Retirement Planning Blog

How to Plan for Retirement in Your 50s: Steps to Aim for a Comfortable, Secure Future


Once you reach your 50s, retirement is around the corner, but you probably have many life priorities at this point. Family, work, and other responsibilities take up a lot of attention. Planning for retirement may be the last thing on your mind.

Nonetheless, it’s still important to pause and reflect on what will matter to you in this next life chapter, even if you expect that your retirement will be 10 or more years from now. Seeing where you are financially and whether you can take more steps toward your retirement goals will give you more time to get everything in place. Of course, one of those goals will be ensuring that you have enough income to last for all of your golden years.

In your 50s, there is also the risk of “sequence of returns,” or having investment losses in the years just before or in early retirement. No one can predict what the markets will do, and the unfortunate timing of investment losses is what makes this a real hazard. Even small losses can have a heavy hand on your retirement income and what sort of lifestyle that you might be able to sustain.

So, how should you plan for retirement in your 50s? In this article, we will go over some high-level steps to follow, explore your options, and set a plan so that you can have lasting financial security once you are retired.

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Bridging the Retirement Gap: Ernst & Young Study Shows How Insurance-Backed Strategies Beat the Odds


After working for many years, people want to have the best chance that they can get in enjoying a secure retirement lifestyle and staying retired. That brings up a crucial question in retirement planning. What financial strategies are most likely to get retirees to that point?

In a study conducted by Ernst & Young, researchers looked at a variety of financial strategies to see which ones would perform best. It brought up an intriguing result: financial strategies with permanent life insurance and deferred income annuities beat out investment-only strategies, providing retirees with enhanced benefits.

EY researchers looked at five different strategies using Monte Carlo analysis. The study findings claimed that taking income from annuities and permanent life insurance in retirement could indeed create better results for retirees.

In this article, we will dive into the EV study, its findings, and explore the reasons behind why these insurance-based strategies may help retirees beat the odds.

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Can You Buy an Annuity at Any Age?

Can You Buy an Annuity at Any Age?

Yes, it’s possible to buy an annuity at nearly any age. Usually there are few or no lower age limits. But annuity purchases do have older age limits. These restrictions vary based on annuity type, product, and individual contract rules.

Technically, you may be able to buy an annuity for even a child. However, most annuity purchases are with retirement money, especially IRA money. So, annuities tend to be more appropriate for people of near-retirement and retirement age. You will also see retirement savers in their 30s and 40s purchasing annuities for principal protection, safe growth, or tax-deferred accumulation in another place alongside retirement accounts. Overall, annuity buyers tend to range from ages 40-80, depending on their needs and goals.  

In an old survey by Gallup of individual annuity owners, the average age for first-time annuity buyers was 51. The survey found the median age of first-time contract owners to be 52.

Since age limits can vary among annuity types, let’s take a look at those now. Read More

Target Retirement Savings Goals by Age: Are You on Track?


Saving for retirement is crucial during our working years. It’s a big part of ensuring that you have enough money for retirement. To that end, how much do you need in retirement savings at different ages?

This can be a tricky way to see if you are financially on track. If the goal is set too low, there is the risk of being overconfident and undershooting how much you will really need. If it’s set too high, then people may become discouraged and not do anything. The bottom-line is that retirement savings goals at different ages need to be practical and realistic.

In this article, we will look at simple target retirement savings goals at five key ages: 25, 35, 45, 55, and 65. That will span exploring how much the average American has saved for retirement at these ages, and how much you might want to have saved at those points. We will also go over some things to consider with your financial planning as you get closer to retirement.

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Who Holds the Investment Risk with a Fixed Annuity Contract?


Annuities are a growing solution for people wanting financial stability and protection, especially in their retirement years. While all annuities can pay a steady, guaranteed income stream for life, fixed-type annuities can be appealing at times when markets are chaotic and economic conditions are uncertain. They offer the benefit of principal protection.

Of course, if you are considering a fixed annuity as part of your financial plan, you may wonder about the risks tied to owning one. After all, annuities are supposed to be a tool for managing risk, right? Who assumes the investment risk with a fixed annuity contract?

In this article, we will cover this question in depth, but here is a quick answer. The life insurance company standing behind the fixed annuity contract bears the investment risk. The insurer pools this risk across thousands of annuity contract holders, including you, and manages this risk in a variety of ways so that it can make good on its promises to you and everyone else. Life insurance companies have a strong record of fulfilling their contractual promises in good and bad economic times.

Before we take a deeper dive into fixed annuities and how insurance companies stand behind the investment risk of upholding them, let’s delve more into fixed annuities and what they involve.

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Income for Life: the Financial Blueprint to a Lasting, Worry-Free Retirement


Will you have enough income for life for your expected retired lifestyle? The idea of a fulfilling retirement sounds great, but in our 50s, it suddenly becomes more than just a distant dream. Just the thought of retirement starts to feel like a tangible reality.

It’s the time when we can really think about life after our careers, the years in which we can finally enjoy the fruits of our life’s work. To make the most of it all, you need to ensure that you have sufficient income for life, or in other words, enough money to last however long your retirement might be.

In this article, we will explore what those in their 50s, near retirement, and in retirement should know about income for life strategies. We will discuss how to create dependable lifelong income streams from retirement investments and savings.

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Why Do People Buy Annuities? A Closer Look at Some Reasons for Owning Them


If you are exploring ways to generate income in retirement, you may have thought about annuities at some point. Of course, annuities can be quite involved sometimes. They come in many flavors, and it’s quite natural to ask why people buy annuities.

The reasons are different for everybody. But one short answer is because annuities can provide more financial peace of mind with their contractual guarantees, backed by the life insurance company.

Annuities have grown in popularity, as people can use them to supplement their Social Security payouts, have a guaranteed lifetime income stream, earn interest on their money, protect their assets against market losses, and enjoy tax-advantaged financial growth. Paying for long-term care, offsetting inflation, and shielding assets from probate and creditors are a few other reasons as well.

In this article, we will delve into reasons behind why people buy annuities and how these guaranteed financial vehicles can contribute to a well-rounded financial strategy.

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Understanding Post-Retirement Risks: Strategies for a Secure Financial Future


Retirement is a big life milestone, as it’s when people depart the workplace and start on a new chapter of personal fulfillment and exploration. However, life doesn’t just hit the pause button once you have retired. A number of post-retirement risks and challenges require careful planning and attention.

From outliving your income to a rising cost of living, here are a few things to keep mind in mind for post-retirement risks that you may come across. In this article, we will go over those risks and explore strategies to effectively manage them.

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“Can I Retire Yet?” Mapping Out Your Path to a New Chapter


“Can I retire yet?” It’s a question that many people ask. The answer is deeply personal, quite different for everyone, and depends on many factors. Some drivers include how you will replace the income that you were earning from your career, what you have done to feel as ready as possible for retirement, and how you will handle the new life changes.

In many respects, retirement is the “next chapter in life,” but it can also be a period of uncertainty. As you near the bend, how should you approach that question of “when can I retire?” How can you be sure about when the right time to retire is for you?

It will ultimately hinge on your personal goals, but here are a few things to keep in mind as you think about this question.

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Using Annuities for Retirement Planning: Maximize Income and Protect Savings


Retirement planning is a critical part of financial planning. It’s the point at which people leave behind a career and enjoy the fruits of their life’s work. Since they are no longer bringing home the bacon from their job or business, the money has to come from somewhere.

To that end, ensuring a secure and stable income during retirement is a top priority. While there are a variety of financial vehicles that you can tap for income, annuities are an effective way to maximize retirement income.

With their contractual guarantees, they offer a unique way to provide a steady stream of income throughout retirement, helping retirees maintain their lifestyle and meet their financial needs. The risk tied to annuity payouts is pooled by insurance companies across thousands of contract holders, creating efficient risk management that no individual retirees can produce by themselves.

In this article, we will cover using annuities for retirement planning, their benefits, and some reasons for including them as part of a comprehensive retirement plan. Before going further, let’s cover the basics of annuities.

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