More than Money with Gene Dickison
“Real Life Questions – Real World Answers”
“My wife passed away suddenly last November. She had a 401(k) at her job, an IRA, and a life insurance policy. All together it’s a little more than $360,000. I didn’t do anything with any of it at first. Now that my head’s a little clearer I think I can start making some decisions.
I’m 64 and expect I’ll work another five or six years – going to work every day has really helped me through all this.
I need to decide what to do with her investments and my 401(k) as well. How do I make things easier on my two kids when my time comes?
Thank for your radio show. I listen almost every Saturday and it has helped me through this tough time. I like your sense of humor, even if sometimes it’s missing the humorous part.”
Thanks for the kind words – I think. I am so very sorry for you loss. It does seem you’ve found a number of ways to work through and process your grief. That is very, very good.
You’ve taken time to clear your head and that’s a very good thing as well. Too many people move too quickly after the loss of a spouse. Time gives you a better chance to make solid decisions that are best for you.
Your primary concern is to insure your children aren’t left with a mess upon your passing. Of course, you should consult with an experienced estate planning attorney to insure your estate documents are in good shape. You will also want to review your beneficiary designations on all your accounts to confirm they list your two children as your beneficiaries. This is an easy step to miss. You might even wish to name your children in Transfer on Death documents relating to your accounts that don’t have beneficiaries named. And you should set up an organized filing system so all the documents and information your children will need at your passing is easily located and complete.
It is interesting that you haven’t asked about yourself. You should review your investments to insure they meet your goals and risk tolerance. You should review your income tax return to insure you are paying the lowest legal tax. You should review your insurance program to insure you are protected in the event you lose your health – long term care insurance program, for example. It will be a great gift your children for you to remain financially independent, healthy, and happy for the rest of your life. Most of these steps can be taken with a trusted financial advisor.
I’m very glad you’re part of our More than Money family.
“I invested in an annuity in early 2008 – right as things got really bad in the stock market. My advisor explained I would get a lifetime of guaranteed income. I put in $98,000. It has only grown to $119,000 in ten years, but my guaranteed annual income is now almost $10,000. I really like that part now that I’m close to retirement.
I recently responded to a mailer to meet with an advisor who claims to be a ‘retirement income expert’. He says the investment returns on my annuity have been ‘very bad’ and it’s time to ‘cut my losses’. He is recommending I move my investment to a new annuity with his company.
Is this a good idea?”
Almost certainly not!
Well, perhaps a good idea for the salesman who might earn a commission topping $10,000 for directing you to certain annuities on the market today. Not for you. Financial regulators and consumer protection agencies rightfully frown (or worse) on salesmen who talk clients into leaving behind valuable benefits simply to generate a commission for themselves. While that may not be the case here, there are sufficient red flags in your question to warrant a 2nd opinion and proceeding with caution.
The correct answer can only be determined by finding out what best helps you meet your financial goals. If having $10,000 a year guaranteed lifetime income provided to you is an important priority and if you feel your current company is financially sound (your guarantee is only as good as the ability of the company to meet their promises) – you want to stay where you are.
If you are truly unhappy with your investment returns (they have been modest, but $21,000 gain is not a sharp stick in the eye) you should have a financial advisor (not salesman) review your current policy to determine if there are investment options within the contract that might provide you with the opportunity for better financial performance in the future. While not guaranteed, some investments are better positioned for the possibility of growth than others.
Both of these steps would allow you to stay with your current contract – which is most likely the correct action for you to take.
If after both these steps you are unhappy with your current contract a move may be in order.
If you would appreciate a 2nd opinion review of your contract and overall financial position just contact our office.
“My wife and I began listening to you on your very first day on WAEB radio. I am proud to say we were among your very first clients through the doors of your ‘World Headquarters’ in the ‘Holy Lands’ between Bethlehem and Nazareth. We have been very, very happy with relationship over these many years.
And now that I’ve blown sufficient sunshine up your skirt, here’s my question. What happens to us and the rest of your clients should you get ‘hit by the bus’? You have talked to us about this and we’re very comfortable with your answer, but I’ve never seen you address it in your newsletter. I thought lots of folks would like to know.
Thanks for everything you’ve done for us, our family, and friends.”
Wow. Thank you so very much for you kind words – and the sunshine. It’s been a long winter. I’ll take all the sunshine I can get. Even when it’s leading up to me getting hit by a bus. (By the way, could you get any more of our radio tag lines into one email?)
Despite the relatively light hearted phrasing, this is an important question for all of our More than Money clients. Mark, Daryl, Bill, and I along with Diane, Connie, JoAnne, Sue, and Stephanie pride ourselves on the personal relationships we have with our clients. Those relationships make our work quite wonderful. However much we might wish to think that we will all be here forever to serve our clients – that simply isn’t the world we live in. And whether it’s the bus or the good Lord, someday Gene won’t be here.
But More than Money and the MtM Financial Advisors will be. Our systems, our approaches, and most importantly our philosophy which places our clients – you – first will survive to serve you. That is one of the biggest reasons we’ve grown our company as we have. We want someone with our values to be there to serve you, your children, and your grandchildren for generations to come.
Personally, my plan is to be here for another forty (40) years or so. But the guy who knows exactly how long I’ll be here isn’t talking. So I’ll just trust in his plan for me and you can trust our plan for you.
More than Money Radio
Have Breakfast with Gene every Saturday Morning at 8:06 as
More than Money with Gene Dickison airs on AM790 WAEB.
Two Full Hours – 8:06 through 10:00 AM.
Words are Powerful Tools for American Freedom
Robert Collier wrote a book nearly one hundred (100) years ago entitled The Secret of the Ages. It was, on first glance, a self-help book like many others. It promised secrets to the achievement of success, health, and wealth. However, it did not take the reader long to discover this was a different kind of self-help book. The following excerpt gives you a pretty solid insight into Collier’s foundation for his wonderful book:
“The greatest Teacher the world has ever known came to a people steeped in poverty and ignorance and disease. And what did he teach them? How to find riches in the ground? How to build ships or trains or flying machines? How to take from their more fortunate neighbors? No – none of these things!
He told them of a loving Father-God, possessing all life, all health, and all riches, who would gladly give these to them in exact proportion in which they believed in Him. They were not to doubt. They were not to live in fear. They were to ask, believing, and as they believed so it would be unto them.”
Collier based all the ‘secrets’ he shared on a belief in a loving Father-God. A God who wishes the very best for all his children in every aspect of their lives. Success, of course. Good health, for the asking. Wealth, abundance surrounds us.
And God tells us to live free of doubt. He tells us to live free of fear. In our world seemingly filled with fear and doubt we can live free. We simply need to trust in our Father-God and believe.
Please allow us to serve you and those you love.
P.S. Happy Mother’s Day to all the wonderful ladies who have shared their lives with their children. Though my Mother has gone to live with the Lord, I think of her every day and thank God he gave me such a strong, determined, spirited, faithful, and (thankfully) tolerant Momma to guide me. I pray God’s blessing on every Mother in our More than Money family.