ANNUITIES & RETIREMENT

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10 Important Ages for Retirement Planning


The link below is to an article from the U.S New & World Report - Money section by Emily Brandon, with a breakdown of what you can do at different important ages in your life to boost your retirement benefits.

http://money.usnews.com/money/retirement/articles/2012/02/21/10-important-ages-for-retirement-planning


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews 


Note: Annuities can be confusing to many people. As an "independent licensed agent" I try to explain things to you in simple terms so you feel comfortable making a decision. Then I can help you choose an annuity that you feel best fits your needs from a large choice of different insurance companies. Plus if you choose to work with me you will have personalized service by a local independent agent that can shop rates for you, rather than working with a captive agent working for just one insurance company. If you would like my assistance to discuss and/or start the process of getting an annuity please call me at 941-404-5334. 

10 Things Social Security Won’t Tell You


Enlightening Wall Street Journal article by Jonnelle Marte regarding a lot of things you may not know about Social Security, but should. Also the article includes tips from how to keep your social security number safer even when you don't give it out, to saving money by following certain rules in order to get the most from Social Security. Click the link below to read more.

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/10-things-social-security-wont-tell-you-2013-06-28


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews 

5 Ways To Ruin Your Retirement


This Wall Street Journal article by Cliff Goldstein mentions what I call 5 common sense tips on what "Not To Do" with your retirement funds. However, some people may know one or more of these mistakes and still continue to do them anyway. Since they might not realize that doing these type mistakes will really harm their retirement savings in the long run. To read more, click on link below.

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/5-ways-to-ruin-your-retirement-2013-06-28


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews 

Annuity Dreams And Contractual Realities


This Wall Street Journal article by Stan Haithcock makes some good points about annuities. One thing to keep in mind is to base your decisions and expectations on the guarantees within the policy. Don't base your decisions only on the best case scenarios and set yourself up for possibly disappointing results. Keep in mind that there are many type of Annuities. 

According to the article, fixed indexed annuities were actually designed to complete with CD returns. It goes on to say that the good news about an indexed annuity is that it is a fixed annuity, which means that your principal is protected. In addition, gains (if any) are locked in on an annual basis and typically on the contract anniversary date. He also mentions that he tells people that the upside to an indexed annuity is that there is no downside (which is a good thing), and the downside is that there is typically very limited upside (i.e. CD type returns). You can't have it all, which is OK when you align your return expectations with the realities of the policy. 

To read more, click on the link to the article below.

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/annuity-dreams-and-contractual-realities-2013-10-22/print?guid=E75291F6-772A-40E9-B94E-8DD76E4B7FAF


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews


Note: Annuities can be confusing to many people. As an "independent licensed agent" I try to explain things to you in simple terms so you feel comfortable making a decision. Then I can help you choose an annuity that you feel best fits your needs from a large choice of different insurance companies. Plus if you choose to work with me you will have personalized service by a local independent agent that can shop rates for you, rather than working with a captive agent working for just one insurance company. If you would like my assistance to discuss and/or start the process of getting an annuity please call me at 941-404-5334. 

Annuity Video - Is an annuity right for you?


If you don’t know much about annuities, you may want to watch this very short informative video that gives an overview of what an annuity is, some of the benefits, and also some of the drawbacks. 

Click on web link below to view this CNBC (Sharon Epperson) Annuity Video: 

(Note: Be aware that there is a 15-30 second ad before the Annuity Video actually starts.)

http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=3000552531



Source: CNBC Website http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=3000552531


A suggestion to avoid running out of money during retirement
One solution that gives you an option to receive steady income in retirement is purchasing an annuity well in advance of retirement. However, there are many different types of annuities. For example: deferred annuities if you have years before retirement versus an immediate income annuities for those that need monthly income right away, etc.

If you want more information about annuities, please call me at 941-404-5334 to set up an appointment to discuss further. If relatively local, I can come right at your home, office, or other location.

Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews


Note: Annuities can be confusing to many people. As an "independent licensed agent" I try to explain things to you in simple terms so you feel comfortable making a decision. Then I can help you choose an annuity that you feel best fits your needs from a large choice of different insurance companies. Plus if you choose to work with me you will have personalized service by a local independent agent that can shop rates for you, rather than working with a captive agent working for just one insurance company. If you would like my assistance to discuss and/or start the process of getting an annuity please call me at 941-404-5334. 

Benefits of IRA Accounts & Some of The Rules


An informative MarketWatch article by Bill Bischoff regarding how IRA accounts are tax smart and better then before.

This article mentions that making meaningful contributions to IRAs have gotten a lot easier over the past years and also goes over the ground rules for both traditional IRAs and Roth IRAs.

The bottom line is that you can contribute more to IRAs than in the past, so it is definitely worth the effort.

Click on link below to read the entire article:

IRA accounts are tax-smart and better than ever


Click below to read related article:

1. Everything You Need To Know About Your IRA

2. Understanding the IRA mandatory withdrawal rules


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews

Claiming Social Security: Should You Wait?


Informative Wall Street Journal article by Anne Tergesen regarding the age that is best for you to claim Social Security. The gist for most retirees is that they are going to be better served delaying Social Security until full retirement age or later. Although to determine the best strategy for you it is worth hiring an independent financial advisor.

http://blogs.marketwatch.com/encore/2013/04/23/claiming-social-security-should-you-wait/tab/print/

Also a link, that was mentioned in the article, is pasted below to Social Security's web site that shows when you are entitled to full retirement  (Full retirement age is the age at which a person may first become entitled to full or unreduced retirement benefits.)

http://www.ssa.gov/retire2/retirechart.htm


Related Blog Post:

Taking Social Security Too Soon Can Cost You


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews

Don’t Ignore Your Social Security Statement


I found this MarketWatch article by Kerry Hannon (NextAvenue.org) to be very informative. It briefly guides you through your Social Security statement and tells of the importance of actually reading it.

The article mentions that if you receive your statement from the Social Security administration, don’t just toss it out or file it away unread. It is very important and probably one of the most crucial financial planning documents for every American to review and understand. 

For those of you that didn’t get a Social Security statement in the US Mail in a long while, you can set up an account at SocialSecurity.gov and log in online to find the same information.

The main reason to read your statement (whether a paper copy that came in the mail or electronic version by logging on and viewing online) is to give you an idea how much you can expect to receive from Social Security, which will depend on the age you apply for benefits. This information can help you decide when to start claiming your Social Security benefits.

It is also very important to verify that your earnings record information is correct. If your earnings record is incorrect, you may not receive all the Social Security benefits you are entitled to receive.

It read the full article, click on the web link below.

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/dont-ignore-your-social-security-statement-2015-01-13


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews

Everything You Need To Know About Your IRA


This MarketWatch article by Bill Bischoff is very informative and should be a must read for those that aren’t that familiar with rules regarding their own IRA!

The articles expands on the following topics:

  • Who is eligible for traditional IRAs 
  • Who is eligible for Roth IRAs
  • How much you can contribute
  • Taxes due after age 59 1/2
  • Early Withdrawal (before 59 1/2) for higher education expenses
  • Early Withdrawal (before 59 1/2) for first time home purchase
  • Early Withdrawal (before 59 1/2) for death or disability
  • Early Withdrawal (before 59 1/2) for other reasons
  • SEP & SIMPLE IRAs for self employed folks and small business owner
    • Eligibility
    • Contribution limits for 2015
    • Withdrawals after age 59 1/2
    • Withdrawals before age 59 1/2
    • What is AGI?
    • What is earned income?


To read the full article, click on the web link below.

Everything You Need To Know About Your IRA


Click below to read related articles: 
1. IRA accounts are tax-smart and better than ever

2. Benefits of IRA Accounts & Some of The Rules

3. Understanding the IRA mandatory withdrawal rules


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews

If Social Security is Plan A, it’s time for Plan B


Link below to an article from Wall Street Journal's Marketwatch by Robert Powell, advising folks to reconsider on how to handle their planning for retirement and not to just depend on Social Security. Basically saying if you’re retired, don’t worry; if you’re under 40, worry!

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/if-social-security-is-plan-a-its-time-for-plan-b-2012-04-25


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews

Important Documents To Get In Order While You Are Still Healthy & Able To!


Below is a list of some of the important legal documents you should prepare now while you are still healthy!

  • Durable Power Of Attorney
    (For Legal Matters - It allows you to name someone to act on your behalf for any legal task and it stays in place if you become unable to make your own decisions.)

  • Advance Directives
    (Let you make arrangements for your care if you become sick.)

    There are two ways to do this:

    1. Durable Power Of Attorney For Health Care 
      (For Medical Decisions - It lets you name the person you want to make medical decisions for you if you can’t make them yourself.) Note: Make sure the person you name is willing to make those decisions for you.

    2. A Living Will
      (For Medical Decisions  - It gives you a say in your health care if you become too sick to make your wishes known. In a living will, you can state what kind of care you do or don’t want. This can make it easier for family members to make tough healthcare decisions for you.


  • Wills and Trusts
    (They let you name the person that you want your money and property to go to after you die.)


NOTE: It is best not to attempt to complete these documents yourself, but rather work with an attorney you can trust. Each state may have different laws and may interpret these documents differently and in some cases can be voided if completed incorrectly.


For more information, please click below to read entire article:

https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/publication/getting-your-affairs-order


Other Related blog posts and articles:

Get these documents in order while you’re healthy and able to

The Essential Pieces of Estate Planning Paperwork You Need



Note: Both Medicare and Life Insurance can be overwhelming and confusing to many people. As an independent licensed agent I can explain things to you in simple terms so you feel comfortable making a decision. Then I can help you choose and enroll in a plan that you feel fits your needs.

By the way, it doesn’t cost you any more if you enroll in an insurance plan through me as an independent agent versus directly with an insurance company either over the phone or via the Internet, since I get paid by the insurance companies for your enrollment. Plus you will have personalized service by a local agent. If you would like my assistance, please call me at 941-404-5334.

By calling this number, I understand I will be directed to a licensed insurance sales agent.

Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews

Indexed Annuities Are Becoming More Popular Again


I found this InvestmentNews article by Darla Mercado to be interesting by pointing out how some things come full circle. The article mentions how indexed annuities became popular after the bond market massacre of 1994 and that indexed annuities were created for an environment like the one we're in today. Thus fixed indexed annuities have become popular once again in today’s low interest setting.

In general, annuities are retirement planning vehicles that can allow you to transfer significant risks, like market uncertainty and life longevity, over to the insurance companies that can shoulder these type risks, given their access to large pools of individuals and their access to institutional pricing. The main concept of most annuities is their ability to minimize the potential loss to their owners, often completely shielding their owners from any potential loss depending on the how the fixed indexed annuity is set up, as well as giving them the option to have income for life if they choose.

"Indexed annuities" are a type of fixed annuity that credits owners' accounts with a minimum guaranteed rate of interest and combines that with an interest rate tied to movement of an index. However, fixed index annuity owners don't fully capture all of the index's performance in most indexed annuities due to the fact that owners also get the benefit of being shielded against downside loss. So if the market index goes down, many Index annuities have a zero percent floor. Meaning owners can’t lose when the market goes down. Owners will either get zero percent when the market goes down or their will receive interest crediting for a portion of the market index when it goes up. A safe, but conservation way to grow your retirement savings without the worry of losses, that is if you leave your money in until the end of the prearranged agreement period.

To read more click on the link below:

http://www.investmentnews.com/article/20140223/REG/302239998/indexed-annuities-gain-popularity-while-rates-remain-low


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews


Note: Annuities can be confusing to many people. As an "independent licensed agent" I try to explain things to you in simple terms so you feel comfortable making a decision. Then I can help you choose an annuity that you feel best fits your needs from a large choice of different insurance companies. Plus if you choose to work with me you will have personalized service by a local independent agent that can shop rates for you, rather than working with a captive agent working for just one insurance company. If you would like my assistance to discuss and/or start the process of getting an annuity please call me at 941-404-5334. 

Is It Better to Buy Annuities vs. Life Insurance When Planning for Retirement?


Most insurance companies provide annuities and life insurance products. The main difference between “life insurance” and an “annuity” is how the payments are paid out.

An overly simple explanation is: An annuity is almost like the opposite of life insurance. It continues to pay you a stream of income until you pass away. Life insurance on the other hand pays out to your beneficiaries once you pass on. So the difference between annuity and life insurance lies in the benefits and the timing of it. An annuity intends to support the investor's future income requirements while in life insurance, meets the need of the beneficiaries. Life insurance is mainly a financial product which protects your loved ones when the insured has passed away.

Annuities pay a stable steady income to secure your future income needs. It is a safe, secure stable source of income, ideal for retirees. You can start receiving payments “immediately” or “deferred.” Annuities can provide tax-deferred savings for retirement.

Life insurance generally pays out one “lump sum” payment to the beneficiaries, upon death. It is absolutely essential to provide for the future needs of surviving loved ones so you can meet, or even exceed their expenses such as: living costs, covering the cost of the funeral, or to satisfy any other financial obligation you desire for your loved ones after you pass away.

Both annuity and life insurance products provide death benefits. For example if you pay $100 to an insurance policy, when you die, your surviving beneficiaries could receive up to several hundreds of thousands of dollars. With an annuity, when you pay $100 as premium and die, your beneficiaries will only receive paid premium with interest, minus any payouts made. So if your main need is a death benefit, opt for life insurance.


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews


Note: Annuities can be confusing to many people. As an "independent licensed agent" I try to explain things to you in simple terms so you feel comfortable making a decision. Then I can help you choose an annuity that you feel best fits your needs from a large choice of different insurance companies. Plus if you choose to work with me you will have personalized service by a local independent agent that can shop rates for you, rather than working with a captive agent working for just one insurance company. If you would like my assistance to discuss and/or start the process of getting an annuity please call me at 941-404-5334. 

Longevity Annuities - What are they?


A longevity annuity provides protection against outliving your money late in life. Also known as an advanced life delayed annuity, this type of annuity requires you to wait until you reach age 80 or so to begin receiving a payout. Once the payout begins, the annuity provides a guaranteed, regular amount of income for the rest of your life.1

As with any deferred annuity, your money in a longevity annuity grows until you start receiving payouts. The later you choose to begin your payments, the larger your payments will be.1

Buying a longevity annuity is like buying a homeowner’s or health insurance policy with a very large deductible. You’re insuring yourself against a catastrophic risk you can’t handle on your own – in this case, running out of money late in life – while holding your premium to a minimum. You typically would invest just a portion of your retirement nest egg in a longevity annuity – say, 10% to 25% – and leave the rest in your other retirement accounts. It’s only worth tying up a small portion of your savings in a longevity annuity, because should you die before you start receiving payouts, the entire balance of your account will be lost.2

Click the web links below to read more:


An interesting related article, click the web link below to read:

JACK GUTTENTAG: Longevity Annuities — A Much Underutilized Financial Tool



1. Source: CNN Money http://money.cnn.com/retirement/guide/annuities_longevity.moneymag/index.htm

2. Source: Time Money http://time.com/money/collection-post/2791259/what-is-a-longevity-annuity/


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews


Note: Annuities can be confusing to many people. As an "independent licensed agent" I try to explain things to you in simple terms so you feel comfortable making a decision. Then I can help you choose an annuity that you feel best fits your needs from a large choice of different insurance companies. Plus if you choose to work with me you will have personalized service by a local independent agent that can shop rates for you, rather than working with a captive agent working for just one insurance company. If you would like my assistance to discuss and/or start the process of getting an annuity please call me at 941-404-5334. 

MYGA - What is a MYGA?


MYGA is short for Multi-Year Guaranteed Annuity and is a type of fixed annuity.

A MYGA has a fixed interest rate that is applied to invested funds for multiple years in a row.   MYGAs are kind of like bank CD’s (certificates of deposit) in many ways. One similarity of MYGA’s to CDs are that they grow funds at a fixed interest rate for a set period of time and have a penalty for early withdrawals. MYGA’s are some of the simplest forms of annuities.1

A Withdrawal Provision is a feature of almost all MYGA’s. (Although there are some exceptions in some MYGA’s that do not allow penalty free withdraws until full maturity, but most MYGA’s do offer up to 10% withdrawals per year that are penalty free.) The Withdrawal Provision allows you to withdraw a percentage of your account value. For example, if a MYGA had a 10% Free Withdrawal Provision at the end of each year you could withdraw up to 10% of your account value each year penalty free. If you withdraw more of your money earlier then the MYGA agreement allowed, then you would have to pay substantial surrender charges to the insurance company, as well as possible tax penalties. (Withdrawal of any funds prior to age of 59 1/2 are subject to an IRS Penalty of 10% of the funds withdrawn. This is in addition to any penalties incurred as part of the annuity contract.)

MYGA’s are usually purchased by people in retirement or nearing retirement. The reason why MYGA’s are typically purchased by people older than 55 is because of the tax treatment of annuity funds mentioned above.

MYGA’s have several strengths over bank CDs. Probably the most significant strength is that their fixed interest rates tend to be quite a bit higher for MYGA’s than for CD’s of the same number of years. Another key advantage is that MYGA’s grow funds on a tax-deferred basis. That means you do not have to pay taxes on gains each year. With MYGA’s, funds grow tax-deferred within the annuity and no taxes are due until your funds are withdrawn. However on the other side with CD’s, you are taxed each year on the interest earned.

How do you buy a MYGA? Since MYGA’s are insurance products, they may be purchased through a licensed insurance agent. You can call me directly at 941-404-5334 if you like to purchase a MYGA or if you just have any questions.


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews


1. Disclosures:  I have provided this information as courtesy service. The material on this page for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide, and should not be relied upon for, accounting, legal, tax or investment advice.It is neither a legal interpretation nor a statement of SEC policy. If you have questions concerning the meaning or application of a particular law, please consult with an attorney. 

An annuity is an insurance product that can be used as part of a retirement strategy. Annuities are not FDIC insured, not bank guaranteed, and may lose value if surrendered early. An annuity is subject to the claims-paying ability of the issuing insurance company. Before buying an annuity, consider the objectives, risks, charges, and expenses of the annuity. Please read all disclosures carefully before buying an annuity. Please review your issued annuity policy during any “free look” term offered by the insurance carrier to ensure accuracy. 


Source: http://www.montanalifegroup.com/2014/05/myga



Note: Annuities can be confusing to many people. As an "independent licensed agent" I try to explain things to you in simple terms so you feel comfortable making a decision. Then I can help you choose an annuity that you feel best fits your needs from a large choice of different insurance companies. Plus if you choose to work with me you will have personalized service by a local independent agent that can shop rates for you, rather than working with a captive agent working for just one insurance company. If you would like my assistance to discuss and/or start the process of getting an annuity please call me at 941-404-5334. 

Older People Fear This More Than Death!


I read an interesting MarketWatch article by Catey Hill regarding that the number one thing that scares older people the most is running out of money in retirement. 

8 Things older people fear about retirement:

  1. Outliving savings and investments 43%
  2. Declining health that requires long-term care 38%
  3. Social Security will be reduced or won’t exist 33%
  4. Lack of access to adequate and affordable health care 27%
  5. Cognitive decline, dementia and Alzheimer’s 25%
  6. Finding meaningful ways to spend time and stay involved 11%
  7. Being laid off/not being able to retire on my own terms 10%
  8. Feeling isolated and alone 9%

Source: Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies


To read the entire article click on the weblink below:

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/older-people-fear-this-more-than-death-2016-07-18


My suggestion to avoid running out of money during retirement:
One solution that gives you an option to receive steady income in retirement is purchasing an annuity well in advance of retirement. However, there are many different types of annuities. For example: deferred annuities if you have years before retirement versus an immediate income annuities for those that need monthly income right away, etc.

If you want more information about annuities, please call me at 941-404-5334 to set up an appointment to discuss further. If relatively local, I can come right at your home, office, or other location.

Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews

Retirement - Keep More Of Your Savings



I thought I’d share this interesting AARP Bulletin article regarding saving money in retirement by giving less to the IRS after you turn 70 1/2.

The articles explains steps to take to avoid costly mistakes, including very large penalties for not taking money out when required.

It further explains that people in the 60’s should already be planning ways to minimize taxes in their 70s and suggests ways to accomplish that.


Excerpts: 

"Starting mid-2016, the oldest boomers will begin turning 70 1/2. That's the magic age when workers who have been socking away money in tax-deferred retirement accounts for decades must begin taking cash out. The withdrawals are called required minimum distributions, or RMDs. And they are Uncle Sam's way of finally collecting income taxes on contributions and investment gains that have been long sheltered from the IRS. Investors failing to take RMDs will owe a stiff penalty amounting to half of what they should have withdrawn.”1

"Basically, after 70 1/2 you must withdraw a minimum sum each year from tax-deferred accounts such as traditional IRAs, SIMPLE and SEP IRA plans, 401(k)s, nonprofit 403(b)s and government 457 plans.

Roth IRAs, whose contributions have already been taxed, don't have RMDs. And if you're still working in your 70s and have a 401(k) or similar plan with that employer, you don't have to take distributions from that account until you leave the job.”2


To read the full article click on the link below:

http://www.aarp.org/work/retirement-planning/info-2016/how-rmds-affect-retirement-savings.html


1. & 2. Source: AARP Bulletin March 2016 by Eileen Ambrose


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews

Retirement costs confuse soon-to-be retirees


An interesting Wall Street Journal's MarketWatch article by Anna Andrianova that states one third of people close to retirement said that they don't know how much money they will need to cover basic expenses in retirement, according to a new study. Click on link below to find out more.

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/retirement-costs-confuse-soon-to-be-retirees-2012-07-31


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews

Retiring On Less Than A Million Bucks


This Wall Street Journal article by Mitchell Tuchman explains that a million dollars doesn't buy what it used to! Going on to say that savers ramping up to the magic number of one million dollars by age 65, may find that they shot too low for their retirement age goal. The article goes on to mention three essential strategies for the times ahead. Click the link below to read more.

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/retiring-on-less-than-a-million-bucks-2013-06-13


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews

Should You Care That Bernanke Owns Annuities?


In this Wall Street Journal article by Stan Haithcock it mentions that even Ben Bernanke owns annuities! Some may or may not like Ben and it also goes on to say though that there is a predictable argument on both sides on whether annuities are good or bad. 

Annuities, just as with any investment, one size doesn't fit all. Meaning annuities can be very good investments for some people, but they don't fit everybody's investment strategies, nor are they meant to. Investments should be customized around your individual needs and circumstances. Just like it states in the article, "Annuities can contractually solve for specific problems like lifetime income or legacy. They are not magic portfolio pills or one size fits all panaceas. Ask yourself what you want your money to realistically solve for, then see if an annuity can contractually guarantee that solution. That common sense strategy requires no endorsements, or name dropping."  To read more, click on the link below.

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/4c3b2ea3-0ebf-4a51-91f0-529b4dff64de/stitch?storyguid=49e30d3b-6a5f-4a1c-822d-05d8c55d793c&siteid=nwhpf


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews 


Note: Annuities can be confusing to many people. As an "independent licensed agent" I try to explain things to you in simple terms so you feel comfortable making a decision. Then I can help you choose an annuity that you feel best fits your needs from a large choice of different insurance companies. Plus if you choose to work with me you will have personalized service by a local independent agent that can shop rates for you, rather than working with a captive agent working for just one insurance company. If you would like my assistance to discuss and/or start the process of getting an annuity please call me at 941-404-5334. 

Social Security Tips For Married Couples (Includes A Video)


I found this interesting Kiplinger’s Personal Finance article & video by Sandra Block on ways to boost retirement benefits for you and your spouse. I thought I’d share their web link so you can watch the short video and benefit from the tips as well.

Click web link below to watch video and/or read her article:

http://www.kiplinger.com/article/retirement/T051-C000-S001-social-security-tips-for-married-couples.html

Related similar article by same author:

http://www.kiplinger.com/article/retirement/T051-C000-S002-social-security-strategies-for-married-couples.html


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews

 

Taking Social Security Too Soon Can Cost You


I recently read some interesting articles from both CNBC and U.S. News regarding taking Social Security too early and how it can affect you. I thought I’d share the articles.

Basically everybody's circumstances are different and when you should start taking Social Security is based on many factors. They suggested that it is best to contact a financial advisor to help you decide well in advance before making any decisions.

One excerpt from the U.S. News article by Emily Brandon:
"Your Social Security benefit increases by approximately 7 percent each year you delay taking it from age 62 to 66 and by 8 percent a year until age 70, Kotlikoff found.“


Click on the web links below for each of the articles you would like to read.

Retirees pay for claiming Social Security too early

http://www.cnbc.com/2015/08/26/retirees-pay-for-claiming-social-security-too-early.html

When to file for Social Security retirement benefits early

http://www.cnbc.com/2015/08/07/when-to-file-for-social-security-retirement-benefits-early.html?trknav=articlecarousel:inline:1:102945654

Taking Social Security Too Soon Can Cost You

http://money.usnews.com/money/retirement/articles/2008/01/09/taking-social-security-too-soon-can-cost-you


Related Blog Post:

Claiming Social Security: Should You Wait


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The 15-Minute Retirement Readiness Review


In this short Wall Street Journal article by Joe Hearn he mentions several readiness questions to help get you on track for retirement. With mini-sections such as: "What will it cost?," "How will I pay?," and "What will I do?" It is a good short read which gives you some quick tips to help plan your retirement. To read the article, click on the link below.

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/the-15-minute-retirement-readiness-review-2013-07-22


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews

The Essential Pieces of Estate Planning Paperwork You Need


I read this informative Money (time.com) article by Jill Schlesinger regarding estate planning and thought I’d share.

One important take away is that you need to prepare these items now, so they will be available if and when needed. Many people mistakenly like to put off this task until another time down the road.

"Below is their checklist:

Estate Planning Documents

Note: Parents should complete the following legal paperwork.

  • Will: A legal document that ensures that your assets are passed to your designated beneficiaries, in accordance with your wishes. In the drafting process, you'll name an executor, who is the person or institution that oversees the distribution of your assets. If you have minor children, you need to name a guardian for them.
  • Power of attorney: Allows you to appoint someone to act as your agent in a variety of circumstances, like withdrawing money from a bank, responding to a tax inquiry or making a trade.
  • Health care proxy: Allows you to appoint someone to make health care decisions on your behalf if you lose the ability to do so.
  • Trusts (if applicable): Depending on your family needs and tax situations, you may have either revocable (changeable) or irrevocable (not-changeable) trusts. One factor is the size of your estate: For 2016, the first $5.45 million of an estate is exempt from federal estate taxes. If an estate is above the threshold (or twice that for married couples), a revocable trust may be suitable.
  • "DNR" order (if applicable): You may need to complete a "do not resuscitate" order each time you enter a hospital or nursing home.


Account List

You should also complete, and share, a list of multiple accounts that heirs might need to access.

  • Bank and brokerage accounts
  • 401(k) accounts
  • IRAs and Roth IRAs
  • All auto-pay accounts, with name and contact information for each payee
  • Safe-deposit boxes
  • Pension documents
  • Annuity contracts
  • Savings bonds (with copies of the actual bonds)
  • Life insurance policies
  • Long Term Care insurance policies

If there are related online usernames and passwords that someone will need to access, print out a list, stash it in a safe or other secure location, and then (this is important)  make sure that your executor or heirs know how to find it.


Other Documents

Finally, there are several other pieces of paperwork that, if applicable, can be quite helpful to heirs.

  • Previous three year's tax returns
  • Housing, land and cemetery deeds
  • Mortgage accounts
  • Proof of loans made
  • Vehicle title
  • Partnership and corporate operating agreements
  • Marriage license and/or divorce papers, if applicable
  • Military discharge information

Important contacts: Names and current addresses for all people named in the legal documents, as well as the contact information for the estate attorney and CPA who will be handling the estate.”1


Click on web link below to read their entire article and view video:

http://time.com/money/4300166/checklist-estate-planning-documents/


1. Source: Money web article “24 Essential Pieces of Estate Planning Paperwork You Need” by 
Jill Schlesinger located at: http://time.com/money/4300166/checklist-estate-planning-documents/


Click below web link to read one of my related blog posts:

Important Documents To Get In Order While You Are Still Healthy & Able To


Note: Annuities can be confusing to many people. As an "independent licensed agent" I try to explain things to you in simple terms so you feel comfortable making a decision. Then I can help you choose an annuity that you feel best fits your needs from a large choice of different insurance companies. Plus if you choose to work with me you will have personalized service by a local independent agent that can shop rates for you, rather than working with a captive agent working for just one insurance company. If you would like my assistance to discuss and/or start the process of getting an annuity please call me at 941-404-5334. 

Turning 50? Time For A Retirement Tuneup


This Wall Street Journal Article by Elizabeth O'Brien gives a wake up call as well as advice on evaluating whether you are on track to enjoy financial and physical well-being when you retire. At age 50, experts say, there is still time to play catch up and make adjustments if needed for the next phase of your life. She goes on to say that you should fight the impulse to put retirement on the back burner in your early 50's. Advisers say that the timing may not be opportune at that age, but it is actually the most critical time! She includes a checklist in the article to help 50-year olds stay on track for a healthy retirement. Click the link below to read more.

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/turning-50-time-for-a-retirement-tuneup-2013-06-11


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What Happens To Your Debt When You Die?


I just read an interesting MarketWatch article by Karen Carr and thought I’d share it.


The article covers these main topics below:

  • Who has to pay the debt?
  • What if the estate is broke?
  • When family members must pay


Excerpt:

"When someone passes away, their estate — or cumulated assets — is generally responsible for paying any outstanding debts. It’s up to the executor of an estate (the person who has been deemed legally in charge of taking care of the estate after someone passes away) to see that debts are paid.

Most debts must be paid back, provided there is enough money in the estate. The types of debts that must be paid back include credit card debt, car loans, private student loans (federal student loans are discharged at death), home equity lines of credit, and mortgages.

If you owe money on a mortgage at the time of your death, things can get a little complicated.”1


Click the link below to read full article:

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/what-happens-to-your-debt-when-you-die-2016-03-14


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews


1. Source: MarketWatch Online Article by Karen Carr
http://www.marketwatch.com/story/what-happens-to-your-debt-when-you-die-2016-03-14

What To Do If You Inherit Your Spouse’s IRA


I read an informative MarketWatch article regarding "what to do if you inherit your spouse’s IRA" by Bill Bischoff and thought I’d share it.

The article mentions that you could have huge tax implications by doing the wrong thing with your inherited IRA. You should NOT just sit on your hands. Because if you fail to withdraw at least the required minimum amount from your inherited IRA, you will be charged a penalty equal to 50% of the shortfall! It is very important to pay attention and read his article to learn how to calculate required minimum withdrawals from an IRA you inherited from your spouse.


Click on web link below to read the entire article:

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/what-to-do-if-you-inherit-your-spouses-ira-2015-03-18

What’s the Best Age to Retire?


Ever wonder what age would be best age to retire? No matter if your retirement dreams are supposedly right around the corner or way down the road in life for you, this article should be helpful. Click on the link below to read the article from The Wall Street Journal's MarketWatch by Robert Powell and find out more about helping you plan properly.

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/whats-the-best-age-to-retire-2012-09-13


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Younger Adults Can Buy Fixed Annuities, Too


This AnnuityNews.com article by Linda Koco mentions that fixed annuities purchased by buyers under the age of 50 has been increasing recently. Not just under 50, but also under 40, and even under 30 years old!

Many advisors and agents don’t even think of offering annuities to people under the age of 50. One main reason is that they just don’t want to sell annuities to people who might face a tax penalty if they withdraw their annuity funds before age 59.5. It goes on to say that as far as the 59.5 penalty concerns, the same can be said for IRA’s, however younger adults still purchase IRA’s.

The younger purchasers that can benefit from purchasing fixed annuities, could be people that have exhausted their maximum contributions to their 401(k) or other defined contribution retirement plans since they are using fixed annuities to supplement their retirement savings.

To read the full article, click on the link below.

http://insurancenewsnet.com/print.aspx?id=551141


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews


Note: Annuities can be confusing to many people. As an "independent licensed agent" I try to explain things to you in simple terms so you feel comfortable making a decision. Then I can help you choose an annuity that you feel best fits your needs from a large choice of different insurance companies. Plus if you choose to work with me you will have personalized service by a local independent agent that can shop rates for you, rather than working with a captive agent working for just one insurance company. If you would like my assistance to discuss and/or start the process of getting an annuity please call me at 941-404-5334.