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


By Nelson J. Rodriguez, MBA
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, the rising cost of living — we don’t need to tell you that it’s rough out there.
This has made planning for your own retirement even more complicated than ever. From October 2007 to the end of first-quarter 2009, the market lost nearly $2.8 trillion in retirement savings.1 While the market has improved since then, many who were counting on their 401(k)s may not even read their account statements anymore.
The Truth About Social Security
But other factors have muddied the waters for mapping a course toward a financially secure retirement. People are living longer. At the beginning of the 20th century, life expectancy at birth was 47.3 years. Today, life expectancy is nearly 78 years2.  This is good news; but we need to prepare for more years in retirement.
And if you thought Social Security would take care of you, think again. In 2011, the maximum monthly benefit for a worker retiring at age 66 was $2,3663 — 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 also supplement your retirement savings5 if the death benefit is no longer needed.
Leaving a Legacy
Life insurance’s primary purpose is to deliver guaranteed death benefit protection, which can provide a generally
tax-free legacy to your loved ones. But permanent life insurance 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 generally tax-free though policy loans5. The cash value can also be accessed for college expenses, as collateral for a small business loan, or any other anticipated or unexpected event.
In addition to the death benefit protection, life insurance 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 Nelson J. Rodriguez, MBA. For additional information on the topic(s) discussed, please contact him at (860) 298-1053. 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.

  1. The Urban Institute, “Updated Account Balances,” by Barbara A. Butrica and Philip Issa, October 2011.
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Deaths: Preliminary Data for 2009,” March 2011.
  3. Social Security Online, “The Maximum Social Security Benefit,” May 6, 2011.
  4. Guarantees backed by the claims-paying ability of the issuer.
  5. Loans against your policy accrue interest and decrease the death benefit and cash value by the amount of the outstanding loan and interest.