A thorough understanding of your current situation is critical to determine what opportunities are available to you. Our process is designed to put your retirement into perspective by analyzing all of your circumstances as a collective unit, identifying the pros and cons of your available options, distinguishing between your needs and wants, and determining the rate at which you’ll be able to spend in retirement.
Your financial circumstances, personal situation, or retirement goals will change over time. Recent market volatility may also have adversely affected your portfolio, making a fresh look important. We’ll help you consider what adjustments might be appropriate, now and ongoing.
Tax reduction presents the greatest opportunity for increasing one’s lifetime resources. Period. Where you save your money, and where you draw it from later on can, by itself, make or break the success of your strategy. Below are some common retirement investments and key considerations for withdrawing your money:
TAXABLE ACCOUNTS- (i.e., brokerage, savings and checking accounts)
These accounts are funded with after-tax dollars, and produce taxable income or capital gains. One of their most valuable features is the flexibility they offer. That is, you can put as much money as you want in them, and draw it out whenever, and for whatever you want.
TAX-DEFERRED PLANS (i.e., Traditional IRA’s, 401(k)’s, 403(b)’s, and deferred compensation and pension plans)
The money you put in these accounts is not included in your current taxable income, but you are required to begin withdrawing it at age 70½ and pay the taxes then on your contributed amount and also on the investment earnings. Postponing taxation on a portion of your income into the future may make sense, but accumulating all or most of your retirement resources in these types of accounts can severely limit tax planning flexibility.
TAX FREE- (i.e., Roth IRA and 401(k), permanent Life insurance, and municipal bonds)
Tax must be paid on the money used to fund these types of accounts before being contributed, but when structured properly, the investment earnings can be withdrawn tax free. This can be a very powerful tool.
Many want to fund a comfortable retirement while still allocating funds to leave an inheritance for family or charity. But your first priority should be to ensure your expenses can be met before leaving a financial legacy.
We can assist with estate and legacy planning, including helping to optimize your assets, minimize tax implications, and determine the course most appropriate to your situation. We can also help select effective vehicles to implement your plans.
Planning for Social Security
Social Security is one of the few sources of retirement income that is both guaranteed for life and adjusted for inflation. For most Americans, it will represent a significant portion of their retirement income. Deciding how and when to start drawing benefits can have a huge impact on your total income, and thus your lifestyle throughout retirement, so it’s especially important to understand the options available to you.
Here are some of the important factors to consider when approaching the decision around when to begin taking Social Security:
- Your health and life expectancy
- Your spouse’s or ex-spouse’s benefit
- Whether or not you plan to work after age 62
- Your taxable income or other income sources in retirement
Before age 70, the longer you wait to begin the benefit, the larger your monthly benefit will be, and the larger the cost of living adjustment increases will be. Our extensive training and experience in this area lends itself to helping you maximize this important resource.
Managing Risk and Cost
Regardless of your age or your financial situation, every investment decision entails some sort of risk and cost. We will work with you to identify the cost factors and risks most relevant to your situation and help you mitigate them, including:
Longer life expectancy means your assets have to last longer. You have to consider the possibility of living 20 or 30 years after you retire.
For example, health insurance premiums and prescription costs are rapidly increasing. In retirement, this could increase your cost of living, erode the value of your savings and reduce your purchasing power.
SPENDING AND WITHDRAWALS
Overspending, living beyond your means or withdrawing more than the recommended percentage from your retirement funds can adversely affect how long your assets last.
Market declines and the timing of these declines pose risks. How and where your assets are allocated across different asset classes plays a key role in managing this risk.
Major health events, disability, long-term care needs and other unexpected occurrences can complicate a retirement plan.
Contact us for more information on how we’ll work together to help address these risks by applying a comprehensive process to plan your retirement.
Americans are living longer. Modern medicine and increased longevity are a wonder, but living longer without running out of money requires thoughtful planning, especially as healthcare costs rise. The fact is, even with insurance and Medicare, out-of-pocket healthcare costs in retirement can be expensive, with the potential to derail even the best-laid plans. Understanding means testing and other potential costs, evaluating your options and developing a comprehensive strategy that accounts for those expenses can help you achieve a secure, comfortable retirement.
Costs to take into consideration:
- Medicare premiums, deductibles and copays
- Supplemental coverage costs
- Prescription copays
- Hearing, dental and vision costs
- Long-term care insurance
- Other out-of-pocket expenses
Contact us to learn more about how healthcare costs could affect your overall retirement income plan.