…says 75-year-old Margie Alford of Austin, Texas. Yet, Margie’s financial planner is moving her CD money into stocks instead, after fruitlessly waiting for three years for interest rates to rise.
Low interest rates of the past several years have taken a toll on U.S. savers. “The Fed has removed the last shred of possibility that interest rates will revert to normal in the near future,” according to Christopher Carroll, profession at Johns Hopkins University.1
As a result, retirees are taking on more risk… at a time they can least afford to.
With interest rates on CD’s, saving and money market accounts not even keeping up with inflation, what other options do you have?
This short video reveals the problems with the conventional wisdom about financial and retirement planning, and explains why the average family with a head of household age 60-70 has been able to save only 25% of what it will need for retirement.
Many readers of this blog have asked to see more specific examples showing how much guaranteed and predictable income you could have in retirement, using the Bank On Yourself method. So I’ve included a fascinating example on this video.
If you have the feeling your financial plan has been treading water (or going backwards) for far too long, you’ll want to be sure to watch this video now. It’s got some pretty cool animation in it, too!
Wondering where you’ll find the funds to start a plan? Don’t worry! You’ll receive a referral to one of only 200 financial representatives in the country who have met the rigorous requirements to be a Bank On Yourself Professional and can show you eight ways to find money to fund a plan that can help you reach as many of your goals as possible, in the shortest time possible.
We received several hundred correct entries to last week’s blog contest and the five randomly picked winners are listed below, along with the details of a NEW contest I’m holding.
You could win an iPod Touch, $100 Amazon.com gift certificate, a $25 dining Certificate and more!
In case you missed last week’s contest, I had posted a podcast discussing some of the internet forums where people anonymously debate the merits of Bank On Yourself and discuss whether or not it’s a scam.
On one of those threads that comes up very high in the search results, one of my toughest, potty-mouthed critics has slowly come around and admitted I’m right about many of the points I’ve been making.
When challenged by another poster about the actual returns people get in the stock market, he dragged out 29 years of records of his own investing accounts, and was shocked to discover what his returns had actually been.
The contest was simple to enter – just listen to the podcast where I revealed what my critic discovered was his actual annual rate of return BEFORE accounting for inflation and taxes… and then tell us what the percentage was.
Since the contest has ended, I can reveal the answer now. My critic averaged a 4.5% annual return over the past nearly three decades of investing in the stock market.
That’s BEFORE accounting for inflation, which averaged more than 3% per year, bringing his real return down closer to 1% per year.
And since much of his investing has been in tax-deferred accounts, he has yet to pay taxes on that money. Of course, he doesn’t know what the tax rates will be during his retirement, when he’s taking income from those accounts.
But what direction do you think tax rates will be going over the long term? (If you said “down,” I’ve got a Rolex watch I’ll sell you for $20.)
When you account for inflation and taxes, the question that ought to hit you over the head is…
Was it worth it?!?
Was it worth all the roller-coaster ups and downs and the sleepless nights to get 4.5% per year before taxes and inflation?
My critic’s experience wasn’t unique, although I’ll commend him for actually looking at his statements and then being willing to admit publicly – if anonymously – his disappointing results.
One subscriber to the Bank On Yourself blog made a similar discovery and posted this comment on last week’s blog:
Wow. I had the exact same experience when investigating Bank On Yourself before starting my own plans (have multiple policies and am LOVING the results – exactly as predicted or better, no surprises and I sleep well at night). I made the same Google search and spent hours poring over the posts. What struck me was that nobody ever presented any evidence of any kind of scam. Some folks disagreed with the assumptions or touted their wildly inaccurate assumptions about equities as a more attractive alternative, but never did anyone have anything remotely scam-ish to report.”
This comment came from Dan Proskauer, a very analytical man who has spent literally hundreds of hours researching Bank On Yourself, running spreadsheets and crunching the numbers.
And this concise comment made last week by a subscriber named John really summed up what a lot of people are (finally) figuring out…
I LOVE my Bank On Yourself plan, it does everything I was promised and more. I’ve not borrowed a penny from a bank or credit card in over a year. Why should I? I lend it to myself! And if you want a scam, I have two words for you … Wall Street”
Now for the details of our NEW contest…
A comment was made on the same thread that debates the merits of Bank On Yourself that it essentially works the same as a savings account, but with the added advantage of having a death benefit. This statement really got me thinking.
While there certainly are some ways in which Bank On Yourself-type policies function like a savings account, I can think of a lot of major, critical differences.
But rather than me telling you what those differences are, I’d rather hear what you believe they are. And some of our subscribers are a whole bunch smarter than I am.
So, I’m holding another contest, and our team will pick the five best answers and award a top prize of an iPod Touch (a $229.00 value), a second prize of a $100 Amazon.com gift certificate, and three runner-up prizes that will give you a choice of a $25 dining gift certificate or a personally autographed copy of my best-selling book for you or to give to someone you care about.
Just answer the following question in the comments box below no later than midnight, Monday, October 3:
The contest question is: How is dividend-paying whole life insurance different from a savings account (besides the death benefit)?
You can address one or more differences, or comment on someone else’s response to qualify.
And if you think I’m “full of it,” feel free to tell us that, too. (Some of our subscribers don’t seem to need any encouragement to do that…)
We’ll circle back here next week to report on the contest results and winners.
To qualify, just type in your response in the comments box at the end of this post no later than midnight, Monday, October 3rd. Please note that all comments are moderated, so there will be some delay before it appears. (Sorry – open to U.S. residents only.)
And now for the winners of last week’s contest. As I mentioned, we received hundreds of entries with the correct answer by both email and via the blog comments. These five randomly chosen winners have all been notified by email:
$100 Amazon.com gift certificate – Sheri Browning
The four winners of the $25 dining gift certificate or autographed book – Jeannie Fisher, Kevin Caldwell, Lynne, and Rich Rhoads
Okay! Scroll down to the comments box and enter the contest…
If you’ve ever searched for Bank On Yourself on Google, you’ve probably come across a couple of websites containing threads where posters debate the merits of Bank On Yourself.
One such thread that comes up high in the search results has nearly 200 posts spanning the last year and a half.
On this lively audio podcast, Bank On Yourself founder Pamela Yellen discusses how her toughest anonymous critic on that thread has slowly been coming around.
He now (grudgingly) admits that Pamela is right about many of the points he has been contesting. And, when challenged by another poster about the actual returns people get in the stock market, he even dragged out 29 years of records of his own investing accounts, only to conclude that he is “just an average investor.”
To listen to this fast-paced, surprising interview, click on the play button below, or you can download the recording as an mp3 and listen to it on your own player or iPod now at:
Near the end of this 15-minute interview, you’ll also discover a fast and simple experiment you can try to determine if Bank On Yourself really is a scam… or if it’s the ultimate financial security blanket in both good times and bad.
We really want to hear your comments and feedback! Tell us what you think in the comments box below. Please note that any comments containing the answer to the question of what was Pamela’s critics rate of return will be posted after September 24th, so as not to give away the answer…
A core tenet of the Bank on Yourself Nation is that money should always bring pleasure or satisfaction, never regret or guilt.
For so many people, that principle seems unrealistic, especially considering how very hard it is most months just to stay afloat – paying for necessities such as groceries, medicines, utilities, transportation, insurance and the like. Oh yes, let’s not forget the always hungry tax monster!
Seems to so many of us that our paychecks are swallowed whole by our obligations before we ever get the chance to even sample the flavor of having some accumulated cash in our pockets and bank accounts.
After much deliberation, five members of the Bank On Yourself team each picked their favorite entry – each of these winners will receive their choice of a $25 dining gift certificate or a personally autographed copy of my best-selling book, Bank On Yourself, for themselves or to give as a gift to someone they care about.
And together, the team picked their favorite entry and that person won a $100 American Express Gift Certificate. (All winners will soon be receiving an email letting them know how to claim their prizes.)
After losing half of his retirement savings not once, but TWICE, during the past decade, Dr. Bryan Kuns decided, “there has to be a better way.”
A family and occupational medicine practitioner for 25 years, the doctor realized that, at age 50, he and his wife might only have one more chance to get it right. “I need some more guarantees than taking a chance and gambling again with my retirement,” Bryan realized.
It’s an answered prayer. I’m sleeping a lot better at night, now. The guarantees that this program has are what I was looking for.” –Dr. Bryan Kuns
Bryan offered to share his story with you. Whether you already use Bank On Yourself, or you’ve been considering adding it to your financial plan, you’ll learn something of value from this interview. You can listen to the interview by pressing the play button below, or you can download the entire interview as an Mp3 and listen on your own player or iPod…
Since AAII said they would not publish my response or correction of the misinformation contained in their review, I told them I would publish it here and let YOU be the judge of whether AAII was twisting and omitting things… or being fair and unbiased.
So I picked ten (the winners are listed at the end of this post – check to see if your comment was one that was chosen). And I’ve excerpted from a number of the comments here, so I can share some of the highlights with you.
Jeffrey summarized the thinking of many commenters about AAII this way:
AAII naturally committed the typical strategic blunders essential to the charade proposed by the investment industry (Wall Street) and financial professionals (a.k.a. traders, gamblers, speculators, etc.). Any attempt to allow people an opportunity to truly grow wealth, reduce risk, and prepare for a more stable environment challenges the status quo of buy and lose (commonly referred to as buy and hold) and then industry pundits (AAII) start the negative attacks in order to establish fear of finances and preserve their base of profits. AAII omitted important aspects of your plan, distorted facts of your plan to promote obfuscation, and blatantly twisted all aspects of your plan in order to destroy your credibility.
Thank you for presenting people with an opportunity to actually prepare, plan, and realize a better financial picture.”
-$62,734.06. That’s the “unrealized” loss we’ve had in one of the mutual funds in our retirement account, according to the statement we just received.
A $62,734.06 unrealized loss.
I keep staring at the statement, hoping that number will somehow magically turn positive. After all, we’ve had a nice run-up in the stock market recently, and that mutual fund has one of the best long-term track records of any fund.
What the heck is an unrealized loss, anyway?
I realize I’ve lost a whole bunchof money. And I remember working my butt off to make that money!”
A $62,734 “unrealized loss.” Is that an oxymoron, like “Great Depression,” “small fortune,” “accurate forecast” and “quickly reboot”?
I dunno if it qualifies as an oxymoron. But I do know it’s moronic that we pin our hopes and plans for financial and retirement security on things we can’t predict or count on!
My husband Larry is 61 and theoretically four years away from retirement. He probably won’t retire when he’s 65 because he says he’d get bored. But if we were relying on the conventional wisdom about saving for retirement, it wouldn’t even be an option for him.
Did you know that 40% of retirees were forced to retire sooner than planned, due to health problems, job layoffs and other factors beyond their control?
Of course, none of us want to think that could happen to us… but what would you do if it did?
Another mutual fund in our retirement account shows an $8,012.16 “unrealized” gain.
And there lies the rub: You don’t actually lock in a gain or loss until you sell an investment.
(November 22, 2011 Update: Our most recent retirement account statement shows our “unrealized loss” is virtually unchanged since I wrote this blog post almost a year ago. And looking at the Dow’s ups and downs over the past year makes a day on the roller coasters at Six Flags look tame.)
Can you tell me what your retirement account will be worth on the day you plan to tap into it? (Not what you hope it will be.) If your answer is “no,” how can you even call it a plan? And what will you do if the market plunges by 50% – again – right before you planned to retire?
The ’10/10/10′ Formula of Savings Rescues Many Overstretched Family Budgets
Executive Summary: Most modern Americans overspend, assume too much debt, and fail to invest wisely for retirement. Tim Austin, a leading proponent of ‘old-fashioned’ spending and savings strategies, recommends a time-tested 10/10/10 financial formula: saving 10% of gross income for the near-term; 10% for the mid-term; and setting aside 10% for the long-term. Austin’s favorite savings tool is specially-designed dividend-paying whole life insurance policies such as those structured by Bank On Yourself’s specially trained and Professionals.
By Pamela Yellen and Dean Rotbart
Even back in 1975, the year comedian Woody Allen wrote, directed and starred in the movie Love and Death, the perception of whole life insurance as a savings instrument designed for fuddy-duddies and masochists was already commonplace.
There are some things worse than death”
…deadpans the film’s protagonist, Boris Grushenko, played by Allen…
If you’ve ever spent an evening with an insurance salesman, I’m sure you know what I mean”