Site Index
Building Wealth with
Guaranteed Income Riders
Fixed Index Annuities
Tax-Free Income
Tax-Deferred Growth
Retirement Income Planning
Long-Term Care Options
Wealth Protection
In a day and age where people are living longer and longer lives, yet guaranteed pensions and defined benefit plans have become increasingly rare and risky, the need for safe and predictable wealth accumulation and protection, and guaranteed retirement income, has never been greater.

Building and protecting wealth methodically and safely is one of the best ways to plan for your retirement. During my career, I've discovered that most people attach their own unique vision of what retirement means. But the bottom line for all of them is “will I have enough money to live the lifestyle I envision long into my retirement years?”

How do you get there from here? Here's what I believe.

At retirement, many people feel their world is about to change. Have they saved enough? How will they manage their money? Will they outlive their retirement savings? It’s a big change, and change can be incredibly exciting, refreshing, and rejuvenating. It can also bring about uncertainty.

We are all good at generating and managing a regular income, but few of us are experts in managing lump sums of money – like those we might receive at the end of a 401(k) accumulation or other pension plan. The change between how things looked financially when you were working and how things will look going forward into retirement is often one of the most underestimated transitions for all professionals, regardless if you made $750,000 a year or $75,000 a year.

When you are working, you received a regular check. You could expect an increase in pay through your annual cost of living adjustment. You might even have anticipated a bonus if your company did well in a given year. You had health insurance, which really meant that if you fell ill, you had coverage in place to protect you. If an unexpected expense arose and you needed to take money out of your 401(k) or pension fund, you could.

You carried life insurance, which meant you had a way of making sure that your family was taken care of financially if something happened to you. Most importantly, you had control. Even if someone else managed the details, you made the choices and you could make changes as you saw fit.

Retirement doesn’t have to mean losing control and becoming burdened with fear and anxiety over financial issues. In fact, it can be just the opposite.

Depending on your specific circumstances, a Fixed Index Annuity may be a great solution to help address some of these concerns. Following are some frequently asked questions that may be of assistance to you:

Q. What is a Fixed Index Annuity?

A. Fixed Index Annuities (or FIAs) are fixed annuities that provide the opportunity to earn additional interest by linking it to an increase in an external market index, which is an unmanaged group of stocks or companies that represent a given portion of the overall investment market. The Standard & Poor's 500 Composite Stock Price Index (S&P 500) is an example of a common market index. Much like actual market values, you cannot predict index values, but when you purchase a Fixed Index Annuity, you're not actually buying shares of the stocks in an index – you're purchasing an insurance contract with an insurance company that simply earns interest based upon index performance.

Q. How does a Fixed Annuity Work?

A. FIAs link to a given market index, and if that particular index should go up – or increase in value – you are credited with interest (according to the particular product's crediting method). Conversely, if the market index should decline – or decrease in value – your principal and credited interest remain unaffected and 100% protected from loss.

Q. Can I lose money with a Fixed Index Annuity like I can in the Stock Market?

A. No. A very popular benefit of FIAs is the fact that your premium and credited interest can never be lost due to market or index volatility. While many people lost a large percent of their retirement plan during the 2008-2009 financial crisis, my clients lost no money.

Q. What other benefits do FIAs provide?

A. In addition to protection of principal and opportunities for index-linked accumulation, Fixed Index Annuities also offer:

- Tax-deferred accumulation (note: taxes are paid on earned interest when you begin taking withdrawals or receiving income installments).
- Avoidance of the cost, hassle, and delay of probate (provided there is a properly named beneficiary other than the estate)
- “Free withdrawal provisions” and other liquidity features that allow access to a portion of your money if you should need it
- The reassurance of a death benefit for your beneficiaries
- Options for guaranteed income – no matter how long you live

Q. How will I be able to access money when I need it?

A. There are liberal withdrawal privileges within all annuities. 10% per year of the value of the contract is typical after the first year. In addition, terminal illness and nursing home consignment accelerates the withdrawals. Each annuity has its on specifics, but this generalization makes the main points.

In today's volatile economic climate, many retirees and individuals approaching retirement share pressing financial concerns such as:

- Protecting retirement assets from loss
- Maintaining opportunities for conservative accumulation throughout retirement
- Finding ways to help keep pace with inflation
- Creating a guaranteed stream of income that cannot be outlived

Please take a minute to hear from some of my clients to see how we worked together to ensure their retirement years are worry-free and fun. You’ve worked a lifetime to build the retirement of your dreams. I am here to make sure you enjoy it.

For a no-cost phone consultation or a complimentary DVD called “Retain Your Gains”, feel free to call me at (239) 455-0027 or fill out this form.

John M. Carlson provides professional financial planning to include: Guaranteed Income Riders, Fixed Index Annuities, Tax-Free Income, Tax-Deferred Growth and Retirement Income Planning
© 2010 All rights reserved.
Web Design Companies VISIONEFX