The 5 W’s of a Successful Retirement

There’s no better time than today to develop your retirement plan and consider options that may be suitable for your future. Fixed indexed annuities (FIAs) can offer lifetime income and provide peace of mind when looking for ways to protect your nest egg from market downturns.

Read about the 5 W’s of FIAs to find out if this is the right option for you.

What is an FIA? A fixed indexed annuity is a contract between you and an insurance company where the potential interest earned is linked to an external benchmark index. You can choose to make premium payments in either a single lump sum or multiple payments over time.

Who should purchase an FIA? FIAs can provide guaranteed income in retirement and can be a smart solution for someone looking to balance his or her portfolio. Check out our Smart Buyer Checklist to learn more.

Where can I purchase a FIA? Talk to a licensed insurance agent about your interest in purchasing an FIA. Companies selling indexed annuities are required by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) to review every sale and ensure indexed annuities are suitable for the customer.

When is the best time to purchase a FIA? FIAs are not actually invested in the stock market, which means they can be purchased at all times even during negative market fluctuations. With FIAs, your principal is protected and will never decline in value due to market loss.

Why should I purchase an FIA? FIAs can help to provide guaranteed income, principal protection from market downturns and interest rate stability in retirement.

Watch this clip to get to know the basics of FIAs today! Interested in learning more about retirement planning, but not sure where to start? Check out our various retirement calculators.

Posted in Personal Finance, Planning for Retirement, Product Features, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on The 5 W’s of a Successful Retirement

3 Simple Ways to Save for Retirement

Summer is here, and the future is brighter than ever. If you are busy planning, saving and budgeting for a summer vacation, use these tips to make the most out of your summer and get your retirement savings on track.

1. Spend less and save more. With this warmer weather, nothing sounds better than going out to dinner with your family or significant other after a long and stressful week at work. However, going to your favorite dinner spot can lead to more stress down the road. Consider making a meal at home and using the money saved to get ahead on retirement savings.

2. Make use of financial resources.  Saving for retirement can seem complicated, but there are tools that can help you plan. With plenty of resources such as mobile apps, books, and blogs (like this one) available at your fingertips, you can take full control of your retirement savings. Take advantage of tools like the retirement calculator to estimate your retirement living expenses or determine your Social Security retirement income.

3. Diversify your portfolio. Whether that means putting aside some money into your 401(k) or another savings account, avoid putting all your nest eggs in one basket.  Diversifying your portfolio also allows you to maximize potential gain and minimize risk. Go beyond the workforce and consider other options like purchasing a fixed indexed annuity. Adding a fixed indexed annuity to your portfolio can help ensure a lifetime stream of income.

 

Posted in Personal Finance, Planning for Retirement, Product Features, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on 3 Simple Ways to Save for Retirement

Devising a Summer Savings Plan

Summer is here and that calls for some down time relaxing with family and friends. Whether you plan on spending your summer days in the sun or binge-watching your favorite television series, developing a summer savings plan will help you enjoy your days now, and stay on track with your retirement plan to make sure you can enjoy more summer days down the road.

Save smart this summer with these 4 tips:

1. Building a budget will help you assess how much you’ve spent this summer, determine any ongoing expenses, and forgo any unnecessary spending.

2. Summer cleaning. Consider getting rid of the bookshelf that takes up too much space, or the skates you only used once, and consider selling some of these items to those who could put them to good use. The money you earn from this sale can go directly to your retirement savings.

3. Financial portfolio. Expand your summer cleaning duties by tidying up your financial portfolio and ensuring the amount of risk is consistent with your current needs. Adding a product such as a fixed indexed annuity (FIA) may provide balance to your financial plan.

4. Public transportation. The cost of driving around town adds up. Enjoy the longer summer days and consider riding a bike or taking the public transit at least once a week. Use the money you saved to give your retirement savings a boost.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Devising a Summer Savings Plan

Understanding Fixed Indexed Annuities

Think you know all there is to know about annuities? This Annuity Awareness Month, we’re testing your knowledge and sharing some important facts about Fixed Indexed Annuities and how they can help you ensure a secure retirement.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Understanding Fixed Indexed Annuities

DO YOU LOSE THE BALANCE OF AN ANNUITY IF YOU DIE?

One common misconception about annuities is that you lose the balance of the annuity if you die. In the case of  Fixed Indexed Annuities (FIAs), the money remaining in your annuity can pass to one or more named beneficiaries after your death.

You can even choose to set up your FIA as “joint life” in order to provide you and your spouse guaranteed income for life, no matter how long each of you live.

Another popular option is called a guaranteed return of premium, which ensures a minimum number of year’s payments are made by the FIA, even if you die. The maximum guarantee period is 10 years. If you die during the guarantee period, the FIA will continue to make income payments until the end of the selected guarantee period or you could select that the remaining payments are paid as a lump sum (this option is not permitted where the guarantee period is 10 years.)

However, before purchasing a FIA, consider the following important questions to ask an insurance agent.

  1. How is the interest calculated and applied?
  2. What are the terms and conditions for receiving payments?
  3. Are there extra charges for withdrawals if something major comes up in your life?
  4. What, if any, penalties must you pay for ending your contract early?

Interested in learning more about the benefits of FIAs

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on DO YOU LOSE THE BALANCE OF AN ANNUITY IF YOU DIE?

The Secret to Generating Lifetime Income

Different generations tend to save in different ways. Whether its hiding cash in old bed frames or tracking expenses on a smartphone in real-time, everyone has their own approach. One solution to help ensure lifetime income is adding a fixed indexed annuity (FIA) to your retirement portfolio. These products can help balance your portfolio and generate guaranteed income for life. Here’s a bit more information on the basics of FIAs:

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on The Secret to Generating Lifetime Income

4 Ways to Save While Paying Off Student Loans

You’ve walked across the stage, shook the university president’s hand, and waved to your beaming family and friends. All of those late nights in the library suddenly feel worth it, but you know with the student loans, the work of school is not quite yet complete. According to a report from HelloWallet, every dollar in student loan debt can end up reducing your overall retirement savings by 35 cents. This means that if you have $50,000 in student loan debt, you could end up losing $17,500 in retirement.

With graduation season in full swing, it’s an ideal time to consider how to balance preparing for retirement while also paying off student loans. Get an A+ in securing a solid financial future with these useful tips:

1. STAY FOCUSED WITH AUTOMATIC PAYMENTS. Kill two birds with one stone by setting up automatic transfers for both paying off your student loans and saving for retirement.

2. EVALUATE AND REVAMP YOUR BUDGET. Take time to carefully assess your spending habits and cut out unnecessary expenses. Small lifestyle changes can go a long way.

3. SET SHORT-TERM SAVINGS GOALS. While student debt payments can be overwhelming, starting with small savings goals can help foster increased financial security.

4. STUDY RETIREMENT PORTFOLIO OPTIONS. Utilize employer offered programs and consider boosting your 401(k) contributions. Consider adding a fixed indexed annuity to balance your portfolio.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 4 Ways to Save While Paying Off Student Loans

Annuity Shift

This article originally appeared on ThinkAdvisor.

National Retirement Planning Week took place in April, and the whole month was Financial Capability Month. April was full of encouragement for individuals to move their retirement savings plans forward.

California’s insurance commissioner, Dave Jones, took part: He put out a widely circulated press release encouraging all Californians, and all Americans, to consider the role annuities can play in securing their financial future.

“Whether you are a Baby Boomer, Gen Xer or a Millennial, you need to be proactive and have a plan for retirement,” Jones said.

I was impressed to see Jones work to educate people, to ensure that they understand how crucial it is to be aware of all of the retirement options, including annuities, that can help protect their future financial security.

And I wasn’t surprised by his comments. Why? Because, when it comes to retirement savings strategies, adding a fixed indexed annuity can diversify and bring needed balance to a retirement portfolio, and complement employer-offered plans, like 401(k) plans.

Fixed indexed annuities are becoming more mainstream in retirement planning as consumers begin to realize and desire the benefits of income for life. Commissioner Jones’ comments mark an important shift in how regulators view retirement savings strategies and the value annuities can have for consumers looking for financial piece of mind into their golden years.

Since financial needs vary across age, economic stability and retirement goals, Jones made sure to emphasize that annuities may not always be the best option. Jones recognized, like my own group, the Indexed Annuity Leadership Council, that an annuity isn’t for everybody. The best first step is to be aware of the options and consider all of the financial vehicles that may play a role in creating a balanced portfolio.

By 2030, one in five Californians will be 65 or older. With the entire U.S. population aging, it’s more important than ever for individuals to be informed and understand how much they will need to save.

Annuities have been misunderstood in the past, but failing to encourage consumers who are saving for retirement to consider annuities denies them the opportunity to consider a product that could be an important component in their retirement portfolio. Not giving consumers the options they need to create the proper combination of risk and conservative choices could cripple the retirement dreams of many Americans.

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Annuity Shift

New Study: 1 in 3 Americans Confess Stopping Retirement Savings At Least Once

While a whopping 94 percent of Americans currently give themselves a passing grade on retirement, a third of them have confessed to stopping retirement savings at least once, according to a new report from the Indexed Annuity Leadership Council.[1] In fact, 20 percent of Baby Boomers don’t have a single dollar put away for retirement.

This news is startling. In many cases, $250,000 is needed for retirement healthcare costs alone.[2] With roughly half of Americans citing that they will miss having a steady paycheck the most when they retire, individuals need to explore savings options and develop a sound strategy to address their retirement needs.

While many individuals may be banking on Social Security as a main stream of money for retirement, it is not the only consistent paycheck available for consumers. Fixed Indexed Annuities (FIAs) can provide a steady, retirement income stream.

No matter your plans for your golden years, securing your financial future is crucial to making these dreams a reality.

[1] Data trends were compiled from Toluna’s online panel in April 2017, among n=1,000 adults (ages 18 and over).  Figures for age, sex and region income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the census population.
[2] 2015 Fidelity Study

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on New Study: 1 in 3 Americans Confess Stopping Retirement Savings At Least Once

NAIC Tees Up on Annuity Suitability Models

By Jim Poolman

This article originally was published on Think Advisor.

The National Association of Insurance Commissioner recently gathered insurance commissioners, industry leaders, regulators and consumer representatives together for the NAIC Spring 2017 National Meeting in Denver.

Among the attendees at the NAIC meetings was my group, the Indexed Annuity Leadership Council. IALC is a group for insurance providers dedicated to the mission of providing retirement savings options, such as fixed indexed annuities, and to increasing awareness of and conversations about those options.

I was excited going into this weekend, because one of the NAIC’s main goals for the meeting was to start a discussion about making revisions to the NAIC’s Suitability in Annuity Transactions model.

Annuity users, producers and carriers are all interested in strengthening protections for the consumers who are buying financial products, including annuities. The conversations about the model revisions proved to be important conversations.

Andy Beal, the chief operating officer at the NAIC, said before the meeting that keeping up with our ever-changing world can be demanding for regulators, but that the NAIC members’ dedication to consumers has resulted in over 145 years of success for the association.

At IALC, we are pleased to see state insurance regulators taking up the important matter of how to further consumer protection. We firmly believe that regulation of financial products is best when it comes from the states, and not the federal government.

We favor and support adjustments to the NAIC suitability model that provide consumer protections, but that keep and promote valuable choices for consumers who are planning for their financial future. That’s such an important balance to strike, to ensure that consumers have protections, and that consumers also have the financial choices they need to plan for a successful future.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on NAIC Tees Up on Annuity Suitability Models