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Retirement Planning Blog

on 23 January, 2018

more americans reaching retirement savings next steps

If you are among the growing numbers of Americans reaching their retirement savings goals, congratulations!

According to the Center for Retirement Research, 50% of working-age Americans report they could maintain their pre-retirement standard of living in retirement, as measured by the Center’s National Retirement Risk Index. This is a 2% improvement over the center’s previous measure of retirement readiness in 2013.

Thanks to rising home values and stock market all-time highs, the account balances of employer and individual retirement savings plans are flush. So, now that your retirement savings goal is achieved, what should you do next to enjoy the retirement you have worked hard for over many years?

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on 27 December, 2017

 30 market risks from deutsche bank img 1

As 2017 has rolled by, many headlines have documented new economic upsurges. U.S. stocks saw record growth, foreign equity markets rose in value, and domestic unemployment fell to its lowest rate since 2000.

Then tax reform legislation was passed, and now optimism is growing for what the New Year may hold. Nonetheless, while all of this is positive, a number of market risks could reverse the growth trends of 2017.

In a recent Global Markets Research report, Deutsche Bank mentions 30 potential game-changers that can influence the economic landscape in 2018 – and even bring market reversals. As you review your financial picture for the New Year, here are some important risks of which to take note.

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on 17 January, 2018

how to help parents while staying on track retirement

No matter how much we have prepared for retirement, it often seems that we could be doing more. As people live longer and need more money, there’s increased pressure to step up saving. But what if, in addition to funding your own retirement, you also had to provide financial support to your parents?

According to TD Ameritrade, 25% of baby boomers already support another adult. Around 8% of those adults are aging parents. What’s more, 20% of Gen Xers also support other adults, with 13% being their parents.

Most of this support went to general living expenses and medical bills, with financial supporters paying an average of $12,000 per year to help loved ones. 

So, what if your parents don’t have enough money for their retirement needs? It’s more than likely you will help them with care and support, but this could inhibit your own retirement plans in the process.  

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on 05 December, 2017

retirement planning challenges for women

Women are taking a greater role in household money matters, according to a new report by Allianz Life. But despite this, many women face the prospect of an underfunded retirement.

In the study, 51% of women said they are the “chief financial officer” of their household. When it came to managing finances, 53% said they hold “a great deal of responsibility” or “all of it.”

Nevertheless, signs indicate that women face unique challenges on the retirement planning front. Rising life expectancy, lower lifetime earnings, and reduced savings all contribute to a significant retirement income gender gap, reports Prudential Research.

Sure, these challenges may seem considerable. But the good news is you can do many things to strengthen your retirement security and financial confidence.

Confident decisions start with being well-informed. So, as you plan for your retirement, it’s important to understand the challenges facing you and other women today. Here’s a quick look at some common issues that will likely come your way.

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on 09 January, 2018

 3 steps to greater financial security in new year

If anything, the new year tends to be a time of reinvention. From resolutions of healthier eating or more frequent exercise to more diligence with household finances, there is no shortage of areas for self-improvement.

For people aged 50 and over, it’s another year closer to retirement. You have spent a long time preparing and setting aside money to be able to retire when and how you want to. After many years of careful preparation and personal sacrifices, this milestone can seem close and yet far away.

If your retirement date is within the next five years, now is a great time to refocus on your retirement planning goals. Here are a few steps you might need to take now for enjoying greater financial confidence in your golden years.

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in Annuity
on 28 November, 2017

 annuity payout options

Many retirement investors use annuities for guaranteed income. But some find their annuity payout options to be confusing. There are a variety of methods to receive annuity income payments. With so many choices, it can be hard to decide what’s right for you.

People tend to feel more confident in their decisions when they are well-informed. So, this article will take a look at some common annuity payout options and how they are defined.

Before going into basic details, it’s important to recognize that your payout choices will differ among insurance companies. Some carriers may not provide the same annuity payout options you have with another carrier. Or the specific conditions and details of the payout options might vary. Keep this in mind as you choose how you want your future income payments to be calculated.

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on 08 January, 2018

working in retirement wishful thinking

Countless surveys say that Baby Boomers and Gen Xers aren't saving enough for retirement. But a recent survey from Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies shows another place where American workers are falling short: preparing for work in retirement.

In the study, 56% of workers said they expect to work at least part-time past age 65. Among Baby Boomers, 6 in 10 (65%) expect to or already working past the traditional retirement age. More than half of Gen Xers (56%) also planned on at least part-time employment during retirement.

However, that vision may be out of reach, as few workers seem to be taking steps to make it happen. Less than half of workers (46%) are keeping their skills up-to-date, a finding that held for Baby Boomers and Gen Xers alike. And only 18% are scoping out the job market and opportunities available, with 15% of Baby Boomers and of Gen Xers alike reporting an active lookout.

Overall, a number of workers seemed to believe their employers would let them stay on part-time -- which well could not happen due to present employment market conditions and practices. Meanwhile, the findings don't bode well for expectations of working past 65. That's even as 83% cited financial reasons as why they plan to continue doing so.

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on 20 November, 2017

4 steps to financial house order holidays

The holidays are approaching, and everyone is stepping into high gear. From Thanksgiving dinners and seasonal gift shopping to family get-togethers, these are busy but joy-filled times. Aside from the festivity, fellowship, and merriment, though, it can also be financially stressful for many households.

The holiday season brings more pressure to spend, and this can put strain on retirees, many of whom live on a fixed income. For lots of Americans, there’s also the issue of personal debt. Having the pressure of growing debt loads, many people feel the impact of debt on their retirement goals, not to mention other objectives. And excessive holiday spending can be partly to blame. A survey by NerdWallet found that 24% of shoppers overspent last year, while 27% made no budget at all.

The good news is with the right steps, financial wellness is within reach. If you are in your 50s or 60s, it’s prudent to start taking steps to set goals, plan for the future, avoid financial missteps, and make changes so your money works for you.

Here are some steps to get your financial house in order for the year-end and for greater financial confidence in the future.

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on 05 January, 2018

 supplemental insurance what is it

Editor's Note: The following is editorial content that has been contributed by Marion R. Hutton.  

To some people, supplemental insurance might seem a little redundant. After all, insurance can be considered a 'just-in-case' type of financial arrangement, and to augment this precaution with another provisional measure in the form of supplemental insurance might not immediately make sense.

However, it is necessary to delve into common insurance policies and how supplemental insurance packages can help you rest easier. With that in mind, this article discusses the basics of what supplemental insurance is, particularly with regard to life and health insurance, and when it is necessary to purchase one.

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in Annuity
on 21 November, 2017

 myga annuity blog img 

Considering its interest rate potential, a multi-year guarantee annuity, or MYGA annuity, may seem pretty "boring." This can happen especially when you compare it to a fixed index annuity and its growth potential.

But while many people see indexed annuities as appealing, not everyone does. Some retirement investors just want an unchanging, fixed growth rate for their money. The prospect of changing interest rates, from time to time, doesn’t appeal to them.

If you desire straightforward choices like this, a MYGA annuity might be of interest. Unlike with a fixed index annuity, a MYGA annuity gives you a fixed interest rate over time. In many cases, this interest rate doesn’t change in later contract years, like you often get in a traditional fixed annuity.

As you think over different types of annuities, it’s important to understand your options. Here’s a quick guide to understanding MYGA annuities, their benefits, and potential drawbacks in retirement planning.

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