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March 29th, 2013 by

life-insurance-family

Really? Should I buy life insurance?

You should probably consider buying life insurance if any one of the following is true:

  • You are married and your spouse depends on your income
  • You have children
  • You have an aging parent or disabled relative who depends on you for support
  • Your retirement nest egg and pension won’t be enough for your spouse to live on
  • You have a large estate and expect to owe estate taxes
  • You own a business, especially if you have a partner
  • You have a substantial joint financial obligation such as a personal loan for which another person would be legally responsible after your death

In all of these cases, the proceeds from an insurance policy can help your loved ones continue to manage financially during the difficult weeks, months, and years after your death. The proceeds can also be used to meet funeral and other final expenses, which can run into thousands of dollars.

If I died today…

Ask yourself the important question: ” If I died today with no life insurance, would my family need to make substantial financial sacrifices and give up the lifestyle to which they’ve become accustomed in order to meet their financial obligations (e.g., car payments, mortgage, college tuition)?”
If your answer is yes, then you DO need life insurance.

Take Action

Once you decide you need life insurance, don’t put off buying it. Although no one wants to think about and plan for his or her own death, you don’t want to make the mistake of waiting until it’s too late. I get it!  It’s like putting off going to the doctor only to see him or her in the emergency room. But, it doesn’t have to be that way. Let me help you take action that will support your family. Relying on someone who is an expert in life insurance policies and retirement planning can alleviate the fear-of-the-unknown. My consultation is always free: 1-833-313-7233.

March 26th, 2013 by

When it comes to saving and spending, the news is not good for women.

SaveUp.com, an online financial rewards program for saving and paying down debt, recently analyzed a representative sample of more than 20,000 of their users’ savings and debt balances. In their recent “U.S. Consumer Savings and Debt Report”, Saveup.com finds that the average man has more in their 401(k), IRA, and CDs. This report also noted that men are saving more money than women. More importantly, men are saving more aggressively to meet their retirement goals.

 Saveup.com Report Men Women
Avg. 401k $50,632 $39,320
Avg. IRA $8,456 $4,916
Avg. Certificate of Deposit $30,374 $7,459
Avg. Money Market
$11,157 $13,225

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: SaveUp.com

Why are men able to save more?

The simple answer is related to income disparity.  According to the American Council on Education, depending on their race and where they live, women make between $0.57 and $0.77 for every dollar men make. Thus, it is more difficult for women to save. In fact, their contributions to 401(k) and retirement contributions from their employer will be substantially lower through out their working careers.

Cost Of Living Expectation Is Lower for Women

Income disparity is not completely to blame. Women tend to have a lower expectation for the total cost of retirement living.  According to a 2010 Harris Interactive poll cited by Forbes, when women were asked to put a dollar figure on the amount they were trying to save for retirement, the median was $200,000 compared to the men’s median goal of $400,000.

Get Help From An Expert In Retirement Strategy

Women Retirement StrategyIt many seem unnecessary to get retirement strategy advice but its a vital part of planning for an adequate and successful retirement. My consultation is free. 1-833-313-7233. Let’s talk.
 

March 18th, 2013 by

It’s About A Retirement Strategy

A 401(k) plan is a self-directed, qualified retirement plan established by an employer to provide future retirement benefits for employees. Employee contributions are made on a pre-tax basis, and employer contributions are often tax deductible. If you have a Roth 401(k) option, contributions are made with after-tax dollars, but qualified distributions after age 59½ are free of federal income tax. To qualify for a tax-free distribution, the distribution must also satisfy the five-year holding rule.

If you elect to participate in a 401(k) plan, you can allocate a percentage of your salary to your plan every paycheck. The maximum annual contribution is $17,500 in 2013. If you will be 50 or older before the end of the tax year, you can contribute an additional $5,500. Contribution limits are indexed annually for inflation. The monies in your account will accumulate tax deferred until withdrawn, when they are taxed as ordinary income.
Reminders about your 401K planThe money in a 401(k) plan is portable. When you leave your job or retire, you can move your money or take a taxable distribution. However, if you leave a company before you are fully vested, you will be allowed to take only the monies that you contributed yourself plus any vested money, as well as any earnings that have accumulated on those contributions. Within certain limits, the money in your 401(k) plan can be rolled over directly to your new employer’s retirement plan without penalty. Alternatively, you can roll your money directly to an individual retirement account (IRA).

Generally, you must begin taking required minimum distributions from 401(k) plans no later than April 1 of the year after you reach age 70½. Distributions from regular 401(k) plans are taxed as ordinary income and may be subject to a 10% federal income tax penalty if withdrawn before age 59½, except in special circumstances such as disability or death.

A 401(k) plan can be a great way to save for retirement, especially if your employer offers matching contributions. If you are eligible to participate in a 401(k) plan, you should take advantage of the opportunity, even if you have to start by contributing a small percentage of your salary. This type of plan can form the basis for a sound retirement strategy to increase your nest egg.
Call The Host of Radio Show- CBS Sports Radio 1580AM, Freeman Owen JrI specialize in retirement planning strategies. Let me help you determine the best way to plan for retirement and keep your money safe so you can enjoy the retirement lifestyle you always dreamed about. My consultation is free so call 833-313-7233.

March 14, 2013
March 14th, 2013 by

The beginning of the year is a good time to review your beneficiary designations to make sure they reflect your current wishes.

This is especially important if there have been changes in your life, such as the birth of a child or grandchild, a death in the family, a divorce, or a remarriage. But even if your family situation remains the same, it’s a good idea to review whether you have completed and updated all appropriate beneficiary forms.

heirs to your accountA will is an essential legal document for naming beneficiaries, not only for finances but also for personal items. A trust may also be helpful in some situations. However, the money in most retirement accounts and life insurance policies convey directly to the people named on the beneficiary forms — even if they are different from the people named in your will or a trust — and do not go through the probate process.

Fortunately, it’s fairly easy to designate or change your account beneficiaries. Unlike wills and trusts, which can be expensive to update, you can simply file a new beneficiary designation form with the appropriate insurance company.

Here are some issues to consider as you review your beneficiary designations.

  • Your current spouse must be the beneficiary of an employer-sponsored retirement plan unless he or she waives that right in writing. Without a waiver, this could mean that any children from a previous marriage would not receive any account proceeds.
  • Designate secondary or contingent beneficiaries in the event that the primary beneficiaries predecease you. Otherwise, proceeds would be distributed according to the default method specified in the account documents and/or state law.
  • Some insurance policies, pension plans, and retirement accounts may not pay death benefits to minors. If you want to leave money to young children, you should designate a guardian or a trust as beneficiary.

life_guide_inheritanceFree Resource Available
Check out my free life guide “Managing an Inheritance“.

Call me 1.833.313.7233 with any questions about your retirement planning strategy. As always, my consultation is free.

March 8th, 2013 by

A national study found that working longer help improve retirement readiness.

what is your retirement readiness?This may reflect the significance of higher Social Security benefits when claimed at a later age, a longer period in which to accumulate money and a potentially shorter retirement.

During the past two decades, ‘retirement readiness’ has become a common term in our vernacular. It was inspired by the imperative for Americans to take an even greater role in funding their retirement due to increases in life expectancies, questions about the future of Social Security, and the shift from traditional defined benefit pension plans to self-funded 401(k) and other defined contribution plans.

A myriad of characterizations of ‘retirement readiness’ have emerged, many that describe it as a gauge to determine whether a worker’s nest egg is adequate to retire at age 65 and generate sufficient income to last throughout his/her retirement years. Along the lines of these definitions, the 2012 Transamerica Survey found low levels of ‘retirement readiness’ among workers, and for many, collecting enough to retire by age 65 may be unrealistic.

  • Only 39 percent agreed that they are building a large enough nest egg (10 percent strongly agreed, 29 percent somewhat agreed)
  • 69 percent of workers agreed that they could work until age 65 and not save enough to meet their retirement needs (32 percent strongly agreed, 37 percent somewhat agreed)

The survey also found workers have already begun adjusting their expectations and the notion of retiring at age 65 has changed dramatically. Most workers plan to either work past age 65 and/or work part time in retirement. More than half (56 percent) plan to work past age 65 or do not plan to retire. And more than half (54 percent) plan to work after they retire.

Working longer and retiring at an older age is an effective way to alleviate nest egg shortfalls; however, few workers (20 percent) have a back up plan if they are forced into retirement sooner than expected due to life’s unforeseen circumstances.

Source” Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies, 2012

I specialize in retirement planning strategies.

Call The Host of Radio Show- CBS Sports Radio 1580AM, Freeman Owen Jr Let me help you determine the best way to plan for retirement and keep your money safe so you can enjoy the retirement lifestyle you always dreamed about.
My consultation is free so call 833-313-7233.