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Jim Lentini: Tips for guaranteeing your retirement

Posted: March 15, 2010 10:53 p.m.
Updated: March 16, 2010 4:55 a.m.
Thanks to healthier lifestyles and increased longevity, the modern retiree can expect to enjoy an increased amount of time in retirement. Consequently, a primary concern of today’s retirees is that they will run out of money too soon.

Whatever chances you take in retirement, risking your retirement portfolio shouldn’t be one of them. To sustain your retirement, your assets will have to endure the stresses of systematic withdrawals for income, market fluctuations and the potential for an extended retirement.

What investment vehicle can guarantee your retirement? Only a variable annuity can provide benefits and guarantees no other investment vehicle can offer such as:

* Guaranteed principal, and the return of principal for your retirement with the backing of a highly rated company.

* Guarantee the principal in a down market in case of death.

* Spousal continuation of income and tax management for contingent beneficiaries.

* Not subject to probate and mandatory distribution.

* Automatic step-ups when the market outperforms the balance of the guarantee income account.

* Income guaranteed for life. Does not have to be annuitized.

* Personal control of your retirement assets.

* Professional asset management.

These are a few of the features offered by a variable annuity with a guaranteed income benefit rider with lifetime income. Be sure to discuss annuities with your financial advisor who is familiar with these products.

Not all variable annuities are created equal and it is most important your financial advisor fully understands annuities so he can explain them to you. In my opinion, there is a place in everyone’s retirement planning for a portion to be in these guaranteed products.

Why? Because our retirement is exposed to a global economy, threats to our security and natural disaster costs. And, of course, our government spending will surely bring us increased taxes.

We best have some of our hard-earned money in some guaranteed investments. Plus, tax deferral growth for after-tax investments.

Jim Lentini, CLU, ChFC, IAR is president of Lentini Insurance & Investments, Inc. His column reflects his own views and not necessarily those of The Signal.


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