“Now YOU can learn about retirement planning in plain English. Planning for retirement can be confusing. I cut through all the industry jargon so YOU can learn how to achieve your retirement goals.”

What Part of an Annuity is Taxable?


A reader of mine recently asked me a question about how annuities are taxed. Specifically it pertained to which portion of an annuity is taxable.

This is a very important question, because if you don’t know the right answer to it you may unknowingly pass up on an annuity as part of your portfolio.

So let’s get started…

How are annuities taxed?

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Investing and Short Term Stock Market Performance


It can be very tough investing in retirement. When you retire you get a big pot of money called a 401(k) (or TSP, or other qualified retirement plan), and you have to manage it wisely to last you the rest of your life (and your spouse’s life if you’re married).

For most people this will involve investing it. Perhaps even investing a portion of it in the stock market. The stock market can be volatile. No one can perfectly predict it. And if you are not an investing expert, you will often doubt your own buy/sell decisions.Continue Reading

Retirement Investing and Risk Return Tradeoff


Have you ever heard your buddy brag about how much money he made on “X” stock? It usually goes something like:

“I bought Intel when it was trading for mere dollars. Then I sold it at the peak and had a 500% return on my money!”

Here are some things your buddy probably didn’t tell you:

  1. That he only used about $500 of his $600,000 portfolio to buy shares. So his overall portfolio return attributable to this investment is quite small.
  2. That time he bought Enron stock and lost all of his investment.
  3. The amount of risk he had to take to generate the return on his Intel investment

And point number 3 is the one we need to focus on today. In order to generate return on investment you have to take risk. And the expected return should be in line with the amount of risk.Continue Reading

Inflation In Retirement… Guaranteed Loss On Your Investment


Sam Ewing had a great quote:

“Inflation is when you pay fifteen dollars for the ten-dollar haircut you used to get for five dollars when you had hair.”

If you buried your cash in your back yard and dug it up 10 years later, inflation would have caused it to be worth less. It’s like a loss on your money, even though the actual dollar amount stayed the same.Continue Reading

I’m About To Retire! What Investments Should I Buy?


I have 2 unhealthy food favorites: fried chicken and donuts. I try to limit my exposure to these. That means rarely having donuts in the house.

As for fried chicken, I generally only eat it once a month. This is usually the 3rd Sunday of the month, also known as “fried chicken” day at church. We bring in a big platter of it for lunch after worship service.  

Lesson: Never sleep in on the 3rd Sunday.Continue Reading


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Investment Advisory Services offered through Retirement Wealth Advisors, (RWA) a Registered Investment Advisor.  Tri-State Financial Group, and Tri-State Insurance & Financial Services, and RWA are not affiliated. Investing involves risk including the potential loss of principal. No investment strategy can guarantee a profit or protect against loss in periods of declining values. Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice and are not intended as investment advice or to predict future performance. Past performance does not guarantee future results. Consult your financial professional before making any investment decision.

This information is designed to provide general information on the subjects covered. Pursuant to IRS Circular 230, it is not, however, intended to provide specific legal or tax advice and cannot be used to avoid tax penalties or to promote, market, or recommend any tax plan or arrangement. Please note that Tri-State Financial Group and its affiliates do not give legal or tax advice. You are encouraged to consult your tax advisor or attorney.

Annuity guarantees rely on the financial strength and claims-paying ability of the issuing insurer. Any comments regarding safe and secure investments, and guaranteed income streams refer only to fixed insurance products. They do not refer, in any way to securities or investment advisory products. Fixed Insurance and Annuity product guarantees are subject to the claims‐paying ability of the issuing company and are not offered by Retirement Wealth Advisors. Chris Hammond is insurance licensed in TN.