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Retirement Planning

What Does “Guaranteed” Mean?

Ryan Wheless

Bonuses, rollup rates, income-doublers, payout rates… It’s all noise. What do you really get out of an annuity for every dollar you put in? Recently, a prospective client came into the office and was interested in discussing annuities. He said he and his wife were looking at an annuity that offered a 7% bonus and guaranteed 10% interest. However, before the prospect bought this annuity, he wanted to see what we had to offer. When I said, “What we have to offer you is an...

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What is Your Annuity Perception (or Deception)?

Ralph Hicks

Close your eyes for a moment. Picture what your “ideal” investment would look like. Now that you are back to reality, what did you picture? Did some of following aspects come to mind? No risk to loss of principal Reasonable rate of return Liquidity of funds Low or no investment fees Diversification Income ability Tax deferral For many of you, these characteristics describe exactly what the “ideal” investment would look like for you. So, my question is – why don’t you have an investment like...

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Silent Thief

Tony Wiley

For years now, with record low interest rates, many have come to the belief that inflation is a non-factor. Before I address that assumption, let us first understand what inflation is. In its simplest terms, inflation is an increase in the price of goods and services in an economy over a period of time. It reduces purchasing power and has been referred to as the “Silent Thief”. Historically, inflation is said to grow at around 4% per year. That means one dollar today should be...

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What If You Haven’t Been Saving Enough For Retirement?

Todd D. Heckman

This is a tough question, because it can be hard to make up for lost time. And because how do you define “enough?” What you’ll need depends on what lifestyle will keep you happy in retirement, how money-smart you are in supporting that lifestyle, and what good and bad luck you experience along the way. None of that is easily quantified, and despite what you may have heard or read, there is no “Number” out there that can possibly specify ahead of time just what’s...

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Are You Tired of Your Retirement Assets Being on a Roller Coaster?

Michael Wolf

If you are like most baby boomers, you have worked your entire adult life putting hard-earned dollars in the company 401k, maybe some in a CD or a Roth IRA, and now you are within striking distance of retirement. You have seen Wall Street’s large gains and large falls and you are trying to figure out how to time the market for a stable retirement income while wondering how to not outlive the money you have worked so hard to accumulate. The two questions you...

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Should we even Consider Inflation-Indexed Annuities to Hedge our Savings?

Keith L. Collins

The roller coaster ride of the stock market in the past five years has resulted in plenty of discussions regarding how to take advantage of the market highs while also protecting our savings against the market lows. However, with our obsession with stock market performance, we may be overlooking the one silent killer that can slyly erode the purchasing power of our retirement savings. Yes, I am talking about inflation. There are two big threats to our retirement savings. One is the risk of outliving...

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Retirement and Your Legacy

Todd D. Heckman

Talk with someone – whether a friend or financial advisor – about whether there’s going to be enough money to retire on, and the conversation is likely to focus entirely on whether you have enough to pay your bills, and maybe to allow for a few extras or to cover emergencies. But there’s a good chance that the issue of “legacy” – what you want to leave behind when you’re gone – will not come up at all. This is a serious oversight.  Despite all...

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Leveraging Your IRA

Todd Wooten

If you’re like most Americans approaching retirement, for the last 40+ years, you’ve been busy contributing to your IRA or qualified plan. You’ve successfully pushed your income taxes into the future, but the tax collector is knocking on your door and you can’t ignore him any longer. At age 70 ½, required minimum distributions (RMDs) must begin, and Uncle Sam finally gets his share. Once the process of withdrawing from your IRA begins, one of three things will happen: You will live on it, leverage...

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What Women REALLY Want

Jennifer Calandra

I have had hundreds of conversations with women regarding their money. Each has their own story, their own goals and vision for their future. I’ve met with a variety of different women; single women in their early 20’s just beginning to accumulate their wealth, divorcees who are trying to make sense of what just happened and what it now means for them,  and widows who are overwhelmed not only with loss, but also with their new role as the captain of their financial ship. When...

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Plan Ahead For Income Strategies At Retirement

Chris Raup

One of the things I find in this turmoil of financial confusion these days, is that very few people have any idea of how much money they will have to live off of when retiring or thinking of retiring. If you have a good old fashion pension plan, your annual statement will give you an idea of where you are at or should be in a set amount of years. Even though the amount is not set in stone on returns for the most part,...

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