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”

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?”

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?”

October 2018 Was Among the Most Volatile Month for Stocks in 118 Years

October was one of the most volatile months for the Dow since 1900. Back then, we were hopping on the first electric buses in New York City and enjoying a new kind of sandwich called a “hamburger” in New Haven. And, we were piling onto an early “Loop the Loop” roller coaster on Wall Street.

Fast forward to October 2018… and enter the Zero-G Inversion Coaster. The Dow fell by over 1,000 points in two days. The S&P 500 dipped in and out of correction multiple times. The Nasdaq plummeted 700 points mid-month, soared over 300 points the next week, and then tumbled back down over 500 points toward month-end. It comes as no surprise that the Fear Index also hit a 3-month high.

It wasn’t Halloween that spooked the markets last month…

Investors had plenty to fear with trade wars, tariffs, rate hikes, Fed policy, underwhelming earnings, slumping housing data, and political partisanship run wild. And as the sugar high of tax cuts, low interest rates and low inflation wears off, there’s a pervading sense that we’ve reached some sort of flashpoint.

What keeps economists up at night? One very sobering question:

What if This Economy is “as Good as It Gets”?

[Read more…] “October 2018 Was Among the Most Volatile Month for Stocks in 118 Years”

Setting the Record Straight on What Bank On Yourself Is – and Isn’t

There are a lot of misconceptions about the meaning of Bank On Yourself. Some folks think it’s just glorified whole life insurance. Others think Bank On Yourself is merely the name of a book.

So, the Bank On Yourself team has created two separate articles. The first explains what Bank On Yourself is, and the second explains what it is not.

What Bank On Yourself Is

Our article on What Is Bank On Yourself? explains that Bank On Yourself is a safe wealth-building strategy – one that puts you in charge, by showing you how to fire your banker, bypass Wall Street, and take back control of your finances. That’s the meaning of Bank On Yourself in a nutshell.

But the article also discusses the benefits of the Bank On Yourself concept. We explain that Bank On Yourself is also the name of our company, and the words “Bank On Yourself” are in the titles of two New York Times best-selling books by Pamela Yellen.

What Bank On Yourself Is NOT

[Read more…] “Setting the Record Straight on What Bank On Yourself Is – and Isn’t”

Why You’ll Lose Money in the Market Even When You Invest Rationally

In his 1865 poem “If,” Rudyard Kipling famously wrote, “If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs … yours is the earth and everything that’s in it.”

That’s a big “if” at the moment. Let’s face it; few people are “keeping their heads” right now.

We’re drowning in a reactionary stew where everything from an exchange of ideas to a “taper tantrum” seems to cause a convulsive panic in the stock market.

And even if you don’t lose your head, you can STILL lose your money! Here’s why…

Admittedly, October has always been a devilish month for Wall Street. Black Tuesday was October 29, 1929. Black Monday was October 19, 1987. And the crash of 2008 happened on October’s doorstep on September 29, 2008,  when the Dow dropped over 777 points. On October 10 of this year, the Dow dropped 832 points – the third-worst point drop in history.

These are the days of falling acorns and Chicken Littles! It’s in this climate – despite historically low unemployment, robust GDP, and soaring consumer confidence – that 800-plus point sell-offs are even possible.

The problem is not just the prevailing concerns about high debt, trade wars, and rising interest rates; it’s the collective uncertainty and reactionary group-think over which we have no control.

Contagion Has Become the Wild Card Enemy of Wealth Accumulation

[Read more…] “Why You’ll Lose Money in the Market Even When You Invest Rationally”

Flat Earthers and Blind Faith Stock Market Bulls – What Do They Have in Common?

They are the ultimate conspiracy theories – the beliefs that the earth is flat and that economies are not cyclical.

The Flat Earth Society (a movement that is active and growing today) finds the notion of a horizontal earth far more plausible than a round planet perched on an axis. To their members, gravity is an illusion and objects are not pulled down, but rather continually accelerate upward.

Adopting this notion requires one to reject all prevailing scientific wisdom and research. And despite centuries of empirical evidence, some Flat Earthers believe that one could literally walk off the end of the world.

Those who think the current bull market will continue to rise without a crash or major correction are equally illogical. Despite generations of economic theory, Blind Faith Bulls have sunk most of their net worth into equities on the unquestioning belief that stocks will climb unabated.

Flat Earthers and Blind Faith Bulls Share a Common Suspension of Disbelief…

[Read more…] “Flat Earthers and Blind Faith Stock Market Bulls – What Do They Have in Common?”