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What Blackjack Will Teach You About Retirement

sponsored by Midland National You have made it to Las Vegas and settled into your favorite hotel.   After a few quality minutes of checking out your luxurious room, you decide it’s time to hit the main gambling floor.  Choices, choices.  You walk by the sports book, past the slots, the screaming at the craps table, and you wind up sitting down to play your favorite game – blackjack.   So, what in the world can playing blackjack teach you about your retirement? More importantly, HOW can blackjack teach you one of the most valuable lessons about protecting your retirement assets? Blackjack is an interesting game.  It’s part strategy and part social chatting depending on whether the dealer is giving you a run of easy cards to play or a set of more difficult choices depending on what the dealer doles you out.   In a perfect world, you would be getting blackjack after blackjack (or 21 after 21), but in reality you’ll ...

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I Need A Pension Plan

We know that for years that planning for retirement was a three legged stool.   Pension plans, social security, and then whatever personal savings and investment plans you could muster up over the course of your lifetime.   With a great deal of uncertainty looming over social security and pension plans dwindling away from large corporations, I continue to stress to people that retirement planning feels more like a pogo stick than it does a stool. Product companies understand that the greatest way to attract customer is figure out how to fill a void in the marketplace.   As investors struggle to figure out the best way to plan for retirement, a fairly new type of fixed product has been gaining traction called a Deferred Income Annuity (DIA).   A deferred income annuity is a newer type of annuity that is essentially a mixture of a single premium immediate annuity and a single premium deferred annuity. With a DIA, the idea behind the vehicle ...

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Which Term Insurance Is Right For Me?

If you are in the market to buy life insurance, you need to remember that not all term insurance is created alike. Here are some key items to remember so you can make a smart money move. 1) Renewable Term – Most often this comes in the form of yearly renewable term which your premium starts out incredibly low and increases every year you get older.  Sometimes you can get this renewable term in a 5 year increment, but most often it is sold one year at a time. Depending on the company, you may not have prove your medical status yearly as long as you pay the premium. 2) Level Term – This is the most popular option today.  You can essentially get a fixed premium with a fixed death benefit for a fixed period of time. The premiums on these policies are level for the length of time you have the insurance policy, and generally cannot be cancelled ...

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Estate Tax To Return In 2011

All I hear these days from concerned citizens is that the Government is doing nothing.  Well, if we continue down this path that nothing is going to be something in the world of estate taxes.    If no legislation is passed around the estate tax this year, the likelihood is that it will revert to the original 1 million dollar level with a 55% top estate tax percentage. Ten years ago, 1 million dollars was a lot more uncommon than it is today.  With real estate prices being higher in many parts of the country than a decade ago, it only takes some bank accounts, 401(k)’s, real estate, and some personal furnishings to get an estate above a 1 million dollars.   If you had forgotten, life insurance death benefit value that you own is also includible in your estate as well.  It may pass income tax free to your heirs, but the death benefit is added in to your overall estate ...

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Life Insurance For My Children?

Someone asked me the other day, “Ted, is it morbid to ask you whether I should buy life insurance on my children?”   It was an interesting question, and one we often get from parents.   The American Council of Life Insurers says that only about 15% of the people under the age of 18 have life insurance.  An average policy for people under 18 is around $5,000 with the primary purpose to cover funeral expenses and burial costs.  There are varying schools of thought on this subject in the financial community, and here are some considerations to think about around this subject. Remember that you as the parent are the real wage earner and the person that needs to be insured the most.   It is not recommended to buy life insurance on your children until you are adequately insured.   Since children for the large part don’t earn wages, any additional cost will be an extraneous expense to your budget. On the ...

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