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The Love Boat Formula For Investing During Retirement

What exactly made the Love Boat such a success? Critics hated it. They said that the corny jokes and cheesy storylines would “sink it faster than the Titanic.” But they were wrong. Only a handful of televisions shows make it past the first 100 episodes. The Love Boat sailed on long past that into many sunsets, enjoying 250 hour-long voyages between the years of 1977 and 1987.

What was the key to its success?

Two things: predictability and happy endings. The Love Boat followed a formula that allowed for infinite variations and hours of entertainment. This formula consisted of three key stories: one romance, one comedy, and one drama. The three different types of stories balanced each other out and appealed to a wide audience. At the end of every hour, all three stories ended happily, every time. Not once did someone get a bad ending.

A lot of people sail off into the retirement sunset without knowing whether or not their ending will be happy. The stock market is uncertain, health care costs are rising, interest rates on safe investments are sinking, and very few workers are getting pensions.  So how do design your investment portfolio to get a predictable income and the happy ending that you deserve?

THE DRAMA: GETTING HIT IN THE RED ZONE

Drama happens when the portfolio you are relying on for income takes a hit from stock market loss. We all remember what happened during 2008 and 2009. But do you know about the retirement red zone?

The worst time for you to take a hit is five years before and after the day that you retire. Experts in the financial industry call this “the retirement red zone” because it’s a critical time when you don’t want to lose money.  When you lose in the red zone, it’s like getting a breach in the hull of a ship that can’t be repaired. Retirement is one long voyage across an ocean and your portfolio is the ship. Even a small crack means you’re taking on water, and when you add your income withdrawals on top of that for 20 years or more, eventually, you’re going to sink.   

THE COMEDY: LIVING TOO LONG

If you looked only at the numbers, you might think that Social Security was a retirement program designed to fool you. Back in 1930, life expectancy at birth was age 58 for men and age 62 for women, yet according to the program, Full Retirement Age was at 65! Today, these numbers look very different. The average combined life expectancy for men and women is age 85, one out of every four 65-year-olds will live past age 90, and one out of every 10 will live past age 95.

Longevity is called “the risk multiplier” because it takes all the other risks– stock market loss, inflation, long-term care costs to name a few – and it makes them worse. Nobody wants to outlive their money, which is why so many retirees went back to work after the catastrophe of 2008. Still, others are running out of money in their 80s and finding out only now that they have no choice but to move in with their families. Nobody wants to be a burden and nobody wants to lose their independence. This is one comedy of errors you don’t want to be a part of.

There is a solution. It’s called “income for life.” If you have saved your money in an IRA, 401(k) or any type of investment account, then you can get it, even if your company isn’t paying you a pension.

THE LOVE STORY: INCOME FOR LIFE

Ask anyone who has it and they will tell you, they love their pension. But when most people hear the word annuity, their hearts drop to their stomachs. It’s not your fault if you hate annuities and don’t want to have anything to do with them – they are complicated and confusing even to advisors. You might even say annuities are like relationships – they’re complicated. But find the right one and it’s kind of like finding your soulmate – you’ll be set for life.

The right kind of annuity can take longevity risk and market risk right off the table so you never have to worry about either of those things again. All annuities operate under two modes: immediate or deferred.

If it’s love at first sight and you’re ready for income now, then a Single Premium Immediate Annuity (SPIA) might be a good fit for you. This is a simple income annuity based on a contract with a life insurance company. In exchange for a lump sum of money, you will get a guaranteed monthly paycheck. The payments can last for a certain period of time – such as five years or 10 years – or the payments can be set up for life. They can cover just your life or the life of both you and your spouse. The SPIA is basically a way to turn your savings into a traditional pension.

If you want to have a period of courtship first, then a deferred annuity might be a good choice. These types of annuities guarantee that they will grow your income account at a certain rate – somewhere between 5 and 8 percent – for a certain period of years. Once the time of courtship is over, you turn on the income and let the love affair begin. Your paychecks will start rolling in, every month, for the rest of your life.

As with any investment, you want to understand fully the terms before you buy. Most of today’s newer indexed annuities are complicated and they require an experienced advisor to go over the contract to make sure you are getting the benefits you need. Some of these annuities offer even more benefits than traditional pensions with perks such as long-term care riders and tax-free benefits to your beneficiaries. Others offer a way to grow your money safely even if you don’t need an income.

In the end, the work of finding the right annuity will be worth it because when you have an income for life, you always get a happy ending to your financial story.

Want to know more? Shop around and compare! To schedule your complimentary review, GO HERE.

The Love Boat Formula For Investing During Retirement

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