Monday, June 7, 2010

Joan Aragone: Be careful of direct mailings

It's nice to be popular. Or is it?

I recently received at my home an innocuous-looking postcard mailing — one of those tear-off-and-mail-the-attached-card formats — announcing itself as an update on California long-term care.

Printed in black and white with a prepaid postage return, it looked official, as though the state were sending me information I needed to know.

An anonymous message — no name or government agency was identified — said that new legislation would limit my access to government-paid long-term care. Thus, I needed to provide long-term care insurance for myself. For more information, all I had to do was provide my signature and phone number and birth dates for myself and my spouse...

Mercury News: Joan Aragone: Be careful of direct mailings

Friday, June 4, 2010

A look at how people pay for retirement

Retirement planning isn't about "the number," but the numbers -- your assets, liabilities, expenses, and income. The more you know about those numbers, the more likely your retirement plan will become a reality instead of a pipe dream.

And a new report will help you get a better handle on at least one of those numbers: income. The average retiree depends on four sources of income in retirement, according to the latest study from the Employee Benefit Research Institute...

MarketWatch: A look at how people pay for retirement

I-Team: Annuity Lawsuit Update (Video)

A judge has dismissed some claims against a Cranston lawyer involved in a controversial annuities program...

Turn to 10: I-Team: Annuity Lawsuit Update (Video)

New York Eyes Annuity Withdrawal Disclosures

The New York State Insurance Department is drafting advice that would encourage annuity sellers to warn consumers about the dangers of taking early excess withdrawals.

Insurers that are selling annuities with guaranteed minimum withdrawal benefit features should provide disclosure “in the sales presentation before the contract is issued and again at the time an excess withdrawal is requested,” Michael Maffei, chief of the New York department’s Life Bureau, writes in a draft circular letter posted on the department’s website...

National Underwriter: New York Eyes Annuity Withdrawal Disclosures

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Franklin investor William Spencer pleads guilty in Ponzi scheme

The former Franklin investment advisor accused of mail and wire fraud in connection with an alleged $1.5 million “Ponzi” scheme is awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty in federal court.

William W. Spencer, 68, entered his guilty plea May 28 before Judge William Haynes, according to court documents. The U.S. Attorney’s office for Middle Tennessee initially charged Spencer in April with six counts of mail fraud and five counts of wire fraud, alleging that from 1997 to 2009 he borrowed or solicited nearly $1.9 million from about 100 friends, clients and investors...

Nashville BizJournals: Franklin investor William Spencer pleads guilty in Ponzi scheme

Judge Lets Claims Stand in Annuity Case

A federal judge in Rhode Island let stand some civil legal claims by two insurance companies against an estate-planning attorney and others who used newspaper ads to recruit dozens of terminally ill people for purchases of variable annuities.

The judge, in U.S. District Court in Providence, R.I., in a Wednesday ruling let stand fraud, conspiracy and other claims against the estate-planning attorney, Joseph Caramadre, and others involved in the alleged scheme. But he dismissed other claims, ruling the insurers couldn't void the annuity contracts...

WSJ: Judge Lets Claims Stand in Annuity Case

Live long and prosper with annuities

With the right genes, longevity insurance a plus

Among the many risks retirees face is living too long and outliving their money.

Of course, the first part is a risk many would welcome. It beats the alternative.

Fortunately, there is a solution in longevity insurance, better known as annuities or life annuities. These are contractual arrangements between an "annuitant" -- yourself -- and a life insurance company. In exchange for a chunk of capital paid to the insurer, a life annuity guarantees you payments for life -- even if you live to be 120 or more...

Montreal Gazette: Live long and prosper with annuities