Retirement Planning in the 21st Century

According to a recent Gallup poll, the greatest financial fear of nearly 60% of Americans is the possibility of running out of money during retirement.  62% of respondents of a separate survey indicated they would be willing to take a large cut in their take-home pay if it meant they would be eligible for a guaranteed retirement benefit.  However, these concerns don’t seem to be stirring many subsequent real-life reactions since most people of working age aren’t making enough progress toward increasing personal savings.  And so the cycle continues.  We worry about having enough retirement income and savings to live out our “golden years” in comfort, but we hardly take the steps necessary to achieve substantial capital accumulation for use later in life.  The threat remains of outliving our money.

Social security is hardly the answer.  The funds are relatively miniscule to those with average to affluent lifestyles, and with “baby boomers” reaching retirement age, projections show that the outtake of benefits may soon outgrow the intake of taxes.  Social security is seriously dwindling.  Therefore, saving must take place proactively before retirement, while a person is an earner and a producer of wealth.

Annuities are a viable and increasingly popular option to provide a steady income stream through retirement, but the costs, lack of liquidity and complicated taxation issues can be disconcerting to many clients.

401(k), IRA and similar plans are attractive and another step in the right direction.  Those with access to employer sponsored retirement savings programs are gaining more understanding and more trust in placing higher levels of income into retirement accounts, and with more employers matching or adding contributions, these accounts have become among the strongest wealth savings tools available to employed persons across the United States.

However, we can’t completely count on market performance of retirement accounts and deferred annuities.  More importantly, we can’t guarantee that regular payments will continue to sufficiently build those coveted retirement funds.  What would your client do if he/she were to suffer an illness or injury that resulted in long term disablement?  What would eventually happen to your client’s income?  Who would continue making contributions to your client’s retirement savings?  If your client became disabled, eventually he/she would no longer be able to work nor receive an income.  Their regular 401(k) contributions would cease, and they may find it impossible to afford their annuity plan.  Any total debilitation would make your client struggle to financially survive today as well as into traditional retirement years.

The only solutions to this plausible economic catastrophe are one, to be independently wealthy with multi-millions in net worth or inheritance, or two, to have income sufficiently covered with ample amounts of group and/or individual disability insurances.  Since most prospects don’t fall under the first solution, it is wise that you pay attention to the second.

Disability income insurance is the greatest retirement planning tool of the 21st century.  Without the protection of a comprehensive disability insurance package, your client stands to lose the ability to effectively accumulate wealth and savings for use in the later years of life.  Over the last several decades, life expectancy has increased in the United States creating a greater need for proper savings safeguards like disability insurance.  Furthermore, the standard age of retirement for Americans is now 67, but disability insurance professionals are currently witnessing a dramatic increase in clients working well into their 70’s.

There is a true need for disability insurance for all employed individuals including those well above the age of 60, and specialty DI products are becoming more readily available to senior-aged prospects.

Petersen International Underwriters can assist you in safeguarding the wealth of your clientele, and help you plan for their futures.  Economic potentials are uncertain, but you can take steps to protect your clients from unforeseen financial disaster.  The first step is to contact Petersen International today.