in order to last the rest of our longer lives. We may be able to help you think of only the good news. Call us if you would like to discuss options that can help provide income that will last as long as you do. We’re here to help.
“28 percent is the share of pre-retirement income that Social Security benefits will replace in 2030.” This opening line of an article caught my eye and I thought to share the article with you. It indicates that “An average earner who retired at 65 in 2002 received net benefits equal to 39 percent of pre-retirement income.” Yet, “By 2030, the replacement rate will have declined to 28 percent due to a scheduled increase in the Social Security Normal Retirement Age (NRA), higher Medicare deductions, and income taxes levied on Social Security benefits.” If you are looking for additional sources of income in planning your retirement, call us. We may be able to provide you with options you haven’t yet considered.
I found this week’s article interesting enough to share with you because it articulated a conclusion I’ve always drawn; that as “Baby Boomers, millennials, women and soon-to-be-retiree look at retirement planning, fixed indexed annuities (FIAs) have become an increasingly popular tool to ensuring their retirement plan is balanced.” Regardless of which group you fall into, if you’d like to discuss this option for your retirement plan, call us. We’re here to help.
While we have all heard the saying “Money doesn’t buy happiness”, you may not be surprised with Researchers who found “While more cash doesn’t increase joy, it does decrease sadness.” The examples discussed in this week’s article make sense. For example, “a leaking roof might be annoying for a few days if you’re rich, but a months-long ordeal that can cripple you physically, financially, and emotionally if you’re poor.” There is always anxiety in growing older. Let us provide you with some financial options that might lessen your concerns as you plan for your retirement. Call us, we’re here to help.
I read a great article that I thought to share with you about a role that confidence plays in our lives.According to a new survey, higher education professionals are better prepared for retirement than the general population. The article stated that “Confidence is key: Giving thought to retirement preparations contributes greatly to your financial confidence.” We’re here to help you feel more confident with your retirement plans, and look forward to speaking with you soon.
It’s mid-January and if you are anything like me you are trying to stick to those New Year’s resolutions you made a little over two weeks ago, and you are looking for ideas on how to do just that. That’s why I liked this week’s article. It lists seven things you can do to save more money in the upcoming year in order to help meet your retirement goals. We want to let you know that we have an additional idea that may help give you income that you can’t outlive. We look forward to talking with you soon to see if this option is right for you. Call us, we’re here to help.
This week’s article brings to light that whereas fixed annuities were once “simply viewed as a safe way to guarantee a lifetime stream of income, [they] have emerged as a balanced instrument that offers the potential for wealth accumulation.” As you make plans for the future, you may want to think about what this article refers to as the “overall accumulation potential”, meaning you may be able to save faster than you think with a fixed annuity. Call us if you would like to discuss this. We are always here to help.
As the year ends, and a new one begins I can’t help but be reminded that “because we’re living longer, we can’t think of retirement in a traditional way.” Experts believe that individuals retiring at the traditional ages of 55-65 should plan on living over 30 years in retirement. We understand the need to take personal responsibility for our financial security as we age, and your resolution in this new year to do so. Call us to talk about some options that may help you accomplish your goals. We send you our very best wishes for a good new year.
As this week’s article tells us, “with 2015 right around the corner, many people find December to be the ideal time to review their finances and retirement planning and make adjustments for the coming year.” In our review, we always think about “peace of mind with a guarantee” and “protection for your next egg”. If you are thinking those same thoughts, call us. We’re here to help.
This week’s article is worth reading as it discusses the tendency to focus on the “number” at the bottom of our personal balance sheets, rather than ensuring that a retirement portfolio can generate enough steady money for as long as we live. The article goes on to say that “getting people to start thinking about their retirement in an income stream instead of a lump sum is a big problem.” The reason may be what researchers call the “phenomenon of present bias” where, for example, half a million dollars today sounds a lot better than say $2,500 a month for the rest of your life, even though the $2,500 a month may be what you’ll need more. Call us if you’d like to discuss what options for a steady income stream may be available for you. We’re always here to help.
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