Retirement Planning Blog

How to Spend More Money in Retirement

How to Spend More Money in Retirement

An endless parade of financial articles talks about saving enough for retirement and minding your retirement budget. But what about having more than enough money for your lifestyle goals? Just accumulating sufficient savings to last through your entire retirement is only part of the picture.

Decumulation, the Final (Retirement) Frontier

“The decumulation of assets in retirement is obviously a much more complex problem than accumulating assets before retirement,” said Emmanuel Roman, CEO of PIMCO, in an interview with Advisor Perspectives. He continued:

“Because of its complexity, decumulation is unlikely to be solved with a single solution; we’re going to need to combine a number of good ideas from different corners of the industry to solve this problem. To make a significant difference, one should start with an important problem. A big one is how to protect retirees from sequence-of-returns risk, or the risk related to the timing of retirement.” Read More

Should You Buy an Annuity at Age 60?

Should You Buy an Annuity at Age 60?

Does it make sense for you to buy an annuity at age 60? How about when in your 60s in general?

It really depends on the annuity and what it would do for you. An annuity should solve specific problems in your retirement plan and cover any gaps with its contractual guarantees.

Tens of millions of people depend on annuities and their guaranteed promises for retirement. While you may be considering an annuity while in your 60s, the ages of those who buy annuities tend to be across the board.

Some buy fixed-type annuities in their 40s so they can accumulate money alongside retirement accounts or an employer plan. Others use annuities for income in their 70s, or even later, so they have dependable guaranteed cash-flow. Several annuity buyers fall somewhere in between those age ranges.

Now, what situations might make sense to purchase an annuity in your 60-somethings? Read More

What Is an Annuity Rate?

What Is an Annuity Rate?

Are you looking at different annuity rates for your retirement goals? Generally speaking, an annuity rate is the percentage at which money inside an annuity grows annually. While a majority of annuity rates have to do with growth potential, not all rates do.

Many advertisers push different annuity rates online, but these rates can have different meanings. Those rate distinctions differ largely along the various types of annuities and what each type offers to you.

Some annuities, like immediate annuities, will give you rates that are tied to income payouts. Since immediate annuities are designed to pay you income right away, that makes it pretty straightforward. Other annuities are more ‘income for later’ and come with rates like “payout percentages” depending on the type of payout option you choose.

Annuity rates usually vary from one life insurance company to another. What’s more, rates are tied to current interest rates. So when current interest rates change, annuity rates tend to move with them. Read More

Alternatives to Variable Annuities

Alternatives to Variable Annuities

Do you have a variable annuity and are you looking for alternatives to it? Not sure about what options might make sense for your situation?

Many people buy annuities for different retirement goals, but variable annuities tend to be bought more than other types of annuities. However, this is likely to change in the near future. What is driving this shift is that people are on the lookout for alternatives to variable annuities.

Why? Variable annuities offer the most growth potential of all annuities. But they also have the most exposure to market risk.

What’s more, while this isn’t universally true for all of them, many variable annuities are also fee-heavy and expense-heavy.

According to the SEC, just one annual charge for life insurers managing longevity risk – called a mortality and expense charge – can add up to 1.25% per year in variable annuity contracts. Other research by groups like Morningstar has also found that cumulative fees and expenses in a variable annuity can be in excess of 3 percent.

Depending on their needs, people may be interested in alternatives ranging from annuity contracts with less market risk to financial vehicles that aren’t even annuities at all. Read More

Independent Annuity Advice

Independent Annuity Advice

Where do you find independent annuity advice that you can trust? Just mention the topic of annuities, and you certainly won’t have any shortage of opinions coming out of the woodshed.

Many financial advisors and pundits are in the pro-annuity camp due to the strong contractual guarantees that only annuities give. On the other hand, annuity naysayers point to a few things, such as sometimes overly aggressive sales pitches, to make their case of annuity pessimism.

So, how can you find independent annuity advice that is somewhere in the middle: objective, honest, and focused on helping you become educated and make a well-informed decision? A good source will give you, among other things:

In other words, a credible source of annuity information will be upfront and clear about what annuity contracts can achieve – and also not accomplish – for you. Read More

Creating a Wealth Transfer for Loved Ones

Creating a Wealth Transfer for Loved Ones

At some point or another, you may have heard of the “Great Wealth Transfer.” The baby boomer generation will be leaving trillions of dollars to their heirs over the next 30 years.

IRAs, qualified employer retirement plans, taxable investment accounts, annuities, and life insurance will be among the numerous assets that provide a legacy for generations to come.

Depending on the situation, some methods of wealth transfer may be more advantageous than others. People who work with advisors specializing in legacy planning strategies can save a great deal of time, confusion, and money in figuring out what makes sense for their goals.

Strategic guidance from their financial professional, in conjunction with high-quality estate planning legal counsel, can help ensure the smooth transition of their wealth to their heirs. Read More

How to Handle Market Risk as You Near Retirement

How to Handle Market Risk as You Near Retirement

Balancing risk in your portfolio is a fundamental at all ages, but it’s particularly important the closer that you are to retirement. As the old saying goes, even the best-laid plans can go to waste.

Market risk and its unpredictable timing aren’t the same for everyone. Should your investment holdings take a hit in your late-career years, it could very much throw your retirement plans off-kilter.

Up until this point, you may have adopted an investment strategy that had growth and wealth accumulation as your top goals. But these priorities tend to change as you get closer to retirement. Read More

Sequencing Risk and Its Challenges for Retirement Planning

Sequencing Risk and Its Challenges for Retirement Planning

If you look at any financial commentary, there is at least an article a day talking about investment risk. Investment risk, or the risk of losses due to market downs, is always something that we should be conscious of. But, for retirement investors, there is an even bigger risk than investment risk: sequencing risk.

This type of risk can be more dangerous than pure market risk because of the effects that it can have on your long-term retirement outlook. This can have a nasty impact especially if your money takes a hit in your early retirement years.

Sequencing risk looks at the order in which your portfolio returns occur. If you take losses early in your retirement, then it will impact your finances for the rest of your life. And you might well spend the rest of your retirement playing “catch-up” from those losses, especially if you were already drawing income from your portfolio and compounding the effects of those losses even further.

Sequencing risk can have strong effects on people’s financial wellness that can span years. So, it’s critical to have a strategy in place for this possibility, especially if you are in the retirement red zone (within 10 years before or after retirement). Read More

Safe Money and Income Strategies – Making the Most of Your Retirement Savings

Safe Money and Income Strategies - Making the Most of Your Retirement Savings

Are you looking for safe money and income strategies that you heard of on the radio or someplace else? After a long career, most people would like a financially secure retirement that they can spend in peace and comfort.

This probably applies to you as much as anyone else. As you prepare for your post-career years, you may have heard or read about those “safe money and income strategies.” If you have, you may be wondering exactly what they are and whether they are right for you in your current financial situation.

What Are Safe Money and Income Strategies?

This sort of strategy follows a retirement school of thought that emphasizes income, safety, and protection. At its core, a safe money and income strategy can:

  • Pay regular predictable income to you for as long as you live.
  • Protect your hard-earned retirement assets.
  • Grow your money with a guaranteed interest rate.
  • Possibly earn more interest above a certain minimum rate.

Many fixed-income assets can serve as its lynchpin, from fixed-type annuities to bonds or Treasury securities. However, only annuities can truly pay you a guaranteed lifetime income.

What’s more, historically low interest rates have made it that much harder to live off of the interest from corporate and municipal bonds, CDs, Treasury securities, and savings bonds.

This isn’t to say that these instruments can give you some yield for dependable retirement income. It’s just harder in this lower interest rate environment. Read More

What Is the Difference Between Immediate and Deferred Annuities?

What Is the Difference Between Immediate and Deferred Annuities?

Annuities are a growing option for retirees looking for relatively ‘worry-free’ places where they can place their money without too much stress. There are many different types of annuities. But all annuities can fundamentally be divided into two main categories: immediate and deferred annuities.

By definition, an annuity is when someone puts a single lump-sum payment or a series of payments into a contract offered by a life insurance carrier. At a later point, this person starts receiving a stream of income from the annuity contract. The income stream can be for either a set period or the rest of their life.

So, what are the key differences between a deferred and immediate annuity? Here’s a quick look at the overarching distinctions. Read More

Next Steps to Consider

  • Start a Conversation About Your Retirement What-Ifs

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    Start a Conversation About Your Retirement What-Ifs

    Already working with someone or thinking about getting help? Ask us about what is on your mind. Learn More

  • What Independent Guidance
    Does for You

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    What Independent Guidance
    Does for You

    See how the crucial differences between independent and captive financial professionals add up. Learn More

  • Stories from Others
    Just Like You

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    Stories from Others
    Just Like You

    Hear from others who had financial challenges, were looking for answers, and how we helped them find solutions. Learn More

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