Who do you know that makes $10 million a year? They don’t live in my neighborhood. Neither does Bruce Willis but every time he signs to star in a movie, his $20 million salary always makes the news. Do you think those contracts should be made public? Should any sector of our business sector be able to keep contracts secret? Do you really care? I can say that I don’t care, but I know someone who does, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the financial industry regulator FINRA care.
My friend John has a special item in his life, John has a safe. This isn’t any ordinary safe; it is a special safe that John keeps his important money in. John’s safe protects his money so it is never at risk and no one can withdraw John’s money from his safe, except him. He is the only one with the combination to his safe. John’s safe has a special feature, it increases John’s money by paying guaranteed interest each month.
The current state of the world economy is about as volatile as it has ever been since WWII. Many investors have run to safety and made huge purchases in the only one really safe vehicle available-US Treasuries. Buying Treasuries is definitely a safe investment option….or is it? It is true that US Treasuries carry no risk, no risk in your investment being lost. However, there is another risk associated with investing in US Treasuries.
If you are like most people who participate in an employer-sponsored retirement plan, you will be pleasantly surprised to learn that you may be permitted to access part or all of your assets within the plan while still employed. It is one of the most unique and powerful investment strategies available, yet it’s seldom used or explained in offering greater diversification and opportunities. Some opportunities may even provide guaranteed benefits for lifetime income.
The feature separating equity index annuities from standard interest bearing annuities is how the account’s interest is credited. Indexed fixed annuities normally offer a minimum guaranteed interest rate combined with an interest rate linked to a market index such as the Standard and Poor’s 500 or the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Because of the equity index annuity’s guaranteed interest rate, fixed equity indexed annuities have no market risk other than the expected interest credited to the annuity, which is determined by the outside source.
While dollar cost averaging does not by itself shield investors from market downturns, continuous and scheduled purchases over an extended period of time tend to cancel out the ups and downs of the market, and leave the investor with a net gain and a minimized risk. A variable annuity is more suited for taking advantage of dollar cost averaging because it allows for a specific portion of your annuity investment to be transferred tax free on a monthly into equity portfolios.
Today, an indexed annuity is an investment product sold by insurance companies. Indexed annuities can be purchased through a series of contributions or in one lump sum. The money put into the fixed indexed annuity contract is allowed to grow for a period of time. Then, at a future date, the contract becomes a fixed index annuity income through periodic payments over a specified period of time or for a lifetime.
Purchasing an annuity can be a great way to guarantee your retirement income for as long as you live. It can also protect your assets from inflation, stock market fluctuations, a serious medical crisis or other unforeseen circumstances. An annuity can help bolster your retirement financial plan by guaranteeing your retirement income. Think of an annuity like a pension you might purchase. You pay a lump sum or payments over time. In return you receive monthly income for a specified period of time or for the rest of your life – no matter how long you live.
In its simplest definition, an annuity is an amount payable annually. For our purposes, however, an annuity describes a contract offered by an insurance company that allows you to accumulate funds for retirement on a tax-deferred basis. Upon retirement, you’ll receive income from the annuity that can be guaranteed by the insurer to last either a fixed number of years, or as long as you live. An annuity is neither life insurance nor a health insurance policy, and it’s not a savings account or a bank Certificate of Deposit.
As kids almost all of us dreamed of being a millionaire I was raised in a small town in Idaho, we had one millionaire. People would always talk about her (yes, a her) about her cars, her vacations, her house and especially the Christmas party she always hosted. My parents went to the party every year; it was all so grand, at least by our small town’s standards. One year I got to park cars for the party and earned $20, a really huge payday for me. Now as I look back and wonder about being a millionaire I have realized that a big pile of money isn’t really an answer — it is what that pile of money can do that is important.