To copy a page from the inimitable Jeff Foxworthy, who made his mark on American audiences with “You may be a redneck if…” jokes, you may be a baby boomer if:
- You know what a “sock hop” is.
- You ever listened to “The Lone Ranger” on the radio.
- You know who Howdy Doody was.
- You ever used Brylcreem.
- You can complete this song lyric: “I wonder, wonder, wonder, wonder who…”
- The first photos of you are in black and white.
- You ever used a metal ice tray with a lever.
- Your family had one automobile and it had fins.
- You know what a pet rock is.
- Sean Connery will always be James Bond to you.
- Your first allowance was payable to you in change.
Officially, baby boomers are those who were born between the years 1946 and 1964 when the birth rate in America rose dramatically following World War II. Those post-war babies have shaped the country and the world socially, philosophically and economically, and they are still doing it. The earliest of the boom generation are turning 65 at a rate of 10,000 per day. Words they applied to “old people” in the heyday of their own youth, such as “retirement” and “Social Security,” are now being used in connection with them.
Here is a truth about annuities that is neither self-evident nor widely understood – not all annuities are created equal. In fact, I sometimes wish there was another word for this financial instrument because it so misunderstood by so many.
Originally, an annuity simply meant an annual payment. The Latin word for year is Annus, from which we get such words as annual and per annum. In ancient Rome, soldiers were given an annuity, or an annual salary, when they retired from the military. British businessmen developed life expectancy tables in the sixteenth century and came up with contracts that would allow private individuals to create their own annuities, or lifetime yearly payments. Pay a premium to an insurance company now in return for a yearly stipend later on in life. Since then the basic idea of annuities have metamorphosed into financial instruments that perform all manner of functions along that basic theme.
For a state that receives 58 inches of rain every year, Florida, the state where I live, may seem to be impervious to drought. But 2006-2007 were the driest back-to-back calendar years Florida has experienced, based on data dating back to 1932. Weather records since 1900 reveals that in every decade there has been at least one severe and widespread drought somewhere within Florida.
Historians are still debating whether the bank failures of the 1930s caused the Great Depression, or whether the Great Depression caused the bank failures. What is certain is that by 1933, 11,000 of the nation’s 25,000 banks failed and closed their doors, leaving many depositors high and dry.
When the public began to learn of the stock market crash of 1929, they began lining up at the teller window to withdraw their money. With no money to lend, and outstanding loans going into default, the banks just couldn’t survive.
Welcome to “Retirement Mark”!
Merriam-webster.com defines “unique” as “used to say that something or someone is unlike anything or anyone else; very special or unusual; and belonging to or connected with only one particular thing, place, or person.”
If you’re here because you’re looking for retirement tips, advice, new income strategies you haven’t yet heard about, or you just simply want to learn how to live your retirement years to the fullest (and I assume you do, otherwise you wouldn’t be on my page), you’re in the right spot. Keep reading.
In this blog, I am going to show you little-known ways you can increase your retirement income, reduce taxes, AND preserve your nest egg using unique strategies that you may not even know exist. I will be regularly posting articles, short videos, and podcasts covering many different unique retirement strategies and vehicles.
I am not a conspiracy theorist. I do not believe that the recent removal of Twinkies from the grocery shelves was part of a Communist plot. I don’t think our own government faked the bombing of the twin towers of the World Trade Center in 2001, and I do believe that, yes, men actually landed on the moon, and no, it wasn’t all filmed in the Arizona desert. I suppose it also makes me naïve to say that I believe Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in the Kennedy assignation. But I do believe that there is an ongoing effort by the media and some in the financial community to focus our attention solely on the accumulation of assets instead of the preservation and cautionary use of our assets.
If you needed heart surgery tomorrow, would you go to your primary care physician for the operation? I doubt it. If you are going to have your heart worked on, you want a specialist – someone who has spent a few years studying nothing but the circulatory system and who knows his way around the chest cavity. Do you concur? I assure you that I am by no means casting aspersions on general practitioners or the role they play in keeping us healthy. As a matter of fact, a general practitioner is trained to know a little bit about everything that goes on with our bodies. You could even say that these doctors specialize in generality when it comes to the practice of medicine. They are on the front lines, so to speak. They are the first ones to spot it when something isn’t quite right. As you would expect, when they detect some ailment that is beyond their scope of expertise, they will not hesitate to refer you to a specialist for further treatment. It should work that way in the financial profession, but, unfortunately it usually doesn’t. There are many generalists in the financial advisory field who, for whatever reason, don’t always refer their clients to specialists when they should. Take retirement income planning, for example, the area in which I specialize. It is as intricate and delicate to your wealth as brain surgery could be to your health, as this and subsequent post in this blog will show.