Universal Life Insurance as a Financial Management Tool

by Tim Estes on Sep 27, 2017

When universal life insurance debuted in 1982, it quickly became a popular alternative to whole life insurance policies which had been losing favor due to its low yields, high premiums and nontransparent structure.  In the high interest rate environment of the 80’s, consumers were looking for competitive rates on their money and more flexibility in the way they could structure their life insurance policies.

Read More

Finance Lessons for Your Teen

by Tim Estes on Sep 20, 2017

The current economic environment has caused most everyone to reconsider their personal finances with many people having to drastically change their spending and savings habits. Out of this economic malaise may come an opportunity to finally instill the right habits in your teens that can carry them into adulthood on the right financial footing. Just as our parents and grandparents of the Great Depression era developed deeply ingrained attitudes about finances from their experience, our teens can share in the lessons of today’s “great recession” generation.

Read More

How to Reduce Life Insurance Costs

by Tim Estes on Sep 13, 2017

With rates as low and competitive as they have ever been, it’s as close to a “buyers” market in life insurance as we’ll get.  Still, in these cash-strapped times, curbing all costs and expenses is a priority for most people, and buying life insurance is no different.

Read More

Should You Take Early Social Security Retirement Benefits?

by Tim Estes on Sep 6, 2017

Most people are aware that they can begin collecting their Social Security retirement payout at age 62, and, in doing so, they are informed that they will be collecting a reduced benefit. And most people also know that, the longer they wait to collect benefits, they will receive a higher monthly benefit. When they do the math, some people figure they are better off by collecting a smaller benefit for a longer period of time. Of course, some people may not have a choice but to collect early if they are forced out of work or they simply don’t have sufficient resources.

Read More

Life Insurance as an Accumulation Vehicle ��� Pros and Cons

by Tim Estes on Aug 30, 2017

Ever since the introduction of variable life insurance in the 1950s the debate over life insurance as an investment has raged on, and, to this day, the issue remains largely unsettled. Life insurance advocates can make a case for its unique properties – tax deferred growth, tax free death benefit, low interest loan provisions, and varied investment options – but then the critics can argue that it can be expensive and that there are better ways to invest your money. The reality is that, while both positions have merit, they also don’t apply equally to all financial situations.

Read More

Have a Long Term goal? Financial Planning can Help You get you there

by Tim Estes on Aug 23, 2017

After several years of wallowing in financial upheaval caused by a severe recession and financial crisis, Americans are, once again, looking to the future. A renewed confidence has many people setting their sights on long term goals that, just a few years ago, may have seemed out of reach. However, as too many people have painfully learned, simply having a long-term goal, whether it’s an early retirement or a college education for your children, is not enough to realize your ambition.

Read More

What You Need to Know about Universal Life Insurance

by Tim Estes on Aug 16, 2017

Universal life was introduced nearly three decades ago as an alternative to whole life insurance which had been gradually losing favor due to its low rates of return and its inflexibility as a financial management tool.  With interest rates on fixed yield investments reaching as high as 18%, life insurers were under pressure to attract more premium deposits with a product that could compete.

Read More

Understanding Your True Risk Tolerance is Vital to Portfolio Performance

by Tim Estes on Aug 9, 2017

As anyone would have expected, the extraordinary convergence of extreme stock market volatility, low interest rates, declining home values, diminished retirement savings accounts, and chronic economic sluggishness has taken a severe toll on the American psyche. For many investors, it may have forever altered the way in which risk is perceived and managed.
Understanding your risk tolerance is one of the most important elements of investing; knowing how your risk tolerance effects your investment decisions is vital to the health of your portfolio.

Read More

Retirement Income Planning Requires Realistic Spending Assumptions

by Tim Estes on Aug 2, 2017

If you have read any literature on retirement planning or have received advice from a financial professional, chances are you were presented with the 70% rule, the one that suggests that retirees will need between 70 and 80% of their pre-retirement income in order to maintain their standard of living. There are several flaws with this formula, the least of which is that it doesn�۪t consider your actual income and expenses at the time of retirement.

Read More

Sequence of Returns Risk is the Real Threat to Your Retirement Plan

by Tim Estes on Jul 26, 2017

Even as the stock market works its way to new highs, retirement savers, still shell-shocked from the extreme volatility of recent years, are slow to wade back into equities. Smaller investors tend to ignore the history that shows that the market eventually rewards those who can withstand the fluctuations and stay the course through the various market cycles. In fact, for accumulators, their biggest risk is not the potential 25 percent decline in the market; rather it’s missing the next 100 percent increase.

Read More