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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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It's a Matter of Trust: Revocable or Irrevocable? That is the Question

by Tim Estes on Jul 19, 2017

When people’s attention eventually turns to planning their estate, they are suddenly confronted with a new language replete with the kind of legalese and Latin terms that only a lawyer can love, and that’s mainly because lawyers are typically the only people who can understand it. Among the more mysterious terms are the various types of trusts which are used in estate planning; and two of the more popular trusts in particular – Revocable Trusts and Irrevocable Trusts – are often confused with one another. Here we demystify these two popular and very useful estate planning tools.

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Is a Fixed annuity Right For You?

by Tim Estes on Jul 17, 2017

One of the principal tenets of investing is that no one single investment is right for everyone. Every investment has certain characteristics, risks, and objectives that must match those of the investor, and fixed annuities are no different. Although fixed annuities have become more popular in light of the recent financial turmoil and the carnage it has left behind in retirement accounts, investors should still take care in considering whether they are best suited for them.

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Keeping it in the Family by Protecting Your Estate

by Tim Estes on May 30, 2017

An estate takes lifetimes to build but can be lost in the blink of an eye. Most of us don’t imagine assets that took decades to accumulate being drained in a few short years, but in some cases this is exactly what happens. Here are some of the top risks to an estate and some easy ways to manage those risks. It’s important to note that all these risks, and the strategies to deal with them, are best dealt with while the person looking to leave a legacy is still alive and healthy. It’s far more difficult, if not impossible, to protect an estate “after the fact”.

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Retire to Happiness: Tips to Thrive in the Next Chapter of Life

by Tim Estes on May 30, 2017

Here’s a thought: retirement doesn’t mean the end. It doesn’t mean an end of self-importance or purpose, it just means a new chapter—a paradigm shift of what life is beyond long days and meetings and bosses. Unless you own your own business, and even then, you are not your business. You’re not solely defined by the question, “What do you do?” But, it doesn’t mean you should stop defining the answer for such an inquiry in your retirement era.

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