This week’s report from the Brookings Institute authors reflects on the impact of the coronavirus and tells us “As painful as this episode has been for all Americans, it has also been especially trying for older individuals.” If you read any newspaper it is as if we must prepare ourselves not just for the impact COVID may have on us, but also what the markets and economy will look like amidst an upcoming Presidential Election. Call us if you are trying to determine where a safe place may be to put some of your hard earned money. We’re always here to tell you about options we know about, and which from our perspective have been tried and true for a long time.
This week’s article makes a valid point, that “safeguarding financial wellness requires an all-encompassing view of a person. This means considering their tangible assets (including savings and property), but also less tangible assets such as health, skills and career readiness to work longer”. Even before COVID-19 caused us to examine more closely our retirement readiness, we may not have been focusing on the fact that “on average, individuals are outliving their money by between eight and 20 years; women in particular are at the sharp end of this scale, with longer lives and pension savings around 40% lower than men’s.” If you’d like to realign your goals, give us a call. We’re always here to help and may have some options you haven’t considered.
More Fiscally Conservative Yet Simultaneously More Freeing
This week’s article tells a story we are all too familiar with: “Approaching retirement at age 65, John and Jill Smith realized their monthly income from Social Security and pensions total $700 less than their fixed expenses. They have savings to fill the gap, but worry that their nest egg may not be sufficient to cover both their fixed expenses and their annual travel plans — especially if they are fortunate enough to enjoy a long retirement. Prudent investors often tackle this problem by becoming ultra conservative with their money. They commit to withdrawing so little from their savings that they have almost no chance of using it all up — say 4 percent of their account balance per year — or they simply forego travel and most other forms of discretionary spending. There is an alternative approach, one that could be considered even more fiscally conservative and yet simultaneously more freeing. It involves using some portion of your savings to purchase an annuity, which is a special type of insurance contract that can be used to generate a guaranteed stream of income for life. The idea is to use these payouts to cover your monthly income gap, which then frees you to use the balance of your savings as you like — without worrying that you’ll be unable to afford food and shelter down the road.” Sound like an option you’d like to pursue? Call us, we’re always here to help.
The ongoing pandemic is causing people to worry, “whether they are approaching their retirement age or just starting out in their career – anxious about their finances, and retirement plans. This is the reason why more and more people are increasingly considering lifetime income products that are less vulnerable to factors like market volatility, retirement longevity, and challenges created by cognitive decline in order to secure their retirement income.” If you are worried and would like to learn more about these types of products, call us. We’re always here to help.
This week’s article points out that “Social Security payments are one of the biggest assets that most people have,” and “how you handle that income has an important impact on an overall plan.” A “critical move” that is highlighted is not only to know your full retirement age and to weigh the advantages of delaying your Social Security benefits, but to “coordinate the timing of benefit claims with your spouse.” A law “phases out a strategy known as restricting an application for spousal benefits, which could boost a couple’s total payout by tens of thousands of dollars.” Call us if you have made your critical moves and still need options for income that you can’t outlive. We’re always here to help.
Building a Portfolio with Principal Protection
This week’s article reminds us that pre-retirees can “diversify their portfolio in a way that distributes risk and prepares their retirement savings for growth in a variety of economic environments. It’s even possible to build in some principal protection with the inclusion of Fixed Indexed Annuities (FIAs). FIAs are insurance products that can guarantee income to contract holders over a period of time — even over a lifetime”. With this financial product, “the insurance company absorbs the risk of market downturns, guaranteeing a minimum floor, and protecting contract holders from market losses.” If you are concerned about having to absorb the risk of market downturns in your portfolio, call us, we’re happy to see if an FIA is right for you. We’re always here to help.
If you are like many, you are tired of reading so much about the negative consequences of COVID on our finances, employment and plans – whatever they may be, and you long to hear more about solutions. This week’s article tells us things we already know – that the “economic downturn prompted by the coronavirus comes at a particularly bad time for older workers.” And, that “older workers are just as able to work from home, but fewer than half have the opportunity to do so. Meanwhile, new jobs often don’t offer the pay or benefits they may be looking for.” If we are that ‘older worker’ what do we do? One solution may be to look for options other than new employment opportunities that can generate an income for use in retirement. Call us, we have some ideas you may not be aware of. We’re in this together, and are always here to help.
I’ve been asked to explain how the dollar amount of what someone receives in social security is impacted by their age at filing for SS. This week’s article does that. It tells us “One of the most important factors affecting your retirement security is how long you work. Additional years make it easier to increase annual Social Security benefits through delayed filing: Filing at the earliest age (62) gets you 75 percent of your annual full benefit; every 12 months of delay past your full retirement age (currently around 66, depending on your year of birth) gets you an additional 8 percent until you turn 70. Working longer also can mean saving more, living off those savings for fewer years and getting more years of employer-subsidized health insurance”. Let us know if you need help in applying these formulas to your personal situation to determine how much additional income you may need to help you live out a more stress-free retirement. There are products that can provide additional income that you may not know about. Call us, we’re always here for you.
J.P. Morgan’s chief global strategist David Kelley recently gave a speech concerning there still being a long way to go before the US has a full economic recovery and it is “therefore wise for investors to be cautious.” “He compared the current situation to when he used to drive to New York from Massachusetts. It’s only about a four-hour drive in theory, but it always takes longer, he noted. That is because you’ll be “speeding along the highway, but you always know by the time you get to Bridgeport, Connecticut,” you hit traffic, so you try to avoid the traffic by taking the side roads, he recalled, adding: “Eventually you do get there — it’s just much slower going.” He said that “When you take the back roads, there are lots of twists and turns and the bottom line is that that makes it very difficult to see what is ahead, and speeding on a back road … will get you into trouble.” It may be time to think of ways of generating income in your portfolio without materially adding to your overall volatility. Call us, we can tell you about a product that protects your principal when the market goes down, and also guarantees income for life. We’re always here to help.
Considering all that is going on today, “pre-retirees may be asking questions about the impact of a stock market sell-off on their retirement savings”, and if there are “any steps that can be taken to protect savings and investments against future volatility.” This week’s article tells us “it’s a sobering reminder that volatility can strike at any time” and “it’s still important to protect your retirement portfolio against those lows.” Pre-retirees can work “to diversify their portfolio in a way that distributes risk” and “it’s even possible to build in some principal protection with the inclusion of insurance products that guarantee income.” How can that be, you might ask, someone has to incur the loss of market downturns. Here, with FIA’s “the insurance company absorbs the risk of market downturns, guaranteeing a minimum floor, and protecting contract holders from market losses.” If this is of interest to you, or you think that you would benefit from principal protection and income for life, call us. We’re always here to help.
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