Return on Principle – On the Money News

Syndicated financial columnist and news anchor Steve Savant interviews best selling author, popular platform speaker and frequent national media guest David Scranton, CFP, CFA, MSFS, CLU, ChFC.
On the Money News is a weekly five-minute online broadcast distributed over the weekend to over 280 media outlets, financial web sites and social media.

A Simplified Approach to Retirement – On the Money News

Building a basic retirement strategy should include these simple prioritized steps.

Step One: Cover Your Domestic Expenses You and your spouse need to select a budget that outlines your domestic spending and routine trips like visiting the grandchildren or going on church missions. Once you’ve collected all your bills and travel costs, assess them against your Social Security income and corporate or government pension. If there is a short fall, you should look at two strategies: 1) guaranteed lifetime annuity with a cost-of-living adjustment for you and your spouse. 2) Consider the home equity conversion program that can generate income, eliminate your mortgage or create a money reserve for later in life.

Step Two: Protect Your Portfolio Against Inflation You and your spouse need to take a risk-tolerance test and share the results with each other. Then, you both need to work at establishing common-ground principals with your portfolio purchases and the mix of your investments. One rule of thumb is to buy equities with returns greater than inflation, with low expense charges and low beta risk. It may also be prudent to consider guaranteed lifetime annuities with a cost of living rider to be part of your inflation strategy.

Step Three: Insure Your Legacy and Giving with Life Insurance You and your spouse need to make a list of family members and charities you desire to help after you’re gone. If you and your spouse are in relatively good health, you should investigate Survivorship Guaranteed Universal Life (SGUL). This type of life insurance can cover both spouses and, depending upon your situation, may transfer the death benefit proceeds tax free to your beneficiaries for pennies on the dollar. Then, you can enjoy your retirement knowing your family members and charities are funded. One word of caution: The leverage of life insurance delivers more bang for the buck for beneficiaries than home equity, so use your housing wealth while you’re living.

Step Four: Indemnify Yourself Against Elder Care Costs No retirement strategy can be complete without long-term care strategy. The most expensive costs in retirement are medical and elder care costs. Medicare can take care of the bulk of the medical costs you’ll incur, but you still need elder care strategy. There are conventional long-term care insurance policies as well as hybrid polices combined with life and annuity contracts. If your health is an obstacle for securing coverage, consider one of the home equity conversion mortgage program called an appreciating equity line of credit as a money reserve for later in life.

These four steps are the building blocks that can be used to construct a comprehensive retirement plan, but if additional sophistication becomes necessary, you’ll need a professional financial advisor whose area of expertise addresses all aspects of retirement. If you’re interested in reviewing these four steps for yourself, just write me at [email protected]

Developing Budgetary Basics Can Build A Firm Foundation for the Future – On the Money News

Creating a financial profile requires an “honest” assessment on your attitude towards money. An example of investor conflict is often revealed after taking a risk tolerance test: As an example the test results may reveal a moderate conservative personality, but the investments in the 401(k) are dominated by aggressive growth funds. The test itself may not be scientific, but it should create a conversation between the investor and the advisor, especially if there’s a disparity between the test results and actual holdings. In addition, a life-expectancy test can establish a timeline for basic assumptions for retirement planning or cost projections on long-term care and medical expenses. You’ll need to create a budget to establish a spending threshold during retirement. But a budget can also be a road map for milestone events that occur in most of our lives, such as children getting married, having children, funding college education for grandkids or helping to buy a home for retirement. Timeline planning around life events can trigger conversations between an investor and an advisor on financial goals. Once financial goals are established, you and your advisor can create planning strategies and tactics to prepare you for each life event. Then you can discuss financial products based on your risk tolerance to achieve your goals.

It’s important to know the fee structure of your advisor, the expenses of the financial products you buy and the retirement administration costs of your plan. You don’t want to wait until retirement to discover all the costs of your retirement plan and the investments you purchased. You also may need to adjust your predispositions toward money by shedding money myths and create an open environment of trust with your advisors. You need to approach our money decisions with eyes wide open and demand full disclosure. We all have a history with money that has formed our opinions as consumers and investors. And speaking of history…there’s an estimated 1 trillion dollars in unclaimed qualified retirement money abandoned by plan participants with former employers. It’s worth your time to reconstruct your work history to make sure you’ve accounted for all your money.

For more information on how you can establish a budget, your risk tolerance, life expectancy and work history, just write me at [email protected]

The Face of Retirement is Changing – On the Money News

Many of the rock icons and Hollywood stars of the baby boomer generation are in sixties. The flower children of the sixties are now in their sixties. This is the changing face of retirement. 10,000 baby boomers turning age 65 everyday.

In the last generation, most retirees have a pension and Social Security. But today many employers have migrated from pensions to defined contribution plans. From 1985 to 2000, the rate of participation in pensions by full-time employees of medium and large private firms dropped from 80 percent to 36 percent. A 2013 survey by the Bureau of Labor Statistics found only 26 percent of civilian workers in the U.S. participated in defined benefit pension plans. The boomer generation is often referred to as the “sandwich generation,” because they are paying for their parents’ elder care as well as the tuition of their children. When you add the funding of their retirement plan, there’s not much money left to pay off a mortgage.

Presidential candidates have promised Social Security will not be altered for baby boomers, but Congress has changed things over the years. With the most recent changes coming with the passing of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, most baby boomers lost income from the elimination of the “file and suspend” provision and age tested restrictive application benefits. But perhaps the biggest change and the greatest risk in retirement isn’t legislation, but living longer.

Today, the average life expectancy for men is 86.6 years and for women 88.8. The impact of longevity on retirement modeling has created an environment fear among of among seniors of outliving their money. One answer to longevity problem maybe annuities. Annuities can be structured to pay guaranteed lifetime income with annual increases. Today, more retirement plans are using guaranteed lifetime annuity income to pay for household living and travel expenses. The structured payout can cover two lives and provide income for the survivor.

Two years ago, Qualified Longevity Annuity Contracts or QLACs, were introduced. The key part of the legislation was to offer the option to defer required minimum distributions or RMDs at age 70½ to age 85 from qualified plans like 401(k)s. The rules of engagement allow deferring 25 percent of qualified plan monies not to exceed $125,000 per participant to age 85. QLACs use deferred income annuities that can guarantee income for life. Controlling RMDs with QLACs can have a significant impact on retirement taxation and may insulate a portion of Social Security income from taxation as well. Annuities are not insured by the FDIC or any government agency. So it’s important to have your financial advisor review the balance sheet and ratings of the insurance company before you purchase an annuity.

For more information on insurance company ratings, deferred income annuities, QLACs or RMDs, just write me at Steve at

Tax-Free Income from Cash-Value Life Insurance – On the Money News

Many retirees are seeking shelter from taxes on their Social Security, but it’s difficult to escape taxes on their benefits because other retirement income can trigger taxation on their Social Security income. Luckily, there are a few products or planning strategies that can help mitigate taxes.

Surprisingly, cash-value life insurance can also generate tax-free income with a variety of saving and investment crediting methods. With me today is Rob Hagg, popular platform speaker, assets management and life insurance specialist.

Rob has a unique perspective in the financial community with traditional investment modeling using modern portfolio theory and his groundbreaking work with mortality products in turnkey asset management programs.

Nationally syndicated financial columnist Steve Savant interviews with popular platform speaker, asset management expert and life insurance specialist Rob Hagg.

Right on the Money is a weekly one-hour online broadcast for TV and radio distribution. The show contains five ten-minute segments that are redistributed online as individual video press releases.

Risks That Can Derail Your Retirement – On the Money News

Many seniors are finding it difficult to stay on track with their standard of living during retirement, especially when there are so many risks that can derail your retirement dreams. Most retirees need a track to run on that can help them experience a successful retirement.

For many seniors, just identifying the risks in retirement can be overwhelming, much less deal with the sidetracks that often occur in retirement.

Resource Risks like Longevity, Inflation & Excess Withdrawal Risk

Health Risks like Frailty, Health & Long Term Care Costs

Investment Risks like Market Volatility, Interest Rates, Liquidity & the Sequence of Returns

Employment Risks like Forced Retirement, Reemployment, Employer Insolvency & Spouse’s Job Loss

Life Risks like Unexpected Responsibility, Public Policy Changes, Taxes & Just Plain Bad Timing

With me today to identify the risks that can derail retirement is popular platform speaker, best selling author and retirement expert Curtis Cloke. Curtis is an adjunct professor at the American College and has been one of the top five financial advisers in the country as ranked by Senior Market Adviser magazine. On the Money News is a weekly five-minute online broadcast distributed over the weekend to over 280 media outlets, financial web sites and social media.

Don’t Get Burned by the Sequence of Returns – On the Money News

The Sequence of Returns Risk is the Retirement Apocalypse. Retirees Exposed to Outliving Their Retirement Money Now A Reality.

Retirees may not survive the stealth impact of the sequence of returns until its too late. Only guaranteed lifetime annuity income with a COLA rider can remove the risk of the sequence of returns.

Curtis Cloke is a popular platform speaker, retirement software developer and adjunct professor of the American College. Curtis has been recognized as one of the top financial planners in America.

Steve Savant is a nationally syndicated financial columnist and talk show host of Right on the Money and weekend anchor for On the Money News. Both broadcasts are distributed to 280 media outlets, social media networks and industry web sites. Steve also is a contributing author to Advisys Advance, Insmark and Life Specs.

Guaranteed Lifetime Income – On the Money News

Retirees with Pensions & Guaranteed Income are Happier than those without. Mortality Credits are the New Retirement Alpha of Lifetime Annuities.

Guaranteed lifetime annuity income with a COLA rider has finally gone mainstream in retirement planning. With the advent of QLAC, many advisers are now aware of Deferred Income Annuities. Purchasing blocks of income is superseding the accumulation of assets.
Tom Hegna is one of the most popular platform speakers, retirement expert and best selling author with Paychecks and Paychecks as well as Don’t Worry Retire Happy, which was used as the script for the PBS Special Don’t Worry Retire Happy hosted by Tom.

Steve Savant is a nationally syndicated financial columnist and talk show host of Right on the Money and weekend anchor for On the Money News. Both broadcasts are distributed to 280 media outlets, social media networks and industry web sites. Steve also is a contributing author to Advisys Advance, Insmark and Life Specs.

Housing Wealth Strategies – On the Money News

Boomers Looking to HECM strategies after the Market Meltdown & Housing Crash. Home Equity Conversion Mortgage May Save Senior’s Retirement Dreams! After the market meltdown and housing crash, baby boomers are looking to restore their retirement dreams. The HECM strategies could be one of the greatest solutions in restoring a happy retirement.

Dan Graves is an adjunct professor at the American College, popular platform speaker and is one of the leading authorities on Home Equity Conversion Mortgage strategies for seniors age 62 or older.

Steve Savant is a nationally syndicated financial columnist and talk show host of Right on the Money and weekend anchor for On the Money News. Both broadcasts are distributed to 280 media outlets, social media networks and industry web sites. Steve also is a contributing author to Advisys Advance, Insmark and Life Specs.

The Retirement Red Zone – On the Money News

The Retirement Red Zone is defined as the Five Years before and the five years after Your Retirement Date. It’s also been called the most Dangerous Decade of your financial life.

In the NFL stats and the facts about the Red Zone are crunched and processed through a gauntlet of analytics in attempt to craft a game plan that will maximize the time in the Red Zone. But often the results are basically the same: just a field goal.

So one of the axioms of the NFL is that accumulate yardage doesn’t necessarily equate to points on the board. Accumulating money doesn’t mean much if adviser fees, fund expenses and plan administration costs erode your investment return. That’s why it’s in your interest as a retirement plan participant to know the score on these three critical items.

After the market meltdown of 2008, many baby boomers doubled down on high-risk investments in an attempt to make up for losses. Other baby boomers have been on the sidelines for the last five years, fearful of entering the market again. Both could be huge mistakes just before retirement. One of the biggest mistakes during the last five years before retirement is not working long enough because you haven’t anticipated your projected life expectancy.

After retirement, one of the biggest mistakes during the first five years is not participating in a hybrid retirement, working part time with full retirement income. Again, life expectancy is ever evolving and it’s the number one risk in retirement. Another mistake is not taking into consideration taxation on qualified retirement funds and their correlation to Social Security benefit taxation. Many financial advisors tout the benefits of tax correlation and tax diversity in retirement to generate more spendable income.

Delaying the Social Security benefits of the primary breadwinner until age 70 can generate a dramatic increase in Social Security income. Delaying qualified retirement plan income until age 70½ may also increase your overall payout of your qualified retirement plan. If you can defer qualified plan distributions, then consider using a Qualified Longevity Annuity Contract (QLAC) that lower your required minimum distributions by deferring them as far out as age 85. These are just a few ideas from the retirement planner playbook. So when you enter the retirement red zone, you make the most out of it.

For more information on how you make the right moves in the retirement red zone, just email me… [email protected]

Syndicated financial columnist and news anchor Steve Savant delivers high-value information in a news brief format for consumers in or near retirement.