Author Archives: Todd Howell

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9 Ways to Approach Retirement Debt-free

Should you be worried about your existing credit card debts as you march on to retirement? Yes, you should because carrying debt in retirement is a no-no.

Your credit card debt can make your retirement life utterly miserable. The stress related to the debt along with the costly medical bills can ruin your life in retirement. Unfortunately, 70% of baby boomers are in credit card debt and not sure that they will ever be able to get out of it. Because they didn’t try to pay off their pre-retirement debt.


How can you ditch your outstanding credit card bills to enjoy debt-free retirement?


  1. Start living within your means

Most of the people are now living beyond their means. They consider credit card as a free money. To fulfill their wishes, they swipe their credit cards randomly and are not bother to pay the bills on time. As a result, they fall into credit card debt traps.

The habit of using credit cards recklessly prevents them to grow savings or make investments to secure their retirement.

Thus, people have no other choice to live with credit card debts and carry the debt to their retirement.

So, you should be careful about your spending nature right now. If you are nearing retirement, then ditch all the unnecessary expenses to save as much as possible. It will help you to make lump sum payments to your credit card debts.

By doing so, you can get out of your credit card debt before you retire. Isn’t it great!


  1. Avoid signing up for credit cards randomly

Credit card companies in the market sell their credit cards by featuring various offers and rewards. You shouldn’t sign up for multiple credit cards to grab the offers.

Shop around to compare the prices and interest rates between different credit cards before you decide to purchase one. This will help you choose the best credit card as per your needs.


  1. Avoid ignoring the credit card bills

The major drawback of using a credit card is that you are charged high-interest rate if you cannot pay off your outstanding credit card balances on time. Thus, it is important to pay the credit card bills in full and within the stipulated time. This habit will help you to stay debt free forever.


  1. Pay off your credit card debt as soon as possible

Try to pay off your existing credit card debts as early as possible before you retire. Ignoring credit card debt can damage your credit score and create many other financial issues.

You can either pay off your credit card debt by making larger payments or opt for a professional debt relief service.

You can also use your tax return to make larger debt payments to become credit card debt free sooner.


  1. Convince your creditors for lower interest rate


If you have maintained your credit card properly, you can qualify for a lower interest rate for your current outstanding balance. Try to talk to your creditor by saying the financial hardship that you are facing to get a reduced interest rate. It will help you to pay off your current debt easily.


  1. Take advantages of 0% interest rate card to pay off your debt


If you have excessive credit card debts to pay off, you can transfer your credit card balances to a card, which has an introductory 0% interest rate.

After you transfer your outstanding balance to that card, you should pay off the balance within the introductory rate period to avoid paying a high-interest rate.


  1. Review your credit card statements and credit report


You should check your credit card statements on a regular basis. It will help you to understand whether or not there is any sign of fraud or illicit purchase. If you notice any unauthenticated or mischevious charge, contact your credit card company as soon as possible. Equally, you have to check your credit report time to time.


A single error in a credit report can hurt your credit score. You should dispute the error with the 3 major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion).


  1. Cashing in your life insurance policy

If you are nearing retirement and drowning in debt, then you can consider borrowing from your cash-value permanent life insurance policy to pay off your existing credit card debts. However, to get the benefit, you must have a cash-value life insurance policy, not a term policy. You can utilize a part of the cash value to become debt free and still leave apart of cash accumulation balance for retirement income.


  1. Avoid using credit cards randomly


You should use your credit cards when you face an emergency situation. You should change the habit of swapping your credit cards every time you feel to do so like purchasing groceries, school supplies, and party supplies. This will result in increasing your debt problems.

Credit cards are said to be the essential needs of the people when you need cash in an unexpected situation. Avoid using it every time you have a shortage of cash.

Lastly, you should try to grow your savings to enjoy your retirement days wholeheartedly. Don’t rely on the Social Security benefit solely. Manage your money efficiently so that you can avoid falling into debt problems in your retirement.

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Firefighters of Southern Nevada Burn Foundation

Imagine waking up in the middle of the night to discover your house filled with smoke and flames. Then imagine discovering that your kids are trapped by flames. By the time you reach them, they are severely burned. Their pain is immense. This pain will last for months while they undergo many surgeries and bandage changes. Their lives will be changed forever.

According to the Firefighters of Southern Nevada Burn Foundation, “each year, thousands of children receive traumatic burns throughout the USA. In Las Vegas alone, the scars caused by burns affect hundreds of our kids each year.”

The Burn Foundation’s role and mission is crucial for many families in our local community. It takes the lead in aiding burn victims and their families after catastrophic fires. This includes assisting with funeral costs when necessary. The Foundation continues giving support to these families during the holidays when cheer and happiness is really needed.

To help kids return to a somewhat normal life, they are able to attend a burn camp. These camps help kids learn how to deal with the physical and psychological aspects that burns bring. Attending camps with other burn victims allows kids to bond with others that have gone through the same horrific ordeal. This bonding time allows them to understand that they’re not alone.

The Firefighters of Southern Nevada Burn Foundation is able to provide assistance to burn victims because of charitable donations. It is the financial support from loving donors that allows kids in our community to endure and recover from tragic burns. Every dollar donated will be put to work in our community.

Although funds are desperately needed now, to leave a legacy and make your money go even further, you can designate the Firefighters of Southern Nevada Burn Foundation as a beneficiary of your life insurance policy. Using life insurance proceeds as a contribution allows you to make a huge impact for a fraction of the cost. To help even more, one of the life insurance providers we use at Universal Retirement, will also contribute an additional 2% of any death benefit designated to the Burn Foundation.

When you are considering gifting monies to such a wonderful organization as the Firefighters of Southern Nevada Burn Foundation please also consider making your estate go further by using life insurance to leave even more. This will help more burn victims in our community recover with the loving care they deserve.

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Reaching Every Goal Starts by Taking Action

Category : Finance , Retirement

If you want to accomplish your goals you need to start by taking action. Watch Todd Howell and James Bischoff discuss how taking action may affect your retirement. Take Action Video


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together, we can feed everyone. Using life insurance to make your donations go further.

I have to admit that I always thought that volunteering in a food bank meant I’d be putting hot food on a tray for an unfortunate homeless person. A visit to a food bank in Florida and then Three Square in Las Vegas sure opened my eyes. As the Three Square website explains, “Hungry does not mean homeless. It may surprise you to learn that, every day, working parents in Southern Nevada face an unthinkable choice between feeding their families and paying the bills.” In fact, one in seven people in southern Nevada struggle with hunger. That is a staggering number considering the prosperity that abounds in Las Vegas.

Through community partners, Three Square was able to reach nearly 140,000 individuals struggling with hunger each month in 2016. Three Square is an amazing and very efficient food collection, preparation, and distribution center in Las Vegas. Their efficiency means they can turn a $1 donation into 3 meals. The best grocery store shoppers can’t even come close to that ratio. In fact, Three Square is so efficient, 94.1% of all donations and revenue go directly into their food and distribution programs. 3.7% of revenue is spent on fundraising efforts, and administration expenses are only 2.2%! That’s impressive! Donation money is spent very wisely and efficiently.

Donating to an organization like Three Square truly helps people in our community survive. The need is tremendous and still growing. Donations are needed every day to help those currently in need. Every $1 donated provides 3 meals. Donating $1,000 to Three Square will provide 3,000 meals. Now imagine if you could help 100,000 times more! Imagine providing 300,000 meals to those in need; how about 3,000,000 meals?! Life insurance is the way to make your money go farther. Using life insurance as a donation instrument is a way to make your money more efficient and go further than imaginable. Rather than using your cash as a donation, you can purchase a life insurance policy that will provide 4 or 5 times more money to Three Square. Purchasing a $1,000,000 life insurance policy, designating Three Square as the beneficiary, is an ideal way to create a legacy without using $1 million from your estate. Imagine how you’d feel by providing 3,000,000 meals to hungry people in southern Nevada!

To make your money go even further, one of the life insurance providers we use at Universal Retirement will also contribute an additional 2% of any death benefit designated to Three Square. That’s an extra 60,000 meals!

Let’s all help eradicate hunger in our community.


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15+ Proven Tips for Entrepreneurs

More and more people are venturing out on their own to become entrepreneurs. With global commerce available through billions of smartphones that rarely leave people’s hands, it’s easier to conduct business today than ever before. In fact, it may be the best time ever for someone to start a new business.

If you’re thinking of becoming an entrepreneur, here’s a list of 15 proven tips that every successful business owner needs to consider.

  1. Get a Coach or Mentor – Learn from the expertise of others
  2. Know Your Niche – Become and expert in your specific field
  3. Knowledge – Learn everything there is to know
    •      Products
    •      Industry
    •      Tax Laws
    •      Competition
    •      Allies to work with
  4. Business Plan – Don’t wing it. Create a roadmap to follow
    •      Cash Flow, Cash Flow, Cash Flow
    •      Keep your cash liquid
  5. Business Structure – Decide what business structure is best for you
    •      Sole Proprietorship
    •      Partnership
    •      C Corporation
    •      S Corporation
    •      Limited Liability Company
  6. Business Taxes – Don’t forget to pay Uncle Sam, but don’t pay more than you have to
    •      Reduce Your Taxes
  7. Separate Personal & Business Finances – Remember, your business is not your personal piggy bank
  8. Know Your Strengths and Weaknesses – Be confident in your abilities, admit your weaknesses
  9. Know Your Clients – Understand who your target audience is
    •      CRM software
    •      Know Your Client’s Needs
  10. Marketing – Market Yourself
  11. Track & Analyze
  12. Always Evolve
  13. Don’t get Discouraged
  14. Remember the Benefits of Business Ownership
  15. Put your money into a financial product that keeps your money working for you all of the time

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Tired of Paying Taxes?! We have a solution!

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Know your retirement savings will never stop growing, Learn how to use retirement savings to increase your income when you turn on income, never run out of money retirement planning is real and costs less than stock variable accounts, permanent life insurance myths about investment values are untrue, it’s the only investment guaranteed in event to happen that pays on average 4-5 times or more what it cost you. Many facts you should know are available with a no-obligation, free consultation right here! Take advantage of your future today contact us now, time does not stop and every day you are not using the right plan is another day you could be living happier in retirement!

Schedule your no obligation consultation today click HERE

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Are You Gambling With Your Retirement?



Joe and Andy were childhood friends, and they kept their friendship alive all through their lives. They didn’t move far from their hometown, and they always made time for each other, playing poker once a week for 25 years, going on fishing trips together, and attending football games at their local high school.

They were good buddies, but although they shared a lot in their lives, they didn’t share the same approach to saving for retirement. Joe was a long term thinker, and he gave a lot of thought to his retirement. He put as much of his pay as he could into his 401k plan, and he managed to diversify into real estate, annuities, and even a cash value life insurance plan that would provide a tax-free income. He lived modestly, and didn’t buy much on credit, because he didn’t want to be in debt.

Andy couldn’t be bothered with that. He never had a budget in his life, and he always bought whatever he wanted. He lived in a bigger house than he could afford, and he traded in his cars every two years for a newer, more expensive model. He borrowed against his 401k and never put aside anything extra. When he got laid off in his 50s, he never found another job with the same pay or benefits, and he dipped into his retirement fund to finance his lifestyle.

When Joe and Andy turned 65, their lives were very different. Joe and his wife Susan were able to start receiving income from their annuities and life insurance policy, so they were able to buy a vacation home. They had enough money to live comfortably in both of their properties, plus take a couple of vacation trips each year.

Andy and his wife Diane had only Social Security to live on, and they had to move to a smaller house, sell one of their cars, and cut back in every area of their lives. Andy even had to stop playing poker with Joe every week, because he didn’t have the money for it!

In poker terms, Joe and Andy played their cards differently, and that made all the difference in their retirements!

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The Term Life Insurance Lie

Category : Retirement

I am sick and tired of hearing that people should buy term insurance and invest the difference. Term insurance can be very affordable, but I am constantly talking to people who bought a term life insurance policy 20 or 30 years ago and they don’t have the retirement savings they had hoped for (mainly because they lost money in the stock market or because they couldn’t afford to save enough each month). Now when they are 30 years older (and often in worse health) they are left without life insurance to pass on wealth to their loved ones, nor do they have the large savings they had dreamed of.

Most people are shocked at the cost of life insurance when they are in their 50’s or 60’s! Rarely do young people inquire about life insurance premiums for 60 year olds. If they did, it may change their outlook on whether it’s smart to pay a little more to start a permanent life insurance policy that will last their entire life. If a permanent policy is structured correctly, premiums may only need to be paid until the age of 60. Then you essentially have free coverage for the rest of your life! In many cases, the life insurance policy can also pay you back once you get to retirement age! Then you have paid up life insurance AND another source of Tax-Free income during the retirement years. You’ll never see a term policy do that!

Don’t even get me started on people that rely on GoFundMe accounts to pay for funeral expenses…

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Does Your Company Retirement Plan Attract the Best Employees?

Job seekers are always on the prowl for employers that offer not only a good salary package, but also an attractive range of fringe benefits. Among the employee benefits that tend to appeal to the majority of job seekers are health insurance, stock options and company sponsored retirement plans. Retirement plans may be particularly attractive because at the back of every job seeker’s mind, is the dream of eventually enjoying a comfortable life after a successful career. The idea of working for an organization that offers the best retirement plan can be a deal breaker for the discerning job-seeker.

As a small or medium-sized business, you may have trouble attracting the right talent because your business may not be able to offer competitive monetary compensation. However, you could still woo the best talent by offering an attractively packaged company sponsored retirement plan. Tax Deferred options may help employees reduce their tax liabilities and an after tax plan option may work for others. A Roth 401(k), Roth IRA, or Insurance Contract may be ideal for your company. These allow employees to accumulate retirement savings and not have to worry about taxes being deducted when withdrawals are made during retirement years. In addition, employees may withdraw funds penalty-free at any time. This feature may be appealing to job-seekers since it gives them the opportunity to access cash if they ever find themselves in an emergency or in need of a lump sum for making a down payment on a home or paying for their children’s college. As an employer, you can attract the best talent simply by offering the right retirement plan package.

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Saving Your Acorns


Squirrels have a pretty good retirement plan, if you think about it. While other animals — like, for instance, the crows — are living the carefree, party-hearty lifestyle all summer and fall, the smart little squirrels are gathering acorns and storing them for the winter months.

That’s why they can curl up in their trees and play canasta all winter, while the crows have to search for odd bits of seeds in the snow all winter long, and complain about their arthritis.

A lot of people are the opposite of squirrels. They go along from day to day not thinking much about the future, because, well, there’s just too much going on in the present to keep them busy.

But that’s a mistake, and here’s why.

Retirement. Yes, there’s a time in either the near or far future when we will reach the end of our working life, and we’ll want to have enough acorns put away to weather the winter of our lives. Sorry if this is getting too poetic, but you get the point.

It’s that it’s never too early to start planning for a happy, healthy retirement, and actually sooner is much better than later. The future is not easy to predict, but one thing that’s pretty certain is that the cost of living is bound to go up, and certain other costs — like healthcare, for example — will go up faster than the average.

If you want to have enough money on hand to pay for all those increased costs, it’s essential to start saving for retirement now.

At Universal Retirement we can help you do that. Call us today at 702-400-4500 to learn the best way to save your acorns.

We’re very good with acorns.

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