Living Balance Sheet: A Review

Living Balance Sheet: A Review

Living Balance Sheet® is a financial planning platform created by the Guardian Life Insurance Company of America.  Guardian makes the software exclusively available to its career salesforce.  Living Balance Sheet purports to help both individuals and business owners organize their financial lives, uncover uncommon knowledge, and provide correct advice that traditional financial planning often gets wrong. …

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What You Need to Know About Retirement Income Planning

If you've read any of our other articles that go into detail about various techniques or strategies to address retirement income planning, you’re probably not shocked that we believe it is a significant discussion.  And quite honestly, we believe this is one of the biggest boondoggles for financial advisors, investment companies, and life insurance companies.

The financial services industry has largely dropped the ball with educating and informing consumers on how to think about retirement income planning.

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When a 5.75% Return is Better than an 8% Return

It’s not uncommon to hear an investment salesperson or financial guru looking to chum the waters for a possible comment section debate make a statement like “whole life insurance/universal life insurance is a bad investment because the rate of return is terrible.”

Though we’ve addressed this statement a few times on the Insurance Pro Blog, I wanted to distill the point many people miss into as simple a notion as possible. Also, I want to have a conversation about total return or total benefit you get from committing dollars to a specific cause.

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Think 8% Returns are Realistic? At Least One Robo-Advisor Disagrees


For years the investment industry—and various financial gurus—have told us that we can achieve an 8% (or better) return on our money by “investing in stocks.”

That statement is vague on the details so it’s difficult to determine exactly what it means, but the consensus on the inference is that investing in stocks (perhaps even a few bonds) brings with it at least an 8% return. Again, 8% when, where, and on what exactly remains a tad iffy, but silly details such as that need not keep you up at night.

So…what exactly should you anticipate as a return on your money?

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Same Stock Market, Two Different Decades

We know the stock market is volatile and we know that stock market losses happen. Traditional advice is that losses can be recouped with time so any investor whose stomach twists into knots when he or she opens a 401(k) statement need not worry if he or she can wait out the correction.

For the most part, there is nothing wrong with this advice, but what happens when one doesn’t have time to wait out the correction?

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Certificate of Deposit Alternative: Multi Year Guaranteed Annuities

For the conservative savers out there who have found frustration in plummeting certificate of deposit rates, we have an alternative savings strategy you’ll likely want to know about.

For years the insurance industry has manufactured an annuity product that functions similarly to CD’s and, for the right person, this product is often favored for its superior interest rate.

It’s a rather boring annuity product, however, with lower commission rates than most of the annuities you’ll hear your financial advisor or local insurance agent pitch.  No wonder this product may be flying under your radar.

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A Fixed Indexed Annuity Success Story

Fixed indexed annuities are fixed interest rate annuity products that derive the interest rate credited to the policy’s cash values based on movement in an index (the same way indexed universal life insurance derives an interest rate).

They often provide additional benefits through a rider that guarantees a level of income from the annuity. The accumulation of income benefits from these contracts are strong for the risk averse individual.

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How Much Do You REALLY Need to Generate Your Retirement Income

How much Money do I need to Retire

A lot of Americans are struck ill thinking about how much money they need to retire. Several trade associations within the financial services industry have noted the lack of preparation both consumers and financial advisors et. al. have as it relates to turning your heard earned and saved dollars into retirement income. This problem has sparked a massive revamping of academic instruction among the industry’s best-known degree/certificate granting institutions.

This has accomplished some success in at least changing the conversation as it relates to retirement planning, but there’s still plenty of room for additional awareness and today I want to drive home a significantly important point about what it will really take to achieve comfortable retirement income.

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