In the ‘Green Zone’ with Jim Otar

The Toronto engineer-turned-advisor has self-published an exhaustive new book and launched a refined version of his Retirement Optimizer software.

How Debt Affects Retirement

“Remaking Retirement? Debt in an Aging Economy," was the theme of the 65th annual symposium of the Wharton School's Pension Research Council, held last week in Philadelphia. (Photo: Kitchen and retirement makeovers sometimes occur in tandem.)
Anecdotal Evidence

It’s No Joke: The Fed’s Comic Book is Wrong

The educational comic book from the New York Fed means well but perpetuates the myth that money was created in the private sector to facilitate barter and enabled commerce to flourish. History shows otherwise.
Anecdotal Evidence

Annuities that Pay Cash Back Rewards

Gainbridge, a insur-tech startup, aims to sell fixed deferred and period certain income annuities online. Its sister company, Relay, uses annuities to fund cash back rewards cards. Both firms are part of Group1001 (formerly Delaware Life Holdings).
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Anecdotal Evidence

Zone Therapy

"Everything you have read in this book so far guides you in one direction: ignore the popular wisdom and hype. Design your own 'personal' pension for your retirement." So begins Chapter 41 of Jim Otar's book, which is reprinted here.
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Anecdotal Evidence

AIG and ING Sell Units to Raise Cash

Both firms are divesting major subsidiaries to pay back billions extended to them by the U.S. and Dutch governments, respectively.
Anecdotal Evidence

Sun Life VA Sales Up 35% At Mid-Year

Sun Life was the fifteenth largest seller of variable annuities in the U.S. in the first half of 2009, with $1.4 billion in sales and a 2.3% share of the VA market.
Anecdotal Evidence

U.S. Life Settlements Activity Flat in 2008

“The economic crisis was the major impediment to growth in the United States life settlements market in 2008," said Scott Hawkins, analyst at Conning.
Anecdotal Evidence

The Abnormal Is the Norm

Does anyone really coast smoothly into retirement? Not guys like my friend Mark, the brilliant engineer. He married at 40, was laid off at 55, and now, at 62, is scrambling to put two kids through elite private colleges. The abnormal is the new norm.