How Safe Are Annuities?

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!

Welcome to “Retirement Mark”! 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.

When Should I Take Social Security And How Would That Affect My Taxes?

People love finding money.  In fact, as a financial planner, nothing gives me more satisfaction than to find money for them – riches they didn’t know they possessed.  When the conversation lags at a dinner party, one way to get it going again by asking people to relate the answer to answer the question: “What was the largest amount of money you have ever found at one time?”  The answers can be fascinating. Everyone, it seems, has a “found money” story.  Some will tell about scrounging for coins in the family sofa, or the back seat of the family sedan.  Others have found money in old wallets while cleaning out a desk drawer, or $20 bills in wastebaskets.  Personally, the most I have ever found was a $10 bill in an old jacket pocket.  One friend, however, said he found two one-hundred dollar bills on the floor of a hotel restroom.  He said his first inclination was to find the rightful owner.  Then he said he realized how fruitless that search would likely be, so he decided he would pocket the money but use it for a worthy cause.  I was eager to know what the worthy cause turned out to be, but someone else at the party interrupted him to tell their story and the conversation moved along.

Should I Focus On Accumulation In Retirement Planning?

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.

How To Choose A Financial Advisor And Seek Financial Advice From A Specialist?

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.