Time is measured for many of us from events in our lives that have meaning and strong remembrances. To each and every one of us, those special times may vary depending upon our individual experiences. However, there are those events that resound with the majority because of the history shaking significance that touches all of our lives at the same time. Such an event was September 11th, 2001. It seems almost impossible that event was nearly twenty years ago. Yet, we still measure many of our life experiences from that date forward.
The recent pandemic underscores the truth of that last statement. By necessity, we have reshaped our lives and not necessarily always to our liking. For a majority of us, our homes became our offices. The home front was our boardroom and workshop for assembling the tools necessary to achieve our business and personal goals.
Four different Presidents have led our country since 9/11– George W. Bush; Barack Obama; Donald Trump and Joe Biden. The significance of each of their accomplishments underscores the impact they have had on our collective lives.
We have seen the Stock Market soar beyond our imagination, and bottom-out almost as quickly to our amazement. We have witnessed men and women’s achievements in space even reaching Mars, and then a lack of ability to sustain harmony here on earth. The closing of our favorite haunts and the impact of the dismissal of class study on our children is still to be assessed. Yes, there have been many “ups and downs” in the past twenty years. The question is then, “What do we have to look forward to?”
When I was a young man, there was a motion picture series entitled “THE MARCH OF TIME” which centered on the days’ events that shaped the future of mankind. I looked forward to each one of those features on the movie screen because, with few exceptions, they pointed to a brighter more fulfilling lifetime ahead. Maybe I’m an incurable optimist, but I see and feel that we have much to learn from the past history of our country. We are a people who desire to create and to succeed.
Thus, it is easy to realize that we have just begun to envision a brighter, more enlightened time ahead. The “long day’s nights” that we have experienced are coming to an end. We are starting to breathe the fresh air of personal freedoms again – planning vacations and family gatherings that will have new and many happy, emotional returns. We are opening the doors to our treasured past and are finding new avenues of expression that will pay personal dividends in a quest for happiness and security. Hopefully we have learned from past mistakes and will take our combined experiences to heart and heal wounds that have divided us.
There is still much to be achieved and plenty of time if we will be patient and stay strong to accomplish all we desire. We are a people who are noteworthy in our strengths to remember our pasts, but with the foresight to not overlook our future. It is that reflection that helps us to remember that the “past is merely a prologue.” Enjoy today and keep your eyes wide open to what lies ahead. Let’s make the next twenty years the best remembered of them all!
TIME MARCHES ON!
Chicken farmers say not to put all of your eggs in one basket. Investment analysts renamed this diversification. It amounts to the same thing – spreading out your assets in different baskets or investments is supposed to reduce the risk of loss. However, putting your eggs in different baskets doesn’t truly reduce the risk if one truck is carrying all the baskets and it gets in a wreck.
The financial pros say you should blend together stocks of different industries, non-stock assets and bonds to reduce the risk of loss. However, there’s a problem. Especially in bad times, stock returns tend to move together, or correlate. Consider the Crash of 2008. Even if you diversified between stocks of large companies, small companies and foreign companies you lost big. Going into non-stock “alternative” investments didn’t help either. Whether you owned real estate, oil or gold, you had less in December 2008 than you had in June.
That leaves bonds. Although bond yields went up at that start of the Crash – meaning the value of existing bonds went down – by the end of the year bond values had recovered and even had a small gain. However, bond yields are around half of what they were back in 2008. What that means is there is a lot less upside potential if interest rates fall and more downside risk of loss if rates go up.
Bank instruments such as money market accounts and certificates of deposit avoid market risk to principal, but the interest paid today is so low. Fixed annuities are another choice. Fixed rate annuities can lock in yields that are one to two percent higher than bank rates. Fixed index annuities provide the opportunity to earn even higher interest. Both types protect principal from market loss.
No one knows when the next crash is coming or how long it will last. Even so, it doesn’t make sense to be Chicken Little and take all of your money out of stocks. However, it does make sense to set aside some egg money so that you know it will be protected from market loss. And when you’re looking for a protected basket, fixed annuities might well produce the biggest eggs.
Copyright 2021. For educational purposes only. Does not provide investment, tax or legal advice. Information believed accurate, but is not warranted. Fixed annuities typically have penalties for early withdrawal, known as surrender penalties, which may cause a loss of principal if the annuity is cashed in prematurely. Past performance is not an indication of future results. No index sponsors, promotes, or makes any representation regarding any index product. Both investments and fixed annuities involve certain risks; a consumer should consult with their advisor. Fixed annuities are not bank instruments and are not insured by FDIC.
Okay Baby Boomers, I am in your camp and I am sorry to announce that there are more yesterdays than tomorrows in our lives. Where did all the time go? Even though life is uncertain and every day is a gift, we felt okay saying… ”I will get to that tomorrow.” But, regarding our financial lives, we need to get on it today. It is time for all of us to take a financial inventory and review our game plan. It’s time to sit down with your spouse, family or any people that could be affected by your passing. Look at life insurance policies, wills, trusts, investment accounts, annuities and bank accounts. It’s also a great time to review your final instructions.
It’s never too late to fine tune your income accounts and plans. Do you have the appropriate amount of income to stay in the world that you have planned and become accustomed to? What about final expense money and policies? Is it time to consider additional life insurance? Do you know that life insurance is easier to buy, and you probably won’t need a medical exam? Do you need to take a look at your “Safe Money Portfolio?” What about sitting down with your financial professional to do a review? Don’t you have a visit with your physician every year? Visit the dentist? What about keeping your car serviced? It’s time to take action. If you don’t have a financial professional, let us know and we will connect you with a licensed insurance agent that is a member of The Safe Money Places Agent Network. Remember, don’t put off till tomorrow what you can do today. Tomorrow might not come. Stay safe and do it.
While flying the other day, I looked up at the fasten seatbelt sign as the pilot said to stay in our seats as we may be hitting some turbulent air. So, of course I complied. But it got me thinking about a message we might want to be giving our clients and prospects... “Fasten seat belts while invested, as we may be hitting some market turbulence and volatility over the next several months.” But, instead of advising them that an oxygen mask will drop or that you can use the cushion as a flotation device, we can tell them the following, “During this turbulence, all monies in a fixed index annuity will be protected from loss of principal and previous gains.”
Now, can I continue to talk about airline experiences? A few months ago, we were flying back to Hilton Head from Indianapolis and ran into some rough weather. The pilot was a pro, but we circled quite a bit. He then advised the passengers that we were going to make a stop in Savannah to get some fuel as he was afraid that we might run out of gas. So, we landed, gassed up and were on our way without a hiccup. Well, let's remind the client that they won't run out of gas with a fixed index annuity. The gas we’re are talking about is the lifetime income. Doesn't matter how long you live or the weather situation, your income is guaranteed until the day you die.
So, for the passengers with the fixed index annuity, sit back, enjoy the flight as we will be landing shortly. Like to know more about fixed indexed annuities? Ask your licensed member of the Same Money Places Agent Network
There are so many items in our lives that require regular maintenance. Let’s think about this for a second. Don’t we take care of our cars? Yes, change the oil, make sure tires are rotated and make sure that everything is functioning well before a trip? What about your heating and cooling systems? Of course we stay on top of this. We don’t want to lose heat when the weather turns cold nor lose the A/C when the sun starts to bake us in the summer. We go to the dentist on a regular basis, get regular check ups from our physicians and also make sure that our eyes are working well. I could go on and on. But, are you performing regular maintenance on your retirement income accounts? Sadly, I find that many Americans don’t. And, that can cause some real problems in American’s lifestyles. Let’s examine…
If you are retired, or soon to be retired, you have hopefully divided your income needs into a couple of categories. The first being the essential income that you will need to stay in the desired income life that you have planned on. You take those expenses and subtract social security income, pension income if you are lucky enough to have one, and other guaranteed forms of income. That is when you find the shortfall. Then, there is the discretionary income that you desire. You know, vacations, trips with the kids or grandkids, educational assistance for your loved ones, etc. And, many Americans find this to be a little nerve racking. Maybe I can suggest something to make your retirement a little more safe and serene.
I suggest an annuity that can provide a guaranteed flow of income for as long as you live might just allow you to spend more, relieve stress and protect this nest egg from losses. Isn’t it great to know that there is an additional check sent to you each month. It is a great way to “plug the gap” and provide the essential income that you need. Now, there are various forms of annuities to choose from. And, I feel pretty confident that you will find one to help you achieve the retirement dreams that you have. Contact a licensed insurance agent that is a member of “The Safe Money Places Agent Network” and have that maintenance review that I am talking about. Great for peace of mind. What do you have to lose? I feel pretty confident that you will start gaining better sleep at night. I love annuities and know that you will to. Stay Safe.
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