Personal wealth management for your retirement planning journey.
Do you know if your investments fit your goals? We all need to meet our planned cash needs, keep pace with our rising expenses, grow our assets, avoid unrewarded risks and control our tax and investing costs. Our focus is to help you build the long-term wealth that can help you meet your goals.
Will your life be good in retirement? Planning for 30 years or more of life without an earned income will be a challenge for all of us. We’ve been working to help our clients develop retirement plans for more than 20 years. What we’ve learned may help you better plan your retirement.
Do you have a plan to protect your estate? Do you have a plan for your living estate or just a plan to transfer your estate? Is there a member of your family with special needs? Will you need a trust and tax planning? We offer professional guidance and resources to help you plan for you and your loved ones.
What problems are you trying to solve?
Start by practicing a goals-based approach to managing your wealth. The common sense essence of goals-based investing includes:
- Identifying your long-term goals.
- Determining the funding requirements and timeframe for those goals.
- Designing an investment portfolio to achieve the goals while taking the least possible risk.
- Evaluating your investments by progress toward goals rather than comparisons versus market benchmarks.
That’s a very different, and much healthier alternative to the decades-long Wall Street sales pitch of “having your account managed just like their institutional accounts.” By changing the “horse-race” mentality, goals-based investing can help you not only achieve your goals but do better in the market as well.
Retirement distribution planning requires analyzing your future income needs, taxable income projections, other potentially taxable transactions in the future and the tax treatment of withdrawals (also known as distributions) from your various investment and retirement account types below in order to minimize, defer and optimize your overall tax exposures.
Taxable accounts − Dividends, interest and other investment income are generally taxable in the year earned, and capital gains are taxable when realized. The tax rates specific to you on your dividends, interest and capital gains may very well all be different.
Tax-deferred accounts – Dividends, interest income and capital gains are not taxed in IRAs, 401(k)s, 403(b)s and similar plans until withdrawn from an account, and withdrawals are generally subject to ordinary income tax.
Tax-free accounts − Dividends, interest income, capital gains and withdrawals from Roth IRAs or Roth 401(k)s, are generally not taxed.
There are two important keys to successful long-term income replacement. The first is to avoid large losses ‒ what we commonly refer to as “wipe-out risk.” Big realized losses combined with withdrawals to meet regular expenses can create a reverse snowball effect, rapidly depleting your capital and increasing the odds that you’ll outlive your money.
This scenario leaves you with two options that are equally unpalatable: Living less comfortably or – if it’s even possible – returning to work.
The second important key to successful long-term income replacement is the ability to generate consistently rising income. It is highly likely that your expenses will continue to rise during your retirement. When you stop and think about it, how many costs do you have now that have not increased during the past 20-30 years. Probably not very many, and certainly not enough to feel comfortable about living on a “fixed” income for the next few decades.
For most of us, it’s shortfall risk ‒ the chance that our savings will expire before we do. Shortfall risk typically arises from one or both of these shortcomings: (1) not taking the time and doing the work to study how much we might need, or (2) the lack of a plan to accumulate enough, and the discipline or guidance to stick with it.
So how do you measure how much money you may need to eliminate shortfall risk for you? By working through an asset/liability study. In simple terms, this means taking stock of what you have, and measuring it against what you may need.
Your full retirement age is anywhere from 65 to 67 depending on when you were born. You can choose to retire as early as age 62, but doing so may result in a reduction of as much as 30 percent of your benefits. Starting to receive benefits after full retirement age may result in larger benefits.
An investment policy statement ‒ or IPS ‒ is a highfalutin Wall Street term. But it simply refers to a set of investment guidelines. In writing out these investment guidelines, we consciously put our investment strategy in black and white ‒ committing to a disciplined, long-term plan.
When markets turn stormy, investors can turn to their investment guidelines as a sort of compass. In doing so, they can help stay on course to achieve their long-term goals.
Investment policy statements are often associated with institutional investors such as foundations and pension plans. But we believe investment guidelines are a must for all investors who take their financial success seriously.
So what exactly should investment guidelines include? The more complete, the more useful. A good start is to include your goals, measurable objectives, desired strategies and restrictions. Consider strategies for liquidity, income, growth, taxes, and advisor and client responsibilities.
Warren Buffett has attributed much of his well-known investment success to two rules.
Rule #1: Never lose money. Rule #2: Never forget Rule #1.
What the Oracle of Omaha is reminding us, in a humorous way, is to keep our eye on the return of our capital, even more so than the return on our capital. This is critical for those who are saving and investing for retirement. Capital loss in your investment portfolio can have a huge negative impact on your plans and on your financial security.
Any discussion of capital loss should be linked to two of the ultimate risks that we all need to avoid. The first is wipeout risk, and the second, which is related to it, is shortfall risk.
Wipeout risk is just what it sounds like ‒ losing so much of your capital that you must start over, or nearly so. Wipeout risk leads to shortfall risk, which is the potential of not having enough income to last throughout your retirement or to meet other critical goals. This scenario is truly uncomfortable because it can mean losing your financial independence, or worse.
Medicare Isn’t the Same as Long-Term Care. According to AARP, a surprising number of people still believe that Medicare will cover their Long-Term Care (LTC) expenses. However, they find out too late that Medicare offers limited coverage and applies only to skilled care. In addition, for Long-term care services to be covered under Medicare, you must meet several stringent requirements.
Traditionally, most people have relied on a will to pass their assets on to heirs. But wills aren’t the only solution. Revocable trusts have become an increasingly popular estate planning tool.
A revocable trust, also known as a living trust, is a written document you (the “grantor” or “trustor”) create during your lifetime, which contains your instructions about caring for you if you are unable to manage your affairs (your living estate), and instructions for the distribution of your assets to your beneficiaries (your death estate). You also designate the “trustees” who will be responsible for administering your trust.
When your affairs are administered under a trust agreement, you avoid the publicity, costs and hassle of administering your estate in state probate courts. Avoiding the probate courts is especially worthwhile when you are unable to manage your own affairs.
We can help you get future-ready.
It is a privilege that very few people, if any, will get in their lives to be entrusted with guiding you financially and helping you look after your financial well-being.
Predicting rain doesn’t count.
Building an ark does.
If you want to see what your tomorrow might look like, we can show you.
Forward thinking is what smart planning is all about.
Let us show you how.
Imagine if you could see your future, as well as your history. Your family, children, your life.
What would be your words of wisdom to yourself?