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It’s the Cash Flow, Folks!

Knowel McGraw

At Vivid Financial Group, we focus on the cash flow, because that’s what many retirees live on: monthly cash flow, not growth. Since 1990, I have worked with families to help them retire. The No. 1 question the retiree needs to be answered is how much income they can generate safely and reliably every month. Unfortunately, growth gets all the headlines, but unless that growth gets locked in, many folks will give it all back during a downturn and never get a chance to spend it. When you...

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What exactly is a Fixed Index Annuity?

Jeff Jones

I’m amazed at the number of people who understand so little about annuities. For 25 years, I have quizzed prospects and clients of their knowledge and perceptions of annuities. Some people claim, “Annuities are evil and should be banned,” while others have named their firstborn after these popular products. Life insurance is designed to protect a client’s financial dependents in the event of said client’s premature death, thus helping to protect loved ones from financial loss. Annuities are the upside-down version of life insurance and...

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How You Can “Lock In” All-Time Highs in the Stock Market With Fixed Index Annuities

Mike Riedmiller

The stock market achieved some all-time highs at thee end of 2017. This is very interesting since some people were calling for the stock market to crash this past year due to a number of factors. Of course, this crash did not happen. This has left many retirees and people approaching retirement with some important questions: 1. Is now the time to take some of my money out of the stock market? 2. Should I invest (risk) more money? 3. Should I adjust any of...

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Four Reasons to Own an Annuity

John Conley

Now that the Powerball winner has come forward to claim her prize of $758 million (before taxes), you can’t turn on the television or radio without hearing the word “annuity.” The winner of the lottery had a very important choice to make: to take an after-tax lump sum or pay the taxes and receive income for life. This got me thinking about the number of people who don’t understand exactly what an annuity is and how it can be beneficial when used in the following...

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Discover why people love safer growth of their money and the option for lifetime income

Mike Riedmiller

There is a lot of talk and debate about the pros and cons of annuities and whether they are good to have in your retirement plan. All investments have their strengths and weaknesses.  This, unfortunately, is something you don’t always hear about from people in the financial services industry or the so-called gurus you see in the media. First, let’s look at the three main types of annuities: Variable Annuities – Variable annuities usually have higher fees (2% – 4%). Your money is still “at...

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Why having a plan could change the outcome of your retirement

Ryan Schaner

Do you currently own or are you considering purchasing a financial solution? Do you know if that solution will accomplish what your true purpose is for that money? Before you can determine what type of solution you should put in place, you need to start with a plan. With a plan you’ll have a better understanding of your household’s needs, including how much income you need every month and how much you need in retirement. Once you’ve figured this out, you’re ready for the next...

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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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How the War Over Your Money Can Hurt You

Matt Jackson

There is a war going on for your money, and you probably don’t even know it. Licensed stockbrokers, Wall Street, and big banks offering risky securities are fighting against insurance companies and banks offering principal-guaranteed products. These groups are as opposed to each other as Coke and Pepsi. So, why the fighting? Why don’t stockbrokers tell you about the advantages of some of these principal-guaranteed products, like fixed indexed annuities (FIAs)? I believe it’s because of the reoccurring fees generated by the amount of money...

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Safety and Guarantees of Variable Annuities vs. Fixed Indexed Annuities

Nick Guida

Ever wonder why so many people include annuities in their financial plans? It’s because they’re looking for safety and guarantees. The most popular annuities today are Variable Annuities and Fixed Indexed Annuities. One of them offers safety from market loss and guarantees on your real money; the other does not. Variable Annuities do not offer any downside protection from market loss to the investments within the annuity. If you have a Variable Annuity, this may come as a shock to you, so please read on....

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Do you have the 21st century super retirement plan?

Alin David Lozada, RICP®, CSA

For years, Americans have been told that the best way to save for retirement is by contributing to accounts like 401(k)s, IRAs, SEPs, and Tax-Sheltered Annuities (TSAs). These have two things in common: You receive a tax deduction based on your tax rate, and you must pay a tax when you withdraw the money. Most accountants and CPAs are more concerned with saving taxes today than in the future, so they will advise you to maximize your retirement plan to receive the greatest tax deduction. Also,...

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