Personal Finance Blog for Retirement and Investment Advice

Is There a Safer Place for Your Money Than in a Bank?

The problems at Silicon Valley Bank, Credit Suisse, and First Republic Bank are fueling anxiety for people who want to make sure their money in banks and money market funds is safe.

Adding to the fear that this may just be the tip of the iceberg is that banks borrowed a record amount from the emergency last-resort support the Federal Reserve set up in the last week.

So, it’s not surprising people want to know how safe their money is in a Bank On Yourself plan. Read on for the answer. And, since you must “park” your money someplace, I’ll also explain why you would be hard-pressed to find a safer, more advantageous place to put your dollars – in good times or bad – than in a Bank On Yourself plan.

These super-charged dividend-paying whole life policies have survived and even thrived for over 160 years in virtually every economic situation imaginable!

During the Great Depression, over 9,000 banks failed, wiping out the life savings of millions of depositors. However, there is no documented evidence that any life insurance policyholder lost money. In fact, these policies were the life raft that saved many people from financial ruin during the Great Recession and the Great Depression.

Since you have access to the cash value of your policy whenever and for whatever you want – no questions asked – having your money safe and liquid in a dividend-paying whole life policy doesn’t take away any of your options. In fact, it gives you more options, especially when the you-know-what hits the fan.

And if your policy is from one of a handful of companies that offer this feature, you’ll get the exact same growth even when you’ve taken money from your policy to use elsewhere. That means you have access to cash to cover an emergency, buy a car, or take advantage of an opportunity…and still have your money growing as though you hadn’t touched it.

3 Reasons a Bank On Yourself Plan is the Best Place to Park Your Money…

Reason #1: Strict Regulation and Four Layers of Protection

  • Life insurance companies are audited regularly by the state insurance commissioner’s office (sometimes by dozens of states) to ensure they maintain sufficient reserves to pay future claims and are on solid financial ground
  • If a company gets into financial difficulty, the state insurance commissioner’s office can take over and run the company in the interests of policyholders. Historically, a failed insurer’s business is then taken over by another company
  • Most insurance companies are audited regularly by several independent rating companies
  • Additional policy owner protections may be available on a state-by-state basis

Reason #2: Sound, Conservative Investments

The companies used by the Bank On Yourself Professionals invest conservatively to be able to deliver on their promises:

  • Most of their portfolio is invested in investment-grade fixed-income assets
  • Less than 1-2% is invested in U.S. Treasury or other government debt
  • Their bond portfolios are well diversified across many industries and companies, with no investment representing more than 1% of assets
  • Due to their financial strength and reserves, they can hold on to any assets that may decline in value for many years until they recover
  • They are masters at under-promising and over-delivering and have NEVER missed paying an annual dividend to policy owners for more than 100 years, including during the Great Depression, the Great Recession, and every single period of economic tumult in between!

Read: The Safety of Bank On Yourself – A Strategy for Any Economy

Reason #3: The Companies are Owned by Policy Owners, NOT Stockholders

The companies the Bank On Yourself Professionals recommend when they design a custom-tailored program for you are owned by policy owners, NOT stockholders, which allows them to focus on the long-term best interests of the policy owners rather than the short-term demands of Wall Street. And – unlike on Wall Street – you can know the bottom-line, guaranteed numbers and results you could enjoy when your request a free, no-obligation Analysis here:


Perhaps this analogy will help explain the difference between whole life as a wealth-building vehicle and most other products and strategies favored by the financial talking heads…

On the freeway, can you spot the difference between a teenage boy putting daddy’s hot sports car through its paces, and a young suburban mother in her minivan taking two kids to play soccer, with a toddler buckled in a car seat? One driver is trying to get somewhere fast while the other is getting to her destination while doing everything possible to protect those who are near and dear to her. If you understand that difference, then you can sense the difference between the Wall Street Casino and the life insurance industry.

Take Action TODAY to Safeguard Your Wealth and Avoid Having Your Retirement Dreams Turn into a Retirement Nightmare

You might be tempted to put this aside and “think about it all tomorrow” when things settle down. But “tomorrow” all too often turns into months and years. I would hate to have you wake up 2, 5, or 10 years from now – when the next financial crisis scuttles your best-laid plans again – thinking, “Heck, I really should have looked into that Bank On Yourself thing.”

Why not do it RIGHT NOW. Request your FREE Analysis and referral to a Bank On Yourself Professional here.

The Bank On Yourself Professional we refer you to can answer all your questions and show you how you could gain lifetime financial peace of mind with a program custom-tailored to your unique situation.

Don’t wait another moment. Click the button below to get started:


Why “10 Times Your Income” Isn’t a Smart Retirement Goal

ChatGPT has been making headlines since it launched last year and gained 1 million users in the first week.

If you’re not familiar with ChatGPT, it’s an artificial intelligence computer program that generates human-like answers to almost any question you ask.

So I decided to conduct a little experiment and ask it a simple question:

How much do I need to retire?”

Here’s what the “robot” told me:

 ChatGPT's answer to how much money you need to retire

ChatGPT’s response struck me as yet another example of retirement “rules of thumb” that are outdated. Like “withdrawing 4% of your retirement savings each year will provide you with an income you won’t outlive.”

Why Retirement Rules of Thumb are Dangerous

A rule of thumb like “save 10x your annual income for retirement” may have been helpful 30 years ago when it was first coined, but not today – especially when taking inflation into account.

For example, let’s say your household income is $100,000, and you use the “10x rule” as your savings target for retirement, so you’d need $1 million.

The problem is that $1 million doesn’t go as far as it used to. Someone who bought $1 million worth of goods 30 years ago would need $2 million to buy the same goods today.

This is why many millionaires who subscribe to the “save 10x your annual income” are scared of running out of money in retirement.

In a recent survey of 1,600 people with at least $1 million in investable assets, 35% said, “it will take a miracle to achieve a secure retirement.”

Why are millionaires so scared?

Well, think about it. Even if you have $1 million saved, many experts say you should only withdraw 2.8% of your retirement savings each year, which is just $28,000 a year.

What kind of lifestyle do you think $2,333/month will give you?

Probably not your dream retirement, right?

Is “20 Times Your Annual Income” The New Rule of Thumb?

Maybe we should change the rule of thumb and make it higher, say 15 or 20 times your annual income?

That would be better, but it’s still the wrong question. Here’s why:

When you rely on rules of thumb as traditional retirement models do, you end up striving for some arbitrary goal – as the millionaires did in the survey mentioned above – only to later discover that you’ll still need “a miracle to achieve a secure retirement.”

And with this approach, you’d need these two miracles to happen to enjoy a worry-free retirement:

  1. Inflation to get – and stay – under control; and
  2. The stock market to not have any downturns between now and when you die

We call this the hope-and-pray plan

However, there’s another way you could approach this – a way that allows you to enjoy a secure retirement, regardless of what happens with inflation, the market, or the economy.

The Better Alternative to the “Hope-and-Pray” Plan

If you want to avoid the ups and downs of the stock market – or if you’ve been disappointed with traditional retirement advice and rules of thumb – it’s time to seriously consider what adding the Bank On Yourself strategy to your financial plan can do for you.


The Bank On Yourself strategy is a proven alternative to traditional retirement planning advice. Hundreds of thousands of folks across North America use it.

No two plans are alike – yours will be custom-tailored to your unique situation, goals, and dreams. A partial list of benefits you could soon be enjoying includes:

If you’re on the fence about this, consider what Robert Chambers, a retired Naval Commander from Carmel, CA, had to say about his experience:

“When I first heard about Bank On Yourself, I thought it was another investment scheme and almost didn’t look into it. I’m glad I overcame my concerns – it’s now the pillar of our financial plan. I hope you also overcome your concerns and find financial independence so you can enjoy life on your terms.”

To find out how a custom-tailored Bank On Yourself strategy can help you reach your financial goals and dreams – without taking any unnecessary risks – request your free Analysis here today.

There’s no cost or obligation to get your custom Analysis and Recommendations, so click this button to get started now:


The 5 Biggest Financial Threats You Face in 2023

As the New Year gets underway, it’s good to set goals and make plans – but it’s also important to review the biggest threats you face.

Here are the top 5 threats to your financial future in 2023…

Threat #1: 2023 Recession

If you had money in the stock market, you know how bad 2022 was. The S&P 500 lost nearly 20%, and the average 401(k) lost 22.9%. Seeing one-fifth of your life savings vaporize in a single year is a hard pill to swallow.

And after having the worst year in the markets since the 2008 financial crisis, it’s only natural to want to put that behind us and move on. However, what we want to happen and what is happening are two different stories. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg see a 70% chance of a recession in 2023 – which means it’s very likely things will get worse before they get better.

Threat #2: High-Interest Rates

Interest rates are at their highest level in 15 years – and will likely climb higher as the Fed continues to fight inflation. This means that your bank is going to charge you two arms and two legs now if you need to finance a purchase. And if you’re not careful, these high-interest loans can quietly sabotage your nest egg.

Thankfully, there’s a better way – a Bank On Yourself plan gives you fast access to cash with NO questions asked, without the high-interest rates. You can use the money for whatever you need without penalties for accessing it. And you can pay it back when and how you want.

Threat #3: Outdated Retirement Withdrawal Advice

Many people are still following outdated retirement planning advice. For example, the “4% rule” – which meant you could safely withdraw 4% from your retirement account each year – is no longer valid.

The current recommended annual retirement withdrawal rate is just 2.8% – which gives you a 90% probability of having your money last for 30 years.

So, if you had a $1 million nest egg, it would provide you with only $28,000 a year. What kind of lifestyle do you think that would give you? Does it even cover your basic expenses, let alone allow for any of life’s luxuries?

And don’t forget that if you’re saving in tax-deferred accounts like 401(k)s and IRAs, taxes will devour at least one-third of that. Which brings us to…

Threat #4: Postponing Taxes Until Retirement

If you have an IRA or a 401(k), you were probably told those are good ways to lower your taxes. And yes, your contribution does lower your taxable income today. But those government-controlled retirement plans do not allow you to avoid paying taxes. They merely postpone your tax bill until retirement.

Based on current tax rates, you’ll owe 25-50% – or more – of your savings when you take withdrawals from these plans. And when tax rates inevitably go up due to our country’s exploding debt, the largest fiscal stimulus programs in history, and aging demographics, you’ll need to be prepared for an even higher tax bill.

The good news is there are steps you can take NOW to reduce or even eliminate income taxes on your retirement withdrawals. The first step is to stop thinking that your government-controlled tax-deferred retirement plans will help. Your next step is to request a FREE, no-obligation Analysis here now. You’ll get a referral to a Bank On Yourself Professional who can show you better options.


Threat #5: Outliving Your Savings

The typical 65-year-old will outlive their savings by 10 years, according to a study by the World Economic Forum. It assumes you will live an average lifespan. If you’re one of the “lucky” ones who does live longer, you could outlive your money by 25 years or more.

Take Richard Seymour, an 88-year-old retiree who lives with his 87-year-old wife in Maryland. He says, “Although I’m glad we’re alive, I’m scared to death…because we’ve outlived our money.”

Richard was confident they’d be ok with just a 6% average return on investment, knowing he and his wife also had Social Security, Medicare and supplemental health care insurance. “Ours was a fail-safe plan. Man, was I ever wrong,” says Seymour. “We now have no income other than our Social Security benefits.”

How Do You Avoid These Financial Threats?

Sadly, stories like this are far too common. I’ve personally investigated over 450 financial products, strategies, and methods touted as “fail-safe plans.” Most weren’t even worth the paper they were printed on.

This is why I founded Bank On Yourself in 2002. I wanted to ensure people achieve lifetime financial security and never outlive their money. There are safe and proven wealth-building strategies that give you all these benefits and more…

  • Guaranteed, predictable, competitive growth every year – no matter what’s happening in the markets or the economy (all Bank On Yourself plans hit a new record high in 2022 and are on track to do that again in 2023)
  • You can tell banks to take a hike and become your own source of financing… you can even use the money in your plan to buy something or to invest elsewhere, and your plan can continue growing as though you never touched it
  • You get tax-deferred growth and can take a retirement income with no taxes due under current tax law, which lets you avoid tax surprises down the road
  • Because the growth in these plans is exponential and your premium is guaranteed never to increase, you enjoy some built-in protection against inflation
  • There are guaranteed lifetime income strategies that ensure you never outlive your money, no matter how long you live

The Ultimate Financial Security Blanket in Both Good Times and Bad®

It’s easy to find out how to protect your nest egg from the biggest threats today.

In a 15-minute no-obligation introductory call with a Bank On Yourself Professional, you’ll discover how you can benefit from a custom-tailored program. And then you can decide whether you want to implement it or not.

Take action today to ensure your retirement dreams don’t turn into retirement nightmares:


The Secret to Eliminating Your Financial “Icks” in 2023

Two-thirds of Americans intend to make a financial New Year’s resolution for 2023, but only 20% are confident they’ll be able to keep their resolution.

That’s according to a new survey from The Ascent, a Motley Fool service. It’s not surprising why. It’s been a very challenging year, and everybody’s got a case of the financial “icks.”

In a year that many would just as soon forget, a few of the “low lights” include…

A Majority of People Worry about Money Daily, and Many Lose Sleep Because of It

[Read more…] “The Secret to Eliminating Your Financial “Icks” in 2023″

Social Security’s Big Cost of Living Increase (COLA) Means MORE Taxes to Pay

I just turned 70…

Which means I’ll be receiving a special “birthday gift” from Uncle Sam for the first time.

Yes, I’m talking about my first Social Security check.

Even though I could’ve started taking Social Security eight years ago, I decided to wait until now since I’m still working and don’t need the money now.

Which is great because now I’ll get the maximum amount possible.

So, I’m glad I waited…

And I was even happier when I heard that in January, we’ll see an 8.7% increase in our Social Security checks with the cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) – the largest increase since 1981.

On the surface that sounds like great news, right? I mean, who wouldn’t want a bigger Social Security check?

However, the devil is in the details, especially when it comes to retirement income, government benefits, and taxes!

[Read more…] “Social Security’s Big Cost of Living Increase (COLA) Means MORE Taxes to Pay”

Are “Termites” Destroying Your Financial Foundation?

Chomp… Chomp… Chomp…

That’s the sound of termites destroying your financial foundation.

But most people aren’t aware it’s happening. And it’s claiming more victims than you might think.

Of course, you’re aware of how inflation is eating away at the value of your dollars. You feel it at the grocery store, the gas station, when you pay rent, and just about everywhere you look.

But, if, like many Americans, you own a term insurance policy, personally or through your workplace, it might not even be worth the paper it’s printed on when you need it.

Inflation has been running at a 40-year high, currently around 9% per year. But let’s say the Federal Reserve gets it right and brings inflation down to 4% annually in the next few years.

Imagine that you have a $500,000 20-year term policy. In the event of your death, the benefit your loved ones would receive will lose up to 56% of its purchasing power.

[Read more…] “Are “Termites” Destroying Your Financial Foundation?”

Shaky Economy Stressing You Out? Here’s What to Do…

Feeling like a deer in the headlights right now? You’re not alone! Soaring inflation, stock market crashing, a pandemic that just won’t go away – and the only light at the end of the tunnel looks like the oncoming train of recession! We’re all getting squeezed from both ends…

It’s costing you 60% more than last year to fill up your gas tank.

Last month, you thought about buying a new home. This month mortgage rates have priced you totally out of the market.

Global supply chain glitches mean that things you bought all the time are almost impossible to find. (Seriously, a sriracha hot sauce shortage?!?)

Your low-interest charge cards are projected to average 20% in a couple of months – and the high-interest rate ones will be off the charts.

A few months ago, you were sitting on your big, juicy 401(k) or IRA and thinking of early retirement. Now, you’re praying they’ll let you keep your job when you’re 82.

Not long ago, you looked at your retirement account balance and felt euphoric. A humongous asteroid could be heading toward earth and the market would still go up! I can relate. [Read more…] “Shaky Economy Stressing You Out? Here’s What to Do…”

How to Shield Yourself from Market Volatility, Inflation and Interest Rate Woes

Stock market volatility has returned with a vengeance, as this chart of the Dow over the last 3 months starkly illustrates.

We’re facing a whirlwind of economic challenges we have little or no control over. Here are the top 5 currently contributing to the volatility:

Challenge #1: Inflation has hit a 40-year high

That’s hammering consumers, wiping out pay raises, and reinforcing the Federal Reserve’s decision to rip off the band-aid and raise borrowing rates multiple times this year alone, which some economists fear will trigger a recession.

Challenge #2: The pandemic and rock bottom interest rates pushed home prices up at a head-spinning rate

[Read more…] “How to Shield Yourself from Market Volatility, Inflation and Interest Rate Woes”

Trading a Pension for Tension: Why You Need a Safe Money, Guaranteed Income Strategy for Retirement

Today, as you try to figure out a safe money retirement income strategy, you’ve got a lot to consider:

  • The market goes up, and the market goes down. Will it be down when you need to sell some of the assets in your retirement fund? How can you control your financial future when Wall Street is absolutely unpredictable?
  • What about inflation and taxes? What if you put your money into safe CDs, only to get clobbered by inflation? Will higher taxes give you less money to spend in retirement – just when the cost of everything is going up due to increasing inflation?
  • How can you plan your withdrawals if you can’t know for sure how long you’ll live? Over the last century, life expectancy in this country has mostly gone up. How can you be sure your retirement savings won’t run out before you do? And what’s your Plan B if your money does run out?

If you don’t have answers to these questions, join the club! These are the challenges we all face when planning for our retirement, but there are proven strategies that can guarantee you can put these challenges behind you. [Read more…] “Trading a Pension for Tension: Why You Need a Safe Money, Guaranteed Income Strategy for Retirement”

How to Avoid Depleting Your Retirement Nest Egg

The #1 retirement fear of Americans is running out of money. AARP reports that 50% of Americans share that fear.

And with good reason, because the average 65-year-old (the average retirement age in the US is 61) will outlive his or her savings by almost a decade, according to the World Economic Forum. Unfortunately, many will be forced to choose between putting food on the table or paying for life-saving medicine and may end up being dependent on their children.

We spend our working years hustling to build up our retirement nest egg. We assume that when we retire, we’ll supplement Social Security by withdrawing some of the principal. But no one can give us surefire guidance on how much we can safely take from our nest egg each year. In fact, William Sharpe, winner of the 1990 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences, said retirement income planning is “the hardest and nastiest problem in finance.”

How long will your money last in retirement?

[Read more…] “How to Avoid Depleting Your Retirement Nest Egg”