Protecting Your Assets During Challenging Business Times


If you’re like many small business owners, it may not feel like much of a recovery, at least yet. Actually, this could still be the most dangerous time for businesses, with resources cut to the bone and few reserves remaining in the emergency root cellar. All the more reason to cinch that belt one notch tighter, plan for the future, and take steps to protect your assets, during the lean times that may remain while the recovery picks up momentum.

Now is the time to develop a four-step strategy that brings your business through the next few months and positions it for growth as the economy strengthens.

1. Protect Your Customer Base

Your customers are vital assets. They provide the cash to make everything else happen. Take steps to keep them.

Start with some creative, short-term marketing to keep cash flowing for the next several months. First of all, advertise, so your customers know you’re still there. Call or write preferred customers (and today they’re all preferred customers) to thank them for past business and remind them that you’re still there for them. Invite them to drop by for a cup of coffee. Consider short-term price reductions. No business owner likes to discount products or services, but if one of your customers is looking to lower expenses, it may be better to offer a reduction yourself than find out that he or she went elsewhere.

2. Protect Your Employee

Do what it takes to retain quality employees, your greatest business assets. They’ve stayed with you this long: don’t let them slip away now.

First, do not cut pay or benefits. They’ll think your ship is sinking and they may jump. Instead, consider expanding your benefit package. No, you don’t need to do it right now. Instead, look at future benefits. Now may be an ideal time to explore 401(k) or other qualified plan options. Do your homework today. Then, if you like, defer the actual implementation until later in the year. This strategy gives your employees a vision for the future. Plus, it boosts their faith that there will be a future.

Also, now is the time to consider a benefit designed to retain select key employees by utilizing a form of deferred compensation known as “golden handcuffs.” The concept is simple: Using a written agreement, select employees agree to remain with your company until retirement or some other specified period of time. In exchange, they are promised additional compensation to be paid at a later date. (Or, if they die prematurely, their family is promised a life insurance benefit.) This can be a valuable way to retain top performers.

 3. Protect Your Business Infrastructure and Long-term Plans

Draft or update your buy-sell agreement for the eventual transfer of your company at your own retirement or death. Also, look at key executive insurance to help protect your company from loss if a valued employee should die prematurely.

4. Protect Your Company’s and Your Family’s Investment in You

While it’s not polite to brag, you are your business’s greatest business asset, the linchpin that holds everything together. So, protect yourself. Review your company’s life insurance program. That way, if something happens to you, your business and your family will be financially protected.

Data and information is provided for informational purposes only, and is not intended for solicitation or trading purposes. Please consult your tax and legal advisors regarding your individual situation.


Posted by Troy Barrow, LUTCF – Troy is an independent Agent practicing professionally for six years and is the owner of Arlington Insurance Planning Services, licensed in the States of New York and New Jersey. You may contact Troy at 646 580-5189 or


Working Women, Look to the future…

Successful Professional Woman

Working Women:

Make Sure the Future Is Taken Care Of…

We all find it hard to plan for the long term, yet women face some unique challenges when it comes to planning for the future. Everyone needs to address the reality of living longer – and spending more years in retirement – but females tend to live even longer than their male counterparts. On top of that, there are valid reasons why some women may not be in a position to properly prepare for their financial future. To begin with, many women are still employed in settings that don’t offer retirement plans to employees. Also, many women leave the workforce to take care of their family for some time. They may have to work even harder and longer later in life to make up for the resulting “gaps” in income and pension coverage.

Make Saving for Retirement a Priority

The importance of preparing for the financial future applies whether you’re a single or married woman. The good news is that it’s never too late – or too early – to begin. If you are currently working, see how much you can afford to set aside each month. It is important not to fall into the trap of postponing retirement planning or leaving it solely up to a spouse.

Any financial planning decisions also should take into consideration what would happen in the event of divorce or widowhood. Although no one likes to think about these possibilities, the odds tell us that we must. According to the Women’s Institute for a Secure Retirement, nearly 30% of older (65+) single women – those who were never married or were divorced or widowed – are poor or near poor.[1]

 Timing Is Everything

There are all kinds of financial products on the market that can help you accumulate funds for the future. One very important and popular product is fixed annuities, which also offer tax-deferred growth. Fixed annuities are popular in helping women address their needs. There are several solid reasons for this choice.

Fixed annuities are flexible, tax-deferred vehicles that can be used to help achieve long-term financial goals and provide a source of retirement income. There are several distinct advantages to investing in fixed annuities. With a deferred fixed annuity, the money you put in accumulates tax-deferred, which means that taxes are paid only when you withdraw the money, not as your earnings grow. (Any withdrawals made prior to age 59 ½ may be subject to a 10% IRS penalty tax.)  This may allow your money to accumulate much faster than it might in a comparable, currently taxable investment.

In addition, a fixed annuity can provide you with flexibility. With many fixed annuities, you can add to your policy as your finances permit, and you can even arrange for systematic contributions to be deducted directly from your checking account. Lastly, many fixed annuities offer a guaranteed death benefit feature that may allow the annuity proceeds to be passed on to your loved ones outside of your estate. Similar to this in some regards is the use of permanent life insurance which offers many similar benefits which can add versatility to your game plan in dealing with the current and future economic climate.

Take Control of Your Future retirement in reach

Fixed annuities are designed to help you accumulate money for your retirement, but they can also help meet your needs during many stages of your life. For women – who are at greater risk for poverty during their retirement years – it is especially crucial to start planning now. Fixed annuities can help provide the peace of mind and security you need for the future – so you can concentrate on today.

For more information on how fixed annuities and life insurance can help you prepare for your retirement, please contact Troy Barrow, Arlington Insurance Planning Services at (646) 580-5189 or

[1] Impact of Retirement Risk on Women, Women’s Institute for a Secure Retirement in conjunction with the Society of Actuaries, October, 2006.