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Why Your 401(k) Is Your Riskiest Investment

January 26, 2015 10:00 AM

The 401(k) is often considered the no-brainer, gold standard of retirement plans. But far from being a bedrock retirement plan, the 401(k) started as an experiment in 1981 and still has to prove itself.

Those who decided to be a 401(k) lab rat in the first test group are just starting to get back their results. After 30-plus years of faithfully funding their new retirement plan, it’s time to retire. As you’ll see, the last 15 years have not been kind to them, but that should have been no surprise. The supposedly dependable 401(k) is not your best choice for retirement. Not by a long shot.

I’ve worked with hundreds of professionals. Most of them diligently saved in a 401(k), but once I explain the risks, they’re eager for alternatives. Here are 13 dangers of a 401(k) for you to consider.

1. You can be wiped out overnight.

A report on CBS’s 60 Minutes TV show asked of 401(k)s, “What kind of retirement plan allows millions of people to lose 30-50 percent of their life savings just as they near retirement?”

Good question.

Unlike other investments that are protected from losses, your 401(k) rises and falls with the stock market where you have absolutely no control. Retirement planners will tell you the market averages 8-11 percent returns per year. That may have been true last century, but this century has seen that turned into a fiction. From 2000 to 2015, the market was up just 8.4 percent total when adjusted for inflation, or 0.56 percent per year, and that was after a substantial market rally.

Do you want to live your ideal life only if the market cooperates?

Find out the other 12 reasons your 401(k) is your riskiest investment by clicking here.

By |February 13th, 2015|Uncategorized|0 Comments


Disillusioned By Hard Truths about Wall Street and
Securities, the President/CEO of Living Wealthy Financial Group
Uses the Revolutionary System to Help Hundreds of Clients

Teresa Kuhn finds it fascinating how the use of certain words in business can fool people. The renowned financial advisor – now President/CEO of Austin, TX based Living Wealthy Financial Group — had worked in the Securities Industry while pursuing her degree in finance at the University of Miami. Teresa soon found that she did not feel comfortable working with products that could cause her clients to lose their savings overnight. Despite their name, securities are not secure investments and can be negatively impacted by fluctuations on Wall Street, real estate, and the economy.

She returned to the financial world in the mid-90s working for a large real estate developer, after several years as a personal injury attorney. She started investigating, and came to realize that everything she had been taught in business school and law school about how money and the law really works was, in her words, a “big fat lie.”

Reading G. Edward Griffin’s groundbreaking 1998 book “The Creature from Jekyll Island: A Second Look at the Federal Reserve” opened her eyes to who really controls the money supply in the U.S. She learned that “Securities” was just a clever name for investments that offered no security at all.
Kuhn also came to believe that Wall Street and banks have brainwashed people into believing that they have no choice except to expose their money to risk in order to prosper. “Wall Street has spent billions programming us that they’re the only solution to retirement planning,” she says. Following a time of deep disillusionment, she made her way back into the financial world – finding a path to be of service to others on her own terms – and has made it her life’s mission to let people know that they do have alternatives.

Knowing that she needed a new path that was congruent with how she knew money really worked, she continued working with real estate and other safe money strategies before discovering the power of Bank on Yourself, the tried and tested money management system, branded by Pamela Yellen that has led thousands of people to safeguard their finances and build wealth. This system has been proven for more than 160 years and used by hundreds of thousands of people.
With hallmarks that include true financial stability (i.e., real security for the investor) and increased cash flow and access to it, Bank On Yourself is an innovative, non-traditional approach to money management that, by creating financial security in uncertain times, has led thousands of people – including Kuhn herself – to safeguard their finances and build wealth.

Since Kuhn started her first Bank On Yourself policy in 2005, she has, via her firm Living Wealthy Financial Group, helped hundreds of individuals, families and business people protect their loved ones and grow their wealth without risk or worry, reduce their taxes and achieve their dreams of financial security. She is one of only 200 financial advisors in the U.S. who have successfully completed the rigorous training program and continuing education required to become a Bank On Yourself Authorized Advisor – and is currently one of the system’s top advisors in the country. At the present time, she and her husband David have eight Bank On Yourself policies.

In 2013, she co-authored (with Yellen) the bestselling book “The Secret to Lifetime Financial Security,” which includes chapters by other industry mavericks who are changing the world’s views on finances. Kuhn also shares her expertise over the local airwaves, hosting Living Wealthy Radio, a financial fitness and life-style program on Austin’s talk radio 1370 AM KJCE from Noon to 1 p.m. on Sundays. The program features interviews with some of the top experts on personal finance, credit and lifestyle. She also teaches seminars and has created various webinars to educate prospective clientele about Bank On Yourself and the nuts and bolts of investing in dividend paying whole life insurance.

“Economies rise and fall, banks go under, stock markets fluctuate…but the Bank on Yourself strategies give control back to individuals as it takes control away from institutions,” Kuhn says. “This book gives more Americans access to the principles that allows people to take back control of their financial security. I was honored that Pamela approached me to contribute to its success.”

Yellen is quick to tout Kuhn’s passion in sharing the Bank On Yourself system with her clients and everyone else in her sphere of influence: “Teresa embodies the concept of ‘mastery’. Teresa set her mind to mastering every aspect of it and has succeeded at doing that. She is a consummate professional and her clients can be absolutely confident that no detail of their financial plan will fall through the cracks. Teresa has my highest recommendation.”

For Kuhn, a major part of being a Bank On Yourself advisor is the challenge of teaching her clients to think differently about their finances from the concepts that have been ingrained upon them their whole lives. “We are taught that 401(k)s and IRAs are the way to build retirement funds,” she says, “but we should also be building up savings that are not dependent on fluctuations in the market but are safe and secure. So if you need to buy a car, make a down payment on a house or lose your job, you have that money accessible. Most of my clients have been taught to save some but invest the rest, but the remainder of this money is at risk.
“I tell them, ‘After you have a foundation in place, if you choose to invest your other money the conventional way, that’s fine,” Kuhn adds. “We work with everybody, evaluating and analyzing where they are today and educating them, filling in the gaps about Bank On Yourself to see if it makes sense for them and can provide the right solution based on their objectives and current resources. For me, Bank On Yourself is foundational and most individuals, families and business owners can benefit from it. I believe that when people feel safe and secure, they become better investors because they’re not worried about losing all their money. But for whatever reason, if they don’t qualify or are not in a position to save money, we will work with them to find a better place to park their money.”

She has learned the importance of being flexible so as to best serve their needs. Some clients, for instance, have a big nest egg and some want to put money from their savings into Bank On Yourself, while others want to save money or put it into IRAs. Others want the money they will pass down to the next generation protected. Still others want to save money for their kids’ college in a safe place, or simply save money to retire on. “It’s all about what my clients are trying to accomplish,” she says. “Our process is about digging deep into finding that out. We create a three years from now scenario, asking ‘What would have to happen for you to have made progress towards your goals?’ The answer to that helps determine whether Bank On Yourself is the right fit.”

Kuhn says her main goal with her Bank on Yourself clients is that their financial foundation be rock solid so they can sleep well at night – and should they die prematurely, there would be money left behind for their family and loved ones. Because of the many nuances and complexities of the Bank on Yourself system, she suggests that prospective clients do some reading and research on it before they meet with her. As part of her investment in solid prospects, she is happy to send potential clients books and CDs with information about Bank On Yourself.

“If they are willing to invest the time, I will invest the tools, so that when they do the research, they will see that this really works, which is win-win,” she says. “My clients sleep soundly at night knowing that their money is safe in their Bank On Yourself policies and have it growing for retirement. They have the full support of myself and my staff when questions or additional needs arise. My bottom line is to make sure that my clients never lose a dollar of their savings to fluctuations in Wall Street, real estate or the economy.”

By |February 14th, 2014|Uncategorized|3 Comments

How Fed Policy Has Devastated Three Generations of Retirees


Retirement can be an unpleasant prospect if you’re not ready for it. This week’s Outside the Box is in in-depth report on Americans’ retirement prospects, which comes to us from Dennis Miller, a columnist for CBS Market Watch, and editor of Miller’s Money Forever. It’s not just the Boomers who are trying (often in vain) to retire this decade; it’s also Gen-Xers, who are the most indebted generation (and the one that saw their assets depreciate the most in the Great Recession). The Millennials haven’t been spared, either; in fact, over time they may be the hardest-hit, since near-zero interest rates are keeping them from compounding their savings in the early years of their careers, when the power of compounding is greatest. In addition, the difficult post-college job market and sky-high levels of student loans have kept most Millennials out of the stock market, and they are far less likely than previous generations to open a retirement savings account.
This is not a problem the government is going to be able to fix. One way and another, Social Security will do less for people in coming years, not more. We are all going to be more dependent upon our own resources if we want to have anything that resembles what we have come to think of as a secure and comfortable retirement.

Read More…

By |September 17th, 2013|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Gain $152,000 by Smart Filing for Social Security

Social Security benefits can represent a big stack of cash. A typical monthly benefit of $2,200 has a present value well over $500,000. Consider all your Social Security options carefully to avoid making a costly mistake.

Like all government law, Social Security is not a simple piece of legislation. Since the Social Security Act became law in 1935, hundreds of amendments have added to the complexity. To make the best decision, you must consider health, income before retirement, income during retirement and taxes.

Retirees cannot rely on commonly held beliefs. Don’t assume that simplistic rules such as “Always file for early benefits” or “You need to stop working to receive benefits” are correct. Specific cases break every rule of thumb. And these one-size-fits-all answers leave many retirees failing to maximize the benefits they have earned.

The decision is even more critical for women. For 42% of single women older than 62, Social Security is their sole source of income. Women on average outlive men. Thus planning for retirement is much easier for men, who tend to have more assets and die young. Widows are twice as likely to live under the poverty line as men who have lost their wives. And the poverty rate for elderly single women is 23% compared with just 5% for retired couples.

Couples must take their joint longevity into account before either one files for benefits. The person with the longer life expectancy will inherit either a wise or a foolish decision that will last a lifetime. Given that a husband’s benefits are often higher and the wife’s life expectancy longer, each case needs to be analyzed carefully.

Consider for illustration the case of James and Linda Miller. James was born in 1950 and is turning 62 this year. He will receive $2,384 a month at age 66, his full retirement age. Linda is three years younger and expects to receive a smaller benefit.

About three quarters of Americans file for Social Security benefits before their full retirement age. This mistake is statistically most costly when the husband chooses to begin claiming at age 62. In this case, such a mistake would cost the Millers $152,046 in lifetime income.

Assuming normal life expectancies, Linda should file for benefits at age 63. James will be age 66 at that point and have the opportunity to pursue an often overlooked Social Security loophole. He can choose to file only for his spousal benefit and delay filing on his own benefit until age 70. We call this “File as a Spouse First,” or “FAASF.” You can see the results of this optimal strategy listed in the table. Each box represents the amount of total lifetime benefits that would be sacrificed if James and Linda did not file at their optimal ages.

The box representing when Linda is age 63 and James is age 70 captures the highest lifetime benefit. The highlighted box represents the ideal age combination when James is eligible to begin collecting his FAASF benefit while delaying his personal benefit.

Unfortunately, many people file after considering only one or two isolated options. The Social Security Administration’s new online filing system enables quick decision making. People can easily submit their request without any professional advice or planning.

But before filing, you obviously should be informed about all the options. To begin, you need to know your personal Social Security earnings and the projected benefits for both you and your spouse. You can request an estimate at and then print the results. Or call the Social Security Administration at 800-772-1213. For a general review of Social Security, start by reading “Retirement Benefits” (Publication No. 05-10035) online.

Social Security planning is crucial for everyone. People with significant assets should carefully consider both the lifetime benefits and tax consequences of Social Security in light of their overall portfolio strategy. For the less well off, Social Security benefits will dictate their retirement lifestyle. Proper planning could well determine what they can afford to eat.

Should Annuities Provide Your Retirement Paycheck?

By Tom Hegna
Published May 11, 2012 FOXBusiness

With traditional safety nets such as company pensions and Social Security dwindling, many of the 78 million baby boomers are left trying to answer one question: “Who’s going to pay my retirement paycheck?”
Annuities are one investment that more and more prospective retirees are considering. These financial products are created by the insurance industry, and offer a lot more flexibility and advantages than other investments. Here are a few reasons why you should think about adding them to your retirement plan:

Read More…

10 worst money moves for near retirees

By Dana Anspach
June 18, 2013, 11:00 a.m. EDT

About 10 years ago, I said to my dad, “Dad, I think I’m done making stupid mistakes.” Wouldn’t it be nice if I’d been right.

Mistakes are part of life. Some are easier to recover from than others. When it comes to money — and time — the closer you are to retirement the less time you have to recover from bad money moves. Don’t take any chances.

Here are the 10 money moves you need to avoid as you get near retirement:

1. Invest the same old way

The same investment approach that got you this far will work just fine in retirement, right?

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Savers need ‘lifetime income disclosure’

June 20, 2013, 6:02 a.m. EDT

BOSTON (MarketWatch)—The bill has little chance of becoming law, but it should. Yes, lawmakers in both the House and the Senate have once again introduced bills that would amend current retirement laws such that annual participant benefit statements would include a “lifetime income disclosure.”

In essence, the law would require a participant’s accrued benefits to be described on his or her pension benefit statement as an estimated lifetime stream of payments, in addition to an account balance.

In other words, defined contribution plan participants would get to see what their nest egg would look like as a monthly paycheck. So, for example, a $1 million 401(k) might equal $3,333 per month in lifetime income; a 401(k) with a $500,000 balance might equal $1,666 per month in lifetime income; and a 401(k) worth $250,000 might equal $833 in monthly lifetime income. (By way of background, in 2013, the maximum Social Security benefit payable is $2,533 per month for workers retiring at full retirement age or FRA. And the maximum combined benefit payable to a worker and his spouse at their FRA is about $3,800.)

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Why You Should Stop Using Safety Deposit Boxes



According to in-house memos now circulating, the DHS has issued orders to banks across America which announce to them that “under the Patriot Act” the DHS has the absolute right to seize, without any warrant whatsoever, any and all customer bank accounts, to make “periodic and unannounced” visits to any bank to open and inspect the contents of “selected safe deposit boxes.”

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A Simple Math Formula Is Basically Responsible For All Of Modern Civilization

by: Walter Hickey
June 5, 2013

As a species, we tend to remember inventions as the things that changed history. Fire, agriculture, architecture, the printing press, electricity, all of these led to immense leaps forward for humanity.

But what’s more difficult to get a grasp on is the impact that concepts and ideas had on our progress.

For instance, a very simple idea — that loans can be made, and periodically interest can accrue on those loans — has been with us since we first began planting seeds in the ground.

As communities became more advanced, so did the underlying idea. As government became more organized, so did the implementation of the idea.

That idea — compound interest — has had an instrumental impact on the development of civilization, and it’s about time it had its due.

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Billionaires Dumping Stocks, Economist Knows Why

Thursday, 16 May 2013 12:24 PM

By Newsmax Wires

Despite the 6.5% stock market rally over the last three months, a handful of billionaires are quietly dumping their American stocks . . . and fast.

Warren Buffett, who has been a cheerleader for U.S. stocks for quite some time, is dumping shares at an alarming rate. He recently complained of “disappointing performance” in dyed-in-the-wool American companies like Johnson & Johnson, Procter & Gamble, and Kraft Foods.

In the latest filing for Buffett’s holding company Berkshire Hathaway, Buffett has been drastically reducing his exposure to stocks that depend on consumer purchasing habits. Berkshire sold roughly 19 million shares of Johnson & Johnson, and reduced his overall stake in “consumer product stocks” by 21%. Berkshire Hathaway also sold its entire stake in California-based computer parts supplier Intel.

With 70% of the U.S. economy dependent on consumer spending, Buffett’s apparent lack of faith in these companies’ future prospects is worrisome.

Unfortunately Buffett isn’t alone.

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