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The Principal Financial Group

The Principal Financial Group may be the company to beat when it comes to protective and monetary investments. For one, Principal Financial probably has the widest array of savings plans to offer. It has seven investment streams for growing funds, not yet counting the various options available in each. Briefly, these product offerings are the following.

Individual Retirement Account or IRA

This investment stream allows you to save for when you can no longer be part of America's workforce. There are basically three types under Principal Financial: Traditional IRA, in which you grow your investment while working, with the added benefit of deducting your contributions in your annual tax returns; Principal Rollover Choice IRA, where you can maintain your savings while changing jobs or in transition from one employment to another; and, Roth IRA, which allows you to make withdrawals from your savings without additional tax burdens. All three types are tax-deferred.

Mutual Funds

The Principal Financial Group offers different share types to its clients. This allows investors to participate in first-rate and competitive business investments. Ventures in Mutual Funds are handled by financial professionals of the group's affiliates or brokerage firms. As an added benefit when investing with Principal, any earning can be applied to finance an IRA or other investment options.

Annuities

This is another way to save for your future. Like a pension, an annuity gives you periodic cash benefits during your retirement years. With Principal, there are several options to choose from as customers have different needs, and income benefits are flexible. Any program you decide on will ensure that you are provided for in your old age, and some even guarantee death benefits.

Savings Accounts

The Principal Financial Group likewise offers a safe and secure way to grow your money through its affiliate company, the Principal Bank. There are three types of savings account to choose from: Regular Savings, which gives a guaranteed fixed-rate interest; Money Market Savings, which offers higher interest rates for bigger savings, with a minimum deposit of $2,500; and Advantage Savings, which also offers higher interest rates for bigger savings, with a minimum deposit of $25,000. Withdrawal conditions for each vary, with the frequency of withdrawals affecting the rate of earnings.

Certificates of Deposits or CDs

Similar to the Savings Account but with higher fixed-interest returns, CDs are for the serious saver. Unlike the regular bank accounts, CDs cannot be withdrawn until its maturity, which is the time you have agreed to keep your deposit with the bank. Failure to do so will result in penalties and will usually mean less money than you have originally invested. But since the CD's expiry date is determined by the depositor, this is an extremely low-risk investment with a good promise of return.

Coverdell Education Savings Account

With the children as our future, what better way to invest in them than through their education? The Coverdell Savings Account lets you save for your children, while you rest in the fact that your savings grow tax-free (until you withdraw it, although there are expenses that are tax-exempt). There is a limit, however, of $2,000 annual contribution per child. The savings can be applied to cover school expenses in elementary, secondary, or post-secondary.

529 Plans

This is a state-sponsored savings plan to help fund higher education expenses. The beneficiary, who is the student, cannot access the money, to ensure that the savings go to its intended purpose. This investment plan has tax benefits, one of which is that a 529 Plan is considered federally tax-free.

Aside from these, the Principal Financial Group has three main divisions for insurance, each with its comprehensive line-up of options.

Life Insurance

A Life Insurance covers the policyholder in accidental death, thereby ensuring that his family or beneficiaries continue to be provided for. Principal offers four main types of Life Insurance: Universal Life, which does not expire after a certain period of time (unlike Term) while also earning cash values that may be applied to cover the premium; Variable Universal, which has the flexibility of the Universal Insurance, but has an added benefit of possibly earning more interest as investment growth is tied to market performance; Survivorship, which is generally subscribed to by couples; and Term, which is time-bound, after which the policy benefits and coverage expire.

Disability Insurance

With this insurance, one protects himself in the event of a debilitating accident or illness. The Individual Disability Income Insurance gives the policyholder a monthly benefit, which is a portion of his income when he was still able to work, to help defray his living expenses. Another product is Principal's Disability Income Retirement Security. This is an investment vehicle that allows one to save for his retirement despite being unable to work as a result of an incapacitating illness or accident.

Estate Planning

This basically entails securing the policyholder's assets after the policyholder's death, and reducing inheritance taxes and distribution expenses. To ensure that your property and resources go where you really intend them to, Principal offers the following plans: Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts or ILITs, wherein the policyholder's life insurance is used to pay for the estate taxes and expenses; Private Split Dollar and Charitable Trusts, which essentially provide estate tax protection; and Principal Annuity Legacy and Principal IRA Exchange, both of which are Principal Financials trademark offering, that basically leverages life insurance for tax-deferred annuities.

As if these are not extensive enough, the company has a separate Planning Center where an individual can concretely visualize his financial goals and thereby create the most suitable investment and/or insurance plan for himself. These are hallmarks of a serious financial group, and the carefully planned-out investment system of Principal Financial attests to the company's earnestness in providing the best savings path for its clients. Without a doubt, Principal Financial Group takes your financial dreams seriously.