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The New Age Annuities…

Charisse Smith

If you are embarking into the annuity world for the first time, it might be like being lost adrift in the movie “Water World.” You are wandering in a sea of never-ending questions. Folks who have been in annuities for years may still not understand them. There are fixed annuities, immediate annuities, variable annuities, and index annuities with caps, all of which are quite complex, especially if you have received your first annual statement and you only made 3%. Annuities have changed immensely from the...

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The Herd Investment Philosophy

Jim Fox

When I was 23 years old, my employer decided to change their pension retirement system to a 401k. I received the letter from Human Resources instructing me to attend the meeting with the financial advisors who were going to help me set up my new 401k. I was excited that I was finally well on my way to financial independence and that after this meeting, I would have all the tools to become the first millionaire in my family. Being a naive young man fresh...

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What Should I Believe About Annuities?

Jason Weckel

Of the entire spectrum of financial tools and products that have been available to investors over the last several decades, virtually none of them have been so polarizing as annuities. In theory, they are attractive options for retirees looking for a consistent income stream often times supplementing a pension or Social Security. Yet there is no shortage of articles both on the Internet and in print advising would-be annuity owners about the many pitfalls of these instruments. Some commentators offer cautious, thoughtful insight into the...

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Dancing with Your Money: The 2-Step for Tax Free Income and Legacy

Steve Soffer

Ok, cute title… but what the heck is a “2-Step” when it comes to taxes and my money? Well, if you currently have savings in a qualified 401k, 403b or 457 Deferred Compensation Plan, then one of your concerns is probably how taxes will impact your retirement as well as the legacy you leave your family. You might want to consider implementing this simple 2-step financial planning strategy. First of all, you might wonder, “Is it possible to use existing financial tools to create a...

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Value and Variable Annuities

Chris Letendre

Everyone always asks me, “Chris, what do you think of variable annuities?” And every time they do, my first thought to myself is, “how much time do you have?” I have over 20 years of experience on this subject, and there are so many things I would like everyone to know and learn. But the reality is: For most people, what I know about variable annuities is too complex for the average investor to want to learn. I believe the insurance companies that offer variable...

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Are American COWS Being Fattened for the Slaughter?

Robbin Broome

In the last three decades that I have been in the industry, I have never seen change occur as fast and furious as it does today. As a country, we have the highest debt ever with over 19 trillion owed. Our inflation is eating the dollar’s value each year. Unemployment is at its worst, and taxes are increasing at alarming rates. The mortgage industry has just gone through one of the largest bubbles ever, and it is reported that another is on the rise. Our...

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Fixed Index Annuity Basics

Mark Goldfinger

When my clients ask me to list the most important ingredients required when looking to create and maintain a stress-free retirement plan, I explain to them that there are three basic financial requirements: a guaranteed income which they cannot outlive; little or no risk of losing their money/savings, and the ability to grow their money through participation in a growing stock market and NOT a receding stock market. I then inform them that there are financial tools that will help meet these three requirements, and...

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Fixed Annuities vs. Variable Annuities

Randy Floyd

For most people, the word “annuity” might as well be a four-letter word. When I talk about them in my practice, I find that there is a very negative connotation associated with them. Yet most people’s understanding of annuities is very limited at best. So, I wanted to take some time to explain what they are and go over some of the different kinds of annuities. I think most people will realize that they are not quite the monster they have been made out to...

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What If You Live Too Long?

Paul Hubbard

One of the burning questions pre-retirees and retirees have on their minds is, “Is my retirement nest egg large enough to last?” This is due to fact that, with the advancements of modern medical technology and the concentration of health and fitness, retirees nowadays are simply living longer. Many have done a splendid job saving over the years in their IRAs and 401ks to ensure a pleasant and peaceful retirement. While this is great news on one hand, it also creates challenges on the other...

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Kissing Market Risk Goodbye

John Jansen and Rob Wolff

It’s the time of life that you have been waiting all your working years to experience. Retirement has finally come, and you can enjoy what you have been working so hard for. But suddenly, a flood of questions stream through your mind: What will happen if the market takes a sudden downturn? How safe are my investments from losing value? Did I save enough to receive income for life? If you are similar to many Americans, then these are questions you have already asked yourself...

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