Update August 9, 2018

Is the economy broken and running on fumes? 

Or is it ready to race.

Hi Money Matters fans, 

So hot summers lead to cooler falls yet the market did not experience the slow down typical of summers, at least in my opinion. We have been positive the markets since November 2016 and I remain positive until I see other signs saying its time to be careful. That said, we all have to plan for retirment and here is how and why:




How much have you saved for retirement?

If you’re like the majority of Americans, probably not enough to retire comfortably.
In actuality the figures of how much people have squirreled away for their golden years is disturbing.
In order to better grasp the problem at hand facing many Americans, the first question to be asked is how Much does one need to have in order to retire in the lifestyle one is accustomed to.
Right from the get go we become astutely aware of how much of a problem we have as a nation of greying individuals.
From a survey by bankrate.com an eye popping 61% of those asked didn’t know how much money one needed to save for retirement.
Ouch. That’s a big problem.
Obviously not having a clue of how much money you will need erects a huge barrier to actually preparing for the so called golden years. It’s hard to prepare when you don’t know how much gold you’ll need!
In the same survey. 8% of those queries responded they never plan to retire. I’m not exactly sure what that means but assuming not everyone enjoys their job enough to do it until they kick the bucket, it’s a foregone conclusion that some of these folks already know they don’t and won’t have enough retirement money when their Walking canes arrive in the mail.
The amount one needs to relax into their rocking chairs for the duration obviously varies from person to person but from a Fidelity statistical survey comes more dire news: People ages 40-49 have saved an average of $91,000, ages 50-59 $152,000 and ages 60-69 their savings average $167,700.
Doing some simple math and assuming you live to 80, and stop working at 69, using the $167,700 figure, you’ll get about $1200 a month. Better hope the portfolio sees some growth. Retire earlier or not having saved as much only paints less desirable picture.
Taking into consideration that nearly half of Americans have no savings at all from a study by the Economic Policy Institute and the picture turns into more of a depressing illustration of just how badly things will be for many.
Social Security will of course help but will leave much to be desired when it comes to fully funding your days on the porch swing. Add in some medical costs which is likely a forgone conclusion and you kind of get the overall impression many people are going to have to rely on public assistant and the kind hearts of their friends, neighbors
And relatives to survive.
Social Security was only designed as a supplement but like many concepts in life, what meant and what was morphed by the minds of some are two entirely different things.
The fact remains if you want to have a better afterlife (as in post working) you better get your  rear end in gear and give some serious grey matter to the issue, then regularly add some of the green stuff  to a retirement account somewhere.
Anything you save will be better than nothing and each penny of it will go to helping you and you alone into a better life after you stop working.
After all, having some plan is better than having no plan at all. And if your plan revolves solely around what others have planned for you, odds are you will be sorely disappointed.




Will you have enough to live comfortably?

Or be at the beck and call of others for your income?


There are many ways to guarantee income into your golden years. Here is one of the more popular ones:

I wasn’t a big fan of annuities for the longest time. I saw too many of them with high fees, complicated terms and so many hooks I had to get out my tackle box to house them all. That said, when I started offering annuities to clients with specific needs and desires not too long ago, I reviewed literally hundreds of them and in the pile I have found a few I thought advantageous.

First off, the description of annuity I like to use is a contract between an insurance company and a person that stipulates in return for a sum of money paid by the client, the company will promise payments over a period of time or even a lump sum at the conclusion of the contract. Annuities have all sorts of versions and terms but just know the contract is a promise to pay. How, when and how much depends on the contract.

The promise is a good as the company making it so realize they are not guaranteed by the U.S. government in any way, shape or form. You can pay the company a sum of money in a lump or over time. The annuity can be tied to a moving target such as a stock index or be just a fixed rate of return. There are other variations and they literally come in all shapes and sizes.

Without getting too technical, annuities can have a tie up period where the client has to commit to leaving at least some of the money with the company for a specified length of time. Some allow a portion of money to be taken out at certain times at the clients option and most have a hardship clause that allow for special circumstances such as a death of the primary person(s) specified in the contract.

I find that investors who want a stream of income later in life that won’t go away or cannot stomach the ups and downs of markets are primary candidates for annuities but know that annuities are not for everyone nor should they be offered up carte blanche to all investors.

Certain investors will ask me for an annuity and others have to be explained as to how they work. As an advisory, I am approached by annuity companies trying to get me to offer their particular version but honestly, I find all but a handful of annuities way too complicated for most investors. Sure I could place a complicated annuity with a client but I wouldn’t do that knowing the client doesn’t fully understand how they operate. Truthfully some are so complicated I have to study them for an hour or two in order to fully understand them myself and I’m in the business!

The annuities I lean towards are the ones that are straight forward and simple. The terms are clear and usually there are not a whole lot of them compared to others. My thinking is if I can explain it to a client and they understand how it works, it will be better for all concerned, which is the investor, the advisor and the insurance company writing the contract.

The regulations and oversight on annuities is severe and very strict and protection to the consumer is a lot better than it was decades ago where annuities where sometimes regarded one of the black boxes of financial products.

Not so today. Many are simple, easy to understand and perform as promised. The importance of understanding them by both the client and advisor is tantamount to a successful placement and an honest and straight forward conversation by both parties is the cornerstone of that success.

Investors should carefully consider the investment objectives, risks, fees and expenses before investing. For this and other important information please obtain the investment company fund prospectus and disclosure documents from your Rep/Advisor. Read this information carefully before investing. Guarantees are based on the claims paying ability of the issuing insurance company.

This article expresses the opinions of Marc Cuniberti and are opinions only and should not be construed or acted upon as individual investment advice. Mr. Cuniberti is an Investment Advisor Representative through Cambridge Investment Research Advisors, Inc., a Registered Investment Advisor. Marc can be contacted at SMC Wealth Management, 164 Maple St #1, Auburn, CA 95603 (530) 559-1214. SMC and Cambridge are not affiliated. His website is www.moneymanagementradio.com. California Insurance License # OL34249. Indexes may not be invested into directly and consider consulting a qualified financial advisor if you have any questions or concerns and before making any investments decisions.


For retirment solutions please call me for a no cost sit down to reveiw your plans.


Marc Cuniberti  (530) 559-1214