Retirement Planning Blog

Should You Buy An Annuity At Age 50?

Should You Buy An Annuity At Age 50?

Chances are you have heard of annuities at some point. When they have a clear role in your plan, they can be an excellent part of a retirement strategy. If you are in your 50s, you might have thought at some point or another: Does an annuity make sense in your 50s, even when retirement might seem still quite a few years away?

Well, the answer rests on three primary factors: when you plan to retire, what your timeline is from now until then, and what you would use the annuity for. Read More

How Annuities Can Help You Maximize Your Retirement Income

How Annuities Can Help You Maximize Your Retirement Income

When the World War II generation finally retired, many former workers were able to count on a secure corporate pension to supplement their Social Security income. This pension income lasted for as long as they lived. Then it often continued to pay the surviving spouse after the initial recipient had passed away.

But pensions have largely disappeared from the corporate landscape. In turn, this has left an unexpected hole in the retirement plans of many retirees.

However, many people have found an alternative in annuities as a way to generate guaranteed income that they can count on every month. Annuities can provide a type of privately-funded pension income in a manner unlike any other type of financial instrument in the marketplace today.

Annuities are designed to pay a stream of guaranteed income for as long as someone lives. This holds even if someone receives more money from the insurance company than what was in their annuity contract. Read More

Why Consider Annuities in a Low Interest Rate Environment?

Why Consider Annuities in a Low Interest Rate Environment?

Annuities can certainly strengthen your retirement plan even while interest rates are low. Among other things, they can add more predictability and stability to what you already have.

But what can you do when interest rates are at rock-bottom? In response to the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, the Federal Reserve has dropped the target rate for its benchmark federal funds rate (its overnight lending rate to banks).

Now the target range for this rate is zero to one-quarter percent. The last time the Fed did this was during the financial crisis. In 2008, it dropped the rate to the same target range, and this didn’t change course until December 2015.

The pandemic had an unprecedented impact on the economy. It put tens of millions of people out of work in just weeks and left many sectors basically on standstill. Read More

Bonds and CDs – What Are Their Pros and Cons?

Bonds and CDs - What Are Their Pros and Cons?

Many financial advisors today tell their clients that once they reach retirement age, they should probably have at least some retirement savings housed in conservative, low-risk holdings. The question of how much money depends on many factors, including what someone’s personal risk tolerance is.

Often those holdings are made up of bonds, CDs, or other such instruments that don’t have the same volatility as stocks or stock funds do. That being said, these investments have their own set of pros and cons that can affect their performance over the long term. This is especially true when interest rates are low as they are now. Read More

How Can Annuities Help You Avoid Probate?

How Can Annuities Help You Avoid Probate?

Estate planning isn’t likely to rank high on your list of fun things to do. Thinking about a post-death legacy and what you wish for loved ones probably isn’t high up there, either.

But having a proper estate plan is beneficial in many ways. It can ensure that your assets are distributed in the manner that you desire after you are gone.

Depending on the size of your estate as well as your state of residence, you may be facing estate taxes on your assets. There are ways that you can reduce that tax liability if you might choose so.

But one legal process can also derail your legacy wishes, tie up your assets for a long time, and lead to family drama that otherwise wouldn’t happen: probate.

The good news? One way that you can avoid probate on some of your assets for certain is if you have money in annuities.

With how they are treated under law, annuities exempt the money within them from this often time-consuming and drawn-out proceeding. Read More

Do Annuities Offer Creditor Protection?

Do Annuities Offer Creditor Protection?

Annuities are contracts between you and an insurance company. As the policyholder, you are entitled to certain guarantees provided to you by your life insurance company.

You can enjoy guaranteed income for life, guaranteed growth, guaranteed protection against market risk, or a guaranteed death benefit, among many other benefits.

Annuities also give the benefit of tax-deferred growth until you start withdrawing money from them. Not only that, annuities can also provide you with certain protections against creditors.

However, this helpful protection characteristic of annuities can vary by state. Here’s a quick look at how annuities can offer various creditor protections if you are concerned about the exposure of your assets or money. Read More

5 Tips to Manage Your Debt in Retirement

5 Tips to Manage Your Debt in Retirement

Editor’s note: The following post has been contributed by Andy Masaki. Andy is a blogger and financial writer associated with the Oak View Law Group. He is a debt expert and a member of several online forums, where he shares his advice as well as tips to lead a financially independent life.

A recent CNBC report has revealed that the total debt burden of older adults in our country has ballooned by 543% in two decades. Isn’t it shocking enough?

Carrying debt into retirement can become an obstacle to your dream of relaxing during your golden years. Because after retirement, you are likely to have a limited income. Though you can increase Social Security payments by taking necessary steps, expenses may go up every year due to inflation, resulting in blowing your budget.

That means precisely, you are likely to struggle with your finances if you carry debts into retirement. So, it’s better to pay off your debts at the earliest and enjoy your golden years.

Here are some of the best possible tips that can help you manage your debt in retirement. Read More

How Can Taxes Affect the Growth of Your Money?

How Can Taxes Affect the Growth of Your Money?

There are only two sure things in this life, and they are death and taxes. Taxes affect us at every turn financially, and investments are no exception.

The taxation of your assets can have a substantial impact on how much money you end up with. As any financial advisor will tell you, it’s not what you make that matters, it’s what you get to keep.

Increase Your Nest Egg with Tax Deferral

With that in mind, there are ways to increase the stockpile of savings that you have for your post-career lifestyle. ‘Tax-me-later’ vehicles can increase the amount of money that you have in retirement. In financial circles, this sort of vehicle is known as a tax-deferred asset.

In other words, it’s an asset where you don’t pay taxes on your money until you start making withdrawals from there. When you do withdraw money from this asset, you will pay income taxes on the withdrawn amount. Read More

Banks vs Insurance Companies: How Are They Different?

Banks vs Insurance Companies: How Are They Different?

Banks and insurance companies are two main types of financial institutions. But they both have key differences, including how they guarantee your money. That can be of importance for retirement savers as they strive to make confident, well-informed decisions about where they park their hard-earned savings.

Indeed, it’s not uncommon for this question of “banks vs. insurance companies” to come up when someone is exploring whether to buy a certificate of deposit or fixed annuity. For the reason, this article will focus on life insurance companies for the insurer side of the discussion.

Here’s a look at some of the core differences between banks and insurance companies, including how they back customer dollars with financial reserves of their own. Read More

What Enhanced Benefits Can Come with Annuities?

What Enhanced Benefits Can Come with Annuities?

Arguably the greatest benefit that an annuity can bring to a portfolio is protection. But depending on the contract you get, the annuity may provide enhanced protection for you in different qualifying circumstances.

These enhanced benefits can protect you against a number of financial risks. Those risks can range from confined care in a nursing home facility to home-based care and death benefit protection.

Some contracts have these as built-in features. In other cases, most enhanced benefits come as insurance contract add-ons, or annuity riders. Many of these enhanced benefit riders come at an additional charge.

You should be sure of what that enhanced annuity benefit specifically gives you, what it doesn’t give you, how much it costs, and whether it truly makes sense for your situation before confirming any add-ons to your contract.

Even so, enhanced benefits can be a great supplement for the right financial situations. Here’s how different enhanced benefits for annuities might help your retirement security in various situations. Read More

Next Steps to Consider

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