RADNOR, Pa.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--A well-structured financial plan may just be the perfect gift you can give to yourself and others this holiday season.
As this year’s festivities get underway, Lincoln Financial Group (NYSE: LNC) is strongly urging Americans to take a look at their finances, preferably with a financial advisor, and “wrap up” their plans before the end of the year, to ensure programs are set up to take a holistic approach to achieving long-term retirement outcomes, protecting financial legacies and ensuring overall financial security.
It is a focus that certainly resonates with people, as evidenced by results from Lincoln Financial Group’s most recent Measuring Optimism, Outlook and Direction (M.O.O.D.) of America survey, which found that 87 percent of Americans say planning for financial outcomes with family in mind is an important consideration.
“Planning for a successful financial future includes finding a healthy balance between good financial outcomes for yourself and loved ones,” said Emily Woodson, CFP®, partner of The Financial House and registered representative of Lincoln Financial Securities. “Issues around longevity and long-term health care are top of mind for those entering retirement. People are concerned about having enough to pay their bills, and being prepared in case something unexpected happens. It’s important to make sure financial plans are set up to address those risks, to protect assets and reduce potential financial impact on families.”
Lincoln suggests five key steps to providing consumers and their loved ones with financial peace of mind:
- Catch up on your retirement savings. Just 18 percent of working Americans over the age of 50 are “very prepared” for retirement, according to Lincoln’s M.O.O.D. survey, which makes “catch-up” contributions a great way to boost that number. At the age of 50, people are eligible to make catch-up contributions of up to $6,000 to their employer-sponsored retirement plans, increasing the annual amount they are allowed to save in a plan to a total of $24,000.
- Ensure a portion of your portfolio can provide a guaranteed stream of income during retirement. Chances are today’s savers will spend 20 to 30 years in retirement due to increasing lifespans. Lincoln’s research shows many of today’s savers delay discussing longevity — often until they are at retirement’s doorstep. Addressing the situation early on can help set a person on the right path to success through the use of products that provide guaranteed lifetime income. A good retirement income strategy should help protect assets from taxes, inflation, market volatility and savings withdrawal rates. By converting a portion of assets into a guaranteed lifetime income vehicle, such as a variable annuity with optional benefit riders, an advisor can help individuals add income certainty within their portfolio.
- Add a life insurance policy to an existing financial plan. With its tax-free death benefits, life insurance can serve as the financial bedrock of a portfolio, helping to provide the kind of financial protection most clients want. And, with tax free access to cash, life insurance, as part of an overall portfolio, can offer advantages in meeting goals at every stage of life, including: alleviating some of the cost of a child’s school tuition; strengthening retirement savings; creating additional cash flow while reducing tax exposure; and, helping to protect wealth for future generations.
- Have a conversation with a financial advisor about long-term care. The most debilitating changes to income and lifestyle may result from an unanticipated long-term health care event. Knowledgeable advisors recognize the potential impact of such an event to a client’s portfolio. According to Lincoln’s M.O.O.D. of America survey, 75 percent of Americans say they are motivated to help pay for long-term care expenses, yet only 11 percent own long-term care insurance. Today’s marketplace offers a number of different types of solutions to help provide a cushion against unanticipated long-term care expenses. Understanding the differences in policies and implementing solutions that best fit your care wants, and needs can make the difference in achieving a desired financial outcome during retirement.
- Take stock of benefits at the workplace. While most employees are generally familiar with retirement plans and medical insurance, other benefits offered by employers today may be less well-known, such as disability insurance or accident insurance, or even life insurance. Many working Americans just went through an annual “open enrollment” period, and should make sure they take advantage of those benefits provided. For example, dental insurance and vision insurance typically provide for certain benefits on an annual basis. It is the season of giving, and now’s the time to give to yourself – fit in a teeth cleaning or get that new pair of eyeglasses, before the year comes to an end.
“Lincoln’s M.O.O.D. survey shows that 95 percent of Americans trust their financial advisor,” said Woodson. “That’s why we recommend working with an advisor to better understand all of the options available to develop a customized, comprehensive plan aimed at achieving specific goals, and protecting family interests. A secure financial future is a gift that will last for you, and your family.”
To find a trusted advisor, Lincoln suggests beginning the search by asking friends for referrals or visiting websites of financial associations, such as the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards (CFP) or Financial Planning Association (FPA). Advisors who are credentialed by these types of associations are great resources and have completed rigorous requirements around complex financial regulations.
About the M.O.O.D. of America
Results for the 2016 M.O.O.D. (Measuring Optimism, Outlook and Direction) of America poll are based on three national surveys conducted by Whitman Insight Strategies on behalf of Lincoln Financial Group in March and April 2016.
The M.O.O.D. of America survey was conducted among 2,267 adults 18 years of age and older across the United States, and included a sample of the General Population as well as over-samples to ensure data cuts by key demographic sub-groups that are of particular interest for this research. The final sample includes 405 African Americans, 402 Asian Americans, 402 Latino Americans, and 418 LGBT Americans. The margin of error is ±1.9% at the 95% confidence interval.
About Lincoln Financial Network
Lincoln Financial Network (LFN), the marketing name for Lincoln Financial Advisors Corp. (LFA) and Lincoln Financial Securities Corp. (LFS), is the retail wealth management business of Lincoln Financial Group (LFG). Consisting of approximately 8,500 agents, representatives, and full-service financial planners throughout the United States, LFN professionals offer expertise through planning and advisory services, retirement services, life and long-term care solutions, annuities, investments, and trust services to affluent individuals, business owners and families. Affiliates are separately responsible for their own financial and contractual obligations.
About Lincoln Financial Group
Lincoln Financial Group provides advice and solutions that help empower people to take charge of their financial lives with confidence and optimism. Today, more than 17 million customers trust our retirement, insurance and wealth protection expertise to help address their lifestyle, savings and income goals, as well as to guard against long-term care expenses. Headquartered in Radnor, Pennsylvania, Lincoln Financial Group is the marketing name for Lincoln National Corporation (NYSE:LNC) and its affiliates. The company had $228 billion in assets under management as of September 30, 2016. Learn more at: www.LincolnFinancial.com. Find us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube. To sign up for email alerts, please visit our Newsroom at http://newsroom.lfg.com.
Lincoln Financial Group® affiliates, their distributors, and their respective employees, representatives, and/or insurance agents do not provide tax, accounting, or legal advice. Please consult an independent advisor as to any tax, accounting, or legal statements made herein.
Variable annuities are long-term investment products designed for retirement purposes and are subject to market fluctuation, investment risk, and possible loss of principal. Variable annuities contain both investment and insurance components and have fees and charges, including mortality and expense, administrative, and advisory fees. Optional features are available for an additional charge. The annuity’s value fluctuates with the market value of the underlying investment options, and all assets accumulate tax-deferred. Withdrawals of earnings are taxable as ordinary income and, if taken prior to age 59½, may be subject to an additional 10% federal tax. Withdrawals will reduce the death benefit and cash surrender value.
Investors are advised to consider the investment objectives, risks, and charges and expenses of the variable annuity and its underlying investment options carefully before investing. The applicable prospectuses for the variable annuity and its underlying investment options contain this and other important information. Please call 888-868-2583 for free prospectuses. Read them carefully before investing or sending money. Products and features are subject to state availability.
Lincoln variable annuities are issued by The Lincoln National Life Insurance Company, Fort Wayne, IN, and distributed by Lincoln Financial Distributors, Inc., a broker-dealer. The Lincoln National Life Insurance Company does not solicit business in the state of New York, nor is it authorized to do so.
Contracts sold in New York are issued by Lincoln Life & Annuity Company of New York, Syracuse, NY, and distributed by Lincoln Financial Distributors, Inc., a broker-dealer.
All contract and rider guarantees, including those for optional benefits, fixed subaccount crediting rates, or annuity payout rates, are subject to the claims-paying ability of the issuing insurance company. They are not backed by the broker-dealer or insurance agency from which this annuity is purchased, or any affiliates of those entities other than the issuing company affiliates, and none makes any representations or guarantees regarding the claims-paying ability of the issuer.
There is no additional tax-deferral benefit for an annuity contract purchased in an IRA or other tax-qualified plan.
Lincoln Financial Group is the marketing name for Lincoln National Corporation and its affiliates, including broker-dealer/distributor Lincoln Financial Distributors, Inc., Radnor, PA, and insurance company affiliates The Lincoln National Life Insurance Company, Fort Wayne, IN, and Lincoln Life & Annuity Company of New York, Syracuse, NY. Affiliates are separately responsible for their own financial and contractual obligations.
All guarantees and benefits of the insurance policy are subject to the claims-paying ability of the issuing insurance company. They are not backed by the broker-dealer and/or insurance agency selling the policy, or any affiliates of those entities other than the issuing company affiliates, and none makes any representations or guarantees regarding the claims-paying ability of the issuer. Distributions are taken through loans and withdrawals which reduce a policy’s cash surrender value and death benefit and may cause the policy to lapse. Loans are not considered income and are tax free. Withdrawals and surrenders are tax-free up to the cost basis.