Doing It Yourself First

Most Americans invest their retirement savings into an individual retirement account (IRA) or 401k retirement plan from a paycheck, not knowing various future investment outcomes. The problem with this financial strategy is the inability to

  • accurately calculate how much to save for retirement,
  • decide on the investing options along the way, and
  • hoping not to lose money.

Another problem with this method is that once an employee nears full retirement age, that individual must decide how to live on their 401k or IRA and figure out how to stretch their nest egg out for the rest of their lives. What if the individual needs to save more in their retirement plan? Must they downsize their lifestyle because they didn't invest correctly?

By planning for your retirement, you control your destiny. You dictate where your future lies.

Retirement and Annuities: Helpful Guides

You need money to finance your retirement. Unfortunately, there are currently only two retirement savings plans that guarantee an income for life: Social Security and Annuities. These two vehicles allow you to empower retirement and plan your future finances today.

Social Security

Social Security provides a guaranteed retirement paycheck to every working American. However, a considerable disadvantage is that a person who has yet to retire can't control the amount of future income generated from Social Security Benefits, leaving some guesswork. However, would the program still be around in the future? Would it change entirely from today's standards? Social Security income's future could be an epic curveball thrown at any plan.


Annuities are the only retirement plan that guarantees a paycheck for an entire lifetime or lifetimes, even if there is zero money left in the account.

Annuity owners can control the amount of desired income they receive in the future through deferred annuity plans. Utilizing this insurance policy also allows a person to guarantee their expected retirement age, starting today, leaving zero guesswork in determining how long money will last in retirement tomorrow.

Creating A Retirement Roadmap

1: Calculate Social Security Benefits

The first step is to calculate future Social security Benefits. The calculations generated aren't guaranteed but will provide a rough estimate of how much income you can collect in the future.

2: Find the Perfect Annuity

The participant's current age, desired future income amount, and target retirement age will determine which annuity is the best for the participant's situation and create a roadmap to follow. Utilize the annuity to enhance protection to offset some potential reductions in Social Security Income.

It might be wise to open two deferred annuity contracts:

Open two separate deferred annuities to minimize taxes in retirement. Adding additional income sources will enable added security to maintain the cost-of-living adjustments.

  • Roth IRA Annuity: Lifetime income payments to you will be tax-free for life. Maximize contributions each year to this contract first.
  • Non-Qualified Annuity: With non-qualified annuities, only the interest earned will be subject to income taxes. Everything else is not taxable.

TIP: Variable annuities may lose value due to market fluctuations. To prevent losing money, utilize a fixed indexed annuity with a lifetime income rider.

3: Follow the Roadmap

Once you've created your retirement roadmap, follow the steps exactly as laid out to achieve an optimized experience.

  • It's ok to increase the contributions to improve future results.
  • It is not ok to decrease the contributions to the retirement plan because this reduces your monthly income in retirement.

If calculating the retirement income amount is overwhelming, start by determining the current essential monthly expenses needed to survive.

To calculate the income generated from the annuity, use the current essential monthly expense amount, then subtract the estimated monthly Social Security Benefits. The remainder will be the starting point to calculate the desired guaranteed income for life.

TIP: One could also include an inflation rate of 3% a year between now and the desired target retirement rate to calculate a more accurate income.

Current Expenses – Social Security Income + Inflation Rate = Annuity Income to Solve For

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