Friday, August 30, 2013

4% retirement income is NOT safe amount

The 4% Retirement Rule is Wrong: The Lifestyle Rule  Rules
Advisors' 4% rule is NOT a “safe withdrawal” amount.
Advisors' expensive deferred annuities don't work.
Annuity guarantees are just not worth the price.
Fixed income returns are volatile—compare alternatives.
Create a Tax-FREE inflation-proof account for growth. 

Variable annuity now costs 3.5% EACH year
The average cost of a “plain vanilla” (without a living or minimum benefit guarantee) VA contact, according to LIMRA, a life insurance industry trade association, is nearly 2.30% per year. When adding in the cost of a Living Benefit Guarantee (LBG), the average cost approaches 3.50% per year, according to Morningstar. These costs significantly reduce the potential growth of an investor’s account value, which usually translates to a reduction in the amount of annuitized income in retirement. And it is taxable. There is a better way to secure guaranteed tax-FREE income:

Most-stolen vehicles (total thefts in parentheses):
1. Honda Accord (58,596)
2. Honda Civic (47,037)
3. Ford Pickup (Full Size) (26,770)
4. Chevrolet Pickup (Full Size) (23,745)
5. Toyota Camry (16,251)
6. Dodge Caravan (11,799)
7. Dodge Pickup (Full Size) (11,755)
8. Acura Integra (9,555)
9. Nissan Altima (9,169)
10. Nissan Maxima (6,947)
Older Honda Accords and Civics were by far the most stolen models in 2012. The 1996 Accord led the list with 8,637 thefts. In fact, Accords and Civics account for the first 16 spots on the most stolen list and all are 1990-2000 models. By comparison, newer Hondas are rarely stolen, thanks to improved anti-theft technology. Shop for discounts on your insurance rates:

Is $7.25 an hour enough to live on in America?
America’s favorite sandwich makers have left the restaurant claiming they need more than $15,000 a year to pay the school loans, rent, etc—food is “FREE?” I assume. But owners don’t want to pay a living wage. They used to pay $1.60 in 1968. Oh, those good old days! But in today’s dollars, that would be $10.74. God forbid we have to go back to $11 minimum wage! Washington has been pushed farther right and isn’t sure what to do about wages. They favor paying less (GOP) but don’t want to bus in more illegal workers. So what can McD do? Henry Ford paid higher wages so his workers could buy his own products. Will Washington vote to let the 47% non-taxpaying Americans (Romney) get larger? Are we creating Two Americas—one that controls all the money and the other that live in trailers, eating only hamburger products?

Are CDA annuities right for you?
Insurers have cut back on the benefits of their annuities recently, leaving some owners stuck with huge penalties if they want to cancel. Insurers have come up with a new product twist—continent deferred annuities—benefits paid contingent on an underlying account being exhausted.
The consumer-oriented Center for Economic Justice maintains that CDAs are “dangerous” for consumers—“more dangerous than long-term care insurance or variable annuities with guaranteed lifetime withdrawal benefits (GLWB).”
The danger is that the new annuity benefits will be changed after profits are taken and annuity owners will have little value left for the costs.
The Center said, “Insurers will remove profits for 10, 15, 20 years and then, when there is greater than expected benefit requests, insurers will change the product in a way that destroys the value of the product for consumers who will no longer have the opportunity to make an alternative investment.” It is “incomprehensible,” the letter said, “that regulators are allowing an even riskier product – the CDA.” Consider alternatives: Annuity Laddering: Inflation-proof Retirement Income

Are you driving yourself out of savings?
Georgia is the most expensive state to operate a motor vehicle and Oregon is the cheapest, according to a new report. Bankrate factored in the costs of gasoline, insurance, repairs, taxes and fees. In Georgia, a typical driver spends $4,233 per year to operate his or her vehicle. That is almost double the cost in Oregon ($2,204). The national average is $3,201. Ways to save:

Are you paying double for homeowner’s insurance?
A survey by Bankrate found that rates ranged by as much as 188 percent!
The quotes were gathered in June 2013 and were based on $250,000 full replacement coverage for a single-family home and $300,000 in liability coverage. Each policy included a $500 deductible, $1,000 per person medical coverage and a $500 replacement limit for property damage. Not all companies in the survey provided quotes for every location. It's important to shop every two years:

Bad doctor list
The National Practitioner Data Bank is a confidential (not for citizens) information clearinghouse created by Congress with the primary goals of improving health care quality, protecting the public, and reducing health care fraud and abuse in the U.S. It was set up to track incompetent physicians, dentists, and other health care practitioners when they move from state to state without disclosure or discovery of previous medical malpractice payment and adverse action history. Doctor peer groups were supposed to end bad doctor careers but that requires doctors to punish their own. Unfortunately, it does not happen and we can’t see the list.

Long-term care insurance buyers paying more
The average buyer of LTC coverage is younger than ever before—aged 53. The insurers noticed that they preferred younger clients with a longer "runway" of premiums on average. The LTC Tree study also found that decline rates for those ages 65+ are 220% higher than decline rates for those ages 45-55—younger people are healthier. This means insurers are capturing younger people who will have to pay premiums for an average of 30 years before only 4% of them become an expense. Insurers have a longer income stream ($2000 premium for 30 years) and larger reserves of $500,000+. Consider creating your own reserve:
SCAMS           “Deficits don’t matter” Republican godfather, Dick Cheney, 2002

Fed loan guarantees for new “jobs” is another Welfare for the rich
Department of Agriculture’s $1.6 billion business and industry loan program has produced few jobs but lots of bank profits. Banks make loans that have no risk and get paid by US. $10 million buys 36 jobs?!

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