All About Retirement & Insurance

 
 

Will You Benefit Having An Annuity When You Retire?

Jeff Kennedy (ANNUITY.COM)
August 2022

“Annuities aren’t suitable for everyone.  But those looking for guaranteed lifetime income without market risk might want to consider them.”- Jeff Kennedy

Annuities are the only financial vehicle that gives you a guaranteed lifetime income without exposure to risk and volatility. As such, annuities are a powerful, flexible option to help pay for long-term-care-related expenses such as assisted living, home health care, and adult daycare.

While it’s true that annuities aren’t for everyone, specific individuals will benefit from having one or more annuities in their portfolios, locking in gains, and protecting against the market’s ups and downs.

Other annuity advantages include:

  • You have the potential to grow your retirement savings more rapidly with an annuity’s tax-deferred growth and triple compounding.

  • Certain annuities offer rates that beat those of certificates of deposit and other safe money instruments.

  • Fees for most annuities are minimal or none at all.

  • Annuitization or lifetime income riders may help offset inflation and longevity risk.

  • Certain individuals who need to make more aggressive investments may find annuities help them to do so with more confidence, knowing they have a guaranteed income stream.

  • Modern annuities are more flexible and customizable than ever.

  • Annuities have less stringent underwriting criteria than permanent life insurance.

 

Like every other kind of financial vehicle, annuities also come with some potential disadvantages.

  • Most annuities are long-term contracts between you and an insurance company. Annuities aren’t a good choice for those seeking short-term solutions.

  • Once you annuitize your contract, you can’t undo this action. However, adding a “lifetime income rider” can help you avoid getting stuck.

  • An annuity’s liquidity is negligible. Many annuities give you access to only 10% of the contract’s value annually until it expires.

  • Variable or “buffer” annuities may expose your money to risk due to market volatility.

  • Unless you are looking for protection of your principle, income for life, or are concerned about outliving your savings or leaving your family a legacy, you may not want an annuity.

  • An annuity isn’t always the best option for a person who is under 50.

  • Annuities can be complex and challenging to understand without the advice and guidance of an expert.

 

Annuities are a time-tested tool millions of Americans use to create predictable, guaranteed income streams. Having at least one annuity in your retirement matrix is a strategy that may help you avoid dipping into your other accounts or starting your Social Security payments too soon. While the annuity product may be somewhat complicated, it offers unique advantages and is the only product that can create a stream of lifetime, guaranteed income.

If you are someone who prefers not to put a cent of your savings at risk, or you fear that you might outlive your money, then you should consult a retirement income specialist and ask them to explain how annuities may solve those issues.

Jeff Kennedy works the old fashioned way that he started off working 45 years ago. He will come to your house and sit down with you and your spouse, around the kitchen table and review your situation in detail. There is no charge for this consultation and he only ask that if you like his ideas and suggestions and he offers products and services that would work for you, that you do business with him and refer him to your friends and associates. Fair enough? If so, give Jeff a call @ 205-222-2487 for a no obligation consultation. Websites: kennedyfinancialcenter.com | jeffkennedy.retirevillage.com

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Are You Using The Right Tools For Your Retirement?

Tim Davis, RICP®, CLU®, CEBS (ANNUITY.COM)
August 2022

For many of us, the years spent working are all about chasing the next career opportunity or building our businesses. We’re taught to focus on maximizing our earnings and saving for the future, which is essential. But what happens when retirement finally arrives?

After years of saving and being good stewards of our money, retirement is a time we can finally enjoy life to the fullest. But, as we age, our retirement strategy can mean the difference between worry and uncertainty and having the freedom to enjoy new experiences.

That’s why it’s important to focus on making our money work hard for us, even after we retire.

Don’t be afraid to change with the times. In the past, simply putting away a little bit each month into a 401(k) or IRA was enough to secure a comfortable retirement. In retirement, the focus has shifted to safety – preservation and capital distribution. You can no longer rely on time to make up for investment mistakes.

 

You must now create your own income. One of retirees’ most significant challenges is generating an income from their savings. Because interest rates are historically low and many companies are scaling back on pension benefits, retirees are increasingly responsible for converting their nest eggs into an income stream that will last throughout their retirement years. This rationing of funds may be challenging, but options are available to help transition from savings to income. With the right tools, we can ensure that our money lasts as long as we do.

How can an annuity help solve the income issue? As we approach retirement, many are rethinking their strategy for generating lifetime income. A popular solution to this problem is purchasing an annuity. One of the key benefits of an annuity in retirement is creating an income stream that lasts for life. You will also know exactly how much money you will have coming in each month, which can help to ease anxiety about making ends meet. In addition, annuities can provide a source of income that is not dependent on stock market performance, which can be volatile. The icing on the cake is being able to sleep soundly knowing that your investment will continue to provide you with a consistent source of income, despite market fluctuations. For all these reasons, an annuity can be a valuable addition to your retirement plan.

What if I want to continue growing my nest egg? There are different types of annuities, but a growth-oriented annuity can offer the potential for income and principal growth without loads or annual fees. A growth annuity can provide meaningful gains along with making flexible monthly income distributions. For many, this type of annuity offers the best of both worlds: the potential for significant earnings for income while preserving principal for beneficiaries. A growth annuity is worth considering if you’re thinking about purchasing an annuity.

If you’re approaching retirement and want to make sure you are using the right toolkit, it’s important to seek help. Contact your trusted financial expert and ask about annuities today!

Tim Davis, RICP®, CLU®, CEBS Tim is a Certified Financial Fiduciary®. He has been an insurance advisor for over 30 years, helping people reduce their taxes, and provide a stress-free retirement by using an approach based on guarantees. He works with retirees and near-retirees to plan for income during retirement. Integrity has always been a guiding principle for Tim in his personal and business life. Website: daviscapitalcorp.com

5 Insurance Policies Everyone Should Have

Lisa Smith (INVESTOPEDIA.COM)
August 2022

Protecting your most important assets is an important step in creating a solid personal financial plan, and the right insurance policies will go a long way toward helping you safeguard your earning power and your possessions. In this article, we discuss five policies you shouldn't do without. 

1. Long-Term Disability Insurance

The prospect of long-term disability (LTD) is so frightening that some people choose to ignore it. While we all hope that "nothing will happen to me," relying on hope to protect your future earning power is not a good idea. Instead, choose a disability policy that provides enough coverage to enable you to enjoy your current lifestyle even if you can no longer continue working. 

Long-term disability provides a monetary benefit equal to a portion (e.g., 50% or 60%) of the insured's salary for covered disabilities. Long-term disability typically begins when short-term disability ends. To receive benefits, the disability must have occurred after the policy's issuance and then, typically after a waiting period. Medical information, often confirmed by a physician, must be provided to the insurer for consideration.

Most long-term disability insurance policies categorize disabilities as own occupation or any occupation.1 Own occupation means the insured, due to disability, is unable to perform their regular job or a similar job. Any occupation means the insured, due to disability, is unable to perform any job for which they are qualified.

Similar to short and long-term disability insurance, workers' compensation, or workers' comp, it pays a monetary benefit to workers who become injured or disabled at work or while performing their jobs. Most states require employers to carry workers' compensation insurance for their employees. In exchange, employees may not sue their employer for negligence.

While long-term disability insurance and workers' compensation insurance both pay for disabilities, long-term disability insurance is not limited to disabilities or injuries occurring at work or while working.

2. Life Insurance

Life insurance protects the people that are financially dependent on you. If your parents, spouse, children, or other loved ones would face financial hardship if you died, life insurance should be high on your list of required insurance policies. Think about how much you earn each year (and the number of years you plan to remain employed), and purchase a policy to replace that income in the event of your untimely demise. Factor in the cost of burial too, as the unexpected cost is a burden for many families.

3. Health Insurance

The soaring cost of medical care is reason enough to make health insurance a necessity. Even a simple visit to the family doctor can result in a hefty bill. More serious injuries that result in a hospital stay can generate a bill that tops the price of a one-week stay at a luxury resort. Injuries that require surgery can quickly rack up five-figure costs. Although the cost of health insurance is a financial burden for just about everyone, the potential cost of not having coverage is much higher. 

4. Homeowner's Insurance

Replacing your home is an expensive proposition. Having the right homeowner's insurance can make the process less difficult. When shopping for a policy, look for one that covers the replacement of the structure and the contents, in addition to the cost of living somewhere else while your home is repaired. 

Keep in mind the cost of rebuilding doesn't need to include the cost of the land since you already own it. Depending on the age of your home and the amenities it contains, the cost to replace it could be more or less than the price you paid for it. To get an accurate estimate, find out how much local builders charge per square foot and multiply that number by the amount of space you will need to replace. Don't forget to factor in the cost of upgrades and special features. Also, be sure the policy covers the cost of any liability for injuries that might occur on your property.

 

Renters Insurance

Renters also need peace of mind that they will be made whole in the event of a loss. Fortunately, renters insurance is a type of property insurance available to people who rent or lease properties. This insurance provides coverage for personal belongings, liability, and additional living expenses for covered losses.

For one property, there may be two types of property coverage: homeowner's insurance and renters insurance. However, homeowners insurance does not cover the personal property of the tenant. Therefore, it is important for lessees to obtain renters insurance to protect their assets.

Although renters insurance differs from homeowners insurance, they have the same components: coverage A for the dwelling, B for other structures, C for personal property, D for additional living expenses (also known as loss of use), E for liability, and F for medical payments.2 Because renters are not responsible for insuring the dwelling or other structures, coverages A and B are often set to $0.

Coverage C covers the personal property of the renter. Coverage D provides additional benefits for living expenses in the event of a loss. For example, if the renter is displaced from the home due to a fire, Coverage D provides covers the cost of living elsewhere, such as a hotel and food expenses. Coverage E provides coverage for injuries and property damage caused by the insured, and Coverage F covers medical expenses for guests of the renter on the property with permission.

5. Automobile Insurance

Some level of automobile insurance is required by law in most places. Even if you are not required to have it, and you are driving an old clunker that has been paid off for years, automobile insurance is something you shouldn't skip. If you are involved in an accident and someone is injured or their property is damaged, you may be subject to a lawsuit that could cost you everything you own. Accidents happen quickly and the results are often tragic. Having no automobile insurance or purchasing only the minimum required coverage saves you only a tiny amount of money and puts everything else you own at risk.

Shop for Insurance Carefully

Insurance policies come in a variety of shapes and sizes and boast many different features, benefits, and prices. Shop carefully, read the policies, and talk to a licensed insurance professional to be certain you understand the coverage and the cost. Make sure the policies you purchase are adequate for your needs and don't sign on the dotted line until you are happy with the purchase.

Consider enlisting the service of an insurance broker as they can search for policies across several insurance companies to find coverage that best suits your needs. Ask the broker to provide you with several options so you can compare features, provisions, and rates. Be in control of your protection by being well-informed to make a decision.

Getting Life Insurance in Your 20s Pays Off

Sean Ross (INVESTOPDEIA.COM)
August 2022

It's cheaper to buy life insurance when you're young, with more benefits later

Should I Get Life Insurance in My 20s?

Most young Americans are not thinking about life insurance policies, but they should. Life insurance is the ultimate financial tool for those big "what if" moments. It can be useful even when the death benefit is not triggered, as long as it is used appropriately. Life insurance is not a panacea, and some younger Americans may not have the resources to devote to large policies. But it is a mistake to assume that only older couples with children and homes need life insurance.

All else being equal, it is always cheaper, and sometimes substantially less expensive, for a younger person to buy insurance than an older person. This means the potential benefits of insurance can be just as large and cost much less or maybe much larger and cost about the same. Without other considerations, life insurance for a 22-year-old is a better proposition than life insurance for a 55-year-old.

So, should you get life insurance in your 20s? Read on to find out more and help you decide.

Reasons to Buy Life Insurance Young

The most obvious reason to buy life insurance is when you have clear insurable interests and want to be financially protected from a catastrophic accident. For example, you may have large debt obligations from student loans or a mortgage that you do not want to be passed on to someone else.

You might also have a spouse or children who rely on your income, parties who could depend on insurance claims to survive if something unfortunate happened to you.

Insurance can have other features besides a death benefit, however, which means there might be other good reasons to buy a policy. Some policies provide support for certain medical problems, such as cancer or paralysis. Permanent life insurance policies can serve as tax-advantaged savings vehicles through the accumulation of cash value.

Federal law prohibits insurance providers from selling policies on the basis of their cash value, although this almost certainly happens.1 This does not mean it is always a bad idea to buy insurance for its possible cash value accumulation. In some circumstances, cash value might accumulate money at a faster rate than other investments with less risk and more favorable legal ramifications.

Types of Life Insurance

Insurance is typically divided into two categories: term and whole life. This undersells the diversity of insurance products available to consumers since there are many different kinds of term insurance and many different kinds of permanent insurance.

Term Life Insurance

Term insurance is designed to cover a specific set of possible events over a defined period. For example, a level-premium term life insurance policy might offer $200,000 worth of coverage over 20 years and cost $20 per month until the end of the term. A beneficiary is named on the policy, and he receives the $200,000 if the insured party dies or is critically injured. For a 25-year-old individual with little debt and no dependent family, this kind of term life insurance is often unnecessary.

Some term insurance policies allow a return of premiums, fewer fees, and expenses if the insured outlives the policy, and it tends to be more expensive than level term policies.

Decreasing term insurance is a useful option to cover a specific kind of financial liability, such as a mortgage. The face value of a decreasing term insurance policy declines over time, usually because the liability is expected to shrink over time, such as the mortgage being paid down. Even some individuals in their 20s can have insurable liabilities, which means there might be an argument for a decreasing term policy.

Permanent Life Insurance

Unlike term insurance, permanent life insurance offers more than just a death benefit that lasts your entire lifetime. Permanent life insurance policies offer the chance to accumulate cash value, and cash value works better for people in their 20s than people in their 50s.

Different kinds of permanent life insurance include whole lifeuniversal life (UL), variable life, and indexed universal life (IUL). The differences mostly center around how aggressively the policy's cash value grows; whole life insurance tends to be the safest and most conservative, and variable life insurance tends to be the riskiest and most aggressive.

Any type of permanent life insurance could pay off for an individual in his 20s, assuming he can afford the policy, which is often hundreds of dollars per month. The policy still offers a death benefit, but the cash value can be very useful even if the death benefit is not triggered for decades.

Understanding Life Insurance Cash Value

Cash value is an interesting and important feature of permanent policies; many insurance providers refer to cash value as part of a "living benefits" package as opposed to a death benefit. As money is paid in by the insured, a percentage of the premiums is kept in the policy and accumulates interest. This money may be accessed later to pay for other life events such as weddings, home purchases, children's schooling, and even vacations. Most critically, this money usually grows and is usually withdrawn without creating a tax liability.

Even low-interest whole-life policies can provide a healthy dividend on the cash value. This dividend can be collected or used to increase the cash value. It is conceivable, although not guaranteed, that a permanent life insurance policy could significantly increase retirement income, again tax-free, or even allow you to retire early.

 

Pros and Cons: How Insurance in Your 20s Can Pay Off

A cash value that builds for decades can amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars in future tax-free income. This can be an important aspect of a comprehensive retirement plan, especially if you already plan on maxing out an IRA. This strategy only works if premiums are paid consistently; permanent life insurance policies lapse if the cash value gets too low, which leaves the policyholder without coverage.

In addition, you'll have life insurance coverage in the event that you die prematurely, even if you start a family later in life. Even without heirs, you can use the death benefit to leave a legacy to a charitable cause or philanthropic purpose. If you begin accumulating cash value in your 20s, you will see the benefits of compounding that can mean significant value later in life.

On the downside, you may never end up needing the coverage. If you stay single and do not care about leaving a financial legacy, you would be spending money on something you didn't use. The other con is the idea to buy term and invest the rest. This means that there is an opportunity cost involved in paying costly insurance premiums since that money could have been used elsewhere, such as investing in the stock market. However, the stock market comes with risk, while insurance contracts are extremely low-risk.

Should I Get Long-Term Life Insurance in My 20s?

If you plan on having a family one day, getting life insurance before you get married can save you money in the long run. This is because insurance premiums are less expensive when you are younger and healthier. Even if you don't plan on having a family, things can change. You may also want to consider insurance if you have any large debts or other obligations outstanding unrelated to family matters.

How Many People in their 20s Have Life Insurance?

According to LIMRA, an insurance industry research center, the number of people under 25 who have purchased a policy has gone up significantly over the last decade, rising from 28% in 2011 to 38% in 2020. Among those aged 25-44, 55% had life insurance coverage in 2020.2

 

Is it Too Early to get Life Insurance in My 20s?

It depends If you are single and do not have a family or are not planning to start one, you may not need life insurance in your 20s. If you think you will, even later in life, getting it younger can have its advantages.

Is It Better to Get Term Life Insurance or Whole-Life Insurance in Your 20s?

Because insurance is less expensive in your 20s, it might make sense to consider a permanent policy like whole life. This coverage will last until you die, regardless of age. You can consider structured whole-life payment schemes such as 10-pay or 20-pay policies that become fully funded after just ten or twenty years, and then you have the coverage forever.

In addition, whole-life policies will begin accumulating cash value that compounds over time as dividends are credited. You can borrow against this money or make withdrawals while you are still alive on a tax-advantaged basis.

A term policy may expire while you still need coverage if you buy it young, causing you to purchase an additional, more expensive term policy later on when you are older.

 

The Bottom Line

Even if you cannot afford a permanent life insurance policy, most 20-somethings can receive very good term policies for very low costs, such as $200,000 to $300,000 in coverage for $15 to $20 a month in some cases. More importantly, some term policies can last for 20, 30, or 40 years; you could be covered at a very low cost throughout your entire working life.