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So, you've just decided to hang up your cleats and quit the working life. Congratulations. That's a huge life changing moment for you and your family. You've amassed this pile of wealth and now you need to figure out how to spend it down. The skill set required to spend down your portfolio is a much different skill set than the one you followed to accumulate your wealth (i.e. focused savings, starting early, smart spending). It's more of an art than a science, as there are many variables that need to be weighed against each other. If you’re not following these steps, you may be paying more tax than you need to, and therefore, have a higher likelihood of running out of money in retirement:
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I've heard countless clients tell me how they 'failed' at retirement.  They enjoyed it for the first three weeks or even three months, then yearned to return to work.  They were not ready for it.  In some instances, I take blame for this as I did not adequately prepare them for this new freedom.  The freedom to do what they wanted, when they wanted.  The successful ones were ready for this new way of life, as they had already practiced via a trial run what they were going to do.  The unsuccessful ones didn’t.  They did not plan.

To increase your odds of a successful retirement, here are a few things to keep in mind as you contemplate this new way of life: 

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Tuesday, 07 July 2015 00:00

An Annuity for Everybody?

Almost anybody can tell you what life insurance is. The concept is pretty simple – you are paying an insurance company a premium and if you die while the insurance contract is in force, the insurance company has to pay the agreed upon benefit.

An annuity is really the opposite. For an annuity, you pay the insurance company a premium and they pay you until you die. As with life insurance contracts, there are all kinds of variations – from death benefits to inflation protection and about anything in between. You can customize an annuity to fit almost any request. Research shows, however, that the annuity that provides the best value is also the most straightforward, the single premium annuity. This type of annuity can be either immediate – in which the annuitant pays the premium and the income stream begins immediately, or a deferred annuity in which the annuitant pays a premium and then 5, 10, or 20 years later begins receiving income.
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