Understand Your Current Situation
It is first important to understand where you are today as you approach and plan for retirement. Working with our firm, we will build a complete picture by gathering all the individual pieces of your financial situation – current and future income, assets (what you own), liabilities (what you owe), and insurance. Through that lens, decisions are made based on how they impact your entire financial picture, rather than in isolation.
Prioritize Retirement Goals
Planning a successful retirement is about optimizing your time to achieve the goals that are most important to you. We help align your finances with what you would like to accomplish, which may include traveling, spending time with family, pursuing passions, or serving in the community.
As life expectancy increases, so does the length of retirement. The importance of creating a sustainable strategy for lifetime income has never been greater as you look to ensure your assets and income sources will last for over 30 years.
Turn Your Investments into Income
After decades of saving and investing for growth, your investments must continue to grow and deliver retirement income.
We build portfolios designed to reduce risk, improve returns, and create predictable income streams in all market environments. Our goal is to ensure your investments consistently generate income without eroding the principal balance.
Our planning systems will demonstrate reliable cash flow generated from your investments each month and which accounts to withdraw from.
Social Security Timing
Social Security claiming strategies are based on many factors, including age, marital status, income, and employment. We help you determine the optimal time to claim benefits based on your needs.
We will review all income sources – Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) from IRAs, investment income (capital gains, dividends, and interest), pensions, and real estate income – to understand their impact on the timing of your Social Security benefits.
We also factor in family health conditions, spousal benefits, and personal preferences.
By analyzing your entire financial picture, you become empowered to choose a Social Security claiming strategy that optimizes your income stream and reduces your tax bill in retirement.
If applicable, we also help you understand what pension options and benefits are available to you. Options may include a lump sum distribution, monthly income over a specific period, or lifetime income based on single or joint lives. The decision is irrevocable. Consequently, our goal is to help you make an informed and educated decision that will provide sufficient income for you and your family.
“Not all income is created equal.”
It’s important to understand how your retirement income is taxed. As tax laws change, we stay up-to- date on the latest legislation so that our clients can take advantage of every opportunity available to them.
Make Withdrawals from the Right Accounts
You may have a variety of account types to take distributions from, and each can be taxed in a different way. We will coordinate all your available assets and develop a plan for distributing income in the most tax-efficient manner.
Make Tax-Smart Investments in Taxable Accounts
When investing in taxable accounts (non-IRA, 401(k), or other retirement type), it’s important to make tax-smart decisions. Every time you sell an investment or receive a dividend or interest payment, there is a tax consequence attached to the transaction. Tax on investments can range anywhere from 0% to over 40%, depending on how long you owned the investment, the type of income you received, and your tax bracket.
We intentionally manage taxable accounts differently than retirement accounts to ensure your investments are taxed at the most favorable rates to you.
Convert to Tax-Free Income
As you approach retirement, it may be prudent to convert funds from a Traditional IRA to a Roth IRA to enjoy tax-free income in retirement. After gathering all your income sources, we can project what your tax bracket may look like in retirement, based on today’s legislation.
Maintain Cash Reserves
The best way to handle unexpected short-term expenses is to maintain appropriate cash reserves. The amount needed for each person or family is based on personal circumstances. We recommend keeping these funds in bank accounts that are convenient and accessible. We provide advice on where to find higher-yielding opportunities, without adding any risk.
Review Insurance in Retirement
As you transition into retirement, your insurance needs will change. Enrolling in Medicare, a quality supplement plan, and long-term care are the three most pressing needs. Insurance can be difficult to understand, as there are seemingly endless amounts of products available.
By looking at your entire financial picture, we advise where you are adequately protected and where there may be gaps in coverage. We will coordinate with independent insurance advisors to help you insure the need at the lowest price and provide quality care.
Transfer Your Assets According to Your Wishes
Three main elements play a major role in determining what happens to your assets upon death: account registrations, beneficiary designations, and estate planning documents.
There is a process to ensure your assets transfer as quickly and cost-free as possible during these emotional and stressful times for your family.
We provide advice on actions you can take now so that your assets transfer in an efficient manner. Our process helps to lower legal fees.