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Financial and Retirement Planning

Why do I need a written Financial Plan? 

People who set written financial goals and create plans to attain them often fare better financially. In fact, in a famous research study on goal setting conducted by Harvard Business School, graduating students who wrote their goals with a concrete plan for reaching them often made more money than other students after graduation.

Planning that brings your dreams into focus
It makes sense that the first step in achieving goals is to define them. In our financial planning process, we help you to identify what you want to achieve and then create a clear financial roadmap with short and long-term goals that reflect your values, interests and passions. Offering objective, clear advice grounded in a desire to help you thrive financially, we uncover solutions that fit your vision. We integrate essential guidance regarding taxes, insurance, social security and investments in relation to your retirement goals.

Financial planning can help you to feel more confident about your future and motivated to work towards your goals. It can offer more security and a feeling of control over your finances. Your planning can also help you to identify what you want to do during your retirement years in order to enjoy life to the fullest.

“A goal without a plan is just a wish.”— Antoine De Saint Exupery

If you are ready to plan so your goals can become a reality and not just a wish, please click below for a free consultation.

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Retirement Income Planning

Retirement income planning is a relatively new field. Our older clients—your retired parents—did not need to do much income planning. They had social security and company pensions to provide most of their income needs with extra savings marked for traveling, gifts or spoiling their grandchildren. The climate has changed dramatically for people retiring now, and especially for those 5 or more years away from retirement. Companies no longer provide pensions, and social security will be facing shortages in a not-so-distant future.

We adapt strategies to fit your situation.
There are three primary approaches to income planning: 1) the systematic withdrawal approach, 2) the income flooring approach and 3) the bucketing approach. Which one is the right approach for you? During the financial planning process, we will determine which approach meets your specific financial and psychological needs.

We will optimize your portfolio for income to cover your current living expenses and establish strategies to help it grow. We strive to make up for inflation by incorporating all income sources such as social security, pension and rental income, required minimum distributions, annuity withdrawals and more.
Proper planning can contribute to a fulfilling life, financial independence and peace of mind.

If you would like to learn more about how to maximize your retirement income, please click below.

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Corporate Retirement Plans

We design and implement systems that can enhance corporate revenue.
Most businesses rely on their employees to sell the company’s products or provide its services. They are an absolutely critical element in revenue chain in any type of business. Offering high quality retirement plans can help you to attract and retain quality employees. It can provide employees the peace of mind they seek, allowing them to focus more on productivity. By helping to alleviate employees’ financial worries, businesses can improve revenue by offering better service, increasing sales, and decreasing employee turnover, which helps them to save money on hiring and training.

Our systems provide a path to create retirement plans that fit your business and your vision. We work with you on the retirement plan side to ensure you have an efficient plan that fulfills your objectives, that helps you meet your fiduciary duties, and that delivers effective investment results for you and your employees.

Investment Management

What do you hope to achieve with your investment dollars? Whether you’re looking to improve your lifestyle, achieve capital growth or fund a specific goal, we will integrate appropriate solutions that match your goals. Of course, we take into account your risk tolerance, assessing your comfort level with market fluctuations that could result in losses as well as inflation and interest risk. And we implement asset allocation solutions that fit your investment preferences.

Strategies designed for you
Since different asset classes have varying cycles of performance, our strategies are designed to strike an appropriate balance through asset allocation. Our goal is to maintain stable investment returns that are less susceptible to adverse movements in any one class. Our asset allocation strategies are unique for every individual, built on the careful consideration of your financial profile.
All investments involve some sort of risk, whether it’s market risk, interest risk, inflation risk, liquidity risk or tax risk. An individualized asset allocation strategy seeks to mitigate the risks of any one asset class though diversification and balance. With our professional guidance, we can help you find an appropriate risk level in your investment planning.

Tax Planning

Due to our specialized training in complex tax laws, we can help you to identify tax advantages that may apply to you, and we can help you to avoid unnecessary pitfalls. Taking a comprehensive look at your finances, we identify how taxes are affecting your income.

Optimizing your opportunities to save money
We analyze your financial situation to ensure tax efficiency and increase after-tax returns. Since many people receive income, not only from wages, but from investments such as stocks, bonds or real estate, it is very important to optimize which investments are selected, in what type of accounts those investments are placed, and when to buy or sell them. We can help you in planning your charitable donations, since under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, many taxpayers find it more beneficial to use the standard deduction. By bunching charitable deductions in a given year, taxpayers could still get a tax benefit.

Our vast experience and background in tax planning has prepared us to help you make smart financial decisions. For example, not many people are aware of the great tax benefits of Health Savings Accounts. The contributions (for those who are eligible) can reduce current taxable income and possibly provide tax-free withdrawals in retirement. We provide guidance in tax matters like this, helping you to keep more of your hard-earned money. Through careful planning, and by reviewing your tax returns every year, we can reduce the surprises on April 15th.

If you would like a free tax return review, please click on the button below.

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Social Security Optimization

Did you know that 40.2% of Americans age 60 and up rely solely on social security benefits for retirement income? Knowing how and when to claim benefits could affect your financial security.

Social Security eligibility
Let’s start with social security eligibility. You need a minimum of 40 credits—at least 10 years of covered earnings—to be eligible to collect social security retirement benefits, or you need to be married to a worker who is eligible for social security. Ex-spouses, who were married at least 10 years and are currently single, may be eligible to collect on a former spouse’s earnings. Benefits are based on the top 35 years of earnings and your age at the time of the claim. So, if you are eligible, when should you claim?

Know how to maximize benefits
There are many factors to consider when deciding when to claim social security to maximize benefits. And the answer isn’t easy. Social Security has over 2,700 rules! Without professional help, it can get very complicated to determine an appropriate strategy. Your choice depends on the ages and earning history of both spouses, other retirement savings you may have, your expected longevity, your spouse’s expected benefits, etc. Social security claiming strategies should always be a household decision rather than two individual decisions.

Know the consequences of claiming benefits early.
The most popular age for claiming benefits is 62. It is crucial to realize that by claiming your retirement benefits early at age 62, they will be cut by 25% if your full retirement age is 66. Sometimes it makes sense to start taking social security at age 62, but then, if circumstances change, there might be an opportunity for you to reverse that decision and collect a bigger benefit later. A study commissioned by United Income cited that older Americans will lose $3.4 trillion in potential income because of early claiming, with an average lifetime loss of $95,000 per household.

Advantages of waiting to claim
Your timing affects your income over your lifetime. For example, if your full retirement age is 66 and you are eligible to collect $2,000 per month, by claiming at 62, your benefit will be reduced to $1,500. If you decided to wait to collect your benefit until age 70, your benefit would increase to $2,640 per month. If you start to collect social security benefits before Full Retirement Age and you are still working, there is an earnings cap to be aware of.

It often pays to delay social security at least until your Full Retirement Age or even until age 70. For every year you postpone collecting Social Security beyond FRA, your benefits increase by 8% per year up to age, boosting benefits by up to 32% compared to full retirement age. That would also provide the highest potential benefit to a surviving spouse, provided their own benefit is smaller.

By seeking help from a professional, such as a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, you can maximize social security benefits based on your entire financial picture and individual circumstances.

If you are wondering what your strategy should be, click on the button below and book a free consultation.

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Medicare Guidance

For those soon to reach age 65, it is time to start thinking about enrolling in Medicare—our federal health insurance for people who are 65 or older. It is crucial to enroll for Medicare on time, or you might be paying higher Medicare Part B premiums for the rest of your life! As you can imagine, understanding the complexities of Medicare is essential for establishing an appropriate health plan for you.

Know which plan fits your situation
Original Medicare is a fee-for-service health plan with two parts: Part A (Hospital Insurance) and Part B (Medical Insurance). Part A is usually free if you or your spouse paid Medicare taxes. Most people pay a standard premium for Medicare Part B. There is also Medicare Advantage (also known as Part C), which is “all in one” alternative to Original Medicare, which bundles Part A, Part B, and Part D (prescription drug coverage). These plans might have lower out-of-pocket costs than Original Medicare.

Understand your income thresholds as they relate to premiums
If you are already enrolled or about to enroll in Medicare, you should start paying attention to your Modified Adjusted Income. As your income increases, your Medicare Part B and Part D premiums will increase if you go over certain thresholds even by $1. You could be paying the standard premium amount and an Income Related Monthly Adjustment Amount (IRMAA). IRMAA is an extra charge added to your premium.

It is essential to pay attention and plan before you sell appreciated investments or draw additional income, not only from a tax perspective but also from a possible increase in Medicare Part B and Part D premiums.

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