Personal Finance Blog for Retirement and Investment Advice

The 5 Biggest Threats to Your Retirement Security Today

Recent studies and surveys show that pre-retirees and retirees fear these five threats to their retirement finances most – and with good reason. Which of these keep you up at night?

Retirement Security Threat #1: Outliving Your Money

This is such a big and scary threat that some people say they would rather die before their time than run out of money.

Unfortunately, the likelihood of outliving your money is all too real. The average 65-year-old will outlive their savings by almost a decade, according to a recent study by the World Economic Forum.

To determine how much money you’ll need to have saved by the time you retire, a good guideline is the “Rule of 25,” which says you should multiply your total annual expenses by 25. By that measure, to have $100,000 per year (don’t forget to adjust for inflation) to spend in retirement, you’ll need to save $2.5 million.

It’s also important to consider that you may well live longer than you imagine, and studies show people tend to underestimate their life expectancy.

Retirement Security Threat #2: Market Risk

If, like most people, you have a big portion of your assets in stock market investments and the market falls as you’re nearing or already in retirement, it will have a devastating impact on how much you can withdraw each year.

You’ll be forced to cut back significantly on your retirement lifestyle, and/or you’ll have to work longer than you planned – possibly much longer.

Retirement Security Threat #3: Tax Risk

If you’re saving in tax-deferred accounts like 401(k)s, IRAs, and 403(b)s, you have no clue what your tax bill will be when you start taking withdrawals.

According to the Center for Retirement Research, “It’s a very big deal when people realize they only have two-thirds or three-quarters of what they thought they had.”

And that statement was made a few years ago before the largest federal stimulus programs in history jacked up our already out-of-control national debt!

Fact: If you make around $70,000 a year, you’re in the top 25% of American wage earners. And $118,000 or so a year puts you in the top 10%.

And as nice as it may sound to be in the top 10% or even the top 25%, it also means you’ve got a giant target on your back when the government is looking for more revenue to cover its obligations.

Retirement Security Threat #4: Health Care Costs Not Covered by Medicare

Fact: Even healthy 65-year-old couples face $500,000+ in health care costs they will have to cover out of their own pockets (source: Fidelity and Genworth studies).

We still don’t know the full effect that COVID-19 will have on future health care costs. Numerous studies already show damage from COVID-19 to people’s lungs, hearts, brains, and other organs – even if they had mild symptoms or were asymptomatic.

Retirement Security Threat #5: Policy Change Risk

There could be cuts to Social Security benefits – the trust fund was already projected to become depleted in 15 years, and that was before the pandemic and shutdown.

More of your Social Security benefit could be taxed. And changes to the taxation of government-controlled plans (401(k)s, IRAs, etc.) are always possible.

The Biden campaign has proposed changes to the tax deductibility of traditional retirement account contributions, for example. All kinds of changes are possible, and you have no say on it!

You Don’t Have to Volunteer to Be a Victim to these Retirement Security Threats!

The Bank On Yourself safe wealth-building strategy gives you an unbeatable combination of advantages and guarantees, including:

  • You know what your tax rate will be on withdrawals from your policy throughout your retirement – ZERO! Your policy grows tax-deferred and can be accessed tax free, under current tax law
  • The income you take from Bank On Yourself does not cause your Social Security benefits to be taxed and doesn’t hike your Medicare premiums, unlike 401(k) and IRA withdrawals
  • You get guaranteed, predictable growth and retirement income – with no luck, skill or guesswork required
  • There are guaranteed lifetime income options available that ensure you won’t outlive your money
  • You can stop worrying about when another market crash will wipe out 50% or more of your savings – this strategy has a 160-year-plus track record of positive growth
  • It’s a “private, unilateral contract,” which means no changes can be made unless you agree to them!

Don’t you owe it to yourself to investigate how adding Bank On Yourself to your financial plan can help you reach your financial goals and dreams without taking any unnecessary risks?

Request your FREE Analysis TODAY to find out the bottom-line, guaranteed results you could enjoy when you add Bank On Yourself to your retirement savings strategy. You have absolutely nothing to lose and a world of financial peace of mind to gain. So take the next step here now:


Why the Best Way to Get Cash Fast is a Bank On Yourself Policy Loan

When the Coronavirus pandemic and shutdown hit, millions of people found themselves out of a job, and many others had their hours and pay cut.

The government stepped in to provide stimulus, but many people had to wait weeks or even months to receive it.

And just when many people needed fast access to cash, charge card limits were reduced or even canceled without warning.

As Mark Twain wryly noted…

A banker is a fellow who lends you his umbrella when the sun is shining, but wants it back the minute it begins to rain.”

Bank On Yourself Comes to the Rescue…

When you need fast access to cash, what’s the fastest and easiest way to get it? A Bank On Yourself policy loan because it’s money you can get your hands on: [Read more…] “Why the Best Way to Get Cash Fast is a Bank On Yourself Policy Loan”

Why More Experts Are Now Saying It’s Time to Ditch Your 401(k)

A growing number of retirement planning experts are joining the chorus of people saying 401(k) plans no longer make sense for savers in recent articles on Motley Fool, Bloomberg, MarketWatch, and other major publications.

They’re lamenting that one of the biggest appeals of the 401(k) – the ability to make contributions with untaxed dollars in exchange for tax-deferred growth and withdrawals – is disappearing.

The national debt was already skyrocketing before the pandemic spurred the biggest fiscal stimulus programs in history. And a surge in unemployment has lowered tax revenue for federal and state governments.

What do governments typically do to counter budget deficits?

They raise taxes, of course!

And as taxes rise, deferring them in a 401(k) or IRA means you’ll pay more later – potentially a lot more.

Even before the pandemic, the Center for Retirement Research said people lose 25%-33% of the value of their 401(k) to taxes… and most people are shocked when it happens because they forget they’ll owe the IRS taxes on every penny they’ve put in and every penny of growth they’ve deferred.

Do you know what the tax rates will be in 20 or 30 years from now? For that matter, do you know what they’ll be next year or in two years?

[Read more…] “Why More Experts Are Now Saying It’s Time to Ditch Your 401(k)”

72% of Americans Are Stressed About Money – Here’s How to Break Free of It

If you’re feeling stressed about money thanks to the Coronavirus pandemic and shutdown, you’re not alone.

72% of Americans report feeling stressed about money within the last month, according to a new survey by the American Psychological Association. It doesn’t help that 35% of Americans can’t last even one month on their savings, according to the July 2020 Retirement Confidence Index.

So how did we get here… and what can you do about it?

Among the many bits of wealth-killing conventional financial “wisdom” is the recommendation that you have an emergency fund equal to 3 to 6 months of your household expenses.

Almost every financial “expert” parrots this advice, even though millions of Americans were out of work for more than a year in the last major recession!

So here’s a 3-step plan to move towards a financially stress-free life…

Step #1: Start Working Towards a Safe and Liquid Emergency Fund Equal to Two Years of Your Household Expenses

[Read more…] “72% of Americans Are Stressed About Money – Here’s How to Break Free of It”

From “Bank On Yourself is a Scam” to “This Can Work for Everyone!”

Dan Proskauer is a technology executive for a major health care company who heard a radio ad for Bank On Yourself in 2009 that caught his attention. At that time, the economy was in a deep recession, and the stock market was plunging.

For several years, Dan had felt frustrated because he’d been doing all the “right things” he’d been taught to do with his finances… but those “right things” were failing him – and most other Americans – miserably.

Having been burned numerous times by following the conventional financial “wisdom,” Dan was understandably very skeptical of Bank On Yourself. It sounded “too good to be true.” In fact, it sounded like it must be a scam!

(I recently interviewed Dan about his 11-year journey with Bank On Yourself, and you can click here to skip to hear the interview and/or read a transcript of it.) [Read more…] “From “Bank On Yourself is a Scam” to “This Can Work for Everyone!””

Coronavirus Pandemic Exposes Cracks in 401(k) Plans

I’ve written extensively about why more and more experts are warning that the 401(k) is an experiment that’s failed, and why the man considered to be the “father” of the 401(k) says it’s a monster that should be destroyed.

But the pandemic, shutdown and resulting economic downturn have exposed dangerous cracks in the 401(k) system. I’ll explain three of them here and show you how to protect yourself…

New 401(k) Problem #1: Companies are Suspending Matching Contributions

Tens of millions of workers have already been affected, and more companies have announced their plans to suspend the 401(k) match.

That’s a real blow for employees who’ve come to think of the match as “free money” and assumed it’s a perk that won’t be yanked with little warning.

But the reality is that the employer match isn’t really “free money” at all. According to a study by the Center for Retirement Research, for every dollar an employer contributes to your 401(k) match, they pay 90 cents less in salary to men and 99 cents less to women!

Translation: For every matching dollar you’re given, you really only receive 10 cents or less in total compensation. [Read more…] “Coronavirus Pandemic Exposes Cracks in 401(k) Plans”

How to Be Financially Prepared for Any Emergency or Black Swan Event

By definition, an “emergency” is an unexpected and difficult or dangerous situation which happens suddenly and requires quick action to deal with it.

The unexpected doesn’t wait around for you to get your act together. But does that mean you can’t be prepared for an emergency… even one as devastating as the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown?

Are you willing to play a little game of the imagination and find out?

What if you were forewarned two years ago that in March of 2020…

  • We’d be in the grips of a pandemic and there would be a shutdown of virtually the entire economy
  • Tens of millions of people would lose their jobs and you could be one of them. And many others would have their hours and pay cut
  • The government would step in and provide stimulus, but it could take a month or two or more until you receive it
  • Your charge card limits could be reduced or even canceled without warning
  • Stock market volatility would return with a vengeance and your plans for retirement could be upended for years or even a decade to come
  • People of any age could be debilitated or even die after being infected with the virus

If You Had Been Warned of This Two Years Ago, What Would You Have Done Differently?

[Read more…] “How to Be Financially Prepared for Any Emergency or Black Swan Event”

How to Avoid the Pitfalls of 401(k)s and IRAs: Pamela Yellen’s Interview on Beyond 50 Radio

I was just interviewed on Beyond 50 Radio about the wealth-killing traps of 401(k)s and IRAs and how to avoid them.

When you listen to the replay of this interview by clicking on the play arrow below, you’ll discover:

  • How the pandemic has exposed the shortcomings of traditional retirement accounts
  • Why the 401(k) employer match isn’t really “free money” at all
  • Why you should never let your employer choose where to invest your 401(k) contribution – most employers now automatically invest your money, and almost no one questions it!
  • Why you’re likely to retire in the highest tax brackets of your life – and how to legally slash your tax bill
  • How the fees hidden in 401(k)s can devour 40% or more of your hard-earned money
  • The critical difference between saving and investing for retirement
  • Why you need an emergency fund equal to two years of your household expenses
  • How to have quick and easy access to the money you need to weather the challenges life unexpectedly throws at you – and how you can get the exact same growth on that money as though you never touched it
  • The real reason many financial representatives will steer you away from the Bank On Yourself strategy
  • What the Bank On Yourself strategy is in a nutshell

You can listen to the interview by pressing the play arrow below…

[Read more…] “How to Avoid the Pitfalls of 401(k)s and IRAs: Pamela Yellen’s Interview on Beyond 50 Radio”

Bank On Yourself – a Financial Bunker for Scary Times

These are unprecedented times we find ourselves in, and there is no historical playbook for navigating them.

The Coronavirus has turned the financial markets upside down, and the experts are bemoaning the fact that there’s “been no place to hide,” including the traditional “safe havens.”

However, none of the hundreds of thousands of people who use the Bank On Yourself strategy lost a penny as the markets careened out of control. Their plans haven’t skipped a beat and continue growing by a guaranteed, predictable amount, just as has happened every year for the last two centuries.

Their annual increases are guaranteed to get larger every year, and all of their principal and ALL of the gains they have ever received are locked in. These plans do not go backward.

They also have access to the equity in their plans to help them weather the extraordinary challenges they face today – with no restrictions, no penalties, no taxes due… and no questions asked!

Let’s take a look at three ways Bank On Yourself is your best financial bunker in scary times:

Bank On Yourself Has a 200-Year Track Record of Positive, Guaranteed, Competitive Growth

[Read more…] “Bank On Yourself – a Financial Bunker for Scary Times”

How to Rescue Your Retirement from “Black Swan” Events that Can Scramble Your Retirement Plans

Did you see the coronavirus pandemic coming?

Did you anticipate the disruptions to travel, schools closing, major events being canceled, quarantines, cities and states declaring states of emergency, employees told not to come into work, and chaos at stores as people panic to buy necessities?

Did you expect the Saudis and Russia would start an oil price warprecisely as panic over COVID-19 was reaching a fever pitch – causing crude oil prices to collapse in the biggest one-day move in 30 years?

Did you see it coming that investors would wake up on March 9 drowning in so much fear that panic selling in the market caused a “circuit breaker” to trip and halt trading for 15 minutes, to hopefully allow panic to subside? [Read more…] “How to Rescue Your Retirement from “Black Swan” Events that Can Scramble Your Retirement Plans”