Retirement Planning / Wealth & Prosperity

Don’t Rely Solely on ‘Uncle Sam’s’ Help During Retirement

You can’t watch television or read a newspaper without being reminded of the uncertain times we’re in. Disappearing jobs, disturbing stock market losses — we don’t need to tell you, it’s rough out there.

This has made retirement planning more complicated than ever. From October 2007 to last December, the market lost nearly $3 trillion in retirement savings.1 Many who were counting on their 401(k)s don’t even read their account statements anymore.

The Truth About Social Security

But other factors have muddied the waters for mapping a course toward retirement. People are living longer. An American born in 1955 was expected to live to age 69, on average. Forty years later, life expectancy was 76.2 This is good news; but, we need to prepare for more years of retirement.

And, if you thought Social Security would take care of you, think again. Last year, the maximum monthly benefit was $2,1853 — not enough for many of you to live comfortably.

While there are no easy solutions, the purchase of a life insurance policy can guarantee4 the protection of your loved ones and additionally supplement your retirement savings,5 if the death benefit is no longer needed.

Leaving a Legacy

Life insurance’s primary purpose is to provide guaranteed death benefit protection, which can provide a tax-free legacy to your loved ones. But, permanent life also carries many living benefits. Cash value is money that accumulates within the policy, tax deferred. This means you do not pay taxes on any of the accumulation within the policy. In addition, you can access that money tax free though policy loans.5,6 These same funds can also be used for college expenses, as collateral for a small business loan, or any other happily anticipated or unexpected event.

In addition to the death benefit protection provided by life insurance, it can also be used to supplement your retirement income. As such, it can be a vital piece of the complex puzzle of retirement planning.

This educational third-party article is being provided as a courtesy by Suzannah L. Richards, CLTC, Agent, New York Life Insurance Company. To learn more about the information or topics discussed, please contact Suzannah L. Richards, CLTC at or (954) 958-4217.

Neither New York Life, nor its agents, provides tax, legal or accounting advice. Please consult your own tax, legal or accounting professional before making any decisions.

1Urban Institute, Fact Sheet on Retirement Policy, “How Is the Recession Affecting Older Workers?” Dec. 2009, Richard W. Johnson, www.

2Voice of America, “U.S. Life Expectancy Hits New High,” Sept. 17, 2007.

3Fast Facts and Figures About Social Security, 2008, SSA Publication No. 13-11785. Released Aug. 2008, page 2.

4Guarantees backed by the claims-paying ability of the issuer.

5Loans against your policy accrue interest and decrease the death benefit and cash value by the amount of the outstanding loan and interest; withdrawals reduce the available death benefit.

6If your life insurance policy is paid up and your need for a death benefit decreases.

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