10 Retirement Building Blocks for a Long, Financially Strong Life

Originally posted by Jerry Golden on Jun 11, 2017


In a world where political ideas come and go, trends surge and falter, revolutions bloom and then fade, a few foundational concepts for retirement remain true: Income is of prime importance, planning for your specific circumstances will increase your financial stability, most retirement calculators are seriously flawed, and you can lessen – but not eliminate – the burden of taxes.

We recently completed a survey of the advice I have offered in this space for the past five years. Here are 10 retirement building blocks that I expect will remain useful no matter how long your retirement lasts.

The retirement foundation

To understand how to build a solid retirement, start with the idea that income is the prime goal. Savings are good, but only if they can be converted into spendable income to maintain the quality of life you had before retirement. Income is money that you can count on whether the stock market is plunging or your party is out of office. Social Security and company pensions set the standard. You can follow this guide to producing pension-like retirement income.

Think about retirement in two stages

Too much of the financial literature treats retirement as a single event. We are generally living longer, however, and our requirements change during those additional years. I plan for a two-stage retirement to account for different needs and wants as we mature. This video explains the benefits of looking at retirement in this way.

Optimize Social Security

For most of us, our Social Security payments represent a substantial percentage of our retirement income. Waiting to tap this valuable resource will increase your payments. Here I suggest how to wait as long as possible to start Social Security, in combination with other opportunities.

Minimize taxes

If you have a 401(k), a rollover IRA or own securities that have appreciated, taxes may take a large chunk out of your retirement savings. I explain how to defuse this tax bomb. I also believe it is prudent to minimize taxes and manage for income.

Learn about income annuities

Especially around Tax Day, you will hear many opinions about income annuities. I dispel some of those myths in this article. And in this blog I explain the benefits that I find in income annuities.

Why retirement calculators may fail you

There is no magic number for your retirement savings. Calculatorsgenerally input your retirement age, your income goal and number of years of payments, and then solves for amount of savings you need. Based on the results, the calculator (or an advisor) will tell you to save more or spend less. Here is my advice to increase peace of mind: Plan beyond the averages.

Add deferred income annuities and QLAC to the equation

deferred income annuity from a top-rated insurance company can provide income guaranteed for life at a date in the future, similar to Social Security or a company pension. For the second stage of retirement, an income annuity called a Qualifying Longevity Annuity Contract, or QLAC, purchased out of your Rollover IRA account can provide income to cover late-in-retirement expenses.

Develop spendable income

During your working years, you depend on getting a regular paycheck. Dependable, spendable income is the key to retirement, too. A large savings account doesn’t necessarily translate into income, as I illustrate in this article.

Save a legacy for your heirs

I argue that you should take care of yourself first. I refer to a couple of books that help you decide what is important to you and how you might be able to provide for all of it.

How to work with financial advisors

The decisions you make about your finances during retirement are some of the most important you will consider. Learn enough about your options so you can ask the right questions of your advisor – and trust your own judgment. You might find that advisors tend to operate in silos, constrained by the types of products their company sells. Educate yourself to feel more comfortable while you shop for retirement products.

Managing around life events

The closer we get to retirement, the more we realize that life happens. We can plan for some events, and others cause us to react. Second marriages, transitioning to a single life, and other life-changers are all events that can be managed for optimal financial outcomes, even if they are surprises.

Visit Go2Income for more information and guidance on how to create a plan that fits your retirement needs.

Contributed Post.

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How CBD Oil Prices Have Changed from 2012 to Today


cbd price

CBD oil prices quietly hit a historical low recently, and nobody is talking about it. We dug through the archives of cannabidiol prices to see just how major the change is, found the events which caused these changes, and attempt to predict the future of CBD product pricing.

The first mainstream CBD product 

The year is 2012. CBD is such a well-kept secret that even a Google search renders virtually no results on the topic. Unless you’re ready to trek through pages of scientific research reports, looking up the definition to every other word that even the deepest depths of your biology class memories won’t help you decipher. 

There is one good (ish) thing about CBD in the year 2012. There’s only one CBD product on the market, so you aren’t trying to compare multiple different brands. 

The one CBD product available was a little ½-ounce bottle containing 100 milligrams of CBD. Although, there were no lab tests available to prove that CBD content, so it was on the honor system. 

The price tag? $90.

Fast forward to today, and there is an abundance of options in terms of CBD products. Whether you are a casual user or a business purchasing wholesale CBD products to sell to customers (which is made possible thanks to websites like Laurelcrest.com), you won’t struggle to find the right products. But there is more good news; you won’t have to pay anywhere near as much as back in 2012.

CBD Oil Prices are 88% less expensive today than in 2012 

Today, the price of CBD is 88% less than it was in 2012. Coming to that conclusion requires a little math, as we’re not comparing apples to apples. CBD products are larger in size and significantly more potent today. 

To start, let’s compare a typical CBD oil tincture price in 2012 versus 2019. 

  • 2012: 0.5-ounce (100mg CBD) $90
  • 2019: 1-ounce (1,000mg CBD) averaging about $110 

Sure, the 2019 tincture costs $20 more, but it’s double the size and contains 5x more CBD by volume. So, we can’t just look at the overall price tag. 

In order to accurately compare the price of CBD products, you must calculate how much it costs per milligram of CBD. This way, you know exactly what you’re paying for the CBD content, which is what we care about. 

To break the price down, it’s 11¢ per milligram of CBD as compared to 90¢ in 2012. 

To get those numbers, take the product’s price and divide it by the total amount of CBD. 

  • 2012: $0.90 per milligram of CBD 
  • 2019: $0.11 per milligram of CBD 

Even though the price of a bottle of CBD oil hasn’t changed that much, the bottles are much larger and contain an exceptionally higher amount of CBD. You won’t find a bottle the same small size and low potency as in 2012. The closest you can get is typically a 1-ounce bottle with 300 milligrams of CBD, which runs at around $50. That’s still 17¢ per milligram of CBD instead of 90¢.

You get what you paid for 

There is no truer time to say, “You get what you paid for,” than with CBD oil prices. 

Even though the price of CBD products has dropped significantly in recent years, that doesn’t mean we should be looking for the cheapest option possible. It’s okay to compare prices, but always be suspicious of abnormally cheap prices. 

The raw hemp extract that’s used to craft CBD products is not inexpensive for business to make or purchase. So, when a product costs less than even that raw material they claim is in the product, something is wrong. Either there’s no CBD in it, or it’s made with CBD isolate. Isolate isn’t bad, but when you’re specifically shopping for a full-spectrum hemp oil product, misleading labeling can be very frustrating. 

To protect yourself from snake oil as you compare CBD prices, always ask for a certificate of analysis (COA) and find out where the hemp oil is sourced from. If it’s sourced from overseas, you should take the extra step of asking for a third party lab test of the hemp oil, which will prove that there are no pesticides or heavy metals. 

Snake oil products can look very convincing on a website. However, as soon as you start asking the manufacturer questions, you can quickly sniff out a sketchy company. 

CBD is still a very new supplement. Eventually, it will become much more regulated to prevent snake oil from being the problem that it is today. Until then, either stick to a reputable company or do your due diligence to inspect a CBD product before purchasing.  

Why have CBD prices gone down, while demand has gone up? 

The reason CBD saw such a major drop in price is thanks to the 2014 and 2018 Farm Bills, which opened the doors for farmers in the United States to grow hemp. Before those bills, CBD had to be sourced from hemp grown in other countries. 

Most companies sourced from Europe, where growing standards are very top-notch and organic. The quality is excellent, especially as compared to cheap hemp from China that never seems to test well, be it contaminants or lower than advertised CBD content. 

As U.S.-grown hemp became more readily available, it was an obvious switch for CBD manufacturers. Not only is the quality fantastic and reliable, but it’s also cheaper than sourcing from Europe because you’re skipping the expensive import fees. 

Future CBD price prediction 

Sourcing hemp oil from U.S. farmers is helping to lower the price of CBD and will most likely continue to cost less over the next few years. Farmers haven’t been growing for long on U.S. soil.  Currently, in the US, there are only 26,000 acres of hemp being farmed. A number we expect to rise in the coming years and thus decreasing the overall cost.   

Larger hemp fields paired with new and improved equipment will also increase efficiencies to grow and harvest hemp, again helping to decrease CBD product prices. 

On top of this, there are not many reliable hemp farmers in the U.S. right now due to the previous laws around the plant. As the competition grows, the prices will go down because, finally, there will be enough supply to meet the demand from CBD manufacturers.   

Price isn’t all that’s changed 

The legality of CBD was very muddy in the early days because the law wasn’t written clearly enough to draw a line between hemp and marijuana. Yet, it was readily available for purchase on major e-commerce sites, like Amazon and eBay. There were no rules against CBD because nobody knew what it was. 

Now, everyone has heard about CBD and the law has cleared up its legality. Yet, it’s now that there are rules against CBD on major e-commerce websites, social media, and banking solutions.

To be fair, a lot of things happened in between. In the early days of CBD’s popularity spike, companies and law enforcement freaked out because they weren’t educated on the difference between hemp and marijuana, and in turn, CBD and THC. Even in 2019, a grandmother was arrested at Disney World for having CBD oil, which law enforcement thought was the same as marijuana. 

Over the next couple of years, we expect companies to become more educated on CBD laws and remove CBD from their list of banned substances. Education is key for this to happen, and the hemp industry is on the right track to make a comeback for CBD that will make it a staple product in everyone’s home.

Contributed Post. Article originally posted on https://madebyhemp.com/

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