The fact is that the retirement landscape in America is changing, it may surprise you to learn that the fastest growing segment within the United States population are those citizens age 80 and over. This will impact the entire country as a higher percentage of citizens enter to this stage in life.
In addition to higher overall numbers of retirees, Americans can now expect to live a greater longer than they could just a few decades ago. Because of medical advances and healthier living and more active life style many retirees will now see the retirement last for 20 to 30 years or even more. Isn’t that fantastic?
This does create a challenge however. The rising population of new retirees and a longer average retirement places pressure on the US retirement system. The facts are that we are entering a new era unlike anything the country has faced before.
Proper planning now can ensure that you are ready for the challenges that lie ahead.
The second challenge to a successful retirement that is often overlook is the high cost of inflation. The fact is that the year in and year out inflation erodes the purchasing power of your retirement savings. Since 1975 the consumer price index that measures inflation has increased by an average of 4.35% per year. Does that rate of growth surprise you? The following tells you a little more about this challenge of inflation:
According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Inflation Calculator:
- Groceries that used to cost you $100 in 1975 now cost more than $359 today.
- A $7,000 automobile now costs more than $25,000.
- The price of a gallon of milk has increased by more than 3.5 times.
The bottom line is that inflation reduces your purchasing power.
This brings us to our next challenge to retirement Success:
I meet with a lot of people and I always hear the same thing over and over:
Folks tell me that they pay more than enough for taxes, and they feel the system is pretty complicated. Well they are not really so complicated after all.
The way it works is:
“The more you earn, the higher percentage you will pay.”
Taxes can reduce the power of your long term savings and ultimately reduce the total quality of your retirement. How do you feel about this?
Our next retirement challenge is the impact on Social Security Benefits
As the demand on Social Security increases, so does pressure to make changes to the existing system. Isn’t that what we hear all the time? Politicians in Washington DC are constantly grappling with this big issue. Many experts believe that more changes lie ahead.
The outcome of this decisions will directly affect you. What do you think is going to happen? Did you know as much as 85% of your Social Security benefits can be subjected to income tax?
Many of the people that I meet with, are surprised to learn that they are paying taxes on their Social Security benefits. This taxation is based on something called Provisional Income.
Provisional Income includes the total of normal earned income like interest from CD’s (Certificates of Deposit) as well as one-half of the Social Security benefits you receive and even tax-exempt income such as interest earned from tax-free municipal bonds. As you can see it doesn’t take a whole lot of income to end up losing some of your benefits.
Market Risk is our next challenge to Retirement Success
My questions are pretty simple:
Should all of your assets be exposed to the same level of risk? And if you could paint a perfect picture what would you really like your money to do for you?
Market Risk can impact how long your retirement funds will last when you begin accessing your money during retirement. Market rise and fall on a daily basis. Accessing your money during a market downturn can dramatically affect how long your retirement dollars will last. Does that make sense to you?
The other thing to consider is with many investments and savings tools you will pay fees and commissions as you access these assets that you worked s lifetime to accumulate.
Many of my clients indicate to me that they want to avoid that situation. How do you feel about it?
To truly have a successful retirement we need to overcome these challenges. I believe you may share many other concerns my other clients have.
- Longer Life Expectancies: Is there a way to ensure that your money lasts throughout your lifetime?
- Inflation: Can you keep pace with or even outpace inflation?
- Taxes: Can you control when or if you pay taxes during your lifetime? Can you reinvest earnings without taxation?
- Social Security: Can you avoid the tax liability on your Social Security benefits?
- Safety: Can you guarantee your principal and past growth against market risk?
- Access: Can you accomplish this and still have sufficient access to your money when needed?
As with any challenge I believe there is always an opportunity.
A TAX Deferred Fixed Annuity:
A Tax Deferred Annuity is a contract between you and an insurance company. This contractual relationship provides certain features and advantages that many people find beneficial in their overall financial picture.
I like to share with you some of those things:
Let’s Review the common challenges again and identify some solutions
Remember challenge #1?
Longer life expectancies now extend retirement for many years.
An annuity is the ONLY financial vehicle that can provide a Guaranteed Income for life; no matter how long you live. Doesn’t that sound great?
keeping up with the rising costs of inflation. Between 1975 and 2005, consumer prices have increased by 4.35% per year. That’s just too much!
A TAX deferred annuity can help you grow your money more efficiently with competitive rates of return and TAX deferred accumulation.
Income Taxes: Every year, taxes can take a substantial portion of your earnings. You are paying the IRS for your interest, dividends, and capital gains even if you are not using those funds.
A TAX Deferral strategy puts you in control of when you will pay taxes on the interest you earn.
TAX Deferral is really TAX Control. Doesn’t that sound better?
TAX Deferral is your right to decide, if ever in your lifetime, to pay taxes on the interest you earn.
- You earn interest on your principal.
- You earn interest on your interest.
- You earn interest on the money you would have otherwise paid in taxes.
Can this help reduce your TAX picture? ABSOLUTLEY!
Remember Tax deferral is really TAX control. The difference is dramatic!
Social Security benefits lost to income taxes due to Provisional Income calculations.
One type of income that is not included in the Provisional Income formula is TAX deferred income.
By simply putting some of your assets into a TAX deferred Annuity and leaving the interest to compound internally, you can control your income flow to meet your needs without taxing your important Social Security benefits.
In essence this is an additional benefit of TAX deferred growth. Isn’t that terrific?
Let’s take a look at a sample retiree situation:
This person is single and has done a good job saving for her retirement. She has accumulated some assets and has invested in CDs, Money Markets and Muni Bonds. Her income consists of a pension of $19,200 per year, Social Security is paying her $11,400, Bonds interests is equal to $4,000, The CDs and Money Market account’s interest is approximately $12,800. For a combined total income annually of $47,400.
Now let’s take a look at how we calculate provisional income:
Very simply we carry the pension income over in its entirely ($19,200) but for the provisional income threshold calculation we take half of the social security benefit as well, So half of $11,400 is $5,700. We include all the bonds interests ($4,000) and all the CDs and Money Market interest ($12,800). For the total threshold income of $41,700 as compared to a total actual income of $47,400. (Social Security TAX percentage is 85%)
This is a lot of information! So, you might have questions about what we just did here to calculate threshold income and how that compares to het total income?!!
Let’s move on! She is single, and her threshold income is $41,700! That means 85% of her social security benefits will be subject to TAX! That means 85% of $11,400 or $9,690 is considered taxable income to her! At her TAX bracket she will pay a little over $2,600 in taxes on her social security benefits alone! And she will be looking at an overall TAX bill of just under $5,300.
Now let’s re-visit her situation with a minor adjustment. The minor adjustment is to simply introduce an annuity in to her retirement nest egg. By adding an annuity to her portfolio, we are able to reduce her taxable income amount by $16,800! That one adjustment in her portfolio reduces her threshold income to $24,900, which is under the threshold limit of $25,000. Because she is below the threshold of $25,000 her social security will no longer be considered taxable. So she doesn’t pay taxes on her social security benefits, and finally her overall tax bill is reduced to $1,249. That represents a 76% reduction in taxes. This is very significant. Don’t you think?!
Market Risk: Market rise and fall on a daily basis.
Deferred Annuity insulate you from negative market movements. An annuity guarantees your principal and any growth inside your plan from lost. It is really rock-solid protection for your assets.
Other benefits of a Tax-Deferred Fixed Annuity:
Because it is a contract with an insurance company when you properly designate your beneficiaries you can:
- Avoid all the cost and the delays associated with probate.
- Avoid fees for accessing your money when you need it. Annuities provide access to funds through penalty free withdrawals. (That varies by policy, See policy for exact provisions.)
- No up-front sales charges.
- Competitive rates of return.
Do you find some or all of these benefits appealing? Which one of these ideas I just shared with you are most important to you? !!!