Worried about the direction the financial markets have taken over the past few months? You’re not alone. After nine consecutive years of growth, the markets ended 2018 on a down note. The S&P 500 finished the year down more than 6 percent, the first time it has ever finished a year negative after being positive through the first three quarters.1
In fact, some indexes have already entered bear market territory. The Nasdaq dropped more than 23 percent from its Aug. 29 high. The Wilshire 5000 and Russell 2000 also dropped more than 20 percent from their respective peaks in early September.1
If you’re approaching retirement, these losses could be stressful. When you’re younger and just starting your career, you have time to absorb losses and recover. That may not be the case if you’re only a few years from retirement. You’ll soon need to use your assets to generate income. A substantial decline may force you to delay retirement or make cuts to your planned lifestyle.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to protect your nest egg and your retirement. Below are three tools that can help you reduce your exposure to downside risk. Talk to your financial professional to see how these may play a role in your financial strategy.
Fixed Indexed Annuity
When it comes to investing, risk and return usually go hand in hand. Those assets that offer the most potential return often come with the highest exposure to risk. Assets that have little risk also offer little potential growth. It’s difficult to find growth opportunities that don’t have downside market risk.
There are some tools available, though. One is a fixed indexed annuity. In a fixed indexed annuity, allows your money the potential to grow on a tax-deferred basis. The potential growth comes in the form of interest credited to the contract typically anually.
Your interest credited each year is based on the return of a specific external index, like the S&P 500. The better the index performs in a given period, the higher the potential for the interest credits, up to a certain limit. If the index performs poorly, you may receive less or zero interest, but your contract won’t decline in value.
Fixed indexed annuities have guarantees* on the value of the contract. That means you’ll never lose premium because of market declines. A fixed indexed annuity could be an effective way to plan for retirement income without exposing yourself to market risk.
Deferred Income Annuity
Are you concerned about your ability to generate retirement income in the future? Or are you worried that your retirement income isn’t guaranteed*? A deferred income annuity, also known as a longevity annuity, could be an effective option.
With a deferred income annuity, you contribute a lump-sum amount and pick a date in the future to begin receiving income. At the specified time, the annuity company will begin paying you an income stream that’s guaranteed* for life, no matter how long you live. Work with your financial professional to project your income and see if a deferred income annuity can help you fill any gaps.
You’ve probably purchased life insurance at some point in your life with the goal of protecting your spouse, children or other loved ones. Life insurance is a highly effective protection tool, but it can also do more.
Some life insurance policies have a cash value account. Each time you make a premium payment, a portion goes into the cash value. Those funds grow on a tax-deferred basis over time. The growth usually comes in the form of dividends or interest, depending on the policy. You can also use the life insurance policy to generate tax-free income in retirement via loans or withdrawals.
If you have a life insurance policy, you may want to explore how you can use it to achieve low-risk, tax-deferred growth and possibly create supplemental income in the future. Or you may want to look at new policies and see how they can help you protect your assets.
Ready to protect your nest egg? Let’s talk about it. Contact us at Emerald Blue Advisors. We can help you analyze your needs and develop a plan. Let’s connect soon and start the conversation.
*Guarantees, including optional benefits, are backed by the claims-paying ability of the issuer, and may contain limitations, including surrender charges, which may affect policy values.
Licensed Insurance Professional. This information is designed to provide a general overview with regard to the subject matter covered and is not state specific. The authors, publisher and host are not providing legal, accounting or specific advice for your situation. By providing your information, you give consent to be contacted about the possible sale of an insurance or annuity product. This information has been provided by a Licensed Insurance Professional and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting insurance professional. The statements and opinions expressed are those of the author and are subject to change at any time. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however, presenting insurance professional makes no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. This material has been prepared for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide, and should not be relied upon for, accounting, legal, tax or investment advice. This information has been provided by a Licensed Insurance Professional and is not sponsored or endorsed by the Social Security Administration or any government agency.
18412 - 2019/1/16
Valentine’s Day is supposed to be a day for romance and reconnection. For many couples, however, this time of year could be marked by disagreements about money. Nearly half of all married couples argue about financial issues.1
With the new year just starting and tax season right around the corner, many people use this time to evaluate their spending, earnings and financial performance over the previous year. That analysis could reopen sore spots about money management.
The performance of the financial markets over the past few months could also be a source for disagreement among couples, especially those who have differing investment styles. After starting strong for the first three quarters of the year, the S&P 500 finished with an epic meltdown in the fourth quarter. The index ended the year down 7 percent, the first time in history it’s finished the year negative after being positive for the first three quarters.2
Do you and your spouse disagree about investing styles? Does one of you take a more aggressive stance while the other prefers to play it safe? Below are a few helpful tips on how you and your spouse can meet in the middle and get past your investment-related disagreements:
Draft an investment policy statement.
Many couples disagree about their investment approach because they’ve never developed a formal investment strategy. They generally know they want to save for retirement, but they’ve never discussed their specific objectives or tactics. An investment policy statement does just that.
Your investment policy statement is a written document that states your goals, acceptable risks and the steps you will take to reach your objectives. It outlines which types of investments are appropriate for your strategy and which are not. You can use your investment policy statement as a guide for making future decisions.
The process of developing the investment policy statement could be beneficial for many couples. You’re forced to share your differing opinions and compromise to reach a strategy. Those conversations could help you work out differences and find areas where you agree, which could diffuse future arguments.
Develop a retirement income plan.
Often, arguments are fueled by uncertainty about the future. You’re unsure of when you’ll be able to retire or how much more you need to save, so that heightens your anxiety and sharpens disagreements. You may be able to avoid arguments by eliminating the uncertainty.
Work with your financial professional to develop a retirement income plan. You can project your future retirement income from sources such as Social Security, an employer pension and even your own savings. You can also build a retirement budget to estimate your spending. These two projections should give you an idea of how close you are to reaching your goals, how much more you need to save and how much risk you should take to achieve growth.
Don’t avoid the conversation.
Have you and your spouse agreed to disagree about your differing investment styles? Do you avoid the conversation? Or do you go it alone with your individual accounts so you don’t have to discuss issues that may lead to disagreement?
While you may not want to disagree or argue, it’s also not helpful to avoid the conversation. If you each have differing styles and don’t have a cohesive plan, you could be missing out on opportunity.
For example, assume your spouse is aggressive with his or her investment style and takes on a substantial amount of risk. Perhaps you’re conservative and choose assets that offer little return potential but also have little chance of loss. You may feel that the “go it alone” approach works because you each invest according to your comfort level and you avoid arguments.
By avoiding the conversation, however, you may be missing out on opportunities to meet in the middle and achieve better performance. For example, you could find an allocation that has growth potential and reduced risk. You could use tools such as annuities that offer growth without downside exposure. The only way to find these opportunities is to discuss your differing approaches and look for middle ground.
Work with a professional.
Finally, you may find it helpful to bring in a third party, like a financial professional. They can give objective, impartial feedback and also provide information and analysis that may change your approach. They can also help you develop a retirement strategy and an investment policy statement to guide your decision-making.
Ready to overcome your investment disagreements with your spouse? Let’s talk about it. Contact us today at Emerald Blue Advisors. We can help you analyze your needs and implement a plan. Let’s connect soon and start the conversation.
Investment advisory services are offered through Emerald Blue Advisors, Inc., a registered investment adviser offering advisory services in the State of California and other jurisdictions where registered or exempted. This communication is not to be directly or indirectly interpreted as a solicitation of investment advisory services to residents of another jurisdiction unless otherwise permitted. Nothing in this document is intended as legal, accounting, or tax advice, and is for informational purposes only.
18408 - 2019/1/14
Rola Hajeb was inspired to join the financial industry back in 1997. Trustworthy and empathetic, she is focused and committed to helping her clients.