Articles

We've included a bunch of useful articles that we think will help answer any questions you might have about your retirement needs. Simply click "read more" links below to download the entire article.


Bonus annuities bust capital gains crunch from Taxmageddon

The annual super-duper investment strategies are enveloping the covers of annual forecast issues of hot places to put your money, like Kiplingers, Forbes and Fortune. Is there an editorial bias against the use of indexed annuities as a viable savings strategy for volatility-plagued investors?
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Is There a Reckoning Coming Thanks to Quantitative Easing?

Federal Reserve rune reading is serious business for a lot of big name investors. So I was interested to note that yesterday, when the minutes of the last Federal Reserve meeting held on October 23 and 24 came out, it pointed to yet more money injections into the economy, as part of a process that’s known as “quantitative easing.” QE has made anyone who owns stocks richer in the last year, buoying the market and helping hike up consumer confidence.
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Holiday wish list: casino annuity?

On Thanksgiving evening after the children and grandchildren had gone home, my wife and I were nestled by the fireplace when she presented me with her wish list. I unfolded the list and noticed the top line of the long list: casino annuity.
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What do Bernie Madoff and Glenn Neasham have in common?

The Neasham case has provided the opportunity and the platform for articles, blogs, and expressed comments biased in nature to the cause and/or the mission of the authors to their own good and certainly this article is no exception.
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Why Annuities Are Now Cool

Large broker-dealers and wirehouses are tuning into income annuities, to the point that they are asking for support and information about the products, according to Gary Baker, president of CANNEX USA.
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Why Annuities are the Answer (But Such a Tough Sell)

The decline of traditional pensions and steady erosion of Social Security benefits has begun to leave most retirees without a source of guaranteed lifetime income. Plugging that hole is emerging as the most important retirement issue of our day.
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Hidden 401(k) Fees: The Great Retirement Plan Rip-Off

You've been advised to save for retirement using your company's 401(k) plan.
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The financial crisis: a debt bubble

My point is that we have not learned any lessons. Right now we are in a debt bubble.
The problem with bubbles is that when you are in one, you can’t see it. It’s easy to look back on the housing bubble and say, “How did we not realize it? It is so obvious now.”
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Why the Bond Market Could Be in for a Bruising

Generals are always preparing to fight the last war, the old saw goes. Likewise, investors often try to avoid the last bubble -- leading to similarly dismal results.
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Locking In Income for a Lifetime

To reduce that risk, the Obama administration wants to prod workers into investing in lifetime-income products such as annuities, insurance contracts that function like pensions by paying a guaranteed monthly income in return for a big chunk of cash upfront.
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3 Social Security Shockers From the CBO's Latest Report

On Tuesday, The Congressional Budget Office updated its annual projections on the health of Social Security and its Trust Funds. In essence, if you're still working and you're depending on that program to cover your retirement -- you'll be in for a shock. Or three.
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Ameriprise sued by employees over excessive 401(k) costs

This is so crazy, it couldn’t be made up.
Ameriprise is one of my least favorite financial services firms in the industry. It’s the poster child for the types of firms that drove me to write a book about bad advisors and how to avoid them.
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Bond Market Crash: Is Disaster Ahead for the 'Safe' Part of Your Portfolio?

Just when you've finally gotten over the stock market crash from four years ago, there's a new threat that could potentially hit your portfolio. Even worse, it's in an area that many people think of as being safer than stocks: the bond market.
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How Unwary Grandparents Can Wreck Your College Financial Aid

Thanks to the ever-rising cost of a college education and the stagnation of middle class incomes, fewer and fewer cash-strapped parents are able to shoulder the burden of college costs all by themselves. Often, that's where generous relatives come in.
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Lies, damned lies and investment illustrations

Savings. Your clients want it. One of the best ways for them to get it is to invest in good companies and ride the returns to financial freedom. There's just one small problem: Your clients need to predict something that's not easily predictable. Oh, of course we come up with a mountain of data, Monte Carlo simulators and hypothetical formulas that attempt to give us a glimpse of the future, but those forecasts often fall far short of what we hoped. Evidence?
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Wharton School of Business Real World Index Annuity Returns Analysis

Financial advisors and financial planners have sought various programs to provide clients protection from systematic risk, also known as market risk. Various asset allocation strategies have been used with limited success when extreme market movements and "black swans" occur. It has been known for close to 50 years that equity market returns do not conform to a Guassian, or Normal distribution.

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How Much Do I Need to Save?

Many Americans realize the importance of saving for retirement, but knowing exactly how much they need to save is another issue altogether. With all the information available about retirement, it is sometimes difficult to decipher what is appropriate for your specific situation.

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A New Chapter for Retirement?

John F. Kennedy once said, "Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future." This is certainly true of preparing for retirement. If we continue to expect that the ways of the past will see us through to our futures, we will be left behind. The methods that helped prepare us for retirement are quickly disappearing, and we must start using others

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What is a SIMPLE?

There are many types of employer-sponsored retirement plans. One that may appeal to small businesses and to self-employed individuals is the savings incentive match plan for employees of small employers (SIMPLE) because, as the name implies, it is easy to set up and administer, and employers are allowed to take a tax deduction for the contributions that are made.

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What is a Stretch IRA?

Finding a method to leave a lasting legacy to your loved ones without increasing their tax burdens can be difficult and complicated. A "stretch" IRA may be a useful approach that can benefit your heirs for generations to come.

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What is an IRA Rollover?

If you leave a job or retire, you might want to transfer the money you've invested in one or more employer-sponsored retirement plans to an individual retirement account (IRA). An IRA rollover is an effective way to keep your money accumulating tax deferred.

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What is a Roth IRA?

The arena of employer-sponsored retirement plans has been dominated by 401(k) plans that are funded by pre-tax contributions, which effectively defers taxes until distributions begin. However, the recently created Roth 401(k) is funded with after-tax money just like a Roth IRA, allowing retirees to enjoy qualified tax-free distributions once they reach age 59½ and have held their accounts for at least five years.

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Why Do People Buy Annuities?

There are a number of reasons why people buy annuities. This insurance-based financial vehicle can provide many benefits that retirement investors might want.

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Split Annuity Strategy

A split-annuity strategy involves purchasing two types of annuity contracts: immediate and deferred. The immediate annuity would provide a current income stream during the early years of retirement, and the deferred annuity would have the potential to provide a future income stream.

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Annuity Living Benefits

Many variable annuity contracts offer "living benefit" guarantees. For an additional cost, these living benefits can help protect variable annuity owners from market volatility or running out of money in retirement.

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