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Here's why a variable annuity, warts and all, might be a right fit for your retirement plan

Here's why a variable annuity, warts and all, might be a right fit for your retirement plan

Finance
They're not what they used to be, but variable annuities are still a major retirement-planning tool for hundreds of thousands of Americans.These insurance contracts are reviled by many financial advisors for all the right reasons: They cost a lot, they're hard to understand and they're hard to undo once you've signed a contract. The same criticisms of variable annuity contracts, however, were valid before the financial crisis — and those contracts nonetheless helped many people survive the 50 percent plunge in the stock market."I had some clients whose retirements were saved because of [variable annuity] contracts they purchased before the financial crisis," said Marc Ruiz, a financial advisor with Oak Partners and a registered rep with SII Investments.The terms and prices of variable annu
Here's the right way to handle that big money inheritance

Here's the right way to handle that big money inheritance

Finance
What's the best way to use an inheritance?It's a question worth considering, with the U.S. on the cusp of a significant wealth transfer. Baby Boomers are poised to inherit $ 12 trillion from their parents and then in the coming decades, pass on an estimated $ 30 trillion to their own heirs.If you receive an inheritance, the first thing to do is pause, said Gail Cohen, chair of the board or directors and general trust counsel for Fiduciary Trust Company International. Take time to grieve and process the loss of your loved one."I don't think any big decisions should be made during that period of time," she said.Before you start spending, take stock of any obligations or costs around the inheritance, said Susan Bradley, a certified financial planner and the founder of the Sudden Money Institu...
Catalan referendum: Catalonia has 'won right to statehood'

Catalan referendum: Catalonia has 'won right to statehood'

World
Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont says the region has won the right to statehood following Sunday's contentious referendum which was marred by violence.He said the door had been opened to a unilateral declaration of independence.Hundreds of people were injured as Spanish police used force to try to block voting.The Spanish government had pledged to stop a poll that was declared illegal by the country's constitutional court.Police officers prevented some people from voting, and seized ballot papers and boxes at polling stations."With this day of hope and suffering, the citizens of Catalonia have won the right to an independent state in the form a republic," Mr Puigdemont said in a televised address flanked by other senior Catalan leaders."My government, in the next few days will send the res...
Top strategist Jason Trennert says the Dow may keep Trump on the right track

Top strategist Jason Trennert says the Dow may keep Trump on the right track

Finance
Top Wall Street strategist Jason Trennert said that the equity market may be just the "vigilante" needed to discipline President Donald Trump and policymakers in Washington toward legislative reform.Trennert is the founder and a manager of Strategas Research Partners, a brokerage firm focused on providing macro research to debt and equity investors. CNBC's Mike Santoli spoke with Trennert in an exclusive interview for CNBC PRO. Santoli asked him about what the market needs to keep climbing."The equity market could be the vigilante in terms of getting stuff done. In the 80s, you used to talk about the bond market vigilantes who would actually impose some discipline on policymakers if you started going crazy as far as the deficit were concerned. Now because of QE and all the rest of it, it...
5 things to do right now if you're worried about the Equifax hack

5 things to do right now if you're worried about the Equifax hack

Finance
Equifax hack: What you need to knowLet's face it. There's a good chance your personal information was exposed during the Equifax data breach. The names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses, and driver's license numbers for 143 million people may have been accessed. That kind of information could be used by someone else to open bank accounts, credit cards and loans in your name. The credit card numbers of an additional 209,000 people were also accessed. Those people will be notified directly. Everyone else must go to a website created by Equifax and submit their last name and last six digits of their Social Security number to find out if they were affected. If you're concerned about whether your information has landed in the hands of hackers, here are five things you can do ri...