Freeman's Blog


July 30th, 2014 by

Making a million retirement dollars last

The road to a comfortable retirement is full of risks and they don’t end when you stop working. In addition to longevity risk (the risk that you could outlive your retirement dollars), here are four additional risks that remind us the importance of early retirement planning:


The inflation rate has been relatively low over the last five years, averaging about 2.25% per year. But even that level can eat into the purchasing power of your retirement dollars. And long-term inflation trends have been higher, averaging 2.85% annually over the last 30 years.1

Unexpected Events:

A recent survey of Americans aged 50 to 70 found that the average respondent had experienced four “derailers” that temporarily knocked them off track in saving for retirement, with an average loss of $117,0002. This may sound daunting, but setbacks for your long term goals can be mitigated by maintaining an emergency savings fund.

Social Security:

According to the 2013 Annual Report of the Board of Trustees, Social Security benefits should be fully funded at current levels until 2033, when the trust funds may be exhausted. After that, payroll taxes would be able to fund only about 77% of scheduled benefits.Depending on your age, you might need to scale back your expectations for Social Security as a major source of retirement income.


The most complex challenge could be sequencing risk, which refers to the timing of unfavorable portfolio growth, especially in the early retirement years. This could result from adverse financial conditions and/or an inappropriate withdrawal strategy.

Each of these risks presents its own challenges and potential solutions. But, you may benefit from professional help in analyzing and addressing these risks as they apply to your own situation. Don’t try to plan for retirement on your own.

1) Thomson Reuters, 2013, Consumer Price Index for the period 12/31/1983 to 9/30/2013
2), June 26, 2013
3) Social Security Administration, 2013

Freeman Owen, Jr - Host of "Safe Money Talk" on CBS Radio The Big Talker 1580AM For better money management and to plan more effectively for your retirement, contact me for a free consultation.
Toll Free: 1-833-313-7233 | MD, VA & DC. 
July 8th, 2014 by

Beneficiary Designation

Some people may not be aware that the money in most bank accounts, retirement plans, and insurance policies convey directly to the people named on the beneficiary forms, even if they are different from the people named in their wills or trusts. Others simply forget to make the appropriate changes in writing. If your beneficiary forms are out of date — and your intentions somehow become a matter of dispute — state and/or federal laws or the administrator’s plan documents could ultimately determine who receives your monies.

Make It An Annual Task

It’s generally a good idea to review your beneficiary designations annually, and to make adjustments when there are changes in your life that could affect your choices, such as the birth of a child, the illness or death of a family member, marriage, divorce, and especially remarriage.

Is It Easy To Do?

It’s fairly easy to update your beneficiaries. You can simply file a new beneficiary designation form with the appropriate financial institution or insurance company. Here are a few other things to consider when naming new beneficiaries.

  • Many laws favor spouses, so be careful when you intend to name someone other than your spouse as a beneficiary.
  • Don’t name minor-age children without making arrangements for a guardian or trustee to control the monies until the beneficiary is old enough to manage them.
  • Request an acknowledged copy of each new or updated beneficiary form from the financial institution (or print a copy if filed electronically) and store them with your other important documents.
LIKE us on FacebookLicensed MD, VA & DC.Tel: 1-833-313-7233 If you have a retirement money question, post your questions on our Facebook page or email and we will strive to answer as many of your questions as possible. Freeman offers no-obligation, free consultations in his Maryland office to help retirees and pre-retirees make the most of their retirement nest egg.
July 1st, 2014 by

Mothers Retirement Planning

Talking About Your Estate

Many families don’t want to talk about sensitive subjects like inheritances, estate planning and final preparations on how monies will be divided upon their passing. However, giving clear directions to your family regarding your late retirement years and monies from your estate are key factors that will ensure your legacy will live on.

How Long Will It Take For Inheritance To Be Portioned Out?

Probate courts are notorious for taking 9 months to 2 years to process an estate. In addition, they take the first 6%-10% in fees,then payout all creditors or liens and attorney fees. After your estate has paid its taxes, creditors and fees, only then will your loved ones be able to claim their inheritance.

Can You Avoid Probate?

There are some ways to avoid your estate going through the probate process.

  1. Retain an estate attorney who can administer a living will or living trust.
  2. Opt for financial products, like life insurance, that are used as a tax- free death benefit to pay for probate or estate taxes.
  3. Opt for additional financial products, like a fixed index annuity with a properly designated beneficiary, that can benefit your loved ones directly because you have a contractual agreement with a large insurance company.
Freeman Owen, Jr - Host of "Safe Money Talk" on CBS Radio The Big Talker 1580AM For better money management and to plan more effectively for your retirement, download my free LIFE GUIDES- Managing an Inheritance.  Toll Free: 1-833-313-7233 | MD, VA & DC.