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Happy Friday! It's Casey from Howard Bailey Financial! Every Friday, I'll send you my commentary on four financial-related articles that I think will be beneficial for you — plus a preview of my latest podcast episode.

Have questions? Send me a note!
What's Really Guaranteed With Fixed Rate Annuities?
Think Advisor The idea of guaranteed returns may appeal to you, but if you were born with a healthy level of skepticism, you want to know what “guaranteed” really means. A past Retire With Purpose podcast guest and head of retirement research at Morningstar answers your questions in a short and sweet fashion here.

While this article is written in relation to fixed rate annuities, it also applies to other guaranteed insurance products, such as fixed index annuities and straight income annuities. The article points to lower rated insurance carriers, which often have the highest rates available over that of higher rated carriers. However, I’ll note this is not always the case. 

Currently, the best five-year rate available is with an A-rated carrier at just over three percent. This carrier would not have been at the top of the list just a few months ago, as the rates are constantly in flux. In order to get the best rate, you must work with an independent advisor that not only has access to all of the top carriers, but is what we call “insurance carrier agnostic.” 

Most advisors prefer one carrier over another, either due to compensation or simple laziness. We are getting licensed with new carriers almost every month to always provide the best solution to the families that trust us.
New on the Podcast

You can get a multi-year guaranteed annuity yielding more than 3 percent, but is it too good to be true? Listen in as we take a deep dive into the article.
Here are tips from financial advisors for getting your Medicare coverage right
CNBC If you’re of Medicare age, then you already know its open enrollment, as you are being bombarded with every form of solicitation imaginable. It would be easy to dismiss these solicitations as someone just looking to make a buck, however, your situation and plans available are always changing.

Of course, someone will be getting paid, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t receiving value simultaneously. Purchases should only be made when there is value received. It can be very confusing, so doing your research and finding an unbiased resource is important.

After years of requests, we began offering complimentary reviews of your Medicare plan and options in 2019, initially only offering Medicare Supplements. This year, we can assist with the placement of all your Medicare needs, from Medicare Advantage to Traditional Medicare, as well as your prescription drug coverage.

Need Medicare guidance? Register for our complimentary webinar!
Rethinking The Traditional Retirement Approach: Two Alternative Strategies
Forbes What do your real estate holdings and life insurance have in common? More than you might think. What this article lacks in the way of substance, it overcomes with an interesting parallel. In full disclosure, my two main savings vehicles are insurance and real estate, so this one really hits home for me. 

When I make a leveraged real estate purchase, such as a rental property, I know it may be years or even decades before I build enough equity to generate a net return on investment. At the same time, when I begin making premium payments to my Index Universal Life policies, it will be at least a decade before I can begin utilizing my cash on a tax-advantaged basis. The longer I wait, the bigger the net return will be. 

While I am a fan of both these strategies for sources of retirement income, this can be dangerous advice if utilized in a vacuum. Real estate investing isn’t for the lazy or faint of heart, and cash value life insurance isn’t something everyone can qualify for, especially those who have yet to make their traditional retirement contributions.

The takeaway should be that there are more options than just 401(k)s or IRAs to save for retirement. You should explore all your options.

Should you consider these strategies? Contact us for a complimentary review.
Bonus Reading
Ready to seriously start thinking about retirement? My best-selling book, Job Optional*, is a good jump-off point — it will teach you how to secure your financial future so you can focus on what matters most to you now.
I'm 60, my wife thinks 'money is for spending,' I just lost my job and plan to retire - how can we avoid money fights?
Market Watch — If you’re like me, you were a natural born tightwad. You most likely inherited this from life experiences or someone influential in your life when you were younger. I’ve always loved saving money. Some would call me cheap, but I would prefer frugal.

Putting off the purchase of something you want may be a source of pride for you, as it always has for me. This is a great asset and has probably gotten you much further than your peers. However, it can also be a detriment to your life satisfaction, adding additional stress and missing out on experiences that could enrich your life

Quite often, married couples have different propensities to spending. My wife has been a responsible spender as well, but admittedly, a little looser than myself. She helped me overcome some of my self-deprivation tendencies, and in turn, live a fuller life. You can be responsible and not pinch every penny. Sometimes it just takes a good conversation and a solid spending plan.
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Advisory services may be offered through Howard Bailey Securities, LLC, a Registered Investment Adviser. Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. owns the certification marks CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and CFP® (with flame design) in the U.S., which it awards to individuals who successfully complete CFP Board’s initial and ongoing certification requirements.*Reached #5 on the Wall Street Journal eBook Bestseller List on 8/9/19. *Reached #1 on the Amazon Retirement Planning Bestseller List on 7/2/19.