The past few years have been an unusual time here in America. Many people lost a large portion of their retirement savings during the economic crash of 2008/2009. Many people took their money out at the bottom and simply didn’t put it back in. The result is that most people just did not save enough money and are now looking for a safety net – something that will protect them when they retire.
Some folks believe that the one “safety net” available to them is Social Security. Unfortunately, what was supposed to be a supplement for many retirees’ final years has now become the only thing keeping their heads above water. That’s not a safety net. Social Security was never meant to be a retiree’s only income.
Take a quick look at these statistics:
A 2014 “Retirement Confidence Survey” reports that 36% of respondents had less than $1,000 put away for retirement or other needs (my emphasis added)! Only one thousand dollars in savings! Incredible. You may even have seen this report recently in most major newspapers. But, as bad as that 36% figure is – and it is bad – only 20% reported having a thousand dollars put away in 2009 and only 28% just a year ago! It’s not getting better; it’s getting worse and rather quickly at that!
So what’s a person to do? It’s really pretty simple. People have to quit messing around – quit believing in the Tooth Fairy – and start looking at guarantees – products that guarantee them a lifetime, realistic, livable income. Everyone deserves and simply must have a safety net.
Since you are reading this article, you probably have more than $1,000 put away, but chances are good that you just don’t have the potential retirement income that you’re hoping for. This month’s issue of Safe Money News contains lots of valuable information on how to get to that Promised Land. But, you are not going to have that opportunity to roll the dice if you are within five to ten years of retirement. Folks, it’s time to take some of your money “off the table” and play it safe. Go for that real safety net.
I’d encourage you to consider the living benefits of Fixed-Index Annuities. These lifetime income benefit riders are known by a variety of terms: Some companies call them “Guaranteed Income Withdrawal Benefits.” The bottom line is this: Unlike annuitization, this type of rider allows you to take a lifetime income from the annuity without losing control of your retirement asset. You can stop and start at any time, and your account value can continue to grow. The lifetime income rider assures you that you will never run out of money or live too long. And you can get these payout’s either in the Single Life Income or, if you have a spouse at home, you can choose the Joint Life Income.
These products also have chronic illness, terminal illness, and confinement waivers that reduce or eliminate some of the most aggravating retirement fears: sickness and chronic and critical illness. It’s odd that one of the simplest products on the market – an indexed annuity with living benefits – is often either misunderstood or just not on many retirees’ radar. The Lifetime Income Benefit Rider along with the Chronic Illness and Confinement Waivers could just be the one product decision that truly provides you with your retirement safety net.
Think about it, and then give your Safe Money Places Agent a call for an easy-to-understand illustration about how you can protect yourself and your spouse quickly, easily, and affordably!
This article was written by:
Raymond J. Ohlson , CLU, CRC, LACP
President and CEO of SMP International LLC
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