Retirement Planning Blog

Annuity Payout Options — What Does Period Certain Mean and How Can It Help You?

When it comes to annuities, have you ever heard of “period certain” payouts or other confusing terms? Many people use annuities for guaranteed income streams. It’s helpful to know what these terms might mean if you are thinking about an annuity for your retirement.

One of the great things about annuity contracts is how they can be structured to fit different situations. Do you want guaranteed monthly income for the rest of your life? The insurance company will pay you like clockwork, even if all of the money in your contract runs out and it’s still paying you decades later.

Or what if you want the guaranteed income to last for only a certain period? Then you have some flexibility in how long you choose to receive those payments. With help from your financial professional, you can explore different annuity payout options and see what makes sense for your needs.

Of course, some people worry about not being able to enjoy these guaranteed annuity payouts for as long as they might wish. What if something major happened and they passed away sooner in retirement than expected? They wouldn’t have a full return of the money that they had paid into the contract.

The good news is someone can choose payout options that continue payments to their loved ones should they pass away in this manner.

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Retirement Income Planning Strategies – A Quick Guide

Early on, your retirement planning was probably focused on accumulating savings and growing your money. You aimed to invest and to enjoy solid returns for your money, perhaps with an advisor’s help.

However, things change as we get closer to retirement. Now, it’s more important to protect the money you have put away over the years. And once you retire, you will use this nest egg to replace the income stream you received during your career. Whether it was from a job, entrepreneurship, or other programs, that income source will change in some way.

A well-thought-out retirement income planning strategy can make a difference in helping you enjoy a comfortable lifestyle. This quick and in-depth guide will lay the groundwork for helping you create an effective income plan.

Keep these retirement income planning tips in mind as you start planning for how you will have financial security for many years ahead. Here are a few things to know and do in order to increase your chances of a secure, fulfilling retirement.

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The Cost of Waiting to Save for Retirement

The Cost of Waiting to Save for Retirement

When you are in the later stages of your career, retirement might be the furthest thing on your mind. It’s no wonder, as many other financial priorities are likely competing for your time and attention.

At this point, many people are thinking about how they will help their kids pay for college. For others, it’s about assisting their aging parents with costly health expenses. Or perhaps paying off debt is top of mind.

But retirement can creep up quickly. For some folks, it can be sooner than they think, whether via a forced early retirement or a layoff that makes it hard to find another job. Read More

Principal Protection — Are You Needing It Now?

Principal Protection -- Are You Needing It Now?

Are you at or near the point of needing principal protection? Not everyone has the same psychology of investing, but many people start tapping the brakes on their tolerance for risk as they near retirement. While financial markets had some history-making moments in the 2000s, they saw never-before-swings in 2020.

Because of the economic and financial disruptions from the novel coronavirus, and resulting investor fears, the stock market had wild swings happen just in a matter of days. Beforehand, it had taken weeks or months to see such market volatility.

Such uncertainty was tough for retirees and for those who are just on the cusp of retirement. According to Pew Research, 10,000 baby boomers reach age 65 each day. That is a trend that started in 2011, and that Pew expects to go on until 2029.

In other words, this uncharted territory can have a lot at stake. If you are nearing retirement, you may be wondering about your own financial future. Perhaps you are thinking about whether you should have some principal protection for some of your retirement money? Read More

Ken Fisher – Should You Hate Annuities Like He Does?

Ken Fisher - Should You Hate Annuities Like He Does?

Many know Ken Fisher as the Chairman of Fisher Investments, but you might recognize more from his ‘I Hate Annuities’ campaigns. From attention-grabbing TV commercials to spirited digital ads, Fisher hardly runs from controversy.

“I would rather die and go to hell than sell an annuity,” he famously declares in one commercial. But does Fisher really hate annuities this much? More importantly, should you write off annuities for your retirement because of his criticisms of them?

Fisher Investments, a registered investment advisory firm, operates an annuity buyout program. In exchange for investors becoming clients of his firm, Fisher Investments will pay the surrender charges on the variable annuities which the investors are leaving. Read More

The Psychology of Investing and Why It Matters for Your Retirement

The Psychology of Investing and Why It Matters for Your Retirement

There are many types of risks that investors might take in order to achieve their financial goals. They can insure themselves against market risk by having money in safe vehicles such as fixed annuities, Treasury securities, and CDs.

However, at times inflation can be higher than how much money might grow in these lower-risk vehicles, so that must be taken into consideration as well. Some types of financial risk can be reduced or eliminated by diversifying your portfolio while other types of risk are immune to this strategy.

But the most important issue is this: How do you see and perceive risk and then react to it? This is where the psychology of investing comes into play. Here’s a look at how it can affect your money and retirement in different ways. Read More

The History of Annuities: a Two-Thousand-Year Track Record of Protection and Promises

The History of Annuities: a Two-Thousand-Year Track Record of Protection and Promises

Just bring up the topic of annuities, and chances are you might have all sorts of reactions. The history of annuities shows that these guaranteed contracts have provided financial security and assurances for a long time.

Annuities didn’t exactly pop up yesterday. In fact, they have been around for thousands of years, providing guaranteed income to pensioners, families, and individuals when they need it most. What’s more, their guarantees can cover more than just lifetime income.

If you are wondering if annuities make sense for your retirement goals, a quick walkthrough of their history can give a good idea of their track record.

Here’s a look at how annuities have provided crucial security, stability, and promises to millions of people across thousands of years of human history. Read More

Understanding Taxes in Retirement

Understanding Taxes in Retirement

If you live in the United States, then you know first-hand about taxes that we have to pay. In retirement, those taxes can add up.

Sales tax, income tax, estate tax, and gift tax are just some of the ways that Uncle Sam collects from taxpayers in order to meet his financial obligations.

The subject of taxes is always a hotbutton issue in presidential elections as it is in state elections. With talk of possible tax hikes at present, many people who are retired and nearing retirement are wondering about how they can watch their tax bills.

Fortunately, there are a number of things that you can do to help alleviate, and maybe reduce, the taxes that you owe every year when you file your return.

Here’s a quick, high-level look at the different taxes in retirement that you might face – and what you might want to talk to your financial professional about planning for taxes-wise. Read More

The Biden Tax Plan: How Could Tax Increases Affect Your Retirement and Assets?

The Biden Tax Plan: How Could Tax Increases Affect Your Retirement and Assets?

Editor’s Note: This article explores tax topics that can change quickly and are open to differing legal interpretations. This content is not and should not be understood to be any tax, accounting, or legal advice. Sources are provided below for information.

Almost as soon as Joe Biden was elected President, he announced his intention for an aggressive tax plan. Now the Biden tax proposal has been unveiled.

Among other things, it would raise taxes on the wealthy and use that money to help pay for new developments in the United States’ infrastructure, family plans, and educational system.

The American Families Tax Plan has been reshaped since its inception earlier this year, but the general thrust of higher taxes on the wealthy remains. President Biden’s tax plan proposes to generate an additional $1.5 trillion over the next ten years by raising the taxes on the top 1% of earners in America.

Pundits and commentators say that there will most likely be additional changes in this plan before Congress ratifies it to go to President Biden for approval. Read More

What Is the Primary Reason to Buy an Annuity?

What Is the Primary Reason to Buy an Annuity?

What is the primary reason for you and other retirees to buy an annuity? Millions of people own annuities, but exactly for what purpose? Generally, annuities can provide lifetime income, protection against risk, and long-term growth with tax advantage. They can also offer contractual guarantees for long-term care spending and death benefit proceeds.

Why you might buy an annuity will depend on your age and where you are at in your retirement-planning journey. These contracts can help you solve problems not only with guarantees in retirement, but also with saving up for later goals during your working years. 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

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