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July 26th, 2013 by

Faced with fixed pensions, rising medical expenses, limited Social Security benefits, and longer life spans, an increasing number of retirees are actually being forced to lower their standards of living.

playing-with-grandson
Reverse mortgages effectively allow you to annuitize your house. You may decide to receive a fixed monthly payment for the rest of your life which is tax-free because it comes in the form of a loan. You don’t even have the worry of repaying the money because it is only due upon the death of the surviving spouse with the sale of your property.

Reverse Mortgage Things To Note:
1. Owners generally must occupy the home as their principal residence (where they live the majority of the year). All borrowers must be at least 62 years of age.

2. The monthly payment you receive is computed using standard annuity methods that take into account your age and life expectancy. In addition, the current and projected future value of your property and the amount of equity in your house that you wish to assign to the loan company are considered.For example, you may choose to take the loan against only 50 percent of the equity stake in your house. This would obviously cause a reduction in the size of your monthly check.

3. All reverse mortgages turn your home into three things: loan advances paid to you; loan costs paid to the lender and others; and leftover equity, if any, paid to you or your heirs at the end of the loan. If property prices decline after you take out the loan, it will not affect the remainder of your estate. In such circumstances, the lending company bears the loss. This is similar to a traditional annuity in which the insurance company bears the loss of continuing annuity payments in the event that you live past your life expectancy.

4. You do need to exercise some caution before undertaking a reverse mortgage. As you continue to own your home, you are still responsible for property taxes, insurance, and repairs. There are costs associated with a reverse mortgage that can include an application fee, closing costs, and a monthly servicing fee. The federally insured Home Equity Conversion Mortgage is generally less expensive than other private-sector reverse mortgages.

Before making any major decisions, opt to consult with a retirement specialist.
My consultation is free: 833-313-7233

July 25th, 2013 by

Baby boomers are easing into retirement, but some may find their golden years are haunted by student loan debt that could follow them until they die.

It’s not their children’s debt, however. It’s their own. Many boomers returned to graduate school during the recession to bolster their skills, reports the Chronicle of Higher Education. Student loan debt is actually growing fastest among people over 60, the report notes. More than 2 million Americans over 60 owe student loan debt, with the average balance standing at about $19,500, up from just under $11,000 in 2005, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

life_guide_retirementIn all, that amounts to $44 billion in student loan debt carried by people who often qualify for senior discounts. Older students have seen their debt loads mushroom not only because of rising tuition, but because they often take more time to complete a degree while juggling full-time jobs and family life. The bottom line, financial expert Mark Kantrowitz tells the publication, is that older students should avoid debt. “They should not borrow more than they can afford to repay in 10 years or by the time they retire, whichever comes first,” he said.

Source: msnmoney.com | april 16, 2013 | http://money.msn.com/now/post.aspx?post=6fe668fd-0119-4caa-8f4e-661a9da41a58

Retirement Readiness

Call Freeman Owen Jr For Retirement PlanningRetirement readiness is different for everyone. How ready are you to retire? Get my free resource “Thinking of Retirement” to determine your retirement readiness.

 

And, if you need expert retirement advice, call me for a free consultation toll free at 833-313-7233.

July 24, 2013
July 24th, 2013 by

retirement-planThirty-eight percent of Americans lack confidence that they will have enough income and assets for a comfortable retirement.¹

Fortunately, there are a variety of tax-advantaged vehicles to help you save for retirement, but many of them — including IRAs and employer-sponsored plans such as 401(k) plans — have annual contribution limits that may be too low to meet the needs of some savers.

One way to contribute more toward your retirement savings is through an annuity, an insurance-based contract that can be used to provide future income. Annuities may be funded with a lump sum or a series of premium payments. Although an annuity is typically purchased with after-tax dollars, any annuity earnings would be tax deferred until withdrawn, subject to certain limitations.

Remember that early withdrawals prior to age 59½ may be subject to a 10% federal income tax penalty. Surrender charges may apply if the annuity is surrendered during the early years of the contract. Any annuity guarantees are contingent on the claims-paying ability of the issuing company.

Source: 1) Journal of Financial Planning, December 2012 and January 2013

Planning Ahead For Retirement

When you know more, you have more options when it comes to retirement planning. Contact a retirement professional to obtain the knowledge you need to make the best decisions for your retirement nest egg.
My consultation is free. Call Toll Free: 833-313-7233.

July 21st, 2013 by

According to a recent AARP survey, approximately 72 percent of not-retired baby boomers expect to be forced to delay retirement due to a financial roadblock—and half have little confidence they will ever be able to retire.1

retirement-planning-together
Regardless of what demographic you may find yourself in before retirement, you may be feeling anxious about retirement. Yes, you might feel like you should have more money saved already and you worry about being able to work longer in order to “have more put away”. Other times, if you financial house is in order, the anxiety can stem from the uncertainty of unscheduled time, losing long-time office friendships and the fear of boredom.

So, here are a few tips to help you overcome the Pre-Retirement Jitters:

1) Plan Ahead Financially
Planning for your nest egg can be a procrastinated effort. Therefore, I always counsel that starting to focus on retirement planning early will decrease the amount of anxiety you feel the closer to get to retirement. The closer you are to retirement, the more likely you are going to need a professional to help you navigate how to wisely make decisions about your money. I specialize in retirement planning strategies, so I’m the kind of person you should be talking with.

2) Redefine Yourself
Retirement years are for giving yourself permission to slow down a little, create your own schedule and pursue your dreams. Redefine retirement as a time of opportunities rather than an end to decades of a work career. Redefine your goals and interests to be outside of your long-term occupation or industry.

3) Stimulate Yourself
Make it a habit to apply yourself in areas that stimulate your mind and body. Pursue a sport you have always wanted to do, but didn’t have the time for. Join a club that has social dinners and game nights. Try learning a new language and make it a goal to volunteer in a non-profit organization in a different country. Before starting retirement, find things that you enjoy outside of work.

4) Rekindle With Your Spouse
In the twilight years, it is ultra important to rekindle your relationship with your spouse. Having a partner by your side, who supports and encourages you while you pursue your goals, can add years of health and stability to your retirement years. I recommend scheduling “date nights” or short get-a-ways on a regular basis to ensure there is separation between the day-to-day and having something to look forward to.

Don’t be forced to navigate retirement planning by yourself.

Contact me for a free consultation.
Toll Free 1-833-313-7233.

Source: 1. US News Money 2/22/13 http://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/articles/2013/02/22/cures-for-pre-retirement-anxiety