Different types of investments

The more you know about the basics of investing — how it works, types and choices, managing risk, the right mix — the more clarity you’ll have. You’ll make more educated choices about what’s best for the life you want. 

  • An IRA is an investment account that helps you save money for retirement. And better still, it’s tax-advantaged; meaning you can reduce your taxable income now or later. Even if you already own a 401(k), an IRA can enhance your nest egg. Learn about traditional, Roth, and rollover IRAs, and what they can do to help build a retirement that’s full of promise.

  • What is an annuity? Annuities are financial products designed for retirement planning. Simply, an annuity is a contract between you and an insurance company. In return for the money you pay to buy the annuity, which is called a premium, the insurance company will provide you with a series of payments that are guaranteed to last for a period you select. An annuity could pay you for your entire life – even if you live to 120 – for your spouse’s entire life, or for a set period that you select, depending upon the type of annuity. Additionally, some annuities allow you to withdraw funds. If you’re looking forward to a comfortable retirement, you’ll likely need steady income. Learn more about variable annuities, fixed annuities, and income annuities.  

  • It doesn’t take much money to start investing. A brokerage account is an easy way to keep track of your money and take control of your financial life. It can combine multiple investments into a single account that houses all your investment assets in one place, such as stocks and bonds. You’ll have a comprehensive view of all your investments through a single monthly statement.

  • A 401(k) plan is a retirement plan that only your employer can offer. You can elect to automatically contribute a percentage (or fixed dollar amount) of your salary into the plan each pay period, and the plan may provide significant tax benefits. Many employers match some of the contributions you make to your plan. If you’re lucky enough to get matching contributions, be sure you take full advantage of that. It’s the equivalent of being given free money to add to your retirement savings. 

  • Put simply, if you were to pass away, life insurance will help protect your loved ones financially. A type of life insurance called whole life has an extra component called cash value, that can build up a significant, tax-advantaged asset, money that can be used during your lifetime. You could borrow against it, withdraw some as cash, purchase more life insurance coverage or eventually use it for retirement, while staying protected for life. 1,2,3

How to build a strong investment portfolio

Want to better understand how to invest? Select an option below to explore your options. 

  • Talk to a financial professional about investing for you and your family.

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  • It’s important to build a financial strategy that considers your business goals and objectives, and evolves with you and your business. A financial professional can help you get a step closer to achieving your financial goals.

    As a business owner, your employees rely on you. Learn how to attract and retain employees by offering benefits packages that promote their health and financial confidence.

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Investment income

What’s the difference between a traditional IRA and a Roth IRA?

If you think you might be in a lower income tax bracket when you retire, consider a traditional IRA. By contributing money that you can deduct from your income tax return, you’ll reduce your taxable income now. When you eventually withdraw money from your IRA during retirement, you may possibly have less income. So, although you’ll still be taxed on those earnings, it will likely be at a lower rate.

If your current income falls within government specified limits, and you expect to be in a higher income tax bracket at retirement, consider a Roth IRA. You will contribute to your account now with money that you‘ve already paid taxes on (after-tax contributions). Your earnings will grow federally tax-free, which should allow them to build faster. When it’s time to withdraw that money in retirement, you’ll typically be free from paying any taxes.

How can annuities help with my retirement plan?

As part of the mix in your retirement planning strategy, annuities may help you achieve a greater level of income stability, so that no matter how long you live, you won’t outlive that stream of income. If the income you receive from an annuity can cover your fixed costs, you may spend your other retirement savings with greater confidence. An income annuity can create guaranteed cash flow. Look at immediate annuities if you need income right away. If you have time, deferred income annuities might suit you better. 

How can I prepare my employees for retirement?

Retirement savings plans can help your staff save for the future. Offering a 401(k) plan is one way to make sure your employees build savings, and the contributions employees put in can reduce their taxable income. You can match a certain percentage of your employees’ contributions and help their savings accumulate faster.

How much Social Security benefits can I expect to receive?

You can check online and, based on your actual earnings record, get an estimate of how much Social Security benefits you can expect to receive. 4


This material is intended for general public use. By providing this content, The Guardian Life Insurance company of America, and their affiliates and subsidiaries are not undertaking to provide advice or recommendations for any specific individual or situation, or to otherwise act in a fiduciary capacity. Please contact a financial representative for guidance and information that is specific to your individual situation.


Guardian, its subsidiaries, agents and employees do not provide tax, legal, or accounting advice. Consult your tax, legal, or accounting professional regarding your individual situation.


Some whole life polices do not have cash values in the first two years of the policy and don’t pay a dividend until the policy’s third year. Talk to your financial professional and refer to your individual whole life policy illustration for more information


Policy benefits are reduced by any outstanding loan or loan interest and/or withdrawals. Dividends, if any, are affected by policy loans and loan interest. Withdrawals above the cost basis may result in taxable ordinary income. If the policy lapses, or is surrendered, any outstanding loans considered gain in the policy may be subject to ordinary income taxes. If the policy is a Modified Endowment Contract (MEC), loans are treated like withdrawals, but as gain first, subject to ordinary income taxes. If the policy owner is under 59 ½, any taxable withdrawal may also be subject to a 10% federal tax penalty.

Securities products and advisory services offered through Park Avenue Securities LLC (PAS), a registered broker-dealer and investment adviser.

PAS is a wholly owned subsidiary of Guardian and a member FINRASIPC

Guardian, its subsidiaries, agents, and employees do not provide tax, legal, or accounting advice. Consult your tax, legal, or accounting professional regarding your individual situation. Annuity guarantees are backed exclusively by the strength and claims paying ability of the issuing insurance company.

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