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Retirement Planning

The Extinction of the Middle Class

Jim Fox

Since the ‘70s, we have heard about the shrinking of the middle class, but is it true? There are some statistics that prove the middle class is shrinking but much slower than most people realize. Before we can figure it out, we need to know who exactly makes up the middle class, and that’s not as simple as you may think. Most people would say someone making $50,000 to $100,000 would be middle class, but if you lived in New York City or San Diego,...

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The concept of the family office

Matt Redding

Recently, I had a potential client that was frustrated with their financial situation. They had a financial advisor for their stock and bond investments, a CPA doing their bookkeeping for their business, an attorney handling their estate planning, wills and trusts, and an insurance agent doing their life insurance.  In large part, their frustration was trying to coordinate with these parties and get them all on the same page to formulate a cohesive plan that takes care of their needs today, tomorrow, and for future...

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Why Some People Like Annuities

Nick Davis

Annuities are considered an enormous and confusing topic. If you’ve searched “annuities” on the internet, you know that everyone has something to say about the topic. With the wild stock market swings in recent years, most people are looking for alternatives. As of right now, annuities are the best answer for a lot of people. At the same time, annuities are widely misused, which results in heated conversations about the product. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you live, everyone wants to grow...

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Is a Split Annuity Right for You?

Abe Abich

Many people look for ways to not only create the retirement income they need but also to preserve their principal. Relying on bank savings often falls short, and having your retirement savings exposed to the ups and downs of the market can be nerve-racking. Fortunately, there is a solution that does provide guaranteed tax-advantaged income, tax-deferral, and principal preservation. If you are currently living off of interest from your brokerage account or other investments, then a split annuity could be a strategy for you to consider. A split...

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The Role of Index Annuities in Financial Planning

Jim Heafner

What role do index annuities play in financial planning? Can they provide growth or just income? First, let’s address index annuity growth versus market growth. Since 1995, some of the better index annuities have historically averaged 4 to 5%.1 Many would dismiss this growth, compared to the stock market’s “higher returns.” The disconnect is that we often focus solely on actual market returns, pointing to the S&P or Dow during good market performance periods only, rather than focusing on actual return performance in an investor’s...

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4 Essentials Every Retirement Plan Should Consider

John Gill

A mere six years after one of the most devastating recessions (2008) in U.S. history, which destroyed many Americans’ retirement plans, I frequently saw new clients who had forgotten about the losses their portfolios took during the early 2000s. I believe it’s important not to forget what a 20, 30, or 40 percent loss feels like in your portfolio. Why? Because another market loss can easily occur during your retirement years. When you enter retirement and begin withdrawing income to live on and not simply...

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RMDs — Required Maximum Destruction!

Sam Liang

I know — RMDs don’t actually stand for that. They stand for Required Minimum Distributions. Many over age 70 ½ know what they are — it’s when the IRS requires you to take a withdrawal from your IRA accounts then are taxed on it. RMDs are calculated by dividing the total balance of your IRAs, employer sponsored plans (401k, 403b, etc.), and IRA based plans (SEP, Simple IRA, etc.) at the end of the previous year by the distribution period that correlates with your current...

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The Danger of Averages

Sam Liang

Math is a funny thing, especially when it comes to averages. Let me show you what I mean. Let’s assume you have $100,000. The first year it gains 10% and the second year it loses 10%. Your average return is 0%, right? We add 10, then subtract 10, then divide by 2 years. That’s an average of 0%. But, you’ve actually lost money in this scenario, and here’s how. Start with $100,000. Say you gain 10% the first year, so now you have $110,000. Then you lose 10% of the...

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Second Opinions: Are you Confident in Your Financial Plan?

Mark Melkowski

When my son was 10 years old, he needed heart surgery. We understood the risks to his health and the dangers associated with the procedure. So, we decided to look for a second opinion. Luckily, our doctor was very helpful and referred us to a doctor well versed in these types of surgeries. For some reason, few of us ask for second opinions on our financial situations. Most of the time, this occurs because we are friends with our financial advisor and/or we don’t want...

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Don’t Run Out of Money in Retirement

Dolph Janis

Have you ever awoken at night and started worrying about running out of money when you’re in or entering retirement? Does the fear of losing what you have saved for retirement due to changing markets concern you? If so, you’re not alone.  A large number of baby boomers have this feeling on a daily basis. I have been working with clients for over 11 years, and these concerns are brought up in just about every meeting or conversation I have with clients. When looking at...

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