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Posts Tagged ‘Retirement Income Planning’

How Retirement Has Changed Over the Last 30 Years

Not Your Parents’ Retirement

The world has changed significantly in the past few decades. Thirty years ago, there weren’t cell phones. Computers weren’t widely owned. There was no Uber or Airbnb. Social media was unheard of and virtual reality was the stuff of science fiction.

The world changes quickly, and not just in terms of technology. Retirement has changed significantly in the past few decades as well. The next generation of retirees will face challenges that previous generations didn’t face.

The good news is that you can overcome these potential challenges if you plan ahead. Below are a few ways in which retirement has changed over time. Do you have a strategy to address these challenges? If not, now may be the time to develop one. A financial professional can help you get started.



People are living longer than ever. Usually, that’s a good thing, but a long lifespan can create financial challenges. According to the Society of Actuaries, today’s retirees can plan on a long lifespan. They estimate that a 65-year-old couple has a 50 percent chance of one spouse living to age 94 and a 25 percent chance of one spouse living to 98.1

If you retire in your mid-60s, there’s a chance your retirement could last 30 years. That means you’ll need your assets and your income to last that long. That could be difficult, especially if you overspend in the early years of retirement.

Income Sources


There was a time when retirees could count on income from Social Security and an employer defined benefit pension to fund their retirement. Those days are long gone. Defined benefit pensions are quickly disappearing from employer benefit options. In fact, the percentage of Fortune 500 companies that offer defined benefit pensions has dropped from 59 percent in 1998 to 16 percent in 2017.2

While you can likely count on Social Security income, it may not be enough to fund a full retirement. That means you may need to take withdrawals from your savings and investments to generate income. You’ll likely need an income strategy to make sure you savings lasts through a long, fulfilling retirement.

Health Care


Health care costs have risen dramatically in recent decades. Medicare helps cover some of those costs, but it doesn’t cover everything. In fact, Fidelity estimates that the average retiree will spend $285,000 out-of-pocket on healthcare.3 That figure is above and beyond what is covered by Medicare, and includes things like premiums, deductibles, copays and more.

How do you plan for high out-of-pocket healthcare costs? One effective strategy is to budget for them. You also may want to consider an investment strategy that generates enough income to cover potential health care costs.



Retirement income. Healthcare costs. Budgeting. Longevity. How do you plan a retirement strategy that considers all these potential challenges and more? For many retirees, the complexity of managing these issues is the real challenge.

Fortunately, you can address retirement issues head-on by developing a personalized retirement income plan. A retirement plan can help you project your income, budget your spending, and make sure that your assets last as long as you need them to.

Ready to plan for a 21st-century retirement? Let’s talk about it. Contact us today at Retirement Peace Project. We can help you analyze your needs and implement a plan. Let’s connect soon and start the conversation.


Licensed Insurance Professional. This information is designed to provide a general overview with regard to the subject matter covered and is not state specific. The authors, publisher and host are not providing legal, accounting or specific advice for your situation. By providing your information, you give consent to be contacted about the possible sale of an insurance or annuity product. This information has been provided by a Licensed Insurance Professional and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting insurance professional. The statements and opinions expressed are those of the author and are subject to change at any time. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however, presenting insurance professional makes no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. This material has been prepared for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide, and should not be relied upon for, accounting, legal, tax or investment advice. This information has been provided by a Licensed Insurance Professional and is not sponsored or endorsed by the Social Security Administration or any government agency.

19094 – 2019/8/1

Do NCAA Tournament Winners Predict Market Returns?

If you’re a college basketball fan, this is your favorite time of year.


March Madness is in full swing. That means a full schedule of games every weekend, buzzer-beating finishes and unbelievable upsets. If you’re like many fans, your bracket is already a mess.


It’s nearly impossible to predict the outcome of the NCAA Tournament. According to a Duke University professor, the odds of predicting a perfect bracket are 1 in 2.4 trillion.1 Even getting the Final Four correct can be difficult: In last year’s Capital One Bracket Challenge, only 54 entries had the Final Four teams correct.2


It may also feel like it’s impossible to predict the movement of the financial markets. The major indexes can swing in any direction on any given day, influenced by an infinite number of events and updates from around the world. In the short term, it’s virtually impossible to predict where the markets are headed.


But can you use the winner of the NCAA Tournament to make a market prediction? Researchers from Schaeffer’s Investment Research recently studied S&P 500 index returns from April to December along with past NCAA Tournament champions to see if there’s any correlation between the two.


The research found that the market has consistently had positive annual returns when the NCAA Tournament champion has come from the Southeastern Conference (SEC). That’s happened 11 times. The S&P 500 has gone on to have a positive return the rest of the year in each of those instances. The median return from April to December when the champion is an SEC team is 9.56 percent.3


The market has also had positive returns at least 75 percent of the time when the champion has come from the ACC, Pac-12 or Big East. The ACC and Pac-12 have produced the most champions, with each conference winning 16 times. During years in which the ACC has won, the market had a positive return 75 percent of the time, with a median return of 9.59 percent. When the Pac-12 wins, the market has been positive 88 percent of the time, with a median return of 8.91 percent.3


When does the S&P 500 have a negative return from April to December? When the NCAA Tournament winner comes from the Big Ten Conference. In those years, the market has been positive only 36 percent of the time, with a median return of -4.76 percent.3


Coincidence Isn’t the Same Thing as Correlation


Of course, just because these patterns exist doesn’t mean there’s an actual correlation between the tournament winner and the returns of the market. There’s no factor tying the championship outcome to the S&P 500, so these patterns are entirely coincidental. They shouldn’t be used to try to make any kind of market predictions.


If you want to stabilize your investment performance and reduce volatility, there are other steps you can take besides relying on the outcome of a basketball tournament. Below are a few steps to consider:


Review your allocation. As you get older and approach retirement, it’s natural to become less tolerant of risk. You may not be able to stomach the ups and downs of the market like you used to. That’s understandable. After all, you’ll need to rely on those savings for income in the near future.


Now could be a good time to review your allocation with your financial professional. It’s possible that your current allocation isn’t right for your goals, needs and risk tolerance.


Rebalance. The market moves up and down, but not all asset classes move in the same direction at the same time. As some asset classes increase in value, others decline. That means your actual allocation is always in a state of flux. Over time, it may become far different than your desired allocation.


It’s helpful to regularly rebalance your portfolio so it always adjusts back to your target allocation. When you rebalance, you sell some of the assets that have increased in value and buy those that have declined. That can help you lock in gains and stay aligned with your desired strategy.


Use an annuity. An annuity can be an effective tool to potentially increase your assets but also limit downside risk. For example, a fixed indexed annuity pays an interest rate based on the performance of an index, like the S&P 500. The better the index performs over a defined period, the higher your rate. If it performs poorly, you may get little or no interest.


In a fixed indexed annuity, however, your principal is guaranteed*. There’s no risk of loss due to market performance. That means you get upside potential without the volatility.


Contact us today at Retirement Peace Project to learn more.






*Guarantees, including optional benefits, are backed by the claims-paying ability of the issuer, and may contain limitations, including surrender charges, which may affect policy values.


18583 – 2019/2/27

4 Tax Tips to Consider for 2019

The deadline for filing your 2018 tax return is right around the corner. Have you filed your return yet? If so, were you satisfied with the outcome? Or were you surprised by how much you paid in taxes last year?

The recent tax law dramatically changed the tax code. For many Americans, the law means reduced taxes. If you don’t plan accordingly, however, it’s possible that you could owe money to the IRS after your filing. It’s also possible that you could pay more in taxes than necessary.

Now is a great time to review your strategy and identify action steps that could reduce your tax exposure. If you haven’t reviewed your financial plan recently, you may be missing out on a number of tax-efficient tools and products. Below are a few tips to consider as you review your taxes:

Review your deductions.


One of the biggest changes of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is the elimination and reduction of a wide range of deductions. Most itemized deductions were eliminated, including those for alimony payments and interest on many types of home equity loans. Caps were also implemented for state, local and property tax deductions. The law also eliminated personal exemptions.1

To make up for these changes, the law more than doubled the standard deduction.1 For many people, that means it will be more advantageous to take the standard deduction than to itemize deductions. If you’ve planned your spending based on the ability to itemize and deduct certain expenses, you may want to reconsider your strategy. Those deductions may no longer be allowed under the new law.

Check your withholding amount.


The law also reduced tax rates across the board and changed the income brackets for each rate level. As a result, many employers adjusted their withholding amounts. Not all did, however. And some may have adjusted their withholdings incorrectly.

In fact, according to a study from the Government Accountability Office, 30 million people, or just over 20 percent of taxpayers, are not withholding enough money from their paychecks to cover taxes.2 Are you part of that group? If you’re not sure, talk to your financial professional about whether you should increase your withholdings.

Maximize your tax-deferred savings.


Tax deferral is a great way to reduce current taxes and save for the future. In a tax-deferred account, you don’t pay taxes on growth in the current year as long as your money stays in the account. You may face taxes in the future when you take a distribution.

Many qualified retirement accounts, such as 401(k) plans and IRAs, offer tax-deferred growth. In 2019 you can contribute up to $19,000 to your 401(k), plus an additional $6,000 if you are age 50 or older. You can put as much as $6,000 into an IRA, or up to $7,000 if you’re 50 or older.3

Want more tax deferral beyond your 401(k) and IRA? Consider a deferred annuity. Annuities offer tax-deferred growth. They also offer a variety of ways to increase your assets. Some pay a fixed interest rate and have no downside risk. Others let you participate in the financial markets according to your risk tolerance and goals. A financial professional can help you find the right annuity for your strategy.

Develop sources of tax-efficient retirement income.


Taxes don’t stop when you quit working. If you’re approaching retirement, now may be the time to plan ahead and minimize your future tax exposure. You can take steps today to create tax-efficient income for your retirement.

For example, distributions from a Roth IRA are tax-free assuming you’re over age 59½. You may want to start contributing to a Roth or even consider converting your traditional IRA into a Roth.

You can also use a permanent life insurance policy as a source of tax-efficient income. You can withdraw your premiums from your life insurance cash value tax-free. Also, loans from life insurance policies are tax-free distributions. You may want to discuss with your financial professional how life insurance could reduce your future taxes in retirement.

Ready to take control of your tax strategy in 2019? Let’s talk about it. Contact us today at Retirement Peace Project.. We can help you analyze your needs and implement a plan. Let’s connect soon and start the conversation.






18582 – 2019/2/27