Eeny, meeny, miny, moe might have been a wonderful tool for making choices as a kid, but it is not a great way to select your retirement funding strategies.
For those of you who have followed our blog for a while, you know that all financial advice and decisions should be based upon your individual needs and goals. Selecting your retirement strategies based upon what your neighbors, friends or family believes is best could lead to disastrous consequences.
So, how would you decide what to do and how much to do with…[continued below video]
Guarantees, including optional benefits, are backed by the claims-paying ability of the issuer, and may contain limitations, including surrender charges, which may affect policy values. During this segment, Dick and Eric are referring to Fixed Annuities unless otherwise specified.
[continued]…stocks, bonds and annuities?
First, rule of retirement planning is “know thyself” – how much income do you need to meet your core living expenses and how much do you “want” to fund luxuries? Covering your foundational income need with **guaranteed sources of income allows many individuals to enjoy a more stress-free retirement. Guaranteed sources of income include Social Security, pensions, and annuities.
If your foundational income need is met with , sources taking on additional risk to hopefully generate greater growth for luxury items or travel may be merited. Equity exposure could help accelerate growth, however, please be aware that the risk is typically commensurate with the potential for gain or said another way – more risk potential equals more gain potential!
What about the rule of 100 (see article below) where you use a balanced portfolio of stocks and bonds that grow more conservative as you get older? Why wouldn’t that be superior to an annuity allocation? Research has shown that if you can withdraw three to four percent annually from your portfolio, you should be able to have enough money to last throughout retirement. So, here is the question – is “shouldn’t” run out of money good enough? Most retirees value **guarantees that is why they typically prefer pensions to 401ks; unfortunately, many of today’s retirees no longer have a choice. Retirees have to carefully allocate their lifetime of savings into proper strategies to insure that they will never out-live their money.
For years, a commonly cited rule of thumb has helped simplify asset allocation. It states that individuals should hold a percentage of stocks equal to 100 minus their age. So, for a typical 60-year-old, 40% of the portfolio should be equities. The rest would be comprised of high-grade bonds, government debt and other relatively safe assets.
Two Reasons to Change the Rules
Pretty straightforward, right? Not necessarily. While an easy-to-remember guideline can help take some of the complexity out of retirement planning, it may be time to revisit this particular one. Over the past few decades, a lot has changed for the American investor. For one, the life expectancy here, as in many developed countries, has steadily risen. Compared to just 20 years ago, Americans live three years longer. Not only do we have to increase our nest eggs, we also have more time to grow our money and recover from a dip.
At the same time, U.S. Treasury bonds are paying a fraction of what they once did. Today, a 10-year T-bill yields roughly 2.5% annually. In the early 1980s, investors could count on interest rates upwards of 10%.
For many investment pros, such realties mean that the old “100 minus your age” axiom puts investors in jeopardy of running low on funds during their later years. Some have modified the rule to 110 minus your age – or even 120 minus your age, for those with a higher tolerance for risk.
Not surprisingly, many fund companies follow these revised guidelines – or even more aggressive ones – when putting together their own target-date funds. For example, funds with a target date of 2030 are geared to investors who are currently around 49. But instead of allocating 50% of its assets to equities, the Vanguard Target Retirement 2030 Fund has roughly 76%. The T. Rowe Price Retirement 2030 Fund builds in even more risk, with almost 80% in equities.
It’s important to keep in mind that guidelines like this are just a starting point for making decisions. A variety of factors may shape investment strategy, including age at retirement and assets needed to sustain one’s lifestyle. Since women live nearly five years longer than men on average, they have higher costs in retirement than men and an incentive to be slightly more aggressive with their nest egg.
The Bottom Line
Basing one’s stock allocation on age can be a useful tool for retirement planning by encouraging investors to slowly reduce risk over time. However, at a time when adults are living longer and getting fewer rewards from “safe” investments, it might be time to adjust the “100 minus your age” guideline and take more risk with retirement funds.
Using OutCome Based Planning™ for Your Retirement
"The Annuity Guys will never call you unless you request our assistance". When you are ready for specialized help we will be available to assist you.. We practice and recommend a "Holistic - OutCome Based Planning™ process when considering annuities." This approach has the effect of balancing your overall portfolio with annuities so you can meet your retirement objectives by "first identifying the least amount of your investments or savings that should be considered for annuities." OutCome Based Planning™ analyzes and models multiple outcomes so you can clearly identify your best income and growth opportunities.
"Working with an Experienced Fiduciary Financial Planner can help you Avoid a Trial & Error or Risk Based Retirement"
This type of approach does take considerably more time, effort and analysis which will show you mathematically the successful possibilities by comparing various outcomes rather than trying to sell or convince you of that "so-called one best solution." Clients frequently tell us that this process removes some of the confusion and emotion to help them objectively identify a better retirement plan; rather than just ending up with the most convincing salesperson or advisor.
When requesting help you can be assured of working with an experienced Annuity Guys' Retirement Planner who is independently insurance licensed and securities licensed as a fiduciary financial planner having access to the vast majority of annuity companies in helping you choose the best annuities using a holistic-outcome based planning approach. We consider the high quality advisor recommendations we make to our website visitors as a direct reflection back on our Annuity Guys' commitment to serve all client's with a high standard of excellence in financial planning for retirement.
Based on survey feedback on advisors from our website visitors, we eliminated about two-hundred local advisors and now only recommend a few that we consider experienced vetted Annuity Guys' Fiduciary Advisors. Many local advisors continue requesting us to recommend them as an Annuity Guy's vetted advisor. However, our reputation and future business is driven only by satisfied website visitors. So, unfortunately we've had to tell the vast majority of local advisors no, since we changed our business model four years ago. At that time we stopped trying to satisfy everyone with local advisors, we now primarily work with individuals who are comfortable using today's internet technology to their fullest advantage by working with a select group of vetted, experienced and knowledgeable Annuity Guys' Fiduciary Planners.
Selecting the Best Annuity & Retirement Income Advisor
Are you willing to work with an Annuity Guys' retirement and annuity advisor based on their experience and expertise as a first priority rather than being limited by a local or regional area? The good news is that technology has forever eliminated our geographical limitations and leveled the playing field for everyone! As a result of today's technological advances, all of us can now work confidently with experts in any field including personal finance. We are no longer confined by regional or local boundaries limiting our choices and ultimate success. A high quality Annuity Guys® advisor is now as close as a click or phone call away.
"There is no room for trial and error when it comes to choosing MarketFree® Annuities or a Successful Retirement Planner."
"There are no undo buttons in retirement so it is vitally important that you do it right the first time!"
We are fortunate to have a select few who we believe are truly the highest qualified annuity and retirement advisors out of about two hundred licensed insurance agents that we eliminated. Your survey feedback is what helps us make these tough decisions. The Annuity Guys advisors have an independent financial practice, specializing in annuities and retirement planning, which helps ensure that you are given the best annuity options available for your retirement planning.
"It takes an experienced expert to know how to structure annuities for income, inflation, growth, return of principal, and tax advantage."
"Anyone can sell you an annuity; however, it takes a truly qualified and experienced advisor to know how to structure annuities for income, inflation, growth, return of principal, and tax advantage. Typically, there is not just one annuity that can accomplish all of these objectives. It is how an annuity advisor structures multiple annuities in balancing your total portfolio that makes it possible to achieve your most important retirement objectives."
Why Searching for the Best Annuities on Your Own Can be so Frustrating...Almost everyone nowadays turns to the internet for answers on everything - from buying new widgets to researching just about everything under the sun; and finding the best annuity is no exception!At first, it may seem that researching annuities will be straightforward but the more time you spend researching them, the more frustrating it can be. Why is this? First of all, it does not take long to realize that gimmicks abound - such as warnings and alerts from salesmen who just want your attention so they can sell you an annuity or the "too good to be true" claims of 8% to 14% **guaranteed interest and of course the claim that you can get the full market upside with no downside risk! If you have done any research you have heard all of these claims in advertising which are mostly half truths and not fully explained.So how can you find the best annuities on the internet? The truth is... you can't! And what is even more frustrating is all the conflicting points of view from so called experts. There are well over 6,000 different annuities - all designed for different reasons, so is it any wonder that the deck is stacked against the average researcher or do-it-yourselfer. Add to that the fact that annuities pay high enough commissions to attract a plethora of both good and bad agents. This does not make annuities good or bad; they are simply a financial tool that truly benefit those who use them correctly.How can you find the best annuities for your unique situation?
- Use the internet cautiously;
- Work with a vetted and experienced annuity specialist;
- Do not settle for that one dubious best plan or annuity compare multiple Outcome Based Plans to decide on the one that is truly best for you;
- Be keenly aware of scare tactics and hyperbole - avoid those advisors and websites;
- Avoid websites that are focused on rushing free reports, rates and quotes to get your contact information they are rushing you to speak with them, instead, take your time and choose someone you are more comfortable with that works on your time-table;
- Know the Five Vital Factors (listed above) that an experienced annuity specialist must answer before helping you select the best annuities for your situation;
- Watch this telling video "Avoid Annuity Gimmicks, Amateurs and Charlatans"...
** Guarantees, including optional benefits, are backed by the claims-paying ability of the issuer, and may contain limitations, including surrender charges, which may affect policy values. Annuities are not FDIC insured and it is possible to lose money.
Annuities are insurance products that require a premium to be paid for purchase.
Annuities do not accept or receive deposits and are not to be confused with bank issued financial instruments.
During all video segments, Dick and Eric are referring to Fixed Annuities unless otherwise specified.
*Retirement Planning and annuity purchase assistance may be provided by Eric Judy or by referral to a recommended, experienced, Fiduciary Investment Advisor in helping Annuity Guys website visitors. Dick Van Dyke semi-retired from his Investment Advisory Practice in 2012 and now focuses on this Annuity Guys Website. He still maintains his insurance license in good standing and assists his current clients.
Annuity Guys' vetted and recommended Fiduciary Financial Planners are required to be properly licensed in assisting clients with their annuity and retirement planning needs. (Due diligence as a client is still always necessary when working with any advisor to check their current standing.)
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- MarketFree™ Annuity Definition: Any fixed annuity or portfolio of fixed annuities that protects principal / premium and growth by remaining market risk free.
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