Retirement Planning Blog

Retirement Income Planning for Women

Taking the Hassle Out of the Holidays

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.

Let’s take a look at some of the factors which can influence women’s retirement, and how these factors can shape their planning for the future. Read More

The Changing Landscape of Retirement Pensions

Taking the Hassle Out of the Holidays

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.

There also has been pressure on defined-benefit pensions in the public sector. In mid-June, the Obama administration announced it would be looking at ways to cut benefits in multi-employer private pension plans. Over 10 million people are covered by about 1,400 multi-employer plans. It’s been estimated around 1 million of those individuals would run out of money in the coming years. Hundreds of thousands of retirees would be affected with the benefit cuts. Read More

Accounting for Healthcare Costs in Retirement

Taking the Hassle Out of the Holidays

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. Read More

Fixed Index Annuities Review

Taking the Hassle Out of the Holidays

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. Read More

The Importance of Keeping Your Retirement Plan “Safe Money First” Simple!

Taking the Hassle Out of the Holidays

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. Read More

What is A Fixed Index Annuity?

Taking the Hassle Out of the Holidays

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. Read More

What is An Annuity?

Taking the Hassle Out of the Holidays

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. Read More

The Truth About Annuities

Taking the Hassle Out of the Holidays

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.

Read More

Next Steps to Consider

  • Start a Conversation About Your Retirement What-Ifs

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