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It’s been a volatile few weeks in the financial markets. In mid-February, we were still enjoying a relatively healthy economy. And then the coronavirus arrived. Between Friday, February 21 and Monday, March 16, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has dropped by 30.37%.1
The rapid decline has left many investors with two questions:
There’s no easy answer to the first question. If history is any guide, eventually the decline will stop, and the economy will recover. The second question is even more difficult to answer. There are certainly protection options available, but not all options are right for all investors. Your strategy should be based on your unique needs, goals, and tolerance for risk. Below are a few options you have available:
Shifting to a more conservative strategy.
Tax time is almost here again. Are you one of those filers who wait until the last minute? You’re not alone. Unfortunately, procrastination can be costly, especially in retirement when every dollar count. If you wait, you may rush and that may cause you to miss valuable deductions, credits, and other strategies.
The good news is you still have time to prepare. Below are five actions you can take today to get prepared for tax time and possibly save yourself some money. If you haven’t gotten started on your tax planning, now is the time to do so.
Unprepared for retirement
As a married couple, your life is often marked by milestones. There’s the day you met and the day you married. You buy a house and perhaps welcome children. You celebrate anniversaries and birthdays and advances in your careers.
And then there’s the ultimate milestone - retirement. That’s the day you are both able to leave the working world behind and live life on your own terms. You can spend your time however you wish. You can travel, pursue new hobbies, spend time with family, and generally do whatever you wish. Life should be perfect, right.
Retirement is supposed to be a joyous occasion. After all, this is the time when you get to leave the constraints of a busy career behind. You’re free to set your own schedule and spend your time as you wish. There’s no boss to report to. No clients to manage. No big projects to complete. You’re free to do whatever you like.
So why is retirement so difficult for many people? Very often, new retirees realize that this new phase of their life isn’t all they had expected. They miss socializing with their colleagues at work. Without a job, they feel a lack of purpose. They have trouble transitioning to life at home. In fact, a recent study showed that retirees were twice as likely to suffer from depression as those who are still working.1
The government passed a year-end spending bill in December, and it included one piece of legislation that could have a big impact on retirees. It’s called the SECURE Act. The bill’s name is an acronym for Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement.
The legislation is aimed at helping Americans save more for retirement. While many of the changes will certainly be helpful, they may also require you to revisit your retirement strategy. The SECURE Act affects many different areas, from your 401(k) plan to your IRA to even how you take withdrawals in the later stages of retirement.
What are you most thankful for this Thanksgiving? Time spent with family and friends? Good health? Perhaps a positive career development? This is the season to reflect on the past year and appreciate all of life’s good fortune.
You probably have a number of blessings for which to be thankful. One that may not be so obvious is your financial strategy to protect your loved ones from risk. Specifically, you might be thankful for your life insurance policy, which protects your loved ones from one of life’s most catastrophic risks
More Americans than ever are including annuities in their retirement planning. According to the Limra Secure Retirement Institute, there were more than $132 billion in fixed annuity purchases in 2018. That’s a 25 percent increase over the previous year and an all-time record.1
Fixed annuities are retirement income vehicles that allow you to earn tax-deferred accumulation, often with some kind of downside protection. For example, you might earn a fixed interest rate over a set period of time. Or you could have the potential to earn interest based on the performance of an external market index, like the S&P 500.
It’s the scariest time of year. Halloween is here again. It’s time to stock up on candy, carve your pumpkin, and find the perfect costume. This may be the season for ghouls and goblins, but there could also be terror lurking in your retirement strategy.
More than 50% of Americans say their number-one financial concern is not having enough money for retirement.1 It’s a valid concern. Retirement is a substantial financial need. It can be challenging to accumulate enough money to fund a long, stable retirement.
According to a recent survey from Policygenius, only 32% of Americans own life insurance.1 Life insurance provides financial protection, especially for those with children or other dependents. Life insurance provides a tax-free lump sum benefit that can be used to cover a wide range of expenses and financial challenges.
Life insurance is a valuable tool for many Americans, but it can be important for small business owners. In many small businesses, the owner wears multiple hats. You may be the CEO, but also a salesperson, a manager, a bookkeeper, and much more. If the owner passes away, the business could suffer a major loss, both financially and operationally.
What’s your plan for your estate after you pass away? Do you have a will or trust? Have you discussed your goals with your children or other heirs? Or do you lack any estate planning documents?
If you haven’t yet planned your estate, you’re not alone. Nearly 60 percent of Americans lack a will, one of the most basic elements of any estate plan. ¹ A will is a simple and affordable document that lists who should receive which assets in your estate after you pass away.