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Staggering Numbers Approach Retirement Feeling Unprepared

The past two to three years have marked a major shift in the way Americans approaching retirement view this “third act” of life.  Once regarded as “Golden Years” in which many of life’s dreams could finally come to fruition, retirement now signifies a time of anxiety, unrest and uncertainty for many.

Significant losses to 401(K)s and IRAs, a prolonged recession and continued volatility on the market have millions of Boomers wondering if the retirement they’ve always envisioned is really still within reach. In fact, a broadcast from ABC News recently revealed some staggering new statistics regarding retirement:

  • 44% of Baby Boomers surveyed aren’t sure they’ll have enough to retire
  • 60% of Boomers have lost significant value in their investments, homes and retirement plans in the last three years
  • 42% are delaying retirement
  • 25% feel they will not see the day they can retire
  • 64% of people see Social Security as the key part of their retirement safety net
  • Only 11% of people feel deeply confident that they can retire comfortably

Source: Associated Press – LifeGoesStrong.com Poll, http://work.lifegoesstrong.com/retirement-poll, April 5, 2011.

CLICK HERE to watch the actual broadcast (originally broadcast on April 5, 2011).

Where do you find yourself among those surveyed above?  Are you still right on track for each of your retirement goals, or will you have to delay them or settle for less than anticipated?  Are you really even sure?

Fortunately, despite a volatile economy and a number of factors which indicate that real recovery will be slow in the making, those looking for guarantees are not without hope.  In fact, one of the most frequently requested services we offer is the “insuring” of our clients’ retirement income through the use of guaranteed* financial products such as annuities.

What is an annuity?  It is an insurance product which can distribute income as part of an overall retirement strategy. Annuities have become a very popular choice for individuals who want to receive a steady, predictable, guaranteed income stream throughout retirement. Here’s a general description of how an annuity works: you deposit a sum of money into the product, and it then makes payments to you on a future date or series of dates. The income you receive from an annuity can be paid out to you monthly, quarterly, annually or, in some cases, even in a lump sum payment. You have several payment options including (but not limited to) receiving payments for a set number of years for the rest of your life.  This latter option has made these products incredibly popular, as life expectancies continually increase, the prevalence of employer-sponsored pensions decrease and the future of Social Security becomes increasingly uncertain.

(CLICK HERE for a look at commentary from President Obama himself on the value of annuities, published in the New York times in January of 2010.)

Translation? With a true financial professional at your side helping you navigate the road to and through retirement, the future doesn’t have to be uncertain.  The dreams you’ve envisioned don’t inherently have to wait, be “down-sized” or abandoned altogether.  If you’d like to see where you currently stand and ensure you’re making the best possible moves for your financial future, just give us a call today!

* Guarantees subject to the financial strength and claims paying ability of the issuing insurer.

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Does Your Life Insurance Policy Still Pass the Test?

When it comes to life insurance, there’s a common saying: “The best kind of policy is the one that’s in place when you need it.” While there’s no question that some form of coverage is always better than none, there’s still a very important difference between having coverage and having the right coverage.

A simple policy review can help determine whether you have the right coverage in place or give you the chance to make any necessary adjustments.  Why is this so critical?  Because your needs are constantly evolving. Such is life, right?  Those pants from a few years ago may now be fitting a little snug.  That motorcycle which seemed like a great idea at 21 isn’t quite as practical at 30. Situations change, and those who take a “set it and forget it” approach to life insurance coverage may very well find that their intentions aren’t carried out as effectively or efficiently as they’d hoped them to be.

Will I have to buy more coverage?
A policy review isn’t an automatic precursor to purchasing additional coverage. There are actually several different possible outcomes. Depending on your present needs, you may find that:

• Your coverage effectively meets your goals
• Your coverage ineffectively meets your goals
• Your coverage exceeds your current needs
• Your coverage does not meet your current objectives

(Unsure of your current life insurance needs?  CLICK HERE for a “Life Insurance Reality Check” from www.lifehappens.org to help calculate coverage!)

What are common reasons for a policy review?
• It’s been 2 years or longer since a financial professional reviewed your coverage with you
• You want to make sure your immediately family is still adequately protected
• Your health has changed – either for the better or worse
• You have paid off major expenses which you were previously insuring with your life policy (Ex. Mortgage, children’s college education, etc.)
• You’re curious as to whether or not you can find more affordable coverage
• You’d like to explore a term vs. permanent life insurance comparison
• You’d like to learn more about possibly converting your  existing term life insurance policy into a permanent one

What’s covered in a typical policy review?
A thorough policy review will examine any relevant changes in your life, your current life expectancy, any applicable economic factors or conditions and recent changes or developments in new life insurance solutions. We offer complimentary policy reviews to help ensure the coverage you initially put in place continues to meet your needs into the future.  We’ll look at questions such as:

• Would your current death benefit cover today’s estimated estate settlement costs?
• Could your current goals be met more economically with different coverage?
• Is you’re current ownership structure of your policy as tax-efficient as possible?
• Are your beneficiary designations still current?
• Are there new product options or riders that may better suit your needs?
• If applicable, is the cash value in your policy capable of sustaining your coverage?

Some individuals may feel their life insurance is something they could easily monitor themselves.  However, mistakes here can be very costly. We encourage you to take advantage of a free policy review in which we can quickly uncover the factors that need to be analyzed, facilitate any necessary changes, offer our expertise and keep you abreast of any new products or solutions available. To schedule this complimentary review, simply contact us today!