Consumer Alert: Be sure to have a financial say in retirement!
TOPEKA, Kan. — Ken Selzer, CPA, Kansas Commissioner of Insurance, and Josh Ney, Kansas Securities Commissioner, are urging Kansans to review their financial preparedness and insurance priorities concerning retirement as a way to educate themselves about their future needs.
“Changes in employee benefits, longer life spans, and uncertainty with Social Security and Medicare, as well as health care, are challenges for today’s older Kansans,” Commissioner Selzer said.
“Assessing your financial preparedness for retirement is a first step to achieving financial freedom,” said Commissioner Ney.
The two commissioners offered their comments in light of National Retirement Planning Week, which is celebrated annually in April through the National Retirement Planning Coalition.
“Having income-producing insurance products as part of that retirement preparedness can be especially important,” Commissioner Selzer said. Below is a list of insurance products that could be considered in retirement strategies when a stream of retirement income is important.
· Variable annuities with guaranteed lifetime withdrawal benefits—Long-term, tax-deferred insurance products that contain both investment and insurance components with optional guaranteed withdrawal benefits.
· Fixed and fixed index annuities—Long-term, tax-deferred insurance vehicles which offer a guaranteed minimum interest rate.
· Single premium immediate annuities—Products which provide a guaranteed income for life or a specified period in exchange for a one-time lump sum payment.
· Deferred income annuities—Annuities which provide for guaranteed income but don’t begin until a specified age, such as 80 or 85.
The Securities Commissioner and Insurance Commissioner have partnered with other state agencies to create www.KansasMoney.gov, a new one-stop website for all of the financial resources Kansans may need. Retirement is a key topic covered on the website. Kansans can take the free Kansas Financial Learning Center online course, containing modules that only take between 2-10 minutes each. Throughout the month of April, Kansans are encouraged to take at least 5 modules to be entered to win an iPad mini.
“Retirement 101 is one of the modules users can take through the Kansas Financial Learning Center,” said Commissioner Ney. “We would like to encourage all Kansans to visit KansasMoney.gov this month to learn more about retirement planning best practices and ways to increase your financial IQ.”
Every day nearly 10,000 Baby Boomers enter their retirement years, according to the Insured Retirement Institute (IRI).
Whatever a person’s insurance needs are for retirement years, periodic consultation with an insurance agent and financial adviser is important, the commissioners said.
More about insurance needs in retirement is available by reading the KID booklet “Life Insurance and Annuity Basics,” which can be obtained by printing a copy from the KID website, www.ksinsurance.org; by talking to a KID Consumer Assistance Representative at 1-800-432-2484; or by going to the IRI website, www.IRIonline.org.
The Kansas Insurance Department, established in 1871, assists and educates consumers, regulates and reviews companies, and licenses agents selling insurance products in the state. More about the department is online at www.ksinsurance.org or at www.facebook.com/kansasinsurancedepartment.
The Office of the Kansas Securities Commissioner exists to protect and inform Kansas investors; promote integrity, fairness, and full disclosure in financial services; and to foster capital formation. You can find more about the agency at www.ksc.ks.gov or www.facebook.com/Kansas.Securities.