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Retirement Planning Blog

in Annuity
on 17 September, 2020

what should i do with my annuity at maturity

From variable to fixed annuities, millions of people buy annuity contracts for many reasons. These purposes range from lifetime income to asset protection and tax-advantaged growth. As a contract, each annuity has a different time period that it takes to mature.

Depending on what you buy, your annuity may have a maturity period that goes only for a few years. If your annuity has more benefits or the benefits are guaranteed for a longer time, its maturity period can be as long as 15 years.

But what about when you are on the backend? What should you do with your annuity at maturity? Annuity owners have a variety of options when they reach that point.

Depending on your age, financial situation, and the goals that you have for your annuity money, you can do the following when the contract ends:

  • Keep your money in the contract and withdraw it at strategic times (or a certain withdrawal schedule),
  • Cash it out in a lump-sum balance,
  • Renew your contract,
  • Annuitize your contract into an irreversible income stream, or
  • Transfer the money into a new annuity contract.

Let's go into more details about what you can do when your annuity contract matures.

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on 24 August, 2020

unexpected expenses in retirement

If you talk to people who have been retired for at least 15 years or more, they will often talk about the major 'stealth' expenses that can arise after you stop working, such as a medical condition or major home repair.

Statistics show that one in five retirees and one in four retired widows will get hit with at least four major financial shocks after they stop working. These numbers could be fairly eye-opening for most pre-retirees. Or, at least, they can make them take a second look at their retirement plans.

The numbers also reflect that 28% of retirees and 13% of widows haven't experienced any financial shocks yet. But they are the exception and not the rule. It's prudent to think about any and all 'surprises' that can happen during your retirement years.

Not only does proactive planning give you a longer window for anticipating "stealth expenses" and setting reserves in place for them. It can also help you reduce the impact of these risks when you have to deal with them.

For example, you might take a tax hit from having to make a sudden withdrawal from your portfolio to cover an unanticipated health scare.

Here's a look at some surprise expenses in retirement that may come your way -- and how you can prepare for them.

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in Annuity
on 15 September, 2020

how does an index annuity differ from a fixed annuity

There are many different types of annuities available in the financial marketplace today. Two of the more popular types of annuities are fixed annuities and indexed annuities. Indexed annuities are also known as fixed index annuities nowadays.

Both kinds of annuities can have their place in a retirement financial plan. But there are key differences between a fixed and an indexed annuity that people should understand in order to make an informed decision when choosing which type to use.

Before we delve into the differences between fixed and indexed annuities, it’s good to know the ways in which they are similar.

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in Annuity
on 19 August, 2020

multi year guarantee annuities explained

For retirement savers wanting more growth potential than what CDs and other fixed-interest assets might offer, fixed index annuities can be an attractive option. Indexed annuities can earn more interest over time than what these other options might.

Even so, some people would rather know that they are earning a guaranteed rate of interest. They are more comfortable with a minimum interest rate for their money’s growth.

Multi-year guaranteed annuities, or MYGA annuities, can fill this role for those who want a guaranteed interest rate with full protection of principal.

Multi-guarantee annuities are backed by the same dollar-for-dollar reserve requirements that apply to fixed and indexed annuities.

That means that for every dollar of MYGA premium that is issued, the insurance company must keep at least one dollar in its cash reserves to cover the outstanding amount.

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on 09 September, 2020

post retirement planning does not stop

Financial planning for retirement, or "post-retirement planning," doesn't end once you retire. Even if you have accumulated enough money for a secure retirement, your plan will require ongoing checkups to confirm that everything is going smoothly.

You will have to continue to make changes and adjust your plan as time goes on. Retirement can last as long as one-third of someone's lifetime, as medicine, wellness, and technology have seen tremendous progress in recent decades.

In other words, having an ongoing plan for this phase of life is quite crucial. You may also experience more changes in retirement than you have previously, as your abilities and health evolve over time.

Your retirement planning strategies will need to be reviewed and updated on an ongoing basis. Conducting annual reviews of your financial plan, at a minimum, and making changes as necessary is a solid course of action. 

Here are some 'moving targets' that are likely to change in your retirement years.

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in Annuity
on 17 August, 2020

annuity with an income rider

The modern financial landscape for today's retirees is quite different from that of prior generations. Corporate pensions are disappearing, and the Social Security program faces new pressures from record-breaking numbers of people retiring.

Annuities have steadily emerged as a solution to these retirement income challenges. But up until some years ago, many retirees eschewed the use of annuities. Why? Because in order to get a guaranteed lifetime stream of income, they had to annuitize their contracts.

In order to do this, they had to effectively forfeit control of their money for the rest of their lives. Thankfully, life insurance companies have innovated and come up with a new benefit that gives more flexibility: an annuity income rider benefit.

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on 02 September, 2020

how to maximize retirement income img

Paying the bills after you retire is quite different from during your career. After all, the income you receive will come from a variety of sources, as opposed as to earned income or a bimonthly paycheck.

Social Security, your own investment portfolio, a pension (if you are lucky), and maybe even part-time work can be sources of income that help pay for your retirement lifestyle.

The trick is therefore to maximize the total amount of income that you receive. But many Americans worry that they won’t have enough income during retirement to meet their needs.

The Alliance for Lifetime Income conducted a survey of 3,119 adults regarding their financial readiness for retirement. Eight in 10 (80%) of them expressed at least some level of concern that they won’t have enough income after they retire.

The survey revealed that 18% of the respondents were extremely worried about this. Meanwhile, 26% were “moderately” concerned and 36% were “somewhat” concerned about this issue.

Here are six key steps you can take now to avoid these concerns and maximize your income. You don’t have to wait until you are retired to start planning out the rest of your life.

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on 12 August, 2020

identity theft protection guest post

The following guest post has been contributed by Emily Kalan of Crediful. Emily is an experienced blogger that writes about all things finance, including debt, home ownership, loans, and financial identity protection.

Identity theft is far more common than you think - it’s one of those things that you hear about but don’t think it will ever happen to you. And it can be a particularly troubling problem to deal with when you are in retirement.

The reality is that millions of Americans suffer from identity theft every year, and it can leave you feeling targeted, vulnerable, and unsafe.

Thankfully, there are ways you can protect yourself against identity theft without having to spend hundreds of dollars on protective services. Keep reading to find out how!

Looking for identity protection for families? Then head on over to Crediful.com and check out our in-depth post on some of the best identity theft protection services.

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on 27 August, 2020

why you need a retirement income plan for retirement
When you are still working, a rock-solid financial plan will do wonders for helping you accumulate money for retirement. This strategy will laser-focus on growth and accumulation as top goals. With a financial advisor's help, you could stay on track with your plan and gradually build your savings for later years.

But things change as you near retirement. This period is called the 'retirement red zone' for a reason. It's a time when new planning is needed. Your financial plan will need to change gears, in some ways, in its focus from growth to retirement income.

This can be tricky in some cases, as today we face different challenges in retirement than those before us did. Longer living is one such issue now.

It's a very real concern for many retirees, as one study by Allianz Life found. In the study, six in 10 retirees ranked running out of money while they are still living as a greater fear than death itself.

Just like the plan for growing your money during your career, an income plan can help you maximize your lifetime cash-flow. In turn, you can better enjoy the hard-earned fruits of your lifetime of work.

Many years of hard work brought you to this point. Now it's time for your money to work and let you enjoy a comfortable, lasting lifestyle.

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on 12 August, 2020

what is interest rate risk

Turn on the TV or radio, and chances are you might hear of volatility hitting equity markets at some time or another. But what you might not hear as much about is the risk facing CDs, bonds, Treasury securities, and other fixed-interest holdings: interest rate risk.

What is interest rate risk? It's a particularly important topic for retirees. After all, many retirement portfolio strategies use fixed-interest holdings to generate stable retirement income or to smooth out volatility in a portfolio.

These fixed-income assets also tend to be the place where millions of Americans protect their money. Or they may park cash there for short-term to medium-term goals. So, long story short, interest rate risk can have implications for millions of people

So, how should we define interest rate risk -- and how might affect you? Let's get into it.

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