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Just Askin’


By Michael Aun, Special Columnist


I have always believed that if you ask honest questions you are more likely to receive honest answers. How can an advisor, a doctor, an attorney or for that matter any kind of a professional render good advice without the truth?

I have the honor of serving as the Professor of Continuing Education for the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors. Each month, I teach a two-hour continuing education course which I write and deliver but must be approved by the State of Florida Department of Insurance.

One of the biggest mistakes I see people make is in the selection of their beneficiary or failure to update. Are yours current? The beneficiaries could be in court for years trying to get what is legally theirs.

When the government runs out of money in the future (and it will), do you think that Congress will go after the 90% of people who have little or no money or the 10% who do? Just asking…

Are you content with losing up to 80% or more in the stock market? How long do you think it will be for you to just get even again? Can you afford the wait? Sit tight, be patient is not an answer.

Do you have enough faith in your financial advisor to get a second opinion?

If one spouse dies, is it fair to expect my children to grieve to a babysitter? Wouldn’t it be nice to make sure the surviving spouse has at least one parent at home to care for them? Just asking…

When I reach age 65 (or reached), am I going to find myself in a race for my money?

Is it reasonable to assume there may be another financial disaster similar to 2007 and 2008? Were you comfortable with how you handled that disaster? Should you continue with the same strategy? Are you comfortable going broke slowly?

Are you aware that two thirds of our states are now exercising their FILIAL Laws making children responsible for their parent’s debts? They could leave you with your parents’ debt.

What concerns you most, dying too soon or living too long? Would you like to know the only way to GUARANTEE you cannot outlive your retirement income stream?

Remember how you could ladder your CD’s to provide income of 5% or more from your cash cow? Oops… suddenly it’s now less than one half of 1% and you are invading your principle daily?

If you could convert your “forever” taxed money (IRA’s and other) into seldom or even “never” taxed money? Wouldn’t you want to at least know how to minimize your liability?

Have you studied your after-tax 401-K statement? How much is yours and how much is Uncle Sam’s? If you and your spouse both dies, do you realize that your kids could be taxed at 40% for a lump sum payout?

Are you familiar with Stretch IRA Provisions and have you taken advantage of a law that’s been around nearly two decades? If not, why not? Did you know that 401-K’s must be lump sum paid to kids and taxed accordingly?

Isn’t inflation the cruelest form of “stealth tax” that seniors can face today? Do you realize that by 2030, every single baby boomer will the 65 or older? Do you realize another 66 million people will arrive between 2029 and 2045?

Should you consider paying your taxes now while rates are lower or waiting till later when they almost surely will be higher? Perhaps much higher?

It’s been speculated that the only way to whittle down the huge debt of nearly $23 trillion is to “inflate” the economy. How do you think Jimmy Carter interest rates might affect your future? Just asking…

And it gets worse with so-called NINJA Loans, i.e. no income, no job, no asset loans. Remember the last bank bailout? Here we go again with sub-prime mortgages tagging along.

Are you content playing on a golf course or do you have to work on one just to eat? One in three Americans has zero saved for retirement. Just asking…

Michael Aun, CSP®, CPAE® is the recipient of the Phil Hosche Lifetime Achievement Award for Life Insurance from NAIFA-Central Florida.