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Layin’ It on the Line: Shifting perspectives on Social Security as retirement income

By Lyle Boss - Special to the Standard-Examiner | May 24, 2023

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Lyle Boss

You've worked hard your entire life, and retirement should be the time to sit back, relax and enjoy the fruits of your labors. But that's different for many Americans today. A recent survey reveals a disquieting truth: Most Americans feel they can't rely on Social Security as a primary source of retirement income. Are you among them? If so, you're not alone in this journey; we're here to guide you.

First, let's examine the financial concerns faced by most Americans today. The threat of unexpected medical expenses looms large, with the rising cost of health care topping the list of worries. Following closely are concerns about outliving savings, the dread of financial emergencies, the unexpected burden of family care and the tumultuous roller coaster of the market impacting your investments. These fears may seem overwhelming, but there are solutions.

Engaging with a seasoned financial professional can help turn those fears into managed risks. From creating a diversified investment portfolio to risk management, tax planning and beyond, these experts possess a deep understanding of financial tools to help secure your golden years. They can assist in navigating the turbulent waters of retirement planning, providing guidance tailored to your unique circumstances.

One of the solutions gaining prominence in recent years is annuities. An annuity is a long-term investment product offered by insurance companies. Essentially, you invest money in the annuity, which then makes payments to you in the future over a specified period. The income you receive from an annuity may be distributed monthly, quarterly, annually or even in a lump sum payment; numerous options exist. Most importantly, these payments may continue for the rest of your life, a solid hedge against outliving your savings.

Annuities come in various shapes and sizes, offering flexibility and options tailored to your needs. Whether it's an immediate annuity that starts paying income promptly or a deferred annuity that allows your investment to grow tax-deferred until you're ready to receive payments, the choice is yours. With fixed annuities, the returns are guaranteed and insulated from market volatility, providing the peace of mind we all seek in retirement.

This isn't to say annuities are a one-size-fits-all solution. They have their pros and cons, just like any financial product. That's where the value of a financial professional comes in. They will help you understand these products, how they fit into your broader retirement plan and how they may help provide a steady income stream during your retirement years.

The reality is that Social Security was never intended to be a retiree's sole source of income. Today's economic landscape makes it even more essential to take a proactive approach to your retirement planning. By working with a financial professional and considering safe money products like annuities, you may build a retirement plan that aligns with your financial goals and gives you the peace of mind you deserve.

With careful planning and strategic decision-making, retirement can be a time of relaxation and enjoyment, as it should be. It all starts with a conversation.

Reach out to a financial professional today, and let's chart a course for a secure and comfortable retirement.

  • Many Americans feel they can't rely on Social Security to keep them afloat during retirement, and they're right.
  • An experienced financial professional can help you create reliable sources of retirement income.
  • Annuities can play a significant role in filling gaps in your retirement income.
  • Social Security payments were never meant to be a retiree's only source of income.
  • Working with a finance professional to explore other income solutions is vital if you want to make the most of your retirement years.

Lyle Boss, a native Utahn, is a member of Syndicated Columnists, a national organization committed to a fully transparent approach to money management. Boss Financial, 955 Chambers St., Suite 250, Ogden, UT 84403. Telephone: 801-475-9400.

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