Financial Services

One simple call. A number of available solutions.

Preparing for retirement should create excitement, not concern. Yet for many, that’s not necessarily the case.

According to a recent study, 60 percent of pre-retirees do not have a plan for how much money they will spend each year in retirement and where that money will come from.1 Additionally, three in four Americans remain highly anxious about their overall retirement outlook.2
That’s where we come in.

We use insurance products, such as fixed annuities, and a variety of investment products to help you build financial strategies. From tax-efficient strategies to investment advice to protecting some of your assets — we’ll cover as many bases as possible to help you create a strategy that supports your retirement lifestyle and long-term financial goals.

1 Greenwald & Associates. Society of Actuaries. January 2016. “2015 Risks and Process of Retirement Survey.” https://www.soa.org/Files/Research/Projects/research-2015-full-risk-report-final.pdf.

2 The National Institute on Retirement Security. March 2015. “Retirement Security 2015: Roadmap for Policy Makers – Americans’ Views of the Retirement Crisis.” https://www.nirsonline.org/storage/nirs/documents/2015%20Opinion%20Resea
rch/final_opinion_research_2015.pdf.


Wealth Accumulation Strategies

Time could be on your side when it comes to investing.

Generally speaking, the longer you invest the more potential your money has to grow. If you are still trying to recover from losses in recent years and you’re looking to get back on track to accumulating wealth, you may want to consider a more aggressive asset allocation with at least a portion of your money. However, those who’ve lost in the stock market may sometimes be a little more wary of approaches that increase their market risks.

If that sounds like you, there are more conservative investment options available that provide the potential for wealth accumulation. Using these investment options in conjunction with insurance contracts such as annuities can help you design a more conservative retirement strategy. After all, the last thing you want to do in retirement is lose more ground during another market correction.


Complete Income Tax Preparation

If taxes rise in the future, will it cut into your retirement savings?

Rising taxes may be a concern for anyone — especially for individuals approaching retirement. Having a solid strategy in place for how you will pay taxes on your retirement income can be an important component to living on a fixed income and avoiding surprises come tax time.

Investing in or purchasing a tax-deferred vehicle means your money can compound interest for years, without paying current income taxes, potentially allowing it to earn interest at a faster rate. Tax-deferred vehicles only allow you to defer paying income taxes until the money is withdrawn — presumably during retirement when you may be in a lower tax bracket. However, few financial vehicles avoid taxes altogether.

Because tax-deferred vehicles are generally designed to help individuals work toward specific long-term goals, there may be restrictions on when money can be withdrawn without penalty. Early withdrawals may be subject to charges and fees. Withdrawals prior to age 59 ½ may be subject to a 10 percent federal additional tax.

Our firm is not permitted to offer, and no statement contained herein shall constitute, legal advice. You should consult a legal professional on any such matters.


Long-Term Care

Who will take care of you if you are unable to care for yourself?

As the oldest baby boomers begin to wind through their 70s, one of the biggest concerns may not be outliving income, but outliving good health. With at-home care services averaging $20 per hour1 and assisted living facility costs averaging $3,600 per month,2 it’s understandably daunting. Does your retirement income strategy account for this kind of possibility? Would you be prepared for twice that amount as a married couple?

Considering that you could have to reduce your financial means before Medicaid will pay for long-term care and neither your employer group health insurance nor major medical insurance will cover long-term care, you may want to consider planning ahead for these potential expenses.

We can help evaluate your situation and determine what kinds of products could fit into a comprehensive long-term care strategy, one that is suited to your needs and circumstances.

1Genworth Financial. March 2015. “Genworth 2015 Cost of Care Survey.”
https://www.genworth.com/dam/Americas/US/PDFs/Consumer/corporate/130568_040115_gnw.pdf
Accessed Aug. 17, 2015.
2Ibid. The 2011 Market Survey of Long-Term Care Costs


IRA Legacy Planning

What will your legacy be?

IRA accounts have become one of the largest types of assets inherited by loved ones. If you don’t anticipate needing your IRA money in retirement, you may wish to consider a legacy planning strategy that potentially reduces taxes and increases the payout your beneficiaries will receive upon your death.

You may want to use some of the value in your IRA to provide your beneficiaries with a regular stream of income while leaving the balance of IRA assets invested for tax-deferred growth. The result may yield substantially more money paid out over the course of your beneficiaries’ lifetimes.

We can help you evaluate your financial situation to determine if IRA legacy planning could help you, and we can work with attorneys and tax professionals to help you meet your goal of structuring a long-lasting inheritance for your loved ones.

Our firm is not permitted to offer, and no statement contained herein shall constitute, legal advice. You should consult a legal professional on any such matters.

Life Insurance

Life insurance isn’t for you — it’s for those you leave behind.

If helping loved ones maintain a standard of living, and avoid financial hardships after your passing is a priority for you, life insurance products can help. A general rule is that you may want to seek coverage between five and seven times your gross annual income. As far as the various types of policies go, they can generally be placed into one of two categories: term and permanent.

Term insurance generally provides coverage for a specified period of time and pays out a specified amount of coverage to your beneficiaries only if you die within that time period. A permanent insurance policy, on the other hand, will stay permanently in effect for the rest of your life, as long as premiums continue to be paid.


Annuities

If you’ve ever worried about outliving your retirement savings, you’re not alone.

A recent study found that 67 percent of Americans indicated they would be willing to give up smaller pay increases in exchange for steady and reliable income in retirement. In the same study, 78 percent said the disappearance of pensions has made it harder to achieve the American dream.1

With pension offerings on the decline, you may want to consider a fixed income component to your financial strategy. In short, adding an annuity may be an opportunity to help ensure a portion of your retirement income will be guaranteed.

What is an annuity?

An annuity is a contract you purchase from an insurance company. For the premium you pay, you receive certain fixed and/or variable interest crediting options able to compound tax deferred until withdrawn. When you are ready to receive income distributions, this vehicle offers a variety of guaranteed payout options — some even for life.

Most annuities have provisions that allow you to withdraw a percentage of the value of the contract each year up to a certain limit. However, withdrawals will reduce the contract value and the value of any protected benefits. Excess withdrawals above the restricted limit typically incur “surrender charges” within the first five to 15 years of the contract. Because they are designed as a long-term retirement income vehicle, annuity withdrawals made before age 59 ½ are subject to a 10 percent penalty fee, and all withdrawals may be subject to income taxes.

1 The National Institute on Retirement Security. “Retirement Security 2015: Roadmap for Policy Makers – Americans’ Views of the Retirement Crisis.” March 2015. http://www.nirsonline.org/storage/nirs/documents/2015 Opinion Research/final_opinion_research_2015.pdf.>


IRA & 401(K) Assets

What’s the best way to handle old IRAs and 401(k)s?

When you change jobs or retire, there are four things you can generally do with the assets in any employer-sponsored retirement plan:

  1. Leave the money where it is
  2. Take the cash (and pay income taxes and perhaps a 10% federal penalty tax if you are younger than age 59½ )
  3. Transfer the money to another employer plan (if the new plan allows)
  4. Roll the money over into an IRA

Rolling over from one qualified plan to another qualified plan allows your money to continue growing tax-deferred until you receive distributions in retirement. We can help you determine if a rollover is the right move for you.


 

Referred Services

In addition to the above services, we can refer you to professionals or work with your preferred professionals to address your needs for:

Trusts, Probate, Charitable Giving, Estate Planning


Estate Planning

What will happen to your assets when you’re gone?

Estate planning is simply determining (while you’re still alive) where your assets should go after you die. Without a properly structured estate plan, your wishes may not be fulfilled, and there may be unintended consequences for your loved ones.

While the concept may seem simple, the vehicles, planning and implementation process can be rather complex. Because of the estate tax laws and the emerging vehicles to help you protect and transfer your assets effectively, it’s important to work with experienced estate planning professionals who stay current in this field and advise clients on a day-to-day basis.

We are happy to work with you and a qualified estate planning attorney to help you pass on the legacy you choose.

Our firm is not permitted to offer, and no statement contained herein shall constitute, legal advice. You should consult a legal professional on any such matters.


Trusts

What’s the best way to leave money to loved ones?

There are many different types of trusts, and they can be complex to set up and execute. However, a trust can be a very flexible and advantageous means to transfer your assets in the future. Trusts can also provide current benefits, such as tax deferral and deductions. Unlike a will, a trust may help avoid probate upon your death.

We are happy to work together with you and a qualified estate planning attorney to help you learn more about trusts and ensure they work in concert with your overall financial strategy.

Our firm is not permitted to offer, and no statement contained herein shall constitute, legal advice. You should consult a legal professional on any such matters.


Probate

A will can save your loved ones time, money and hassle.

Probate is the potentially lengthy and costly court process by which a will is proved either valid or invalid. If you do not create a will or set up a trust to transfer your property when you die, state law will determine what happens to your estate. This is called intestate.

Without a will or some other form of legal estate planning, there is the chance that your property may not go where you wish. We can refer you to a qualified estate planning attorney who can assist you in these matters.

Our firm is not permitted to offer, and no statement contained herein shall constitute, legal advice. You should consult a legal professional on any such matters.


Charitable Giving

Giving back — your way.

Creating a charitable gift-giving plan may provide you with multiple tax breaks: an income tax deduction, the avoidance of capital gains on highly appreciated assets and the reduction or elimination of estate taxes on the charitable contribution upon your death.

With changes in the tax environment, there may be compelling reasons to integrate philanthropy into your financial and estate planning.

We are happy to work with you and a qualified professional to help you decide if this is a good option for you.

Our firm is not permitted to offer, and no statement contained herein shall constitute, legal advice. You should consult a legal professional on any such matters.


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