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Life insurance is not for saving

Stop buying life insurance as a savings strategy. Stop buying it as a tax-deferral vehicle for retirement savings. Stop spending thousands of dollars a month on life insurance premiums, at least until you read the rest of this column. Life insurance is not a retirement savings strategy. Why do we buy life insurance? ​ A …

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Retirement: Pros and cons of fixed-index annuities

Forget stocks, bonds, ETFs and non-traded real estate investment trusts. The new flavor of the month these days for those hawking retirement products is something called a fixed index annuity or FlA. Consider: Sales of FIAs rose 14% to $38.7 billion in 2013 and another 24% to $48 billion in 2014, or about 21% of …

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Indexed Universal Life Insurance Faces Fresh Scrutiny

Regulators homing in on whether insurers are presenting a picture of performance that’s too rosy Financial advisers working with indexed universal life insurance are finding themselves in the middle of a heated battle between state regulators and the life insurance industry. In an otherwise sleepy corner of the product market, indexed universal life insurance has …

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Bestselling book’s financial promises don’t add up

Pamela Yellen’s New York Times best-seller, “Bank on Yourself,” made a splash by promising to help people build their wealth even as their investments were losing value. In the aftermath of the housing crash, the book seemed to throw a lifeline to consumers whose financial security was suddenly under threat and who were desperate for …

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Indexed Annuities are a Safety Trap

The card that landed in mailboxes throughout central Illinois in early 2008 promoted “the most informative retirement workshop you’ve ever attended.” Pinnacle Investment Advisers, which had four offices in the area, was offering discussions of Medicaid planning, IRAs, and tax-efficient income over lunch or dinner. Bios of Pinnacle owners Susan and Tom Cooper mention their …

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Beware the “Missed Fortune” Sales Concept

Why you should beware Doug Andrew’s Missed Fortune I went downstairs this morning, poured a nice cup of coffee, opened my Sunday edition San Diego Union newspaper and there it was. A full quarter page advertisement promoting Doug Andrew’s seminar titled Now’s the Time to Convert Your IRAs and 401(k)s to Better Plans (While Tax Rates are …

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