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Retirement Planning Blog

on 03 June, 2015

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Are you considering a purchase of a fixed index annuity? It's important to evaluate your unique financial needs and determine if it'll be a suitable fit. Many Americans have found fixed index annuities to be an effective vehicle for achieving retirement income security.

Consider the following data:

• Since 1995, Americans have purchased almost $400 billion in fixed index annuities (From Advantage Compendium Ltd)
• 99.994% of indexed annuity owners have no complaints about their indexed annuity purchase (Advantage Compendium Ltd)
• Only 0.006% of indexed annuity owners have registered complaints about their annuity product purchase (Advantage Compendium Ltd)
• In a 2012 study, 83% of indexed annuity buyers and 86% of traditional fixed index annuity buyers reported satisfaction with their annuity purchase (LIMRA)
• At the close of 2014, fixed index annuity sales were $47 billion, a 104.3% increase from sales in 2004 ($23 billion in sales that year) (Beacon Research)

Fixed index annuities were originally created as a financial alternative to CDs and their meager potential for retirement income. The catastrophic effects of the 2008-2009 financial crisis and the changing dynamics within the American workplace landscape also have had an impact. Now many Americans are exploring fixed index annuities as an alternative retirement vehicle.

on 27 May, 2015

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In today's financial landscape, retirement income security is a pressing concern. Polling data shows that many Americans are worried about the future. For instance, in a public opinion report from the National Institute on Retirement Security, 86 percent said they believe America is facing a retirement crisis. Likewise, 75 percent indicated they were highly anxious in their retirement outlook.

The National Institute for Retirement Security found this concern to be held across generational, gender, and economic demographics. Concern over retirement income security also showed in the respondents' plans for the future. Over 50 percent plan on seeking employment in retirement for additional income. And 42 percent reported they are worried they will have to sell their home for retirement income security purposes.

on 06 May, 2015

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The 2008-2009 financial crisis was the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. And it had a tremendous impact on the retirement income landscape of America. In October 2007, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at a pre-recession, all-time high of 14,164.43. In March 2009, it had dropped to 6,594.00 – a severe decline of 53.4% in less than 18 months.

Other equity indexes reported similar declines. From December 2007 to December 2008, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index declined 37%, resulting in retirement account losses of $2.8 trillion, or 32% of their value (Mauricio Soto, “How is the Financial Crisis Affecting Retirement Savings?” Fact Sheet, Urban Institute 2008). With the stock market downturn, there was a corresponding impact on Americans' retirement accounts.

on 29 April, 2015

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With its market introduction in 1995, the fixed index annuity is a retirement vehicle with a 20-year record. Despite the Booming 90s, economic volatility swept the bond and stock markets in 1994. These trends gave rise to consumer demand for a new retirement product – one which offered some growth potential, but which extended principal protection in times of economic hardship.

As a result of the shift in consumer psychology, insurance carriers unveiled the fixed index annuity. And since that time, this retirement product has grown in popularity. According to data from the research firm Advantage Compendium Ltd., Americans have purchased roughly $400 billion since 1995. It's a statistic which continues to grow.

on 22 April, 2015

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Today's economic conditions remain uncertain, and it 's having a tremendous impact on how Americans foresee the future. In a nationwide public opinion report from the National Institute on Retirement Security, many Americans were found to be anxious about their retirement. Among those surveyed, 86 percent indicated they believe America is facing a looming retirement crisis. And in addition, 75 percent said they are concerned about their capability for achieving a secure retirement.

Given present circumstances, it's easy to understand these fears. Many people worry about whether they will have enough money in their retirement years. It could be for paying medical expenses, maintaining a certain lifestyle, or covering costs of daily living. Much of the retiree community is thinking about how much money they will be able to leave to their loved ones, as well.

However, a secure financial future needn't be filled with worry.

on 08 April, 2015

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According to Pew Research Center, each day an additional 10,000 baby boomers reach retirement age (65 years old). Given today's uncertain economic conditions, it's natural to be worried about retirement planning. And for many people, one driving concern is whether they will have enough money in retirement.

These financial concerns are centered on many factors: healthcare expenses, a comfortable lifestyle, or other interests. But no matter what people's concerns are, one point is clear. The world is different from what it used to be, and as a result, the dynamics of retirement income planning have drastically changed.

on 25 March, 2015

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When it comes to financial planning, determining an estate plan is important. After all, it's the means by which someone passes on their property to their loved ones. And there are many factors associated with this. Especially the tax liabilities which may impact how much of your estate is given to your designated inheritors.

At a fundamental level, estate taxes are technically taxes that are levied on a person's right to transfer property upon death. There are many of these tax liabilities at the federal level, but all states have varying tax liabilities as well. And they can play a vital role in how you plan your estate. Let's cover these in more detail.

on 18 March, 2015

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Many investors have opted for fixed index annuities as a source of retirement security. But what exactly is a fixed index annuity? And for that matter, how does it stack up against other financial options?

Comparatively, financial products such as CDs offer low return potential. They also don't offer a guaranteed lifetime income option. And for seniors looking to bolster their retirement income, the ups-and-downs of the stock market puts retirement dollars at risk. After all, the market moves through cycles. Historical data shows it can take years for the market to recover.

in Annuity
on 11 March, 2015

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Today's financial landscape is muddled. Determining the best investment options for your needs can be a hassle. Sound decision-making involves being financially educated. And for people looking at annuities, it helps to understand the basics.

What is an annuity? Simply put, an annuity is a contract between you and the insurance carrier providing it. The goal of an annuity is to provide you with a steady income stream in your retirement. It can also be a means of protection - keeping your retirement money safe and intact when market-based investments take a hit. In an annuity contract, you make a lump-sum payment or a series of payments. The annuity gives you certain contractual guarantees.

in Annuity
on 04 March, 2015

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Are you looking at annuities for an income security option? There's certainly no shortage of financial advice on them out there. Especially bad financial advice.

And as financial guru Suze Orman notes, it's a different world. Employers no longer look out for you in your working days – and then offer a pension throughout retirement. Now they ask you to help fund your retirement. Or you may be tasked with funding your retirement entirely on your own.

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