The Great Recession may be over, but the effects of this downturn may be with us for some time. Anyone planning for retirement must take into account the changes brought about by the recession, says Philip Rousseaux, founder of Everest Wealth Management, Inc., and coauthor of Climbing the Mountain to Financial Success.

“A lot of boomers had all of their retirement investments in the stock market and, if they didn’t lose their principal, it will take some time for them to recoup their gains. Others moved their money to short-term savings, like CDs. But with interest rates so low, they’re actually losing money when you factor in inflation,” says Rousseaux.

According to a 2012 survey by the Employee Benefit Research Institute, only 14 percent of Americans report that they are very confident they’ll be able to live comfortably in retirement. Here are some tips from Rousseaux to ensure your clients are in that 14 percent:

  • Seek safety. This is a common mistake. “Don’t put the bulk of your assets into anything that makes your principal vulnerable. Gambling that you’re going to win big on the market, or any other investment, means you also risk losing big.” A portion of your clients’ wealth should have a guaranteed return.
  • Find alternatives to stocks. Post-recession, investors recognize that Wall Street is not a foolproof place to park their money. “There are a number of great, safer alternatives,” says Rousseaux. One of them is fixed indexed annuities. “You loan an insurance company money and it guarantees you payments over a specified length of time. It’s a contract between you and the company.” With fixed-rate indexed annuities, “your principal is safe and you can ride an up market without the risk,” explains Rousseaux.

With pension plans fading into the past and Social Security no guarantee for the future, it’s imperative that all your clients have a firm foundation on which to build their retirement dreams.

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