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    Seeking Downside Protection for Investors at or Near Retirement Age

    posted in Retirement Planning Jan 16, 2023


    Avoiding the “downside” in general is a major part of everyday living, but especially when it comes to financial investments — and particularly as investors advance in age and need a fluffier financial cushion.

    One group that’s currently seeking to ensure stability in retirement and avoid impacts of financial downturns is the Baby Boomer generation. As Baby Boomers continue to age into their retirement, the need for financial security grows, and many find themselves looking for ways to protect against possible losses.

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    Social Security Policies Regarding Benefits for Same-Sex Partners

    posted in Retirement Planning Dec 21, 2022


     

    Spouses’ entitlement to benefits has long been an important way that Social Security helps protect disabled and retired partners of workers from poverty. 

    Until recently, survivors benefits were not extended to the same-sex partners of workers who were not allowed to marry due to state laws since deemed unconstitutional.

    In 2016, The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in the case of Obergefell v. Hodges determined that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry — in all 50 states — and have their marriage recognized by other states.1

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    Inflation and Retirement: Should Investors Retire Now?

    posted in Retirement Planning Nov 8, 2022


    The Consumer Price Index inched toward a double-digit increase over the last year.1 Nearly everyone is feeling the strain of rising inflation. In fact, a Pew Research Study found that seven in 10 Americans cite inflation as the top problem facing the country, beating out affordable healthcare, violent crime and climate change.2 

    Many forces are combining to create financial uncertainty among investors. If rising inflation weren’t enough, add to it lingering concerns about the pandemic, international conflicts, political unrest and unprecedented market volatility.

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    Structured Annuities vs. Bonds: Which Comes Out On Top?

    posted in Retirement Planning Oct 4, 2022


     

    Conservative investors are sometimes drawn to bond markets due to their relatively low risk, predictable income stream and principal protection. What investors gain in relative security, however, is sometimes lost in low returns. Factor in inflation and any potential gains could be negligible.

    A recent whitepaper by Barclays examined the performance of bonds over the course of the last two decades and compared it to using two indices in fixed indexed annuities over the same period. What did they find?

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    What Clients Need to Know About Guaranteed Lifetime Withdrawal Benefits

    posted in Retirement Planning Aug 30, 2022


    Financial security tends to weigh heavily on the minds of those nearing retirement. People may find themselves wondering if they have all their ducks in a row and are truly set up to continue receiving a form of income through their golden years once they’ve cashed their last employer paycheck. Social Security helps, but it can’t be solely relied upon.

    That’s where annuities can help close a gap and offer guaranteed income for life. CUNA Mutual Group offers numerous annuity types that investors can select based on their risk tolerance, and one such annuity type is the Group Zone Income™ Annuity. And we are pleased to announce that we are increasing our Guaranteed Lifetime Withdrawal Benefit (GLWB) rates on this annuity!

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    Back to School: How Parents Can Approach Tuition & Retirement

    posted in Retirement Planning Aug 23, 2022


    Parents planning for retirement while seeing their growing children off to college have a unique financial road ahead of them. Retirement and college are costly endeavors, and it’s ideal to have a bundle saved up for both. But is that even possible?

    Your clients may approach you with questions about helping their kids pay for higher learning while ensuring their own financial stability throughout retirement. Depending on their circumstances, they may not have to choose between one or the other. How can they approach tuition and retirement?

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    Social Security Day is August 14th — Know These 5 Important Facts

    posted in Retirement Planning Aug 9, 2022


    While not an official federal holiday, many remember August 14th as Social Security Day in celebration of the signing of the Social Security Act on August 14, 1935.1 

    This is a great time to reflect on the importance of such a critical income source for many retirees and its impact on their retirement plans. Take a look at five interesting Social Security facts and consider how these benefits can play a role in the advice you give to your clients.

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    Financial Risks to Retirees Over 75

    posted in Retirement Planning Jun 28, 2022


    The population of Americans ages 75 to 84 is 20 times higher than it was in 1900, while the 85+ age group is 53 times larger.1 More and more Americans will likely reach higher ages in a world full of advanced medicine and healthcare technology, and that means preparing for what it entails to live well past normal retirement age, which the Social Security Administration currently defines as between 65 and 67.2

    While the list of issues that could arise as one ages is long, three standout late-life financial risks may pose major problems for some retirees over 75:

    1. Declining cognitive abilities leading to financial mistakes or possible victimization
    2. High medical expenses, especially out-of-pocket costs
    3. The possibility of widowhood and its unique challenges
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    5 Questions to Ask Investors in a Post-Pandemic World

    posted in Retirement Planning Jun 14, 2022


    It’s debatable whether or when we’ll actually arrive in a truly post-pandemic world, yet many are hopeful that there is light at the end of the tunnel. But will things return to “normal?”

    The pandemic brought unprecedented changes and disruption that will leave a lasting mark, and ongoing market volatility and global uncertainty will likely continue to impact investors for the foreseeable future. A new normal for your clients may also include new personal goals that require a different approach to their financial strategies.

    Now is an opportune time to help clients identify any new priorities in life and assess their retirement goals to ensure they align.

    Here are five questions to help you start the conversation with clients.

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    June is National Annuity Awareness Month

    posted in Retirement Planning Jun 7, 2022


    June is National Annuity Awareness Month, and it’s a great time to introduce and discuss the overall benefits of annuities with your clients.

    Guaranteed income conversations take on added importance when discussing confidence among retirees regarding their savings. Given the tumultuous nature of the market the last two years and the uncertainty that lies ahead, many more of your clients may be interested in exploring risk control options with you.

    But before we get into how annuities can benefit retirees, let’s look at what a recent survey found regarding confidence in retirement.

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