A Wild 2019 and How Annuities Fit

Newsletter

This year so far has certainly had its share of ups and downs.  In some ways it could be viewed as a microcosm of the issues one might face throughout all the years of retirement.  It’s summer time and I stepped away from writing for a few weeks because I figured no one would notice.  […]

Index Annuity Performance from the Past Year

Newsletter

At times it seems as though everyone talks about yield as if they are able to get the highest possible growth from every asset they own.  I’ll admit that may just be my perspective because it often comes in the context of my recommendation to use an annuity to reduce risk without sacrificing growth potential.  […]

Even Advisors Ask for My Advice

Newsletter

In some ways I consider it a waste of time but it happens often enough that I’ve realized it validates the information I provide.  This website and all the newsletters are meant to help consumers but there are plenty of advisors as well who are looking for answers to the same questions.  And it makes […]

The Myth of Annuities and Liquidity

Newsletter

The thought of not having access to retirement assets is one of the biggest issues people have with annuities.  I think it’s funny when investment advisors, who have no intention of every giving up management of a person’s assets, claim that if you buy an annuity you will lose control of your money forever.  As […]

How Technology Benefits Retirement Planning

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It’s never more evident than when you talk to kids growing up today.  Younger generations take for granted easy access to information that can still seem like magic for anyone who remembers a rotary telephone.  I appreciate the convenience it adds to my life while trying to make sure it doesn’t run my life. Technology […]

Does Anyone Have Too Much Money to Use an Annuity?

Newsletter

It’s a great question that I got a few weeks ago during a meeting and it stumped me for just a second.  Dianne and Fred have saved more than enough for retirement and their income needs are modest in comparison to the total portfolio value.  They are also young, both under the age of 60, […]

More Important Than Money in Retirement

Newsletter

One benefit of picking my brain that many people don’t realize has nothing to do with asset management or annuity shopping.  I’ve talked to hundreds of people just like you.  I hear stories of both failure and success or good choices and bad.  My recommendations are not only based on what I know about retirement […]

How to Beat a Guaranteed Income Contract

Newsletter

During Preparation for a meeting this week I was running numbers and comparing options for a couple in California.  They had recently been to a dinner seminar to get some answers to retirement questions.  Of course the follow-up meeting included an annuity pitch so they decided to do some research online to verify whether they […]

Index Annuities That Grow When the Market Drops

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Timing is a deciding factor for a lot of people.  Interest rates and stock market performance keep people locked in to current holdings and nervous about making changes.  If rates were higher many would find it easier to shift toward protecting assets.  Instead there are those who hang on to old habits and currently have […]

Why I Call It The Flex Strategy

Newsletter

Regardless of your expectations when you first hit the website, you should know by now that I try to get everyone to think about annuities differently.  Most of you come here with a general interest in annuities, trying to find a solution to a specific problem.  If I join the chorus and just stick with […]

An Annuity Success Story

Newsletter

Frankie and Linda are like family.  We met in 2011 when Frankie was doing what most of you are doing, trying to find the right way to distribute retirement assets.  They had made the rounds through several online salespeople and contacted me for an opinion on some of the offers they had seen. I talk […]

How Will Lower Rates Affect Annuities?

Newsletter

For the past year or so the Federal Reserve has been steadily increasing rates at every meeting.  Response from consumer product rates was similar as we saw modest rate increases in all types of financial vehicles.  Mortgages may be a touch more expensive but options for conservative savings gave people better opportunities for safe income […]

The Reality of Roth Conversions

Newsletter

If your goal is to never pay taxes again then converting qualified assets to a Roth IRA is one way to do it.  But if you really just want to pay the least amount of taxes over time then it may be best to leave your assets right where they are and adopt a different […]

How to Really Maximize Social Security

Newsletter

It’s the foundation of many retirement plans.  You all paid into it so everyone is entitled to receive something in return after years of contributions.  As part of planning for retirement you need to get an estimate of benefits and compare different strategies for getting the most from the system.  It makes retirement easier by […]

The Difference between Sales and Advice

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It dawned on me last week that I’m giving people advice and competing with other advisors who are just trying to make sales.  There’s a big difference between the two.  No one likes the hard-selling guy who only emphasizes the positives without mentioning potential negatives. In fact, most people end up finding this site while […]

Index Annuities Explained on One Page

Newsletter

Lots of people tend to overthink big financial decisions.  It happens all the time with annuities.  When you’ve heard constantly from other sources that annuities are complicated then your search is started with a negative opinion, grounded in nothing but someone else’s opinion.  You’ve probably owned mutual funds before but I doubt that many of […]

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 […]