RETIREMENT COMMUNITY RETIREMENT INCOME

We often think of retirement communities as providing us only with housing and perhaps a few amenities. This past week I came across one that offered out an analysis on Annuities. The reason being that many seniors who have retired are looking for income they can’t out live, and that is one feature of a Fixed Indexed Annuity. “In today’s volatile climate, investments seem to be wading in uncertain waters. Even one-time solid choices like blue-chip stocks are swimming in rough seas. Because of this, investors sometimes examine a myriad of possibilities to secure or help their money grow.” While the market may go up and down, what does seem to be a certainty is a retirees desire to know, and to know for sure, that they have enough money coming in. Call us if you’d like to discuss some options that may help get you to a point of enjoying the days to come and not worrying. We’re always here to help.

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NOW THAT IT IS MAY

Now that it is May and tax season is behind us, it may be a good time to reassess how retirement has impacted or will impact your living expenses. This week I thought to share with you a chart that may help you with this assessment. “Your living expenses may increase or decrease at retirement but will likely not stay the same.” You can use this calculator to help compare living expenses that you have now to the day that you will retire. This may help you to plan your savings requirements accordingly. Call us if you need help in doing this analysis. We’re always here for you.

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CAN AN UP MARKET SINK YOUR RETIREMENT?

This week’s article made me think about the old adage “What goes up must come down.” Getting older always seems to involve a race against time, and if you know that you have to live off of your savings in retirement, what do you do if there if there is a decrease in your nest egg when you have run out of time to try to make any losses back? Go back to work? Spend even less than you are now? When things are good it is human nature not to remember the risks, even though they are still there, just not actualized. “Fixed indexed annuities are one of several tools that you can use to limit downside risk. You may want to reassess your strategy to see if you can implement these tools. Investing in retirement or even in the years just before retiring always presents a difficult challenge. On one hand, you need to continue growing your assets so you can fund your lifestyle and fight inflation. On the other hand, you want to avoid significant declines because you may not have time for your investments to rebound. One way to protect against this risk is to use tools that offer upside potential but limit downside risk exposure. For example, fixed indexed annuities give you the ability to earn returns based on market performance without experiencing downside market loss. In a fixed indexed annuity, you earn interest every year. The interest rate is based on the performance of an underlying index, like the S&P 500. If the index performs well, your rate may be higher. If it performs poorly, your rate may be lower. However, these policies always have a guaranteed minimum rate, so you will never lose money even if the index declines in value.” Call us if you want to talk about options that limit your risk exposure. We’re always here to help.

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CHOICES

This week’s article discusses the situation when a company offers to cash out the pensions of certain retirees and former employees and instead give them a lump-sum payment. In the past we have discussed the difficulty in being confronted with this type of situation. “For most retirees, a guaranteed stream of income for life is a better option than a lump sum.” But these types of situations require a thorough talking through to ensure that you are making the best possible choice from among your options. Call us if you find yourself trying to evaluate this or a similar situation. We are always here to help.
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PREDICTABLE INCOME

A common concern when planning for retirement is the difficulty in knowing exactly how much income the retiree will have, and how long that income will last. It is also sometimes difficult to understand how different products work. Because retirees often choose to purchase an annuity with a guaranteed lifetime income to help them with this part of their retirement planning, I thought to share with you a short video that “breaks down the guaranteed lifetime withdrawal benefit that provides predictable income in retirement.” After you have watched it, call us with any questions you may have. We’re always here to help.
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GLOSSARY OF TERMS

From time to time we come across publications that are beneficial for anyone owning or thinking of owning an annuity to have. This week’s publication is a glossary of terms that are often used when discussing this particular type of product, and it is in a form that is easy to print out and reference in the future. We thought to share it in order to better enable you to have a clear understanding of your options as you plan for your retirement. It is important to make independent decisions about what options are best for you, and without a clear understanding of the meaning of words describing certain product features that may be difficult to do. Take a look and let us know if you have any questions. We are always here to help.

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DO YOU HAVE AN ILLUSION OF WEALTH OR AN ILLUSION OF POVERTY?

This week’s article tells us that “A new study has found that one difficulty workers saving for retirement have in judging whether they’re on track is that they could be under the “illusion of wealth” or, conversely, under the “illusion of poverty.” The study, “The Illusion of Wealth and Its Reversal,” published in the Journal of Marketing Research, found that the format in which information is presented affects an individual’s perception of wealth (or poverty).” We thought you might be interested in this study, and why individuals fall into one category or the other. Call us once you’ve had a chance to rethink where you might be in this spectrum. We are always here to offer out options you may not have considered to help you get where you would like to be in your retirement planning.
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QUESTIONS TO ASK

We always enjoy finding articles that help you to make good decisions for your financial future. This week’s article is one of those as it suggests some questions to ask that help determine what a good choice might be for you. “Indexed annuities offer a unique and attractive blend of safety, growth potential, tax advantages, lifetime income and liquidity” and it is important when you make your decision of which Annuity to purchase, to ask the right questions. Take a look at this week’s article. We think you will find it informative. Call us if you would like help in finding the answers to any of your questions. We’re always here to help.
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HOW OFTEN?

If you have ever wondered how often you should review your annuity portfolio, this week’s article tells us it should be done “as often as you would your other investments”. This is one of the reasons we invite clients for an annual review. Major changes such as a serious illness, stopping work, or health issues can have an impact on your financial planning. We look to help you make the right choices for where you are in your life, knowing that the only constant is change itself. So call us, we’re always here to help you get your bearing, and determine what might work best in a changed situation.
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BRIDGE THE GAP

I wasn’t really surprised to read in this week’s article that “When it comes to savings, the gender gap is huge. A recent study indicated that women have 50% lower savings than their male counterparts.” The amount and timing of our savings is dependent on so many factors, some of which we can control and many we cannot. This makes the idea of a looming retirement all the more scary. How can we possibly tuck away enough to totally live on for when we are not employed, if we have difficulty finding extra money when we are working? These and other questions are topics we frequently discuss. Call us if you have retirement savings concerns you are trying to find solutions for. We are always here to help.
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