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Retirement Planning Blog

on 16 October, 2015

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In a prior blog, we’ve covered what a dream retirement lifestyle may look like. Other discussions have centered on the importance of planning for retirement or the array of retirement vehicles available. But what about the process of retirement planning itself?

Retirement planning isn’t limited to just people and their advisors. When someone reaches retirement age, support networks become important. Responsibilities shift. Family members are actively involved in their parents’ caretaking. Or they may take on the role of caretaker for their parents.

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on 23 July, 2015

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How much should Americans save up for their retirement? It's a question with many variables to consider. One big factor to answering it is future plans. That includes determining what age at which you'll retire.

According to the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, the average retirement age has increased slightly over the past ten years. Changes in Social Security incentives, a broad switchover to 401(k) plans, greater quality of life, longer life expectancy, and improved education have been influential in the age increase. As a result, the average retirement age has increased to 64 years for men and 62 years for women.

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on 30 September, 2015

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In prior blog posts, we discussed the importance of preparing for retirement. After all, it’s a critical component of a secure post-retirement lifestyle. Having an effective, personalized retirement plan will help bring lasting peace of mind. 


Unfortunately, surveys continue to show Americans have strong anxiety about their retirement. A recent PricewaterhouseCoopers survey report offers insights into current levels of retirement confidence. In the 2015 Employee Financial Wellness Survey, retirement confidence was stronger than last year’s survey. 57% said they weren’t confident they’d be able to retire when they wanted to – down from 60% in 2014 and 65% in 2013.

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on 15 July, 2015

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According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the United States’ population in 2013 was almost 317 million people. Of that body, 14.1% were individuals aged 65 years and older. Women composed 50.8% of the population and men 49.2%.

There are more people reaching retirement age than ever. And retirement planning is a critical component of having a secure future. But planning for retirement is a different process for women than it is for men. Women have different concerns, needs, and goals, and these differences should be accounted for in their retirement blueprint.

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on 25 September, 2015

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In previous blog posts, we’ve discussed topics such as the growing appeal of fixed index annuities. Changes in the American retirement landscape, such as the shrinking availability of defined-benefit pensions, is prompting many workers and retirees to investigate alternative retirement income vehicles. As a result, total fixed index annuity sales in 2014 shot up 104.3% from total sales figures in 2004, according to Beacon Research ($47 billion in 2014 versus $23 billion in 2004).

But what, then, about CDs? How do fixed index annuities stack up against them? To get a comparative overview of both financial solutions, let’s cover some history as well as key differences.

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on 08 July, 2015

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We've already covered how the retirement landscape in America is changing. One contributing factor is the changes being made to defined-benefit pension plans. In the private sector, defined-benefit pensions simply are disappearing. According to Towers Watson, over the last 15 years there has been a big decline in the number of largest American companies offering new hires defined-benefit pensions. That percentage took a 36-point nosedive from 60 to 24 percent.

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in Annuity
on 16 September, 2015

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In previous blog posts, we’ve discussed financial products offered by insurance carriers, such as annuities. But what if an insurance company fails? What then happens to your money in the annuity or financial solution issued by that insurance carrier?

In the context of “Safe Money” – or money you can’t afford to lose – it’s worthwhile to discuss bank failures as well as insurance company failures. After all, bank options and annuities are two ways of preserving your wealth from the effects of market downturns. They’re means of keeping your hard-earned money safe.

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on 29 June, 2015

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For many people, one of the biggest concerns in retirement is medical expenses. It's easy to understand. According to Ron Mastrogiovanni, CEO of HealthView Searches, a research firm which provides healthcare data to financial advisers, healthcare costs are on the rise. In general, healthcare costs are increasing 5-7% per year.

In a recent white paper from HealthView Services, data indicates healthcare costs will exert a heavy hand on the retirement landscape now and in the future, too. A healthy couple retiring at age 65 this year will require a little over $266,000 to pay for the costs of Medicare Parts B and B and supplemental insurance for their lifetime. Likewise, for a healthy couple that is 55 years old and retiring 10 years from now, those costs will shoot up to roughly $320,000.

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on 09 September, 2015

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In previous posts, we’ve discussed Americans’ concerns about retirement security. Such fears may be tied to general fears, such as running out of money in retirement. But what about Americans’ aspirations for a dream retirement?


Of course retirement interests will vary from person to person. But some nationwide surveys give insights into what seniors desire on the whole. In a recent AARP survey, many people report wanting more than just full-time relaxation or leisure.

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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.

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