People mainly seek out financial advice because they are worried about retirement. Retirement assets and savings make up the bulk of most Americans’ wealth, yet many people are unsure if it will be enough. Retirement planning is important, therefore, we’re dedicated to making it successful for our clients. Plan your retirement smartly so you don’t have to worry about it later.
Ordinary Need, Extraordinary Retirement Planning
You need to put it all together and we can help!
When building a retirement plan we help you:
Choose a Social Security Claiming Strategy
When is the correct time for you to take your social security benefits? There are hundreds of permutations on how to claim benefits and reasons why one may work better for you. Learn more about social security benefits here.
Set Savings Targets and Asset Location
How much money will you need to retire while making sure you have adequate an adequate safety net? Furthermore, should you pay off your mortgage early, save more in your retirement planning, save Roth or Pretax, put more money into non-retirement investments, buy or sell a rental property, among many other options? We can help you define these goals and make a plan.
Make/Optimize your Estate Plan
Most people will need a Will, Power of Attorney, Living Will, Healthcare Directive and maybe a trust. We help our clients ensure these are in place while additionally optimizing those efforts with the larger Financial Plan. Furthermore, our Gold and Silver clients have access to our advanced Everplans service.
Maximize your Pension
Whether you’re a public employee, school teacher or have a private pension, this can be one of your largest retirement planning assets and a benefit election which is generally irrevocable. We help our clients to choose the best options to claim, evaluate timing, choose survivorship options and/or decide on any lump sum election.
Optimize your Tax Plan
Generally people change tax brackets over time, politicians change the tax laws, the IRS issues new guidance, and economic boom and bust periods offer new opportunities and pit-falls. We help our clients weave a tax efficient strategy into their over-all plan and even offer in-house tax preparation.
Dynamic System Testing
There are many different optimal strategies and tactics that people adopt into their Investment/Financial Plan(s). Alone these strategies may be great, however when we introduce the complexity of most people lives’ combined with multiple variables and the consequences of pursuing other strategies in different areas of their life, this complex system can behave in unpredictable patterns with sub-optimal outcomes. This system needs to be modeled, tested, and re-tested over time to ensure a more desirable outcome for our clients.
Devise an Investment Strategy
Knowing where to put what is difficult. There are so many “rules of thumb” and gurus that have simple solutions that seem ready made for you. However, it is rarely that simple and we find that most of our retirees need a customized strategy, tailored to their individual needs and wants. We can help you allocate your assets and invest your money where it will protect and serve you most effectively.
Develop an Income Plan
How much and when will you get income from Social Security & Pensions? What is the taxable nature of it. How much, when and from what accounts do you take withdrawals to make up the difference. Will it always be the same or should you withdraw from different accounts at different times? This is a complex and one of the most frequent inefficiencies in most retirees plans (if they have one!).
Using Benefit Plans to their Max
People have more benefits at work than they realize. Whether it’s maximizing contributions to savings plans, funding an HSA, electing deferred compensation, utilizing after-tax contributions to 401k/403b, in-plan Roth conversions, electing life/disability insurance(s), exploring Association benefits, among many others. Using these plans to the max can have significant planning ramifications and we find most employees fail to take full advantage of these opportunities.
Living & Giving Without Fear
A sad statistic in the U.S. is that people over age 65 are more afraid of running out of money than dying. An often over-looked consequence of this is that most people wait until they actually do die to help family and charitable causes as security against running out of money. However, on of the most beneficial side-effects of having a Financial Plan is that it gives people the confidence of, hopefully, knowing they are not going to run out of money, the courage to give more while they’re alive, and the satisfaction of seeing their gifts make a difference before they pass.
Making Big Tax Moves
This could be as simple as whether you save pretax or Roth, filing separately or jointly versus more complex strategies like making after-tax 401k/403b contributions and doing large Roth conversions, possibly doing large Roth conversions of pretax money in certain years, stacking charitable contributions and other deductions to get over the standard deduction in some years, or even using a Donor Advised Fund to make a very large charitable deduction in a certain year, or any combination of these strategies or others. We find many people are not making or implementing a tax efficient plan, they are just trying to file the best they can after all is said and done at the end of each year, which is rarely optimal.
How and When to Make Withdrawals
You saved the money, now you just take it out when you need it, right? Yes and No. While you will absolutely need to withdraw from your accounts to live, it is very important from a tax perspective, insuring against longevity & inflation, and protecting against the economic boom & bust cycle that you have a plan about when and where you take withdrawals to fund your retirement planning that is dynamic as things evolve.
When to Retire
Deciding when to retire is very important for most individuals because there are consequences if done too early or too late. It is often not easy to re-enter the workforce if one retires too early and you may loose important seniority, benefits, tenure, etc. Retiring too late could cost important time with loved ones, risk health related issues, or shorten the time when we have to actually enjoy the resources gathered over a lifetime. We help clients balance safety, security and quality of life in their retirement planning decision.
Leaving as Little to Chance as Possible
Although there no guarantees in life, we try to leave as little up to chance as possible. With proper planning and preparation, you should be able to retire knowing you’re prepared for most of what life may throw at you. The peace-of-mind that comes with that preparation yields a better quality of life so that you can spend your energy on the people and things that bring joy to your life and you can use your times and resources to bring joy to theirs’.