“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.”

How To Choose The Right Annuity

Today’s question comes from Russ. He has some questions about the type of annuity he is looking for. He writes:

How To Choose The Right Annuity Question


“I am looking at fixed index annuities. I am looking for a fixed index annuity that offers no cap, has a rider for fix income for life and an inflation guard. I would like one if possible that would have a 5 year surrender period… if that is possible… I would be taking income in about 5-6 years.”

What’s great about this email is that Russ has a clear idea of his different needs and what he’s looking to accomplish with an annuity.

Specifically, there are a couple of important issues Russ is looking for:Continue Reading

Top 10 Retirement Investments

When you get closer to retirement you may get a little bit more apprehensive when it comes to risk.

I’m reminded of the times when I was younger and had to perform at a piano recital. Talk about being nervous.

Well, that nervousness is how a lot of people (perhaps even you) feel when it comes to investing their retirement funds. Especially when you are approaching the day of retirement within the next 5 to 15 years.

What’s the difference?

Why is it harder to handle volatility in the stock market when you near retirement?

It’s simple. When you retire you lose your paycheck. You are dependent on your savings to supplement any income you get from Social Security and a pension.

If your savings take a hit in the market it hurts a lot more when you don’t have a regular paycheck from work to fall back on.

This means investing in (and near) retirement is a bit different than investing during your accumulation years.

The mindset has to shift to one of responsible de-accumulation of savings. The savings are being used to support your lifestyle, and you need them to last a long time. And when the investments are not properly handled it increases the likelihood of running out of funds during retirement.

There are 3 important aspects to investing for the retirement stage of life:

  1. Avoiding losses
  2. Generating growth to keep pace with inflation
  3. Generating sufficient income

Because these are important goals for retirees, here are some popular options of investments for retirement.Continue Reading

Income In Retirement… How Much Do You Need?

Income in retirement is everything. 

Think about it…

If you can’t pay your bills then nothing else really matters. You’re not going leave money to your alma mater, to your kids, to your grand kids…

Unless you can take care of yourself first.

Here are 2 approaches you can take to estimate how much income in retirement you will need:

  1. Income Replacement Ratio Method
  2. Specific Expense Method

It’s wise to use both methods and check the results against each other. Let’s take a look at them.Continue Reading

[Case Study] How Much Do I Need To Save To Retire Comfortably?

One of the most common questions I hear is “How much do I need to save to retire?”

Think about how important it is to get this question answered accurately.

The correct answer to this question can mean the difference between retiring comfortably for the rest of your life… or retiring only to have to go back to work because you miscalculated how long your savings and investments would last.

This question of “How much do I need to retire?” was directly asked of me by a couple looking to retire within the next year.

The husband had already retired, but the wife was still working. She was going to continue working until she could draw Social Security in approximately 10 months.

I’m always more comfortable when a couple waits until they can start drawing some type of retirement income check. Having a guaranteed income source in retirement takes pressure off a portfolio to provide income.

And in today’s world I think it is even more important to be as prudent as possible when it comes to planning for retirement. That guaranteed income from Social Security (or any other source like a pension or annuity) just gives that extra bit of support to a plan that is so important.Continue Reading

Top 10 Financial Planning Documents You Need At Your Fingertips

One of the most important things you can do when planning for retirement is to first of all understand where you are right now.

This is actually pretty simple. But at the same time, there is a little work involved… at first.

Many of us are aware of the idea of a “legacy folder.” It’s simply where you put all your most important documents so if you pass away your spouse or children will have a full picture of your finances.

But what about a tool that helps you while you are still alive have all your information in one place so you always know what is going on with your finances?

Instead of a folder in a dusty drawer, a 3-ring binder would work very well. And since it is to help you while you are still alive, it’s not necessarily a “legacy” document. I like to think of it as part of your roadmap while you’re still alive.

Let’s call it “The Living Financial Binder.”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.