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Jim Lentini: Strategy can help you grow retirement income

Posted: August 3, 2009 9:43 p.m.
Updated: August 4, 2009 4:55 a.m.
If you are in the retirement "Red Zone," the five years before and five years after you retire, you face three key financial risks that could seriously affect your retirement - investment losses when you can least afford them, emotional decisions leading to bad financial outcomes and outliving your money because you didn't achieve enough growth.

Coupled with these factors, today you have the most financial problems facing our nation, and you the taxpayer.

Stocks and bonds have long been familiar ground for investors. But, performance of these traditional asset classes has become increasingly correlated, moving in similar cycles, leaving some people vulnerable during market swings.

Because of these fluctuations, is it time to diversify beyond stocks and bonds?

The idea is to blend traditional assets classes with non-traditional assets that don't necessarily move in step with stocks and bonds.
It is a strategy that can help you smooth out volatility and potentially capture gains in any market, bull or bear.

With a variable annuity that offers a living benefit rider with excellent step up options, you can enjoy this kind of diversification, and the guarantees will help you find more security in retirement.

The blending of a wide array of turnkey asset allocations, and the guarantee of the living benefit options, you will have the flexibility to customize a portfolio to your risk/reward profile.

And, the guarantees will give you peace of mind of continued growth and income.

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal emphasized how valuable variable annuities with living benefit riders are in protecting retirement assets and guaranteeing asset growth.

Research has shown that with guarantees offered by riders with step up options, investors are more willing to stick with their investment strategy for the longer term, and pursue the growth they need for a secure retirement.

As always, consult with your advisor who is familiar with these products, as they defer greatly in benefits and costs, and only a few offer what I consider are the better living benefit step up options.

Jim Lentini, CLU, ChFC, IAR is President of Lentini Insurance & Investments, Inc. He can be reached at (661) 254-7633. His column represents his own views and not necessarily those of The Signal.


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