Personal Finance Blog for Retirement and Investment Advice

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 representatives 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?”

Reviews for Saving for College Using the Bank On Yourself Method

When you think about saving for your children’s college tuition, what savings vehicle comes to mind?

Families often use traditional investment and savings accounts, 529 College Savings Plans, UGMAs (Uniform Gift to Minors Accounts), and UTMAs (Uniform Transfers to Minors Act).

But there’s a big problem there. Who’s going to guarantee you won’t lose your money – and your kid’s chance for a great education – in a stock market crash?

Nobody.

Absolutely nobody. Not your broker, certainly. (Try asking him if he’ll guarantee your stock market investment. Get ready to be laughed at.)

Not Uncle Sam. And not the college. Nobody’s going to guarantee that your money in the market will grow. And nobody’s going to guarantee you won’t lose it in the next market crash.

And that’s the thing. This is your kid’s future you’re gambling with, for Pete’s sake. This is money you can’t afford to lose!

And if you can’t afford to lose it, you can’t afford to risk it. Because “Risk = possibility of loss.”

If you can’t afford to lose it, you can’t afford to risk it.”

That’s why the Bank On Yourself strategy for saving for college is becoming more and more popular. [Read more…] “Reviews for Saving for College Using the Bank On Yourself Method”