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  1.  americans discouraged retirement outlook

    After many working years, most people would probably see retirement as a positive thing. Yet while it’s true for many Americans, a recent survey by Nationwide shows greater-than-expected retirement dissatisfaction. Nearly 3 in 10 recent retirees (28%) said that their lives are in worse in retirement than before. Moreover, just 2 in 10 future retirees expect that life will be better in retirement.

    What was the reason for the retirement humbug? Financial issues, mostly. Among the 28% of unhappy retirees, 78% pointed to income as a reason while 76% blamed the cost of living.

    The Nationwide Retirement Institute also noted other findings that are instructive for income and retirement planning. Let’s dive into some more of those takeaways now.

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  2. how to find best retirement planning companies

    When you near retirement it’s an important life transition. For one, this period brings changes to money matters. Now is time to examine portfolio assets and consider how you will use them for income to sustain your retirement lifestyle. A good retirement planning company can help you plan for this transition.

    Retirement Planning Companies May Have Different Specialties

    However, investors have many options of financial firms in today’s industry. Different firms can vary in the unique expertise to the table. Some companies specialize in investment management and others in financial planning, for example.

    While similar in some ways to financial planning and investment management, retirement planning is different. It concerns advice on the distribution of money and how people will use the money for income needs.  

    Business Type Also Matters

    There is also the question of business organization. Some firms are just one of many broker offices for huge financial companies, while other firms are small, local businesses. Whether they have a captive or an independent status may influence the kinds and selections of the retirement products they can offer you.

    So, all of this adds up to many retirement planning options for investors. How do you choose the right partner for you? Let's take a look at some questions to answer.

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  3. what is a surrender charge on an annuity

    Retirement planning is an essential step in financial life. Part of the transition is to ensure that your money is safe and you have income available for the rest of your life. For risk-conscious and lifestyle-minded investors, one instrument to consider for a retirement portfolio is an annuity.

    Apart from principal protection, low risk, and tax-deferred growth, annuities can generate a guaranteed lifetime income. This income benefit can help ensure that the contract owner has a constant, dependable cash-flow throughout retirement.

    However, there are many aspects of an annuity that people should understand before making a purchase, such as fees and conditions. One of the important conditions set out by annuities are surrender charges.

    Let’s take a closer look at what a surrender charge involves.

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  4. 6 risks to retirement income we cant afford to ignore

    Achieving financial security isn’t an easy task. The dynamics of retirement income planning have evolved. It used to be that retired households could rely upon Social Security and personal pensions for the income they needed.

    But that has changed. Now Americans shoulder more individual responsibility for their future income security. Also, life expectancies are on the rise. The challenge becomes ensuring our money will last for a retirement lifetime.    

    As you create your own retirement income plan – or consider potential changes to your current plan – here are six risks to retirement income to consider. Keep these potential pitfalls in mind as you formulate your own strategy.

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  5.  guide to taxes on social security retirement benefits

    When calculating individual benefits, the Social Security Administration draws on up to 35 years of personal earnings history. To receive Social Security benefits in the first place, you have to work at least 10 years. Therefore, it’s not that surprising that many people see their benefits as something they have earned.

    Yet each year, Uncle Sam collects a share of people’s benefits through income taxes. You may have to pay taxes on as much as 50%-85% of your benefits, depending on how much income you report to the IRS.

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Gregory Bernhardt, CFP
Certified Financial Planner
Asset Protection/Retirement Income Planner
San Francisco Bay Area | Financial Services
Education: University of Colorado

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Our goal is to offer our clients sound financial advice and practical solutions to meet their individual needs and create a financial plan that will help our clients “preserve what they already have, protect themselves from financial uncertainty, and pass their wealth to their heirs in the most tax efficient manner possible.”






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