Income For Life Introduction

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1 Income For Life Introduction If you are like most Americans, you ve worked hard your entire life to create a standard of living for yourself that you wish to maintain for years to come. You have probably saved and planned for the day when you could retire and relax. Unfortunately, if you are like most Americans, you will have had to do all that on your own. Because 75% of all Americans born after 1945 probably don t have a company pension, and cannot be assured that Social Security will be able to assist you when you need it. The government has been hinting for years that they may raise the Social Security benefits age from 65 to 70. And who s to say that when you reach that age, that the money will even be there for you? Do you know if you ll be able to have the comfortable retirement of which you have always dreamed? Sadly, most Americans don t until it s too late. Imagine working hard your entire life, looking forward to the day you are to retire, only to find out that you didn t plan correctly, nor save enough. And suddenly you are forced to go back to work to make ends meet. If you have any doubt at all whether your retirement may be in jeopardy, I urge you to read the information in this booklet. It could mean the difference between the comfortable, leisurely retirement you ve always dreamed of, and one of struggling just to get by. What Is An Annuity? You may be scratching your head even at the concept of an Annuity. Perhaps you ve heard the term, but never had it fully explained to you. Or perhaps you ve never even heard of such a thing at all. Don t worry about that. It is a relatively simple concept that I will explain below. Simply an Annuity is a contract you purchase from an insurance company. By purchasing this contract, the insurance company agrees to pay you regular payments for the duration of your life. The amount of each payment will be based on various factors, including how much you initially spend on the purchase of the Annuity, your age, etc. There are two types of Annuities which you will be able to purchase: A Fixed Annuity guarantees your principal as well as a specified interest rate for payouts, and additionally may offer you dividends. A Variable Annuity pays you interest in fluctuating amounts based on the performance of the securities portfolio to which it is linked. You may make more

2 money with a Variable Annuity, however, there is no guarantee on your principal, or rate of return as with the Fixed Annuity above. The rest of this booklet will go into more detail. However, if you are still unclear on what an Annuity is after reading the material above, please feel free to call my office for further explanation. Remember, the only stupid question is the one that never gets asked. Using an Annuity For Your Future Income As you reach the age of retirement, you will begin to wonder where your money is going to come from. With any luck you ve got some sort of retirement plan, whether it s a company plan, 401k, IRA or something similar. However, an annuity can be a great way to buy an income to help pay for a lot of things to maintain your quality of life. By spending a little money now, you may be able to live much more comfortably in the future. For example, you could take a good portion of the money you ve set aside for your retirement, and buy a large annuity which will give you large monthly payments. It s basically using your 401k to make your own pension. These payments could be used simply for your monthly expenses. Imagine the freedom of knowing that you will be receiving a regular check, without worrying about where the money is coming from. Note that it is not advisable to put all of your money into an Annuity. The main reason for this, is that once you ve purchased an annuity, you can t change the payments. If you underestimate the amount of the payments, you may be stuck when an urgent need for more money comes along (say you need to repair your roof, or buy a new car). The rest of your money should be held on to for emergencies or other investments. If you are worried about your cost of living increasing over time, you may be able to request a Cost of Living Rider for your Annuity. With this modification to the contract, you will sacrifice some income in the early years of your Annuity payouts for larger ones later in life. As inflation takes a larger and larger bite out of your monthly expenses, your Annuity payments will increase as well. There s another great use for your Annuity. Let s say you re fairly comfortable with your lifestyle. You ve got a good pension plan, great savings, and assets which should keep you comfortable for years to come. And you ve got a good chance of losing it all. 48% of people over the age of 65 will need some sort of Long-Term Care in their life. This is a fact. And yet only 6% of people over age 65 carry any Long-Term Care insurance. This is not medical insurance, either. This is the insurance which will pay for assistance for you for such simple things as shopping, preparing meals, bathing, eating, etc. whether in your own home or a nursing home.

3 You may think, Well, Medicare will take care of that. Medicare does not. Medicaid does! Unfortunately, Medicaid only kicks in after you ve burned through most of your savings, including liquidating most of your assets. At over $8000 or so per month that Long-Term Care would cost today in New Jersey, you can figure how fast you d spend down your retirement. So, what s the solution? Buy yourself an annuity that will pay you your premiums for Long-Term Care. The money you spend now on such an Annuity, if placed into Long- Term Care insurance could mean the difference between a comfortable recuperation, or a stay in a Medicaid-approved facility. And trust me, you don t want that to happen. Riding the Wave All the Way To the Bank Earlier we briefly discussed the two basic types of Annuities. I want to bring this concept up again. There s a type of Annuity known as the Equity, or Fixed Indexed Annuity which is sort of a hybrid between Variable and Fixed Annuities. This is a great opportunity for those who don t mind a little gamble with their income, yet don t want to lose principal. In short, if you know that you ve got a comfortable retirement ahead of you, and wish to see if you can make it a bit more comfortable, The Equity Indexed Annuity may be for you. EIA s offer fluctuating rates of return much like a Variable Annuity. If the market goes up, and the stocks to which your EIA is linked rise in value, then you gain a larger payout in the associated period. However, if the market goes down, and your associated stocks lose money, it never cuts into the principal which you have invested. You may not make much money in dividend returns that period, but your principal is safe. How can this be? you ask? Well, as they say There ain t no such thing as a free lunch. Simply, you are sacrificing a percentage of your possible gains to insure your principal. Let s say you got yourself an EIA and your neighbor put the same amount of money in a Variable Annuity at the same time. Both of your Annuities were linked to the same technology stocks. When that Internet boom happened at the end of the 1990 s, your neighbor was probably gloating. You were making maybe 10% less on your annuity payouts than he was. He probably went on a couple of cruises, or bought a new car with the extra money he made. And then the bubble burst. Yes, the crash came, and took most of the principal of his Variable Annuity with it. Now he s had to go back to work to make ends meet. However, you were smart and got the EIA which protected your principal. Your payouts may have gone down in the following years, but they never went away entirely, and your principal investment was never touched. You weathered the storm well, and got back on your feet much quicker.

4 And this, more than anything else is one of the truisms about investing when you are retired, or about to retire: You must be more concerned about keeping your money in existence, and available than you are about making more of it. The time may come when if you lost your life s savings, or times were hard, that you wouldn t be able to go back to work to make ends meet. You need to set up contingencies now to assure a steady flow of income for as long as you ll need it. Reinvest Your Annuity For Social Security Income Tax Benefits You may not be aware of this, but seniors have to pay income tax on their Social Security benefits (in some cases, up to 85%!). Yes, you ve been paying Social Security tax all your life, and when you are finally ready to start taking payouts on that tax, your least favorite relative, Uncle Sam, decides he wants a piece of the pie which he s giving back to you. The problem is, your Social Security income tax is calculated based on your total income from all sources. What many people don t know, however, is that money which you receive from your existing annuities, which is then immediately reinvested does not factor in to the calculations for your tax return. Simply, if you re just taking that money and reinvesting it, it doesn t count as income. So, it s quite possible to plan to use payouts from an Annuity to shelter the rest of your income from outrageous income taxes. Preserving Your Legacy There s another use for an Annuity which we haven t touched on yet: Preserving your Legacy. You ve worked hard your entire life, and you ve saved up a sizeable amount of savings. You probably want that money to go to a good use when you pass away. This is what I call your Legacy. The money you want to leave behind so that your spouse is taken care of after your passing, maybe to help your kids out a bit, or put your grandchildren through college. And guess what. When you pass away, old Uncle Sam is waiting in the wings to take most of your money. Let s look at example of how the IRS values, and taxes, your Estate at your death. John & Mary Doe House: $750,000 Vacation home: $350,000

5 Investable Assets: $200,000 Cars/boats/RV s: $ 80,000 Art/Jewelry/Collectables: $ 60,000 Furniture/personal property: $ 60,000 Business Interest: $500,000 IRA: $1,000,000 $3,000,000 TOTAL ESTATE $3,000,000 Federal Exemption: $2,000,000 Taxable estate $1,000,000 Federal Estate Tax 45% = $450,000 State Estate Tax $3,000,000 minus$ 675,000 $2,325,000 N.J. State Tax 16% = $372,000 Total Estate Tax Bill = $822,000 SUB TOTAL = $178,000 Federal & State tax = $ 78,266 LEFT FROM IRA + $ 100,000 Unbelievable and SICK. That s just depressing. All that work you put in to saving money for your legacy, and Uncle Sam just took almost all of it. No wonder you never invite that guy to family reunions! So, what can you do? Take your annuity payout and turn it right back around. You can use the money you ll receive from your Annuity payments and turn it into premiums for a Life Insurance policy. Life Insurance payouts don t count as income and will be tax-free to your children. In this way, you would be able to offset the taxes on your estate by

6 buying a $1 million policy. Obviously you could go less than that if you wished, but just remember that if you are planning on leaving money to your family, that the US Government is going to take a huge chunk out of it before it reaches your loved ones. Using some of your money now to purchase an Annuity could offset the gouging of your estate at a future time. Conclusion Over the last few years retirement has become closer and closer for you. However, as we ve discovered, 75% of Americans aren t really financially prepared for their retirement. Purchasing an Annuity is a simple way to assure a regular paycheck for years to come. Whether you wish to use it for simple income, to purchase Long-Term Care insurance, to buy life insurance to offset your Estate Taxes, or any of a number of other options, it is something you should consider. If you are interested in learning more about the possible benefits you could receive through the use of an Annuity, you should consult a qualified financial specialist. I can work with you to set up a plan that s right for your needs if you so desire. The possible uses you could put the Annuity payout to are practically limitless. I hope that by reading this booklet you ve learned a little bit about the versatility of Annuities, and gained a bit of insight as to how versatile they are and what they could do for you. If you have any further questions or concerns on the use of an Annuity to preserve your financial status, please give me a call to set an appointment to discuss your specific needs.

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