Right on the Money

Retirement Planning Converts What-if’s into Should-do’s

Foundational data and counsel can turn common questions into answers and direction. Retirement planning is filled with variables and uncertainties. Skilled professionals can identify gaps between income and expenses, and use financial modeling to cite potential solutions. As much as we like the predictable, retirement can be a mix of variables and uncertainties including income, assets, expenses, and longevity. Financial advisers often state that more than 90% of aspiring or current retirees lack either a retirement plan or a working knowledge of financial basics including budgeting. Getting answers to common questions or help from a qualified professional is often...

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Foresight Beats Hindsight for Today’s Accountants

Today’s clients value knowing what should be done instead of what should’ve been done. Accountants’ roles are evolving from reviewer to adviser. Clients can leverage their accountant’s expertise beyond tax preparation to include the bigger picture of retirement. Third-party oversight can be highly beneficial to families. Although the traditional accountant/client relationship has been all about the box – a shoebox, a fill-in-the-tax-form box, or a taxpayer’s mailbox, to name a few – changing times are signaling new and out-of-the-box roles for today’s accountants. No longer content with tax preparation that focuses on the past, consumers – and especially those...

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Annuities Lead the Pursuit to Predictable Income

Bonds’ low returns and risks of rising rates have investors seeking shelter. High concentrations in low-return bond allocations can spell portfolio stagnation. Retirees now realize that the traditional 4% safe withdrawal rate is less than 3%. Annuities offer relief, but the value of income riders as a defense against inflation is questioned. Pressure to both preserve principal and generate income have retirees in a quandary. Having spent their portfolio accumulation years under the assumption that bonds were a safe option that could provide a 6% – 8% annual return, many are experiencing closer to 2%. These retirees have neither...

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Portfolios’ Diversity Helps Resist Financial Adversity

Diversification blends holdings, asset types and risk tolerance. A portfolio’s variety of holdings may not make it diverse. Multiple holdings within a similar sector can create an imbalance susceptible to declines in value. True diversification is characterized by a combination of holdings and asset types across sectors and industries, within one’s risk tolerance. While cultural diversity is a popular topic today, retirement advisers have been advocating financial diversity for generations. In the financial and retirement planning industry, diversification goes beyond the age-old adage of not having all your eggs in one basket; it means decoupling the types of assets...

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Market Frustrations Inspire Being Your Own Bank

Safe-money alternatives put savers in a position to capitalize. Investors are increasingly recognizing the benefits of ready cash sources over hoped-for market gains. Almost ironically, cash value life insurance policies are being purchased to benefit the living, and not create legacy rewards. Just as they might customize their home or wardrobe, investors are creating personalized and private banking systems to meet their unique needs. Increasingly, they’re forsaking the risks and low-or-no returns of traditional stocks and bonds, and are instead accumulating cash value that can both grow and remain accessible through an insurance policy. Nearly a misnomer, cash value...

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