Retirement income that’s guaranteed for life can be a valuable resource. It provides you with financial certainty so you can make informed spending decisions. Guaranteed income isn’t impacted by market volatility, which could reduce your anxiety about the future. Best of all, you can’t outlive guaranteed income, so there’s no risk of running out of money in the later years of retirement.
Unfortunately, guaranteed retirement income isn’t as common as it used to be. Most retirees can count on Social Security benefits, which are guaranteed for life. For most people, however, Social Security is likely to be insufficient to fund a full retirement. Pensions are also disappearing from employer benefit offerings. Many retirees will likely have to rely on withdrawals from savings to pay for their retirement expenses.
However, you have the option to create your own stream of guaranteed lifetime income by using an annuity, specifically something called a single premium immediate annuity (SPIA). A SPIA is an insurance policy in which you convert a lump sum of assets into an income stream that lasts for a specified period of time, usually life. SPIAs aren’t right for everyone, but they can be helpful tools for some retirees.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, today’s 65-year-olds have a 70 percent chance of needing long-term care at some point in their lives.1 Long-term care is extended assistance with basic daily living activities such as bathing, eating, dressing, mobility and more.
Long-term care is usually provided either in a facility or in the home. As you might expect, this kind of care can be expensive. A recent Genworth study found that the average monthly cost of an extended living facility was $3,750. A full-time home health aide cost more than $4,000 per month.2
Many seniors need long-term care for several months or even years. The cost can add up over time and quickly deplete your retirement assets. Fortunately, there are tools you can use to cover the cost.
One popular strategy is to use long-term care insurance. You pay premiums today, and the insurer pays for some or all of your long-term care costs in the future. Many long-term care policies cover care provided in either a home or a facility.
Have you put off saving for retirement? You’re not the only one. According to a recent study from the Economic Policy Institute, the average family between the ages of 44 and 49 has only $81,437 saved for retirement. That number is $124,831 for those between ages 50 and 55 and $163,577 between ages 56 and 61.1 While those numbers might represent a good start, it’s fair to say they’re not sufficient to fund a long retirement.
The good news is it’s never too late to get started. You may have to make some adjustments to your plans and vision, but with some discipline and focus, you may still be able to fund an enjoyable retirement.
Do you have a favorite charity or cause that you’re passionate about? Are you looking for ways to support that charity as part of your legacy? You have a number of options available, including charitable trusts, donation of investments and outright cash gifts.
However, you might be surprised to learn that you can use your existing life insurance to give to the charity of your choice. This could be a helpful option if you want to support a favorite cause but also want to retain control of your assets in case you need them later in life.
Every solid financial plan should be built on a foundation of risk management. It’s difficult to achieve your biggest life goals without first minimizing the risks that could threaten those goals. There may be no more catastrophic risk than the financial fallout from an unexpected death. Life insurance is an effective tool for managing this risk because it protects your loved ones, dependents, business partners and others from financial harm if you pass away.
Life insurance benefits are often paid as a tax-free lump sum. A death benefit could provide your loved ones with much-needed liquidity and financial stability during an already difficult period.
However, it’s important to choose the right individuals as your beneficiaries. A beneficiary designation often can’t be challenged after the fact. If you accidentally forget to include someone as a beneficiary, they may have little recourse to correct the issue after you pass away.
Are you considering a permanent life insurance policy? That could be a wise decision if you need lifelong life insurance protection. As its name suggests, permanent life insurance lasts for your entire life, assuming you keep up with the premium requirements. The lifelong coverage is the major difference between permanent insurance and its counterpart, term insurance, which provides coverage for only a limited amount of time.
Permanent policies can also provide growth potential, as most have cash value accounts that offer some form of tax-deferred accumulation. You can use your cash value to buy additional coverage, adjust the premiums downward or even generate tax-efficient income.
Many baby boomers worry about supporting their adult children. However, it may not be their children who need help. It could be their parents. According to a study from A Place for Mom, 28 percent of Americans are either already caring for their elderly parents or will need to at some point in the future. The same study found that 86 percent of Americans are worried they won’t have the financial stability to do so.1
Americans’ life spans are extending longer than ever, but that longevity can bring big challenges. While living longer is generally viewed as a positive development, it can also lead to an increased need for care and support later in life.
Consistent, stable income is at the heart of any financially stable retirement. In many ways, your financial health in retirement depends on your ability to generate income that exceeds your expenses. Your income will likely come from a variety of sources, including Social Security, savings and investments, and possibly even a company pension.
There could be times, though, when those income sources don’t cover all your expenses. You could face emergency costs or volatile market swings could limit your income. In those times, you may find it helpful to utilize supplemental income, preferably in a tax-efficient manner.
If you’re preparing for retirement, you may know better than anyone how many different financial tools and products are available to help you generate income and minimize risk. From a broad range of investment and insurance products to different account types, you have many tools at your disposal. It may be hard to make sense of your options.
You probably want to use the tools that are best aligned with your needs and objectives, and you likely want to implement strategies that have a long track record of success. One potential tool is an annuity.
There are a broad range of risks that could threaten your ability to reach your financial goals. You probably have strategies in place to protect you from a wide range of risks such as medical issues, accidents, home damage and even death.
However, there’s one risk for which you may be unprepared. It’s the risk of disability. You might assume that disability is only caused by accidents. However, the truth is that many different issues, including chronic ailments, serious diseases and much more, can cause disability.
Carstens Financial Group focuses on providing comprehensive asset management, estate planning and life insurance solutions. Allow us to help you secure your financial future.