How Commissions Affect Annuity Sales

Newsletter

Everyone either asks about it or thinks about it.  Journalists write about it and competitors criticize it.  Annuities pay commissions to the agents who sell them and that’s just how this part of the industry works.  It’s ok to be concerned about this because the amount of money a salesperson gets does make a difference […]

When and How to Retire

Newsletter

Last week a loyal reader of the weekly newsletters responded to me and asked if I’d give some advice specific to his situation.  He correctly assumed that others were in a similar position and it would help himself and other people who are trying to decide when and how to retire.  So I’m going to […]

Annuities Are Not Just for Income

Newsletter

It’s time to set the record straight.  After hearing this in the vast majority of my meetings so far this year I have realized that the industry mantra has permeated the subconscious of most retirees.  Since my strategies focus on how to enhance performance in comparison to lifetime income products, I often take for granted […]

The Danger with High Expectations

Newsletter

Over the past few weeks I have come across a couple proposals from other advisors that have revealed something of a trend throughout my career.  Certain annuity illustrations can be made to produce spectacular numbers and it’s fine if someone chooses to believe those results will happen but more realistic expectations will give you a […]

I Didn’t Sell My Dad an Annuity

Newsletter

The point of this whole operation is not just to sell as many annuities as possible.   A lot of time and effort goes into making sure people don’t make mistakes and that results in me not selling annuities most of the time.  Some people get it and some people don’t.  Annuities work for some but […]

How to Choose the Best Annuity

Newsletter

This is always a tough issue to address because there is no objective definition for the best annuity.  Last week one of my readers sent me the link for Barron’s Top 50 Annuities of 2018.  The highly regarded financial publication puts a list out every year and Steve wanted to know my thoughts. Barron’s list […]

I Can’t Believe a CFP Designed This Plan

Newsletter

Long considered to be the benchmark for ethical behavior in the financial services industry, the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation is thought by many to be a necessary qualification for anyone who gives financial advice. The CFP designation does not, however, exempt anyone from criticism who implements a retirement plan that is poorly conceived and […]

What’s So Great about Bonds?

Newsletter

The traditional safe haven for investors is one thing I see with just about every plan and I’m not sure I agree with such widespread use of this asset class.  Bonds are a consistent source of interest payments and usually come with much less volatility than the stock market.  For those reasons bonds have been […]

The Problem with Guaranteed Lifetime Income

Newsletter

During meetings people frequently comment that they know I don’t like guaranteed lifetime income.  I guess I do understand why people say that since most of my writing and advice centers around finding the best deal and guaranteed lifetime is only the best deal in a very specific situation. So it surprises me to know […]

Don’t Make Decisions after One Bad Day in the Market

Newsletter

It all started Tuesday.  During lunch I watched the market report and things were relatively calm but by the end of the day the Dow had lost roughly 800 points.  I was speaking to a prospective client at the time and he’s the one who told me about the drop. During our call he had […]

Don’t Put All Your Money in an Annuity

Newsletter

It happens more often than you’d realize and I saw it again last week.  I was meeting with Joe, who liked the idea of protecting some assets but had one major hesitation.  The only person Joe had spoken with was recommending he put all his investment assets in a fixed index annuity from Nationwide. This […]

The Debate Over Annuities in a Retirement Portfolio

Newsletter

Marketwatch recently published an article on annuities that is worth reading for one simple reason.  It will highlight the reasons why it’s so hard to make retirement decisions when annuities are involved.  This article has received a lot of attention and Marketwatch has been running it for a few weeks now so it seems as […]

Some People Don’t Need Annuities

Newsletter

As much as I say that every situation is unique, the truth is most people fit in one of several categories of retirement preparedness.  If you’ve ever spoken with me than you might remember me telling you a story of someone in a very similar situation.  It is helpful to see that others have been […]

Annuities and Inflation

Newsletter

Inflation is one of the biggest concerns retirees face.  The possibility that your retirement income won’t buy as much as the years pass can be frustrating and scary.  It’s actually more of a reality than a possibility so rather than just worrying about it, you need a plan that accounts for it Financial institutions know […]

Why People Don’t Buy Annuities

Newsletter

Well it may surprise some of you to know that I don’t sell an annuity to everyone who calls. Rational or not, plenty of people choose to not use annuities in a retirement plan or they just delay the decision because big commitments are hard to make. I spend a lot of time reviewing notes […]

Allianz 222 Alternatives Comparison

Newsletter

After analyzing the most popular fixed index annuity last week the most common request I received was for a comparison to products I would recommend.  So rather than just asking you to take my word for it I’m going to show you why the Allianz 222 is not as good as it seems.  In comparison […]

How Personal Risk Tolerance Affects Retirement

Newsletter

Over the past couple weeks we have talked about the indicators that allow you to decide when to time your exit from market-based securities. The idea is to give you some level of control so that you can decide when and how you retire rather than having market performance decide for you. So we had […]

Timing the Market Part II: Income Needs in Relation to Portfolio Value

Newsletter

It’s the comment I hear most often.  “I’m trying to decide if I have enough to retire.” Considering that for every time I get a question or comment there are several other people who are staying silent, I will assume that many of you need to answer this question. It can be a hard decision […]

Product Spotlight: Allianz 222

Newsletter

I come across this product more than any other and it’s no surprise.  The 222 is the highest selling annuity on the market.  It carries a serious bonus that has recently been as high as 30%.  In addition it gives you an extra 50% of any interest credited annually.  Sounds amazing, right? Well, it is […]

Part I: How Long Until You Retire?

Newsletter

To start this series let’s take a look at the first factor that will tell you how to appropriately time the market when planning for retirement.  Selling stocks at a high point sounds great but people tend to hang on a little longer than they should.  We are at a historic high right now but […]