Financial Planning Services
To develop a financial strategy for your future, it’s important for your financial professional to see a complete, 360-degree view of your financial picture, including how your retirement assets are integrated and work with one another. Our financial strategies and asset management services use insurance products, such as annuities, to help you meet financial goals. We can work in concert with tax professionals or attorneys in your or our network to advise you on specific aspects of your financial strategy.
Retirement Income Strategies
Retirement income strategies are not just for the wealthy. As retirement nears, the traditional strategy has been to move growth-seeking products to more conservative, fixed-income products. According to a recent study, for a married couple age 65 there is now a 50 percent chance that at least one spouse will live to age 94. This means that you may need to plan for your retirement savings to potentially last 25 to 30 years.
One drawback to a longer life is the greater possibility of outliving your savings — creating all the more reason to develop a retirement income strategy designed to last a longer lifetime. Sixty-one percent of Americans surveyed said they were more afraid of outliving their assets than they were of dying.
A significant loss in the years just prior to and/or just after you retire could negatively impact the level of income you receive over the course of your life. In fact, if a loss occurs earlier in life, there is also the chance that you may have more time to recover (versus a loss occurring later in retirement). Why? Simply because a smaller pool of assets is left to sustain you throughout your retirement years, and your assets may not have as much time to recover.
We can help you design a guaranteed* retirement income strategy that incorporates insurance and annuity vehicles to create opportunities for long-term growth as well as guaranteed* income throughout your retirement.
* Guarantees are backed by the financial strength and claims-paying ability of the issuing company and may be subject to restrictions, limitations or early withdrawal fees. Annuities are not FDIC insured.
You may be able to use time to your advantage when investing for wealth accumulation.
The longer you invest, the more potential your money has to compound interest. If your portfolio has not fully recovered from losses in recent years, you may wish to consider a more aggressive allocation to make up for lost ground and get back on track to accumulating wealth.
However, with fluctuations in the stock market, it is important to remember that more conservative retirement strategies typically have only a portion of the assets invested in the stock market. Allocations can be set aside for more conservative investments and/or secured* income contracts such as annuities.
Annuities are long-term vehicles designed to generate supplemental income during retirement. They have minimum guarantees backed by the strength and claims-paying ability of the issuing insurance company. After all, the last thing you want to do is lose more ground during the next market correction.
* Annuity guarantees are backed by the financial strength and claims-paying ability of the issuing carrier.
Because the market does not provide security, you may want your financial strategies to include some guaranteed* income products. For example, annuities, which are insurance products with guarantees,* can provide a source of supplemental income throughout your retirement.
Twenty-first century asset protection calls for more than just strategic asset allocation. Including products like annuities in your retirement income strategy can help protect* your money from declines due to market losses.
Diversifying your retirement assets among a variety of vehicles — both through insurance products and investments, depending on what is appropriate for your situation — may offer you the best chance of meeting your retirement income goals throughout your lifespan.
* Guarantees are backed by the financial strength and claims-paying ability of the issuing insurance company.
Tax Minimization Strategies
Rising taxes may be a concern for many individuals approaching retirement. It may be important to incorporate tax planning into your financial decisions.
Investing in or purchasing a tax-deferred vehicle means your money can compound interest for years, free from income taxes, potentially allowing it to earn interest at a faster rate. Few financial vehicles avoid taxes altogether. Insurance products only allow you to defer paying them until retirement — when you may be in a lower tax bracket.
Please note that withdrawals will reduce the contract value and the value of any protection benefits. Additional withdrawals taken within the contract withdrawal charge schedule will be subject to a withdrawal charge. All withdrawals are subject to ordinary income tax and, if taken prior to age 59½, may be subject to a 10 percent additional federal tax.
Long-Term Care Strategies
As the oldest baby boomers begin to wind through their 60s, one of the biggest concerns may not be outliving income, but outliving good health.
For retirees, home health care can cost $50,000 or more per year1, and nursing home care can run as high as $80,0002 per year. 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 if purchasing a long-term care insurance policy may be the right move to help you feel confident in your financial future.
We can refer you to professionals to help meet your individual needs.
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 is 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.
IRA Asset Planning
IRA accounts have become one of the largest types of assets inherited by beneficiaries. 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 potentially 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 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 meet your goal of structuring a long-lasting inheritance for your beneficiaries.
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. Most trusts can also provide current benefits, such as tax deferral and deductions. Unlike a will, a trust may help avoid probate upon your death. To learn more about trusts and how they may benefit you, we will be happy to help you consult a qualified estate planning attorney who can assist you with these issues.
Today, the majority of the burden for retirement income seems to have shifted to the individual. For this reason, you may want to consider a guaranteed* fixed income component to your retirement strategy. In short, adding an annuity may be an opportunity to help ensure a portion of your retirement income will be guaranteed.* 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.
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 59½ are subject to a 10 percent penalty fee, and all withdrawals may be subject to income taxes.
*Annuity guarantees rely on the financial strength and claims-paying ability of the issuing insurance company. Annuities are insurance products that may be subject to fees, surrender charges and holding periods which vary by carrier. Annuities are not FDIC insured.
Life insurance isn’t for those who have died — it’s for those who are left behind. When shopping for life insurance, consider needs such as replacing income so your family can maintain its standard of living, as well as paying for your funeral and estate costs. 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. In a level premium term policy, you pay the same amount of premium from the first day of the policy until the term ends. 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.
We can refer you to professionals to help meet your individual needs.
Probate is the potentially lengthy and costly legal process that oversees the transfer of your assets upon your death. 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 more of your property may not go where you want it to. We can refer you to a qualified estate planning attorney who can assist you in these matters.
IRA & 401(k) Rollovers
When you change jobs or retire, there are four things you can generally do with the assets in any employer-sponsored retirement plan:
- Leave the money where it is
- Take the cash (and pay income taxes and perhaps a 10 percent additional federal tax if you are younger than age 59½)
- Transfer the money to another employer plan (if the new plan allows)
- 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.
If you decide to cash out of an IRA, we can help you find suitable vehicles to help you reach your retirement income goals.
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 can refer you to a qualified professional to help you decide if this is a good option for you.