Estate planning is simply determining where your assets should go after you pass away. Without a properly structured estate plan, your wishes may not be fulfilled, and your loved ones could be hurt emotionally and financially.
While the concept is simple, the vehicles, planning, and implementation process can be rather complex. Because of the potential impact of changes to estate tax law and 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 can refer you to professionals to help meet your individual needs.
Retirement income strategies are not just for the wealthy. As retirement nears, the traditional idea has been to move growth-seeking products to more conservative, fixed-income products. This may have worked fine back when retirement was only expected to last five to ten years.
These days, however, people are living longer. Thanks to new prescription drugs and medical technology, it’s not unusual for someone retiring at age 65 to live to age 90 or longer. You may need to plan for your nest egg to potentially last 25 to 30 years.
One drawback to a longer retirement is the possibility of outliving your savings – creating all the more reason to develop a retirement income plan designed to last a longer lifetime.
A significant financial loss in the years surrounding retirement can have a damaging impact on your nest egg. In fact, if a financial loss occurs earlier in life, there is also the chance that you have more time to recover (versus a significant loss occurring later in retirement). Why? Because you have a smaller pool of assets is left to sustain you throughout the retirement years.
We can help you design a retirement income strategy that incorporates insurance and annuity vehicles to create opportunities for long-term growth as well as provide income throughout your retirement.
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 to reduce taxes and potentially increase the payout your beneficiaries will receive upon your death.
A properly structured IRA may provide your beneficiary 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 beneficiary’s lifetime.
We can help you evaluate your financial situation to determine if IRA legacy planning may be the best means for ensuring a long-lasting inheritance for your heirs.
It is important to take a holistic approach for your portfolio and be properly diversified. With diversification and protection of principal in mind, for some, it is a good idea to set up a more conservative investment and/or secured income contracts such as annuities, which 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.
Because the market does not provide security, you may want your financial strategies to include some secured 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. Product allocation—buying instruments that can help protect your principal from market declines throughout retirement—can be an effective means of protecting assets.
Diversifying your retirement assets among a variety of vehicles—depending on what is appropriate for your situation—may offer you the best chance of meeting your retirement income goals throughout your lifespan.
Rising taxes are a concern for many individuals approaching retirement. It's 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, and potentially earn interest at a faster rate. While very few financial vehicles avoid taxes altogether, insurance products only allow you to defer payment until retirement – when you may be in a lower tax bracket.
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 that may help meet your individual needs in these matters.
Life insurance isn't for those who have passed away; 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. The general rule is that you should 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 to your beneficiary 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, offers guaranteed life insurance protection that will never expire, as long as your payments remain current and builds cash value.