Category Archives: The Independent Agent Network

Making Retirement Money Last to 103: An Expert’s Plan for Himself

Americans worry about affording retirement, but that doesn’t usually translate into hard-core financial planning. Then there’s David Littell, the 61-year-old director of the retirement income planning program at the American College of Financial Services, a nonprofit that educates financial advisers. If anyone ought to have a well-thought-out plan, it’s this guy.

So we asked him what’s in it.

It’s a little intense—this is one well-prepared pre-retiree, and one who knows his insurance products, since the college’s focus has historically been on educating insurance agents.1  While the challenge of ensuring he won’t outlive his money isn’t unique, his attitude may be. “I find this fun,” he said. A sign of how into this stuff he is? Before a follow-up call, he e-mailed a three-page, 1,500-word, bullet-pointed outline of his thinking.

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How to Prepare for Financial Shocks in Retirement

You’ve always lived below your means and were a diligent saver, and now you’ve built a pretty sizable nest egg. Or maybe you’ve just been lucky enough to work for a company that has a well-managed 401(k) plan and has always matched your contributions. However you did it, you now have a reasonable retirement income that, with the help of Social Security and possibly a pension, provides you with a comfortable retirement lifestyle.

So, you’re all set, right? Not necessarily.

With a proper assessment, any retirement plan could be prepare your client for what life might throw at them. Be prepared for them, click here

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5 Traits the Best Financial Advisors Share

A career as a financial adviser requires a high level of proficiency in a wide range of categories. Financial advisers must complete rigorous licensing exams, comprehend simple and complex financial products, and use creative tactics to acquire new clients on a consistent basis.

However, becoming a success in the field is not only dependent on being effective in sales and marketing. The financial advisers who are deemed the best in the business share certain traits that help them create and sustain profitable careers in working with clients.

As Financial advisers, or independent agents there is always more you can do to better yourself and build your pipeline. Click here to see how we can help you become the best you can be so you can build your book of business as well as your knowledge base.

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Contributor: Investopedia

Retirement fear: Inflation


When you were a kid, did you fear monsters hiding in your closet or under your bed? You’re no kid anymore and new fears haunt you — such as running out of money in retirement after a lifetime of watching prices go up. You can still plan now to enjoy enough to spend as well as how to spend it.

People do feel slightly better about their golden years’ money these days, according to the latest Employee Benefit Research Institute survey on retirement confidence. More than one out of five workers are now very confident – though almost one in every four express little faith that they’ve saved enough, with future medical expenses being a major concern.

Nagging worry about what’s missing in our retirement plans can be very justified. Additional good news is that you can manage such fears.

You need to consider many risks in your planning process, especially the often-ignored creep of inflation. While a bad price spiral is hardly inevitable, a more muted pace of inflation remains a good bet. Best estimates put the coming years’ overall price jumps at about 2% annually — much as anyone can predict such a figure.

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Three Powerful Retirement Moves To Consider Now

You can do too little when planning for retirement.

Yet most of the advice is focused on one thing: Accumulating as much money as possible.

While that’s not a bad idea, you also have to pay attention to spending and lifestyle. A few key moves can make a big difference.

Knowledge is the most powerful component when it comes to retirement, click here for the information you need to help you and your clients reach their retirement goals

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Reboot Your Savings: Identify Specific Retirement Dreams

Retirement savings golden nest egg

If you were offered the choice to go to Paris next week or — for the same amount of money — take a whirlwind tour of 10 European countries 10 years from now, which would you choose?

The future getaway is the better and likely more fulfilling deal — but few of us would be able to resist the draw of strolling along the Seine seven days from now.

Unfortunately, that inability to delay gratification is what’s keeping many of us from building up a healthy nest egg.

Identify and learn how to avoid these types of pitfalls for you and your clients, Just Click here

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Post-Retirement Work May Not Save Your Golden Years

Unhappy Senior

NEW YORK — For the many who have fallen behind in their retirement savings, the prospect of part-time work in their golden years is a very real possibility. However, it may not be wise to count on those paychecks after leaving your regular 9-to-5.

Recent numbers show employers may not be too keen on hiring older, part-time employees. In fact, a new study by Bankers Life shows nearly three-quarters of retired baby boomers currently aren’t working for pay. Another survey by the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies found more than half of workers in their 50s and 60s said their employers don’t offer — or they are not sure they offer — benefits such as part-time work or flexible schedules to help employees who are transitioning into retirement.

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Calpers to cut external money managers by half

Calpers headquarters is seen in Sacramento, California, October 21, 2009. REUTERS/Max Whittaker

The California Public Employees’ Retirement System intends to cut ties with roughly half of the firms handling its money to reduce fees paid to investment managers, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Calpers, the largest pension fund in the United States, will tell its investment board on June 15 that it plans to cut the number of direct relationships it has with private equity, real estate and other external funds to about 100 from 212, the newspaper reported. (

The pullback, which would take place over the next five years, is expected to save Calpers hundreds of millions of dollars in management fees, the newspaper said.

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The 4% rule isn’t broken; it is just badly misunderstood

Piggy bank with tape on it

A recent commentary on this site proudly proclaimed the death of the 4 percent rule, but is it truly dead—or just badly misunderstood?

First, though: What is the 4 percent rule, and why would you care if it is dead or alive?

Retirees with savings need a way to decide how much they can reasonably expect to withdraw from those savings without running out of money in their later years. The 4 percent rule is a rule of thumb widely used by financial planners to address this question.

The idea is that retirees with well-diversified portfolios can start by withdrawing 4 percent (actually, it is closer to 4.5 percent) of their holdings—or $4,500 per year for every $100,000 of investments—to allow themselves a cost-of-living increase every year and still be reasonably assured of not outliving their money.

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