7 Reasons the Economy is Worse than it Seems

Do you believe the economy has improved significantly since the Great Recession?

Or do you feel like we’re staring down the barrel of a cannon whose fuse has already been lit?

The stock markets should be down considerably by plenty of measures, but many investors appear to have been hypnotized to believe that nothing can go wrong.

I believe things are worse than they may seem on the surface, and extreme caution is warranted, for the 7 reasons I spell out here.

I’ll also give you some tips on how to protect yourself and have a “Plan B” in place in case the you-know-what does hit the fan.

Here Are 7 Reasons the Economy is Worse than It Seems…

1. Addiction to Stimulus and Low or Negative Interest Rates

We have been guinea pigs in the greatest experiment in monetary policy in the history of the world.

Every time the Federal Reserve so much as sneezes, the markets whipsaw. In this topsy-turvy world, good news about the economy becomes bad news for the stock market and vice versa.

Even the Fed knows it’s in over its head and has lost control of the situation. But that won’t stop them from continuing to experiment with you and me as their lab rats.

2. Overheated Stock Market Valuations and Deteriorating Fundamentals

Profits for S&P 500 companies continue falling, but the S&P 500 is trading at the highest level of projected earnings since 2002.

3. Rising Poverty and Expanding Government Assistance Rolls

The U.S. poverty rate has actually risen since the “official” end of the Great Recession in 2009. (I say “official” end because, to a lot of Americans, it still feels like we’re mired in a recession.)

During the same period of time, food stamp usage increased 39%.

4. Persistent Underemployment

A measure of the number of people working part time who want – but can’t find – full-time work in their field, that peaked above 16% at the height of the last recession, still remains above 12%. Obviously, that’s a major drag on economic performance.

Slow Wage Growth5. Slow Wage Growth

Between 2009 and 2015 inflation-adjusted median weekly earnings actually fell by about 1%, and median household earnings fell by around 4%.

6. Global Economic Weakness

Many people underestimated how the economic situation in other parts of the world affects our economy. But no one can deny any longer how interconnected our economics all are.

Emerging economies like Brazil and Russia have been heavily impacted by falling commodity prices.

The largest economies in Europe are struggling. And China, which is now the world’s second-largest economy, is experimenting with an economic transition that many think is likely to fail.

If it does fail, the U.S. economy could be seriously impacted.

7. By Historical Standards, We’re Already Overdue for Another Recession

Historically, recessions occur at alarmingly regular intervals.

In fact, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research, by post-war standards, we’re almost two years past due for the next recession. Ugh.

The political uncertainty we are facing with the upcoming election isn’t helping any either.

As people who know me well will tell you, I’m an optimist – I always see the glass as half full.

But while I hope for the best, I also have a backup plan – my “Plan B” to help my family weather those tough economic times that seem to come when you least expect them.

What Characteristics Should a True Safe Money Plan B Have?

It should have all of these:

  • No loss of principal or gains in a market crash (safety nets)
  • Guarantees
  • Liquidity
  • Control
  • Tax-favored
  • Contractual growth guarantees

Out of the more than 450 financial products I’ve investigated, only one meets all the requirements: The Bank On Yourself method, based on super-charged dividend-paying whole life insurance. These plans have increased in value every single year for more than 160 years, in every period of boom and bust, including during the Great Depression.

And no luck, skill or guesswork is required to make that happen.

In addition to the benefits I mentioned above, the Bank On Yourself method also provides:

  • Asset Protection – your cash values are protected from creditors and lawsuits (varies by state)
  • Privacy – your plan and its growth, along with the income you take from it, are generally not reported to the government or IRS
  • Lets You Become Your Own “Banker” – so you can get access to cash whenever and for whatever you want – no questions asked

You control how and when you pay it back and – if your policy is from one of a handful that offer this feature – your plan can continue earning the same guaranteed annual increase and any dividends the company credits, even when you’re using that money elsewhere!

Here’s the Key Question to Ask Yourself:

Safe Money Plan

Does having your money…

  • safe…
  • liquid…
  • growing significantly faster long-term than a savings, money market account or CD…
  • and earning the exact same guaranteed annual increase and dividends – even when you use it

… take away any of your options?

The reality is that it gives you more options, not fewer.

Here’s how to protect yourself in scary times

It wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark. To find out how you can benefit from a custom-tailored Bank On Yourself plan, and discover why it’s the ultimate financial bunker for scary economic and political times, simply request your FREE Analysis here.

You’ll also get a referral to one of only 200 advisors in the U.S. and Canada who have met the rigorous requirements to be Bank On Yourself Authorized Advisors.

Don’t dilly dally! Do it now! Just click this button:

Yellow-Button-FREEanalysis-trans

Do You Have As Much Saved for Retirement As the Average Person?

How do you think you compare to other people when it comes to how much you’ve saved for retirement?

The results of a new survey from the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) reveal some surprising insights into America’s preparedness for retirement.

Read on for the highlights of the 2016 Retirement Confidence Survey and a 6-Step Action Blueprint to make sure your money lasts as long as you do…

The survey revealed that 54% of all workers report less than $25,000 in household savings and investments, excluding the value of their primary home.

That includes 26% who say they have less than $1,000 in savings.

10% have between $25,000-$49,999 saved, 10% have between $50,000 and $99,999 saved, and 12% have between $100,000-$249,999.

And how many have saved $250,000 or more? Just 14%.

Are people close to retirement any better prepared?

[Read more…]

The Ticking Tax Time-Bomb of Conventional Retirement Plans

One of the biggest selling points of 401(k) and IRA retirement plans is that the money you put into them isn’t taxed right away. Bring out the bubbly to celebrate, right?!

Not so fast.

First of all, some people – hopefully not you! – mistakenly believe money placed into these retirement plans is “tax free.” It isn’t. It is “tax deferred,” meaning that you will pay tax on that money when you withdraw from your retirement plan down the line.

Deferred taxes might sound good, but deferring your taxes is like putting off a visit to the dentist. The problem compounds and will only get worse.

Deferring taxes creates a dangerous potential tax time bomb because you don’t have the answers to two critical questions…

First, what will the tax rates be when you retire? And what will they be 20 or 30 years later?

[Read more…]

Is Your Money Frozen in Your Retirement Plan?

One of my biggest beefs with government-controlled retirement plans, such as 401(k)s, IRAs, 403(b)s and Roth Plans, is the total lack of liquidity. The money you’ve socked away in your conventional retirement plan is about as solidly frozen as the iceberg that sank the Titanic! And because of this, if your financial ship hits rough waters, you might end up sinking as well.

Here’s the critical question: How quickly and easily can you get your hands on all the money in your retirement account if you need it before age 59½?

We all know life happens. Cars break down. Roofs need replacing. A tough medical diagnosis can create mountains of unexpected bills to pay.

Every year many participants in employer-sponsored government-controlled retirement plans make early withdrawals for a number of reasons. And every year, the IRS collects penalties related to those early withdrawals.

In fact, in the last year for which statistics are available, the Internal Revenue Service collected $5.7 billion dollars in penalties from Americans who took out $57 billion from their retirement funds before they were supposed to. [Read more…]

Who’s Got Control of Your Retirement Plan?

Do you remember playing with that kid in the neighborhood who set up a game, and then changed the rules as the game went on to suit himself? Just like those games, you’ll never come out winning with your retirement plan if someone else sets – and constantly changes – the rules!

Here’s one of those inconvenient truths: When your retirement savings are in a government-controlled plan sponsored by your employer, your employer can change the rules at any time. And so can the government.

Despite the mass of paperwork your employer handed you when you first began your retirement plan, your employer’s retirement plan rules are not set in concrete. Employers can change their rules, even in midstream.

For example, not too long ago, IBM decided to change its retirement plan rules. Up until that time, IBM gave employees their 401(k) match with each pay check. But some smart bean counter pointed out that Big Blue could save a bundle if they waited to give the match until the very last day of the year instead of throughout the year.

So what’s the big deal?

[Read more…]

What Infinite Banking and Nelson Nash Missed

I am infinitely grateful to Nelson Nash for introducing me to the Infinite Banking Concept®. It’s a very powerful concept that brings to the table Nelson’s life-long study of the Austrian School of Economics.

In this article, I described what Nelson got right about this concept, and my own life-changing experience of how it lets you “Become Your Own Banker.”

However, here are several things in his ground-breaking book that I take issue with, and that have caused unnecessary confusion for readers…

1. His first book, Becoming Your Own Banker®, was copyrighted in 2000.

[Read more…]

What Nelson Nash and Infinite Banking Got Right

My introduction to Nelson Nash and the Infinite Banking Concept® was a major turning point in my life.

Up until then, I was a business-building consultant to financial advisors. The advisors I coached were always bringing financial products and strategies to my attention, and over the last 25 years, I’ve investigated more than 450 of them.

Unfortunately, most turned out not to be worth the paper they were printed on.

Finally, one financial advisor asked me if I had ever heard of Nelson Nash, and the book he wrote, Becoming Your Own Banker: The Infinite Banking Concept.

I had not, but it sounded very intriguing, so I called and talked to Nelson and ordered a copy of his book. [Read more…]

Who’s the Bozo Administering Your Retirement Plan?

When you have a plumbing issue, you call in a qualified plumber, right? When you need a medical procedure, don’t you want a qualified doctor? When you go to get your car fixed, aren’t you going to hand it over to a qualified mechanic?

So why would you turn your retirement plan over to an unqualified administrator?

Wait! You didn’t know that you’ve placed your hard earned retirement money in the hands of someone who very likely doesn’t know what they’re doing? It’s one of the common retirement planning traps I’ve been covering in this blog.

According to SmartMoney magazine, 90% of the country’s 401(k) plans are watched over by people who “need no special qualifications and no investing expertise or experience.” [Read more…]

How Hidden Fees Are Sabotaging Your Retirement Plan

In my first blog about costly retirement planning traps, I explained how conventional retirement plans put you in jeopardy of losing money you absolutely cannot afford to lose. Just because all the other lemmings choose to dive over the cliff, doesn’t mean you have to!

Now let’s look at the gremlins of conventional retirement plans that are decimating the nest egg you’re trying to build: FEES.

Do you even know how much you’re paying in fees each year for your retirement account? If you’re like most Americans, you don’t have a clue. The Employee Benefit Research Institute found that only half of 401(k) plan participants even noticed the fee information stuffed in the 14-page disclosure (that requires a magnifying glass to read and 3 years of law school to understand).

And almost no one makes any changes to their plan if they do read the fee disclosures.

Most folks just don’t think fees are all that important. Or, they think they’re unavoidable – sort of like death and taxes.

Wrong on both counts!

[Read more…]

Retirement Planning that Helps You Sleep at Night

Let me be blunt. If you’re like the vast majority of Americans, your retirement plan is about as good as the survival plan of that last lemming heading over the cliff!

For most of us, our “retirement planning” has been manipulated by our employers, Wall Street, and celebrity talking heads – all of whom have their own agendas that don’t seem to prioritize our financial security and well-being. And the vast majority of personal financial advisors have chosen to stick with conventional strategies without even questioning the less-than-stellar results they’ve given us over the years.

Risk, a four-letter word?When a “plan” proves that it isn’t getting the results it’s supposed to produce, doesn’t it make sense to come up with a different plan? (The answer is “Yes!”)

Over the next several blog posts, I’ll illustrate specifically how and why your conventional retirement plan is failing you and changes you can make that will let you build a retirement savings fund that is safe and secure – guaranteed.

Let’s start with the problems of conventional retirement plans. I know of at least six major pitfalls and traps and I’ll cover each one in detail. The first painful trap is RISK. [Read more…]