Personal Finance Blog for Retirement and Investment Advice

Retirement Can Be Fantastic … If You’re Prepared

What do you think of when you think of retirement? Freedom? Enjoyment? Less stress?

You’re not alone. Most workers today associate retirement with those concepts, according to What Is “Retirement”? Three Generations Prepare for Older Age, the latest study from the nonprofit Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies.

But the big question is … Will You Be Ready?

Will You Be Healthy Enough to Retire the Way You Hope To?

Just 16% of Baby Boomers surveyed said their health is “excellent.” But only about half of the workers in the survey said they exercise regularly … or eat healthfully … or get enough sleep.

Here’s the issue, as laid out bluntly by life coach Peter Sage …

If you don’t make time for health, you’ll have to make time for illness.”

How successful at life can you be, when your body refuses to serve you? And it will eventually refuse to serve you if you ignore your health.

Will You Have Enough Money to Do What You Want to Do?

Two out of three workers say their big retirement dream is travel. Half of those surveyed said they’re looking forward to spending time with their family and friends. And nearly half get a smile on their faces when they think of the time they’ll have to pursue their hobbies.

The problem is this: half of those surveyed have less than $50,000 total in all their household retirement accounts.

How far will $50,000 take you?

Don’t be the guy who said, “I have enough money to last me the rest of my life … if I die next Tuesday.”

Most Workers Are Woefully Underfunded for Retirement

Almost one in three workers have dipped into their retirement accounts early. More than four out of five workers carry some form of debt. (In fact, seven out of ten Baby Boomers are still burdened with student loans. Baby Boomers!)

And saving for emergencies? The average (median) amount workers have socked away for emergencies is $5,000, less than the average cost of a new roof. And $5,000 certainly won’t cover the cost of extractions and dentures if you need new choppers and you don’t have insurance to cover it.

Then there’s Social Security, or the lack thereof. When they were surveyed, almost eight in 10 workers said,

I’m concerned that when I am ready to retire, Social Security will not be there for me.”

5 Steps You Can Take Now to Boost Your Retirement Preparedness

  1. Daily exercise and healthy eating. Need I say more about that?
  2. Use a retirement calculator to figure out what you’ll need, realistically. (Just do an Internet search for “retirement calculator,” then actually run the numbers)
  3. If you don’t already have one, create a budget, for goodness sake. (Google “How to create a budget,” then have the wisdom to live within it)
  4. Learn where – and where not – to build up a retirement nest egg, then get serious about it
  5. This last step is really the easiest, and it can give you incredible guidance and peace of mind as you muddle through retirement planning …

Take This Simple, All-Important Next Step … Now, if You Truly Want to Have Freedom and Less Stress in Retirement!

Download our FREE Special Report, 5 Simple Steps to Bypass Wall Street, Beat the Banks at Their Own Game and Take Control of Your Financial Future.

This is an excellent place to start if you’re serious about not being part of the great majority that spends most of their retirement worried that they’re going to live longer than their money.

Isn’t that awful, that so many people are worried about living too long? You can do something to be sure you’re not part of that sorry crowd.

Get the Special Report here right now, while you’re thinking of it.

At the end of the report, you’ll find an invitation to meet with a qualified advisor who can help you make sense of your situation and your circumstances. These Bank On Yourself Authorized Advisors do not charge you for their services. Ever. So, meeting with them will not cost you a penny. But you’ll be richer in knowledge – and have a better idea of what you can do to be prepared to enjoy retirement after you meet with one.

Your Authorized Advisor will analyze your overall financial picture to find creative ways to help you prepare for retirement – sometimes with little or no increase in your out-of-pocket costs. Request your FREE Analysis, and you’ll get a referral to one of only 200 advisors in the US and Canada who have met the rigorous training and requirements to be Bank On Yourself Authorized Advisors.

It’s free, and it’s good, solid information. You owe it to yourself and your family to act today.

There’s a Good Chance You May Be Forced to Retire Sooner Than You Expect

Perhaps you’ve heard that the best way to make God laugh is to tell him your plans. … Particularly your plans for retirement!

And you’ve probably heard that with the unpredictability of the markets – stocks, bonds, real estate, whatever – you’re going to need to work longer than you had planned, in order to have enough to live on in retirement.

But that doesn’t mean the universe will cooperate.

Research from the Center for Retirement Research reveals that on average 21 percent of workers intend to work to age 66 or later. But more than half of them fail to reach this target.

The share of workers who say they expect to work past age 65 rose from 16% in 1991 to 48% in 2018. But the study shows that 37 percent of all workers end up retiring earlier than they had planned.

How can this be?

Why Are Hard-Working Americans Retiring Earlier Than Planned?

[Read more…] “There’s a Good Chance You May Be Forced to Retire Sooner Than You Expect”

Many Stock Market Investors Haven’t Kept Up With Inflation Over the Last 20 Years – DALBAR 2019 Report

What kind of return would you have to get in the stock market to make it worth the risk and gut-wrenching ups and downs?

Would you put your life’s savings at risk for a 5% annual return?

Or would you require at least a 7% return?

Or maybe even a 10% annual return?

If you’re like most people we’ve surveyed, you wouldn’t do it unless you thought you could get at least a 7% annual return over time, right?

Here’s the Harsh Reality of the Actual Returns Investors Are Getting…

I hope you’re sitting down because this is going to floor you: According to a new study, the typical investor in equity mutual funds has gotten only a 3.88% annual return… over the last 20 years!

But it’s actually much worse than that. Here’s why… [Read more…] “Many Stock Market Investors Haven’t Kept Up With Inflation Over the Last 20 Years – DALBAR 2019 Report”

Read Reviews for Using Bank On Yourself as an Investment Alternative

When the stock market is going up, investors love it. When it’s going down, not so much.

Many investors lie awake at night wondering, “Is there any good alternative to this crazy roller coaster? Is it possible to successfully and confidently grow my nest egg without playing in the Wall Street Casino?”

If you’re one of those folks who thinks saving for retirement shouldn’t have to be so unpredictable, read on! There is a safe and proven alternative to Wall Street. It offers guaranteed growth, a predictable income stream, tax advantages, and very little in the way of government interference.

Millions have found their investment alternative of choice in high cash value dividend-paying whole life insurance.

Huh? Life Insurance as an Investment Alternative to Wall Street?

[Read more…] “Read Reviews for Using Bank On Yourself as an Investment Alternative”

Stock Market Declines Linked to Early Death, Illness and Fatal Accidents, Studies Show

If you have even 10% of your wealth in the stock market and experience only a 10% loss, your risk of dying early, or having a physical health problem like high blood pressure or a mental health problem such as depression, increases significantly.

That’s according to a recent study published in the American Economic Journal. These losses are known as “wealth shocks,” which the study found “strongly affect physical health, mental health, and survival rates.”

Among every 100 retirees with money in the market suffering a 10% wealth shock, one additional person will die within the next two years, and 2.5 more will develop health problems.

The study didn’t examine the impact of a bigger drop than 10%, but it’s easy to imagine it would be worse.

It’s not rocket science to realize there is a close connection between your health and your wealth.

It’s not just the risk of early death and sickness you need to worry about…

The anxiety, anger, and frustration you feel caused by negative stock market returns also “makes investors more prone to driving errors and lapses.” [Read more…] “Stock Market Declines Linked to Early Death, Illness and Fatal Accidents, Studies Show”

Record-High Credit Card Debt Promises Problems for Many

According to the Federal Reserve, credit card debt in the U.S. is at its highest level ever. In December 2018, credit card debt was $26 billion higher than it was just three months earlier.

Americans over age 60 hold nearly one-third of all credit card debt in the country – and they’re seeing their accounts go delinquent at an increasing pace.

We’re not surprised. Eighteen months ago, we at Bank On Yourself bemoaned the fact that household debt at the end of 2017 was at a then all-time high of more than $13 trillion. Now credit card debt is poised to overtake auto debt as one of the “big three” consumer debt millstones (after mortgages and student loans).

Carrying significant credit card debt can cause serious problems

Living with a large balance on your card(s) can be like trying to cross Niagara Falls on a tightrope: You hope and pray nothing goes wrong.

What could go wrong while your cards are maxed out? [Read more…] “Record-High Credit Card Debt Promises Problems for Many”

How Complex Is Dividend-Paying Whole Life Insurance?

Some financial advisors say whole life insurance is complicated, and that “you should never invest in something you don’t understand.” … Then they try to sell you stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and EFTs that most laypeople can only begin to truly grasp!

Dividend-paying whole life insurance is so simple an average 10-year-old can understand the concept in 10 minutes. We’ll prove it to you now …

The Simplicity of Dividend-Paying Whole Life Insurance

The concept behind a dividend-paying whole life insurance policy is extremely simple. It’s based on five easy-to-understand ideas:

1. Your Risk Is Minimized by the “Pooled Risk” Approach of Insurance

This timeless concept is at the foundation of all forms of insurance. In its simplest form, policy owners pay an insurance company a relatively small sum of money in advance. This is called a “premium.” In exchange, they are covered for a potentially much large expense later. In this case, they receive an agreed-upon amount to cover the costs and loss of income related to the death of the insured, which is called the “death benefit.”

2. You’re Guaranteed to Have “Level-for-Life” Premiums with a Whole Life Insurance Policy

[Read more…] “How Complex Is Dividend-Paying Whole Life Insurance?”

Get Financially Naked With Your Partner to Avoid Relationship Mistakes

Do you remember the first time you got naked with your beloved?

Along with the passion of the moment, if you’re like most of us, you were probably a bit self-conscious. After all, for the first time, you may have had had to reveal that paunch you’d been hiding, those patches of cellulite or that outie belly button you’ve hated since the third grade.

But because you overcame those concerns and let yourself get naked – well, I don’t need to remind you what happened next!

The point is, when you allow yourself to get financially naked with your partner, amazing things can happen. You not only have a better understanding of one another, but you’ll also work better as a team to achieve your goals and tackle your problems.

It turns out that being clear and open with each other about financial issues is one of the most positive things you can do to ensure a “happily ever after.”

Couples May Argue About Sex, Kids and In-Laws, but It’s Their Arguments About Money that Best Predict Whether or Not They’re Headed for Divorce Court…

[Read more…] “Get Financially Naked With Your Partner to Avoid Relationship Mistakes”

The Most Important Lesson Learned from the Government Shutdown: Americans’ Finances are Fragile

The longest U.S. government shutdown in history laid bare an uncomfortable truth: Americans aren’t saving enough and the majority of us have no rainy-day fund to protect us when the inevitable you-know-what hits the fan.

More than 70% (!) of all types of employees at all income levels surveyed live paycheck to paycheck and said they’d have difficulty meeting their financial obligations if their paycheck were delayed for just one week! That’s according to the 2018 “Getting Paid in America” Survey by the American Payroll Association.

This explains why, after missing just one or two paychecks, we heard so many heart-breaking stories from government workers who weren’t being paid or were furloughed. For example… [Read more…] “The Most Important Lesson Learned from the Government Shutdown: Americans’ Finances are Fragile”

How Much Money Do You Need to Save for Retirement?

People need to save between 10% and 17% of their income if they plan to retire at 65 but are putting away only 6-8% of their income, according to a new study by the Stanford Center on Longevity. That’s only half of what they should be saving.

What percent of your household income are you saving? It’s important to be brutally honest with yourself because a shortfall of the magnitude most Americans will experience means more than just not being able to live the retirement lifestyle you dreamed of. It may mean…

  • Having to choose between putting food on the table and the medical care you need
  • Not being able to afford to pay for heating and air conditioning
  • Having to rely on the charity of your children
  • Foregoing travel and even life’s little luxuries

I doubt you worked hard all your life so that you can scrimp and sacrifice just to get by in retirement.

Fully 60% of U.S. households are at risk of not having enough money to make ends meet in retirementeven if they cut back to spending just 75% of pre-retirement levels – according to a 2018 study from the Center for Retirement Research.

The Rule of 25 for Determining How Much You’ll Need to Have Saved

[Read more…] “How Much Money Do You Need to Save for Retirement?”