5 Life Insurance Myths to Free Yourself of Now

Life insurance may not sound all that exciting, but when you do stop to think about life insurance and you, it’s not uncommon to assume that since the concept of life insurance is simple enough, so too are the products. It’s also fairly easy to rationalize the things you really don’t understand about life insurance, and before you know it, you’re harboring potentially damaging life insurance myths.

In addition to your own edification, and frankly, for the safety of your loved ones’ financial futures, it’s important to understand exactly what life insurance is, what it does, and how — not to mention if — you should make a move either to purchase or upgrade your coverage. Read the myths below to see if you need to adjust your thinking when it comes to life insurance.

The coverage you get at work is enough.

While this may, in fact, be the case if you’re single, in good financial standing, have no dependents and aren’t worried about estate taxes, for most people, the term policy offered through their employer just won’t be enough to sustain their families’ needs. After all, your insurance payout must not only support your family financially, it must also pay off any debts, such as the mortgage or even the MasterCard, as well as settle up with Uncle Sam.

Only the working spouse needs life insurance.

This is a curious — and wildly inaccurate — belief, yet it somehow persists. Life insurance on the breadwinner is intended to fill in the gap left by the loss of a paycheck, but that discounts all the valuable work a stay-at-home partner contributes to the relationship. If you’re used to this arrangement, how would you pay for child care or the cleaning, or even manage the household without a little financial help in the event of such a loss? It can be easy to overlook the many contributions of the non-breadwinner, but to do so would be remiss.

The value of your life insurance coverage should equal two years’ salary.

Everyone’s financial circumstances are different, and so are their life insurance needs. You might require more coverage than two years’ salary if you incur medical bills or other debts, have a young family, a mortgage to pay, or any number of life obligations to meet. If your lifestyle is more modest and you’re not financially responsible for anyone, on the other hand, then two years’ salary may even be excessive.

Single people without dependents don’t need to own life insurance.

While it’s true you might not have a family to provide for, odds are you’ll still have to cover the cost of your funeral, pay off a few debts, and maybe leave a little bit behind for your parents. And as one MSNBC article on the topic suggests, using a life insurance policy to fund a gift to a favorite charity can be a wonderful legacy for a single person to leave behind.

You don’t need professional services to buy life insurance.

While this is, in fact true, as any consumer can go online and shop for, and even buy, term and permanent life policies, electing to go it on your own can be detrimental to your financial future. A professional life insurance agent advisor can help you identify the needs you have, what you must protect and how best to protect it. With the knowledge of myriad different policies, if you’re honest about your financial and life circumstances, a professional can not only help you determine how much coverage you need, but also help decide whether a term or permanent policy is right for you. They can even customize a plan to meet your unique needs.

The most powerful benefit of life insurance is transferring wealth to your heirs, so if you have substantial tax deferred wealth like annuities and qualified plan dollars then life insurance can be a wonderful gift to transfer your wealth to your heirs in a tax efficient manner.

To learn how Warren can help you make sound financial decisions based on facts and not emotions, misconceptions, or opinions, please call 877-476-5051 or email Warren at warren@arrenelkin.com today.

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How to Keep the Housing Crisis from Bursting Your Retirement Bubble

Everyone dreams of that perfect little retirement home in the relaxing tranquility of some quaint town on the shores of something beautiful.  Ahh, yes.  We can picture it now. The feel of a cold drink in our hand and the sun beaming down on our face.  The birds are singing and the waves are lapping at the shore.   Then suddenly, “Pop!” What was that, you say. That was the sound of that dream bubble bursting for the 1.5 million older and retired Americans that have lost their homes to foreclosure along with much of the financial security that came with them.

The reality is that, for many older Americans, their dream scenario has turned into a living nightmare.  Instead of visions of beach houses or lakeside homes, many retirees find themselves clinging for dear life to the homes they have inhabited for years.  The housing crisis knows no boundaries, and it has certainly proved that by inhabiting the lives of many retired and soon-to-be retired individuals.  Unfortunately, the tidal wave of foreclosures continues to splash through the 50+ age group.

The AARP released a report outlining the foreclosure climate in the lives of older Americans and the results were a little frightening.  Over 1.5 million of them have already lost their homes.  Currently, about 600,000 people in the 50+ age group are in foreclosure, while another 625,000 are over 3 months behind on their mortgage payments.  16% of all 50+ Americans currently owe more than their homes are worth.

These numbers are not what many Americans are accustomed to.  The proportion of seriously delinquent loans held by older Americans has risen over 450 percent over the last five years.  Many of these people have gone their whole lives with nearly perfect credit, but have now hit a solid wall of debt that doesn’t seem to be budging.  Things aren’t getting any easier with age.  Among Americans 75 and older, one in every 30 homeowners are in foreclosure.  Five years ago, that proportion was just one out of every 300.  The numbers are hurtling downward at an alarmingly fast rate, and they don’t seem to be slowing.

These statistics are more than just ink on paper.  They are seriously altering the lives of many retirees, forcing some to re-enter the workforce or drastically change the budgets they had planned out years earlier.   Their retirement dreams have disappeared and they are simply trying to stay afloat.

The report showed that younger Americans are struggling as well, but the number of older Americans entering the dreaded foreclosure zone is increasing at a much faster rate.  One of the main questions is simply, “Why?”  Why are so many older Americans falling into trouble?   What’s the problem?

The problem is that many of these people set their budgets and their retirement plans before the economy, well, you know.   Most of them are living on a fixed income and quickly find themselves plowing through their retirement savings.  The income from their investments has been drastically cut, but their house payments have not.  Picture this: the faucet of their main source of income has slowed to a drizzle, but the drain of payments remains wide open.  It doesn’t take a financial expert to realize that it’s only a matter of time before the pool of funds will be completely dried up.

That can be a pretty disheartening image, but the bursting of the housing bubble doesn’t have to burst your bubble of retirement dreams, you simply might have to alter your path to get there.  Planning for these difficulties ahead of time can drastically reduce the struggles you could face.  Many people approaching retirement can analyze their investments based on earnings and interest rates of the current market and forecast their plans more accurately.  It might not be as pretty, but it’s a more realistic picture of what things will look like.

The most important thing is to not be blinded by your dreams, but use them as your vision to create a plan that works for you and your future.  With some planning and a little creativity, you could find yourself livin’ the dream in no time!

http://www.aarp.org/content/dam/aarp/research/public_policy_institute/cons_prot/2012/nightmare-on-main-street-AARP-ppi-cons-prot.pdf

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The Key to Solving Your Retirement Problems

“There are no guarantees in this life”. That’s what we have always been told, and many people have adopted that mantra into their retirement planning.

In recent years, it seems as if there are no guarantees in retirement investments and retirees are learning that lesson first hand. With pensions seemingly becoming a thing of the past, 401(k) fees rearing its ugly head, and the future of Social Security up in the air, the retirement landscape is becoming more and more questionable every day. With so many uncertainties, there seems to be one “safe” option surfacing more frequently: an annuity.

Annuities are a fundamentally different type of investment from many of the more traditional options. With rising insecurity about the ability to fund a happy and healthy retirement, people are turning to the security of annuities because annuities often solve the most pressing problems and fears that retirees face.

Afraid of Outliving Your Money?

It’s no question that people are beginning to live longer and healthier lives. This news should have people celebrating all the extra experiences they will have and additional memories they will be able to make, but instead they are worrying about how they will afford those extra golden years. The structure of an annuity eliminates worry and allows retirees to focus on how to spend their time instead of how to save their money. Annuity products can provide income to retirees for as long as they live, even if their account balance is zero. This is true even if they enter a nursing care facility; where often times the monthly payments from the annuity will double to help cover the costs of care. This means there is never a threat of outliving a life savings and that allows seniors to enjoy every minute of their retirement.

Afraid of the Market Crashing Again?

Market instability is a fear on the minds of nearly everyone approaching retirement, especially considering the recent beating that many portfolios endured. This is why more retirees are adopting the “fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me,” mentality by protecting themselves from another market crash. How are they doing this? Annuities. Annuities are state regulated, so retirees can have security and confidence knowing their money is safe from anything the market will throw at them.

Afraid of Low Interest Rates Stalling Your Investments?

Interest rates have taken a downward tailspin in the past few years, and many retirees are unhappy with the new lower percentages. Annuities defy these depressing digits, giving retirees 6, 8, and even 10% return on their investments. Some people see those numbers and think that it’s not possible, or that pages of fine print are hidden behind those percentages, but more and more people are finding that 10% interest isn’t too good to be true. They can earn 10% interest on their annuity, and have that rate guaranteed for years to come. Gone are the days of having to settle with one or two percent interest on your hard earned money. Annuities offer a way to make your hard earned money work for you.

The anxieties surrounding funding a retirement lifestyle are an unnecessary evil for retirees. Annuities can give you the money, and the peace of mind, that you want so you can enjoy your retirement. The thought that there are no guarantees in retirement is a thing of the past and annuities seem to be the key to the future.

For more information on annuities, click here to receive a free informational booklet in the mail or call 1-877-476-5051 to learn how you can earn 10% interest toward your retirement future today!

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The Cost of a Healthy Retirement

Ever since the 2008 presidential elections, America has been in whirlwind discussions over our healthcare system.  Any American that has paid attention has had healthcare in the forefront of their mind at some point over the past four years. But it’s becoming an increasingly important issue for a specific group of Americans: The retirees.  The estimated retirement healthcare costs are continuing the rising trend from the past decade. The latest estimate from Fidelity Investments puts this year’s figure at $240,000.  That figure, up 4% from last year, means that on average, a 65-year-old couple retiring in 2012 can expect to pay $240,000 for their healthcare costs over the remainder of their lifetimes. This figure is based on the average life expectancy of men living to 82 and women living to 85. To add insult to injury, that figure doesn’t include the cost of long-term-care, dental care, and any over the counter medication.

The figure cited for the 2011 cost expectancy broke a long term trend of rising costs as Fidelity cited effects from Obama’s plan for healthcare that would reduce many of the senior citizens out of pocket expenses as the reason for their estimation decrease.  That figure was $230,000, a $20,000 drop from 2010.  That break in costs has been overwhelmed by overall healthcare trends causing this year’s increase, which is a cause of concern for more and more people nearing retirement.

So the question is, what can we do about it?  Of course, a shorter lifetime would mean lower costs, but that’s not high on anyone’s investment goals.  Luckily there are a few ways to help manage what seems like a pretty intimidating number sitting in your future.  Here are a few suggestions..

  • Know it. Expect it. Plan for it.  It’s the most simple, but one of the hard to accept options.  Healthcare expenses in America are unpredictable on both an individual and societal level.  Legislation may or may not affect your future costs.  The figure for this year was based on current legislation, which we all know may, or may not remain in place.  If you are planning your retirement you might not take into account certain expenses (either consciously or subconsciously) such as hearing aids, dental work, the possibility of retirement homes and assisted living facilities.  45% of the total expenses estimated by Fidelity are out-of-pocket expenses.   Make sure when you are planning your investments and target figure for retirement you take these things into account.  Healthcare is something you don’t  want to have to skimp on later because you failed to address it now.
  • Understand Medicare- what it is and what it could be. If you are looking to retire now, or in the near future, the status of Medicare is somewhat up in air.  With each change in legislation, it’s important to know what it will cost you, what will be covered, and how to adjust your budget accordingly.  The costs associated with Medicare go beyond the copays, and it’s critical to understand which programs cover what.  Medicare Part A is the general program covering hospital services that most people are familiar with, which doesn’t carry a premium for most beneficiaries.  For almost $2,500 a year, a couple can spring for part B which covers many of the doctors and other services that A misses.  For an additional expense, you can buy Part D which covers prescription drugs.  32% of the total estimated cost of health care for retirees lies in the premiums for Medicare part B and D.  Then, to cover all things not covered by the various Medicare policies, for another $4,000 a year a couple can purchase a Medigap policy, cleverly named as it fills the gap in coverage of the previously purchased programs.  Take the time to figure out what programs you need and what those programs will cost you.  A little math now will save you a lot of time, energy, and money later.
  • Take care of yourself and your body. This might be the most obvious, but commonly overlooked piece of advice.  The fewer health problems you have in the future the less your healthcare will cost you.  Prescription drugs costs account for 23% of the total estimated figure for healthcare for retirees.  The need for many of those drugs can be reduced, if not completely avoided, by living a healthy lifestyle, starting today.  Schedule your checkups.  Eat healthy.  Get some exercise.  These are things that we have been told our entire lives, but now you have dollar signs as your motivation to do so.

The cost of healthcare for retirees is high, but that cost for not planning for it is even higher.  Do your homework, keep up with the changes, and add them into your budget.  Healthcare costs as a senior citizen doesn’t have to be a morbid subject, unless you forget about it.

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The Why, When and How of Consolidating Your Retirement Accounts

Consolidate: To combine separate items or scattered material into a single whole or mass.  The definition makes consolidation seem tidy, productive and even a bit powerful.  With all those good vibes, it’s a wonder why more people hesitate to use consolidation tactics in their lives, especially in terms of their retirement.  Many people have multiple retirement accounts through multiple different custodians with multiple different terms.  That is a lot of “separate items or scattered material” that can be combined into the “single whole or mass” that consolidation affords its users.  So if you are one of those people, it’s time you look into simplifying your retirement plans and consolidating those accounts. But you might ask yourself, why consolidate?  Or when is the best time to consolidate?  Or how do you actually go about consolidating?  Well, since you asked…

Why
The essential of why you should consolidate is best described by a demonstration.  Take a piece of paper at your desk, and now rip it in half (make sure it’s not your paycheck before you start the ripping stage).   Now grab a stack of 15-20 papers and try to tear that in half.  More difficult, right?  Materials are stronger when grouped together, we know that.  What most people don’t know is that when it comes to retirement accounts, grouping them works in essentially the same way.  Your financial position is much stronger when each investment isn’t standing individually.  Having multiple accounts leaves you at the risk of portfolio duplications in which similar investments have similar objectives and they overlap, wasting your assets with unnecessary risk.  Fees can be avoided and paperwork is simplified.  Also, by combining into one account, you are better able to adjust your investments in reaction to market changes by simply accessing one account.

When
The question of when is less about timing, and more about in what situations it should be used.  Consolidation is an advantage to almost anyone who is looking for a simple and productive retirement plan, but there are certain instances in which it is a good strategy to apply.  For example, when many people leave a company, they leave their retirement funds that that company’s 401(k) or pension plan.  This is a great opportunity for consolidation as you can roll those funds into your IRA to increase your existing investment selection while also minimizing the number of accounts you have to manage.  It’s also important to understand the investment options available for different types of investments.  For example, Rollover IRAs have nearly unlimited investment choices, while 401(k) plans are limited to usually a maximum of 25 choices.  The more options you have, the more flexible your plans are, and the better off you are.  You also must understand which accounts are available for consolidation.  All traditional IRA’s can be combined, both deductible and non-deductible, but a Roth IRA cannot be combined with a traditional IRA.  Make sure you understand these stipulations before you make your decisions.

How

Here is the meat of the issue, how to go about this consolidation process.  With this there is good news, and better news.  The good news is that most of work involves information you already have.  The better news is that all you have to do is take that information and follow these simple, step by step directions and you will be well on your way.

The first step is to make a list of each of your individual accounts that you hold currently.  In this list, include details on each account such as the type of account it is, the current balance, its recent and long term performance, as well as any fees associated with it.  Next you need to think about and plan your retirement goals and investment philosophy.  The third step is to determine the plan or institution that best fits those goals.  After that, you start to combine your accounts into the institution and plan that you chose.  This should begin with you smaller accounts, followed by the non-performing accounts and accounts with high fees.  Continue this until all your accounts have been rolled into one.  Then take all of your funds and determine the specific investments needed to reach the goals that you set earlier in the process, all in one tidy account.  Then bake at 375 degrees until golden brown.  Just kidding, but in all seriousness if you follow these steps, consolidating your retirement accounts can be as easy as baking a cake, probably easier for most of you.

When it comes to your retirement, it’s important to find ways to work smarter, not harder.  Consolidating your accounts is one of the simplest ways to do that.  Combine your accounts, limit your paperwork and strengthen your investments.  Aristotle once said, “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”  It’s pretty unlikely he was speaking specifically about your retirement accounts, but you get where he was going.

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State Pension Debate: Black, White & A Whole Lot of Grey

It comes as almost no surprise that states governments are getting hit in their pocketbooks throughout the recession just as everyone else is.  The difference is, state governments often have a lot more people that they need to write checks to.  One of these checks that has been given a lot of attention lately is the retirement plans for government workers, and it’s no secret that state and local governments are looking for ways to reduce the number the write in the dollar amount section.

According to statistics from The National Conference of State Legislatures, 43 states have changed their retirement plans since 2009 in hopes of finding that ever elusive balance for their budget.  Many states have taken different approaches to that task, implementing plans that increase the amount of money that workers contribute to their retirement, increasing the age in which benefits can be reaped and more.  These changes have put a bad taste in the mouths of most public employees who have stood behind the shield of laws that protect their pensions as these battles continue to fill our courtrooms with various appeals and challenges.

It’s a messy issue that is causing upheaval in nearly every state, flooding local news outlets with protests, sit ins and even a Governor’s recall election or two.  Like any heavily involved controversy, it isn’t black and white.  The shades of grey hovering over this issue are more numerous than many people realize, or want to try wrap their heads around.

First of all, many of the changes (or proposed changes) do not have any effect on current workers who have spent their lives in a job planning for the benefits to come after retirement.  Most people accepted government jobs, many times with lower pay than the private sector, because of the shining light of their pensions at the end of the long tunnel of employment.  Of course, there are a few states, such as Louisiana and Florida, which are asking (or in other words, are attempting to make a state law requiring) current employees to contribute more to their retirement funds but these laws are facing the most stiff defense from labor groups and unions.  With the exception of a few cases, the changes in pension policies will affect only those who are hired after the legislation passes.

Something else that most private sector employees don’t take into account in these battles is the soft little pillow we like to call Social Security.  Many employees who are covered by a public retirement pension program, a program that they are now at risk of losing, are not covered by Social Security.  When the Social Security system was created it didn’t include any public sector employees.  This changed after many states made what are called “Section 218 agreements” with the Social Security Administration to give their employees some coverage under the federal program.  Later, a 1991 federal law gave Social Security coverage to any public employee that weren’t involved in the Section 218 agreements or didn’t have pension programs through their agency.  So although times have changed, many employees rely on their pension programs to fill in for their lack of Social Security benefits.  They don’t have the safety net waiting to catch them in the end, because they have spent their lives in a system that was supposed to replace that.

One aspect of this controversy that seems to be the most transparent, but most obvious shade of grey is the simple fact that state governments are, at their roots, a business.  When private sector businesses can’t cover the expense of their employees, they cut costs, lay people off, or in the worst cases, go out of business.  Well state governments can’t shut down, for obvious reasons.  They can’t fire all their workers, again, for obvious reasons.  Their only choice is to cut costs.  Like any business, state and local governments have a balance sheet, with liabilities and assets, and there are new accounting rules which will change how those will be calculated.  With many states lacking the assets needed to cover their employee retirement programs, some missing over 70% of the necessary funds, they are not looking very valuable to Mr. Moody and his ratings for investors.  If states can’t find a way to cut their deficit, many investors will begin to expect a higher yield to make up for the higher risk and lower ratings, which will add further costs to the government.  With all of the emotions involved in the fiery battles around the nation, the bottom line for many states is simply, “It’s not personal, it’s business.”

Overall, the battle over state pensions involves both the worker’s money and their future and there are few things life that people fight harder to protect than that.  The problem is that the states are fighting for the same two things.  This dispute over worker pensions is a sea of grey in a dizzying world of passionate black and white.  Round and round with the issues we go, where we will stop, nobody knows.

http://www.ncsl.org/issues-research/labor/state-defined-contribution-hybrid-retirement-plans.aspx

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Are Annuities a Key To Your Future?

With the future of pensions up in the air, Social Security on thin ice and 401(k) fees causing concern, more and more people are turning to other types of funds to lead them into retirement.  One of their attractive options? Annuities.  Unlike other investments, annuities are held through the insurance industry and are known for their flexibility which is lacking in many other funds.  For some people these annuities are their main investment, others use them simply as a surplus income.  Retirement plans are different amongst everyone, but there are a few reasons why you should be giving annuities a second look.

  • Flexibility-  As mentioned, Annuities offer more flexibility than most other retirement funds.  In your career, you went to work every day and earned money.  In your retirement, it may seem like you wake up every day and simply spend money.  Vacations, family get togethers, shopping trips, etc.  It’s important to ensure that you have money coming in that can cover those expenses.  One of the most popular annuities is a Single Premium Immediate Annuity (SPIA) in which one lump sum payment guarantees you a monthly paycheck for as long as you wish it to last.  It simply acts as a pension plan organized and determined by your wishes.
  • Lifetime Payments-  With the life expectancy rates seeming to climb every day, one of the biggest risks of retirement planning is longevity.  Many types of funds can leave holders worried whether the income will last them for their entire lives.  Of course pensions and Social Security are a lifetime option, but the future of both of those funds is beginning to be questioned by many.   The SPIA is one of the only options that ensures lifetime payments.  The payouts of a SPIA are determined by your age, interest rates, and time of purchase amongst other factors.  Additionally, holders can determine whether they want the payments to cover a single life of married couple.  They offer the longevity needed paired with the flexibility preferred.
  • Avoiding Risk-  Everyone saw the devastating effect a market turn can have on the investment portfolios of recent and soon-to-be retirees.  It can be a scary thought for anyone approaching that age.  Annuities, with all their options and flexibility, offer a security from these market effects without enduring the poor interest rates in options such as money markets.  Certain annuities protect your principle while investing in stock mutual funds, while others put your money in the market but guarantee your investment won’t dip below your original input.  It’s quality peace of mind with the opportunity for growth.

With all the advantages of annuities, some people might run out the door and get themselves one ASAP, but there are certainly other things to consider before making any moves.  Because of the options and flexibilities involved with annuities, they can be confusing and technical in terms of their contracts.  Before you put your name on the dotted line, make sure A) you have an advisor you can trust and B) you get all of your questions answered.  Ask about commission fees, fees for early withdrawal and surrender charges.
Another danger lies in interest rates, which can often have a great effect on the size of the payments you receive each month.  The current interest rate is one of three factors determining the payment size, but it does have a significant effect on monthly changes.  Try to find annuity options with a guaranteed interest rate that you know you can count on.
With all the changes shifting through the retirement funds and what seems to be the beginning of the end of pensions, annuities are becoming an attractive and viable option for most retirees.  Even if people aren’t ready to abandon the more traditional offers, annuities can provide a comforting supplemental income.  Take the time to look at the options of annuities and see if they could benefit you.  It could pay off later.

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Unsustainable Assumptions

Sustainability—it’s the new “it” word used to discuss everything from the environment to family budgets. But when we look at the federal government and money spent on retirees, sustainability has a whole new meaning—or perhaps it’s a warning. Because what’s going on at the federal level regarding money spent on retirees is, in fact, not sustainable.

Our society seems to assume that we will perpetually be able to provide for our elderly. But the fact is that when you look at the numbers, what we’ve done historically simply will not be feasible in the future.

Here are a few things to think about.

In 2009, a study on government expenditures found that our government spends 2.4 percent more per capita on the elderly than they do on children, although children are twice as likely to face hardship and poverty than baby boomers. The current analysis found that in 2033 Social Security will no longer have sufficient funds to pay full benefits. Milllennials will pay more for baby boomers’ health care, social security, and other benefits than boomers did for their parents’ generation. This is not a criticism. But it is a warning that future generations will need to be prepared for a retirement without the type of government assistance that’s been possible in years past.

It is critical for workers out there take a serious look at their finances. Keeping your head in the sand and having an “ignorance is bliss” attitude about your retirement is not only unwise, it can be devastating to your future. Sit down and look hard and critically at your spending. Money may seem tight, but what are the “wants” that can be cut out? How can you divert money into funds for your retirement?

Because after all, you’d probably like a retirement lifestyle that is comfortable, enjoyable and sustainable!

If you are nearing retirement, look for sustainable income sources that will keep your life savings secure.

For more information, visit my website, www.warenelkin.com, or call me at 1.877.476.5051.

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Why You Should Care About Interest Rates

The Federal Reserve recently announced that it has decided to keep interest rates low—in fact, they’re at an all-time low of 1.46 percent. And it doesn’t look like it will change any time soon, with Chairman Ben Bernanke mentioning that rates may stay low through 2014. This is great news for borrowers, but it means that savers will not only NOT gain interest, but they’ll lose purchasing power because of inflation.

Let me explain. Today, money funds yield on average about 0.03 percent. The best-case scenario for a one-year bank CD is a mere 1.1 percent. If inflation stays at 3 percent, well—it doesn’t take long to realize that money in a CD or in a savings account is losing its value faster than it can grow at these low rates.

In an article in USA Today, Ronald Fatoullah, a New York elder law attorney, said that he sees some seniors who have been pushed into riskier investments, such as stocks. He added, “”I’m personally fearful for older clients to invest in this market,” he says. “It could tank.”

So what do you do with your savings? How can you enable it to grow safely so that it is outgrowing inflation but isn’t in a risky place, such as stocks?

The proper type of annuity can be a vital tool, because it’s guaranteed and stable but still provides the growth necessary to surpass the rate of inflation. Annuities are similar to a company’s pension plan, but it’s an individual, not a company, that provides the initial funds to make future, lifelong payments possible.

There are many different annuities out there so it’s imperative that you select the one that’s right for you and your family. If you’d like more information, I’d be happy to guide you. I have more than 30 years in the industry and an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. Contact me at 877-476-5051 to see how your savings can safely and securely beat inflation and keep its purchasing power for your future well being.

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Fewer Stocks: The Secret to Retirement Success?

I look at an online issue of USA Today, the Money section shows stocks’ performances and words like “plunge,” “slump” and “slide.” Not what you want to see when it’s your money in the market especially if you are about to walk away from a steady paycheck and live solely on your savings.

We all want our retirement funds to grow, but without stress and sleepless nights wondering if they’ll topple. We’ve seen in recent years that investing in the stock market can feel like rolling the dice in Vegas. It’s a gamble that most people can’t afford to take.

So where should you invest your money? This week, I spotted an article on smartmoney.com that says annuities should be considered by middle-income households and those without traditional pension plans. In the article, Sri Reddy, a senior vice president at Prudential Retirement, says that time and energy should be spent educating workers about how much they need to save for retirement and that annuities can provide “protection against investment losses and guarantees the percent and total amount a person can withdraw from the annuity.”

So comparing the return from the stock market to an annuity is like comparing a gamble to a guarantee.

An annuity acts like a traditional pension plan, but it’s an individual, not a company, that provides the funding to make future payments possible. The money contributed is invested by a government-regulated insurance company. But no matter how it performs, the insurance company is under a binding, legal contract to pay the pre-agreed income at the schedule agreed upon under the contract.

There are many annuities out there, so choosing the right one for you is crucial. I’d be happy to give you advice garnered from my 30-plus years of experience and countless satisfied clients. You can reach me at 877-476-5051 and put your fears to rest knowing that your financial future is guaranteed, safe and secure.