Retirement Planning

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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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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The Rule of 108: How Long Does It Take for Taxable Investments to Double?


You can use some simple formulas to calculate how much a given investment might grow over time, such as the Rule of 72. This rule can show you how long it will take for your money to double at a certain rate of return, but it also assumes the growth isn’t taxed.

What about estimating how long it will take for an investment to grow but when the growth is taxable? This is where simple calculations such as the Rule of 108 can come in handy. The Rule of 108 is similar to the Rule of 72 insofar as it lets you see how quickly your taxable investment might double in value. It also assumes a federal income tax rate of 32% that applies to the growth annually.

In this article, we will go more over the Rule of 108, how to use it to get an idea of how it long it would take for your taxable money to grow, some pros and cons, and how you can get the most out of it.

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How Does the Rule of 72 Work?


Whether you already have a retirement nest egg or are considering an investment, the Rule of 72 can give you some idea of how fast your money will grow over time. Many financial advisors use this rule to help their clients understand the returns that they may get from a certain investment.

If you are looking for a quick, practical way to see how long it can take for your money to double, the Rule of 72 is highly useful. However, just as with other rules of thumb in finance, it’s only a back-of-envelope formula.

There are some limits to the Rule of 72, and it also assumes that you will get a certain average rate of return each year. Of course, financial markets don’t work that way, so any investment won’t have the same growth rate each year. For those near or in retirement, there is also the potential hazard of sequence of returns risk having an impact on how much money they might have for lifelong retirement income.

In this article, we will go over what the Rule of 72 is, how it works, and how you can put it to good use in your retirement planning and investments in general.

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Hiring a Retirement Financial Advisor: How to Find the Right Guide


Are you looking for an experienced retirement financial advisor to help you plan for a secure, comfortable future? Retirement has changed, and planning for it isn’t quite what it used to be. In the past, you worked for the same company for decades and were rewarded with a pension.

Those days are long gone, with pensions now largely a distant memory. People are also living longer, and thanks to advances in healthcare and technology, they can spend up to one-third of their adult lives in retirement.

The question then arises of how to make your money last for all that time. For starters, retirement doesn’t mean the same thing to everyone.

Some want to call it quits with work and enter into a more relaxed lifestyle. Others find meaning in continuing to work, remaining active in entrepreneurship, pursue consulting opportunities, starting their own business, or even embarking on a second-act career. Still, others might want to travel, visit foreign lands that they have dreamed of seeing, or get involved with causes or organizations which they care about.

No matter what, you will want to keep up your lifestyle in retirement. There are many things that can affect your retirement income, including healthcare, rising medical costs, taxes, changing housing situations, and long-term care needs.

The advisor whom you work with needs to understand all of these possibilities and more.

Being a competent retirement financial advisor is about far more than choosing investment strategies and growing your pot of money. It’s about making your money last for the rest of your lifetime, generating reliable income, and providing the resources to enjoy retirement as you see fit.

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FIFO vs. LIFO: How Does It Affect Your Financial Picture?


You may have heard of acronyms called “LIFO” and “FIFO” in financial discussions with your advisor or in some other circles. But what exactly do they mean?

LIFO means “Last-In, First-Out” – in other words, the gains or interest earnings in an account are distributed first and subject to taxes. FIFO means “First-In, First-Out,” referring to how your principal, or the original sum of money in the account, would be distributed first and would be taxed.  

While they aren’t common terms, LIFO and FIFO generally come up in discussions around retirement assets or other financial holdings. For example, non-qualified annuities are subject to LIFO for tax purposes, and both LIFO and FIFO can apply to stocks that someone owns, as another example.

This article will look at both FIFO and LIFO and explain the basics of how they work.

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25x Retirement Rule: How Does It Work?


You may be familiar with the Rule of 25x as a method for estimating how much you will need to save for your retirement. But most of us don’t really know what the Rule of 25x is or how it works. Is it still useful in today’s retirement world? 

At its simplest, the Rule of 25x says, if you save 25 times what you would like your annual income in retirement to be, that sum could last for 30 years.

As with every retirement rule, whether it’s the three-legged stool for retirement income or the Rule of 120, the Rule of 25x is imperfect. It’s good to remember these imperfections when using the Rule of 25x for planning your retirement.

This article will examine how the Rule of 25x works, some of its problems, and alternative ways that you can work to ensure that you will have enough lifelong income in retirement.

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24 Retirement Planning Mistakes That Cost You Big Time


When it comes to saving and planning for retirement, there are several mistakes that can be made along the way. To avoid those crucial errors and set the groundwork for a secure retirement, it’s good to think about the future, plan ahead, and check that your financial goals are well-grounded.

To that end, keep in mind these twenty-four common retirement planning mistakes. While this isn’t an exhaustive list, it’s a good starting point, whether your “sayonara” to the workplace is on the horizon or you still have some years to go.

We will go into each of these frequent mistakes in more detail, but here is a quick sum-up:

  1. Having no retirement plan
  2. Not calculating how much you will need to retire
  3. Not knowing how much retirement income you will need
  4. Not taking full advantage of retirement plans and accounts
  5. Failing to capitalize on an employer match
  6. Not increasing retirement savings after a pay raise
  7. Neglecting to do annual reviews on your financial progress
  8. Not regularly checking beneficiaries on retirement accounts
  9. Raiding your qualified retirement plan early
  10. Cashing out your retirement accounts
  11. Underestimating how long retirement might last and its cost
  12. Failing to shift to a more conservative approach near retirement
  13. Not talking with your spouse about your personal retirement goals
  14. Thinking about retirement only in financial terms
  15. Not calculating required minimum distributions
  16. Not planning for taxes in retirement
  17. Taking Social Security too early (if not right for your situation)
  18. Forgetting about inflation in retirement
  19. Assuming you won’t work in retirement
  20. Thinking that you might be able to work for all of retirement
  21. Failing to account for retirement healthcare costs
  22. Starting retirement planning way too late
  23. Despairing because you started late
  24. Retiring too early

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Questions to Ask Your Financial Advisor About Retirement (2023 Update)

As you near retirement, it’s important to talk to your financial advisor about retirement. After all, you need to know that they can competently guide you on your retirement goals, build a plan that lets you maintain your preferred lifestyle, and help your money last as long as possible.

This begins with having a conversation around your unique situation, and it pays off to ask your advisor some questions that help put everything in context. Here is a high-level list of questions to ask your financial advisor about retirement:

  • Tell me about what you do to help people with retirement planning.
  • How long have you worked as a retirement financial advisor?
  • Why do you do what you do, and what are you most passionate about in this field?
  • When do you think that I can retire, and what are my options?
  • Do I have enough money to retire?
  • What should my retirement goals be?
  • What do you think of my current financial plan for retirement?
  • How much can I spend in retirement? Will I be able to keep up my lifestyle?
  • How will I fund my lifestyle once I have retired?
  • What will taxes be like for me in retirement?
  • How long will my money last before I run out of income?
  • What can you do to help me be ready for major financial risks in retirement?
  • I have a pension. What could happen if something happened to my old employer or if my pension benefits were cut?
  • When should I take Social Security benefits?
  • What should I know and do about Medicare and health coverage in general?
  • What can healthcare cost me throughout my retirement years?
  • What do you do to help my retirement plan keep up with inflation?
  • What can happen if I retire in a recession or market crash? How do we plan for that?
  • What are some other ‘bad situations’ to keep in mind, and how can you help you plan for those scenarios?
  • Say I choose to delay retirement or keep working. What are the advantages and disadvantages of doing that?
  • What can we do to ensure that my spouse or I have sufficient financial resources in place should one of us pass away?
  • How much could long-term care cost us in retirement? How likely are we to need some sort of long-term care support?
  • What sort of life changes have you seen other people experience in retirement?
  • What do you think of my estate plan?
  • What else can I do to prepare for retirement?

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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

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

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