Are You Prepared for These 3 Financial Shocks?

In today’s crazy world, it’s crucial to remain vigilant against major financial shocks that often catch people unprepared. Here are three shocks many people will face and strategies to help you safeguard your financial future against them.

Shock #1: Your Social Security Benefits Can Be Taxed

Most people don’t realize that it’s common – even for middle-income folks – to pay taxes on Social Security benefits. 48% of Americans already pay taxes on their Social Security benefits, according to the SSA. And because the cutoff isn’t benchmarked to inflation, more and more beneficiaries will soon be subject to the tax.

Doesn’t it bother you that the government may require you to pay taxes on the money you get from Social Security – a system you paid your hard-earned money into for all those years? It’s like double jeopardy!

But most people also aren’t aware that you can reduce – or even eliminate – the taxes you may have to pay on your Social Security benefits.

How is that possible?

Your retirement income from a Bank On Yourself policy is not included in the income totals the IRS uses to determine whether (or how much) your Social Security check is taxed.

And the earlier you start planning for this, the greater the tax savings you will reap throughout your retirement.

That’s just one of the numerous tax advantages you’ll get from the Bank On Yourself strategy! To find out your bottom-line guaranteed numbers and the potential tax savings you could get by adding this strategy to your financial plan, request a free, no-obligation Analysis here now:


Shock #2: The Interest Rates You Pay Aren’t Coming Down Soon

Americans are borrowing more than ever on their credit cards, with balances topping $1.08 Trillion for the first time, according to the Federal Reserve Bank. At the same time, an estimated 40% of Americans have drained their pandemic savings to be able to pay for these ballooning bills.

Average credit card interest rates have soared to 24.59%(!), according to Lending Tree – the highest they’ve ever been.

Of course, this assumes you can get approved, and people are increasingly likely to get turned down when they apply – the rejection rate has jumped to almost 22% of applicants!

Meanwhile, delinquencies are at a 12-year high, more people are paying late fees, and if you miss payments, it can cause your interest rate to as much as double!

Even if the Fed does decide to lower interest rates this year, do you really believe that banks, finance, and mortgage companies will give you much of a break anytime soon?

With the Bank On Yourself safe wealth-building strategy…

  1. You can access the equity in your policy whenever and for whatever you want – no questions asked or nosey applications to fill out.
  2. You cannot be turned down for a loan.
  3. You set your own repayment schedule, and if you hit a rough patch, you can skip payments without worrying about collection calls, repossession, or black marks on your credit report.
  4. Your policy continues growing even on the money you borrowed – if your policy is from one of a handful of companies that offer this amazing feature.
  5. You get a competitive interest rate way below market rates regardless of your credit rating. And you can recapture the interest you pay!

Shock #3: Black Swan Events Can Scramble Your Best-Laid Plans

By definition, Black Swan events – like pandemics, global wars, hyperinflation, and weather disasters – are unexpected and supposed to be rare. Yet, we’ve been hit with a whole flock lately, causing the markets to freak out. Do you really think the market will never crash again, or you’ll have enough warning to get out if it does?

Read: Black Swan Events to Watch Out For in 2024

The critical question is: How much does your retirement security depend on the stock market, a beast you can’t predict or control… and that can turn on a dime? If much of your funds are in a conventional retirement plan, the answer is usually “nearly 100%.”

You might take comfort in looking at your 401(k) and IRA account balances after the big stock market rally at the end of 2023 (which was followed by the worst start to a year in over two decades).

But the reality is that you haven’t made a dime until you sell your investments and (hopefully!) lock in your profits. They are paper profits, and while they may make for a temporary high, they aren’t “real” until they are realized.

In contrast, when you look at the annual statement for a Bank On Yourself policy or check your policy values online, the numbers you see represent real money, not just paper wealth. Both your principal and growth are locked in. They don’t go backward, even in a major market crash.

Your money is guaranteed to grow by a larger dollar amount every year, giving you built-in protection from inflation.

You can even know how much money you’d have at any point – guaranteedbefore you decide if you want to move forward with this strategy. Just request a FREE, no-obligation Analysis here to find out:


Average 401(k) Balances Have Barely Budged in 5 Years

Fidelity Investments, the largest provider of 401(k) plans, just reported that the average 401(k) account balance barely budged in the 5 years since the 3rd quarter of 2018. They increased by only $1,200 from $106,500 to $107,700… less than 1.2% total.

To make matters worse, inflation was a whopping 21% during the same period. (Here’s a great inflation calculator.) That means those average 401(k) accounts needed to be at nearly $129,000 – just to keep up with inflation!

Okay, but what if you waited longer, say 10 years, like the “experts” say you should. On the surface, that looks better. The average 401(k) was $84,600 10 years ago and is now $107,700 (a 27.3% gain). But inflation over that period was 30.45%, so the average 401(k) would have to be at $110,357 today to keep up with inflation.

In 2022, the average 401(k) balance plunged 22.9%, according to Fidelity Investments. As I write, the market has been rallying, but you’d need an increase of almost 30% to get back to where you were… and another 3.5% increase to keep even with inflation in 2023, let alone have a gain. It’s pretty nasty news if 2022 was the year you had planned to retire.

And the typical IRA hasn’t fared any better over the last ten years, according to Fidelity:
Average Retirement Account Balances [Read more…] “Average 401(k) Balances Have Barely Budged in 5 Years”

Retirement Plan Unpredictability is a Major Wealth Killer

I have written at length about my research into the wealth-killing traps of 401(k)s, IRAs, 403(b)s, and Roth plans… and how to avoid them.

In this post, I’m going to talk about the trap of retirement plan unpredictability, and I’ll start by asking you a critical question:

Do you know what the value of your retirement account(s) will be on the day you plan to tap into them… and in 20 or 30 years?

If your answer to that question is “no,” then you don’t have a plan – you’re gambling.

Yet isn’t the money you’ve earmarked for retirement money you can’t afford to lose? On top of all of life’s stresses, do you really want to have to worry about when the next market crash could wipe out 50% or more of your life’s savings – as has happened twice just since the year 2000?

Market Volatility Has Proven to be a Cause of Health Problems and Even Early Death

[Read more…] “Retirement Plan Unpredictability is a Major Wealth Killer”

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 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”

Pros, Cons and Why the SECURE Act WON’T Make Your Retirement More Secure

The SECURE Act of 2019 is supposed to help more Americans save for retirement. The new legislation will have an impact on retirement plans – and not all of them are good.

In December of 2019, Congress passed H.R.1994 – the SECURE Act of 2019 – which contains the most sweeping changes to government-controlled retirement accounts – such as 401(k)s, 403(b)s, and IRAs – in more than a decade.

The SECURE legislation – which stands for “Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement” – put into place several provisions supposedly intended to strengthen retirement security.

Not surprisingly, the financial services industry spent many millions of dollars lobbying Congress to ensure passage.

So is the new legislation in your best interests? Is the SECURE Act really likely to increase your retirement security?

[Read more…] “Pros, Cons and Why the SECURE Act WON’T Make Your Retirement More Secure”