If you are cringing every time you open your bills every single month, well, you’re definitely not alone. According to a new report from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Americans’ debt level has hit a new record high. Total U.S. household debt has hit nearly $13 trillion in the most recent quarter. That is up over $500 billion over the same time last year. Well, that study also found that the average American is about $37,000 in debt. So 1 in 10 Americans are more than $100,000 in debt, and that’s not even including your mortgage. Credit card debt is also at a record high. According to the Federal Reserve, U.S. households collectedly have more than $1 trillion in credit card debt. Read More
A question we hear quite often is, “What is a fixed index annuity?” It’s a very valid question because fixed index annuities are unique among the various types of annuities and are a little hard to understand. So to answer the question, we’ll throw in a little history, give you the formal definition, elaborate on how to use them to build your retirement savings, and explain how they offer guaranteed income for life. Let’s get started.
Annuities have been around for a long, long time, dating at least back to the Roman Empire. Around A.D. 225, Romans used an “annua” to pay their soldiers. Annua were lifetime stipends paid once per year instead of paying soldiers a lump-sum at the time of their retirement. “Annua” is a Latin word which means “annual payments.”
The fixed index annuity, however, is a much more recent invention. Read More
Do you have a retirement planning checklist that is up-to-date? Unfortunately, most people don’t, and what’s worse, they don’t even have a retirement plan in the first place. Here is our 7-point retirement planning checklist: Read More
Over the past several years we have seen the stock market go pretty much all over the map…everywhere from 50% downturns to record highs…and everywhere in between. And who knows where it’s going to go next?! Read More
As we continue our series on retirement annuities, we will now explore another crediting method which is called monthly point to point, also known as monthly average crediting.
As a reminder, there are three types of market index crediting methods used in Fixed Index Annuities – Point to Point, Monthly Sum, and Monthly Average. Your contract may have variations of one, or all three available for you to choose from.
In monthly average crediting, the insurance company records the value of the index you’ve chosen to track once each month. This snapshot of the index is taken on the day-of-the-month your contract was issued. At the end of the contract year, they take an average of the monthly values, and then compare it against the index’s value seen at the beginning of the contract year. Read More
If you are like most investors, your retirement portfolio suffered big losses during the market crashes of 2000 and 2008, and you are looking for a solution that will help you avoid ever losing money like that again.
Stock market volatility drove investors to seek safety in principal protected investments. One of the most popular principal protected investments is the fixed index annuity. Read More
When planning for retirement, there are ages, or birthdays, that matter more than others and can make or break your portfolio. This is because of IRS rules and penalties like contribution limits, early withdrawal penalties, and eligibility ages, just to name a few of the items among the cumbersome and extensive Title 26 of the United States Code, commonly known as the Tax Code.
The retirement planning ages that you really need to be aware of are 50, 59-1/2, 62 + one month, 65, 66 or 67, 70, and 70-1/2. If you incorporate these ages into your retirement plans, it could substantially help increase your nest egg as well as your retirement income in your golden years. Read More