PENSIONS..."Secure or Not?"Karla Leonard:
Claim your power... Everyday life offers you different channels of power that YOU have over your life. This is a fast paced world and everything is constantly changing around us. Decision making isn’t ‘cut and dry’ anymore. It is a weighing in or factoring in ‘what the outcome’ is going to look like based on your decisions. The advantages or ‘disadvantages’ of technology, however you choose to look at it, allows us ‘what once was rare’ and now is ‘the norm’ to always be a finger-search away from any query that we might have that can aide in making a sound decision. Life has become a whirlwind of changing circumstances in our daily lives, in personal and business relationships, socially and in the desire towards healthier lifestyles. No matter which generation you are a member of...Sinatra, Baby Boomer, Millennial, Ex-Gen, all of us are being tested on the faith we have to be able to withstand life’s challenges to obtain that ultimate goal. We all have within us the faith, determination, and common sense, which, by the way, is always being tested by ‘life exercising it’s power” of circumstantial change. Saving for retirement shifts Take a closer look at how saving for retirement has shifted over the tides of life. The Sinatra generation had the security of Social Security and pensions for sustaining them through their retirement years. The Baby Boomers have a smorgasbord of Social Security, pensions and 401(k) plans, and non-qualified savings plans like annuities, indexed universal life insurance policies and whole life insurance policies, mutual funds, various investments and CDs to sustain them through their retirement years. Can pensions, which played an enormous role in the Sinatra generation securing retirement lifetime income for our parents and grandparents, be relied upon as a ‘sure source retirement income’ for Baby Boomers? There are two sources of ‘sure retirement income’… Social Security and pensions. We can count on either one or both, to be in our mailbox or EFT in our checking account every month until the day we take our last breath. Social Security is having serious issues. Pensions are slowly disappearing, some vanishing before our very eyes, thus causing Baby Boomers a true cause for concern. Many who counted on this ‘sure source’ of income for their retirement are seeing it slowly being dwindled and/or disappearing before their very eyes. Serious concerns and real-life situations are documented of retirees having to return to the workforce, retirees losing their homes, retirees having to choose between paying mortgage/rent or their much- needed life sustaining medications. With age comes inherent health issues and increasing costs for healthcare, some seniors pay in excess of $2,000 per month for their medications not covered by Medicare! “What has happened?” many are asking... Unfortunately, the signs for the pension’s demise has been predicted for quite some time by key economist like Harry Dent [Renowned Economic Forecaster/ Investment Strategist/ HS Dent Research Publications/ HS Dent Investment Management, and author of best seller 'The Demographic Cliff', 'The Great Crash Ahead – Strategies for a World Turned Upside Down'] and James Rickards [The Financial Threat and Asymmetric Warfare Advisor for both the Pentagon and CIA]. Harry Dent makes it clear of the path forthcoming when he says”the baby boomers, the biggest generational tsunami in our history, descended on the workforce between 1968 and 1978.” Mr. Dent further explains, “the last of the big spenders are either retired or they’re saving for their retirement years. In short, the baby boomers have essentially stopped spending all together on the things that drive economic growth…housing, cars, furniture, and other ‘big ticket’ items ...and the economic impact it will have on the years ahead will not only be devastating…it’s known and predictable, an economic perfect storm!” Pensions are becoming more and more a thing of the past with increasing State and City debt crisis. It’s reported that “CalPERS has about $100 billion dollars less than it needs to fund current and future obligations.” A few weeks ago USA Today featured an article "Dupont to end pension contributions to active employees”. Millennials and Ex-Gens will have an entirely different retirement portfolio than the Sinatra and Baby Boomer generations. The good news is they can create pension like incomes through life insurance products like annuities, indexed universal life and whole life insurance contracts. When we see headlines over the past years like these: After Detroit bankruptcy filing, city retirees on edge as they face pension cuts by Zachary A. Goldfarb July 21, 2013 The Washington Post Struggling, San Jose Tests a Way to Cut Benefits by Rick Lynman and Mary Williams Walsh The New York Times One of the nation’s largest pension funds could soon cut benefit for retirees by Jonnelle Marte April 20, 2016 The Washington Post More ripples in the public pension crisis by Nilus Mattive October 18, 2016 Uncommon Wisdom Daily Dupont to end pension contribution for active employees by Jeff Mordock November 16, 2016 USA Today ...they support why the biggest fear the baby boomer has, ‘outliving their money’ during their retirement years, their fear is a valid one. Many are already living this reality. Mr. Dent says, “the greatest credit in modern history will continue to deleverage…which means…deflation-not inflation is just ahead; with continued demographic decline, economic hardships, and their budget in crisis, State and Municipal governments will be forced into default, especially at the city and county level. Detroit is only the first.” This economic tidal wave has also hit cities such as Pittsburgh, PA, Stockton, CA, San Jose, CA and San Bernardino, CA. and these are not the only cities suffering this crisis. Sure Retirement Income' Sources There are only two sources of ‘sure retirement income’… Social Security and pensions. The Sinatra generation and the Baby Boomer generation (until recent years) have always been able to can count on either one or both, to be in their mailbox via check or EFT into their checking/saving account every month until the day they take their last breath. Social Security is having serious issues. Pensions are slowly disappearing, some vanishing before our very eyes, thus causing Baby Boomers a true cause for concern. Many who counted on this ‘sure source’ of income for their retirement are seeing it slowly being dwindled and/or disappearing before their very eyes. Serious concerns and real-life situations are documented of retirees having to return to the workforce, retirees losing their homes, retirees having to choose between paying mortgage/rent or their much- needed life sustaining medications. With age comes inherent health issues and increasing costs for healthcare, some seniors pay in excess of $2,000 per month for their medications not covered by Medicare! So, what’s the outcome? We adapt, make midcycle corrections, if need be and through these adaptations we become more insightful and mature. Many run from the power to make life’s decisions and take refuge while others take advantage of technological instruments to dive deeper to find just the right information that fuels their decision to move forward towards their retirement goal. It’s imperative, more than ever during this time, that Baby Boomers seek out new avenues for securing ‘sure source’ retirement income vehicles. What is the best way to create your own ‘pension like sure source of income’? Reports have shown that indexed annuities can increase retirement success to 97.5%. Eliminate the fear of running out of money during your retirement by combining a 'drawndown strategy' with a fixed indexed annuity with a guaranteed lifetime withdrawal benefit. Sitting down with a trusted financial professional is highly recommended during these turbulent times to secure the retirement of your dreams by creating your own guaranteed income for life ‘pension’. Claim your power to change and grow The empowering factor to obtain this goal is ‘planning’. Planning is the one common ingredient in successful ventures. It would be difficult to find one thriving business that does as little planning as the average family! If you find one you are very lucky. Do you want to rely on luck for your future? If so, the lottery awaits you. If not financial planning awaits you! Life does not stand still, now is the time to claim your power to change and grow. Set goals, and start executing a plan to reach your objectives for your retirement years. Monitor your progress, making any necessary adjustments on a timely basis. You’ll find through this will arise a new maturity and insight towards reaching your retirement goals and the ability to live the retirement of your dreams.