Annuities: Buyer Beware

Annuities: Buyer Beware

When investors fear a market down-turn, some are tempted to seek shelter for their retirement funds in annuity contracts. An annuity is an insurance product that pays you a fixed monthly income for life. Annuities come in huge variety, due to different features, interest rate determinants, payout schedules and contract specifications. Even considering only the best of this group, investors usually are better off with a properly managed investment portfolio than through an annuity.

4 Numbers to Remember About Retirement Planning

Creating a well-rounded financial portfolio is an important step in securing income during retirement. Understanding your specific financial situation, and how your financial numbers relate to your goals, is the first step in crafting an appropriate plan for retirement.

In today’s post we’re highlighting four important numbers to remember about retirement planning. While there are many uncertainties involved in making future projections these key figures can serve as a valuable guide in helping you plan for your future.

How fee-only financial advisors differ from commission-based advisors

How fee-only financial advisors differ from commission-based advisors

Understanding the fee structure of your financial advisor is a key step to ensuring your financial interests are being met. It’s important to note that financial advisors operate under various fee structures, including fee-only and commission-based, and each structure offers different incentives to advisors and to clients. Having a firm grasp on your financial advisor’s method of compensation helps you understand the full picture of how your investments are being managed.

Are You On Track to Save What You’ll Need for Retirement?

This single question may be the most common question people ask financial advisors. The answer though is a largely personal one; dependent on your age, income level, and lifestyle during retirement. According to JPMorgan Asset Management’s 2016 Guide to Retirement, someone age 45 with an annual household income of $100,000 should currently have savings equal to 3.4x his or her salary. Someone age 60 bringing in the same amount of income should have 7.3x that amount in savings.  Another way to look at it is every $1,000,000 in invested retirement savings provides between $40,000 to $50,000 (adjusting for inflation) in income per year during retirement.  These numbers can seem daunting, especially considering the variability of markets and policies regarding taxation, savings, and benefits that is largely outside an investor’s control.