How To Strategize for Your Social Security Benefits

Video Transcript:

As life expectancy has grown, your retirement now can last between 20 and 30 years. So Social Security planning is critical, no matter how much money you have. It can make a difference of hundreds of thousands of dollars. For example, if you retire at age 62 and pass away at age 86, you’ll receive at least 25% less for 24 years. But, if you wait to retire at age 70, you’ll receive 32% more for 16 years.

If your retirement income at age 66 was $2,000 per month, this could be a difference of over $200,000 during your lifetime. Arriving at a decision on when to retire is not easy. If you retire early, it could affect your spouse’s benefits. And wages and other taxable income could cause up to 85% of your Social Security benefits to be exposed to income taxes. Proper planning takes all of these factors into account to determine a Social Security strategy. For instance, a repositioning of assets could reduce taxable income and provide for more reliable monthly income.

With over 500 different combinations of factors affecting benefits, it makes sense to talk to a financial advisor and get it right.

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What’s the Difference Between a Will and a Living Trust?

Video Transcript:

A “Living Trust” is a trust you created that is active while you are alive versus a Testamentary Trust which becomes active at your death. When you create a Living Trust, you ensure that your assets will be disbursed efficiently to the people you choose after your death. The big advantage to a Living Trust is that the trust doesn’t have to go through probate court like a will does. Probate can be expensive in attorney and court costs while also causing long and frustrating delays. A Living trust is an arrangement under which one person, called a trustee, holds legal title to property for another person, called a beneficiary. You can even act as your own Trustee if you’d like. When you create a trust, the titling of assets is changed into the trust’s name, as if it was a living entity. Specific details of your wishes upon death can be provided for in the trust. But not everyone needs a trust. Transfer of assets at death may be handled through a beneficiary designation on some holdings and investments. If you’re using beneficiary designations, make sure all your paperwork is up to date. For instance, if you get divorced, be sure to remove your ex-spouse as a beneficiary. For more information about how to plan well for your family’s future, give us a call today.

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The 3 Stages of Your Financial Life

Video Transcript:

What are the three stages in your financial life? The first stage is preparing for life’s uncertainties. The second stage is managing your net worth and the third stage is managing retirement and your estate. The base of the pyramid is preparing for life’s uncertainties. Insurance is the most cost-effective way to deal with this.

Insurance can include life and health insurance, disability insurance, long-term care insurance, home and auto insurance and insurance against other perils. Adequate liquidity in your investments or in cash to cover emergencies along with a will is important.

The next level involves managing your money. Investment strategies should include diversification and risk management. The best option is to review you goals with a professional.

The top tier addresses retirement and estate planning. The ultimate goal is to ensure that you have income and assets for as long as you live. Your investments should be in line with your specific situation, goals and risk tolerance. An estate planning professional can provide you with documents necessary to ensure a planned distribution to beneficiaries. The three stages sound simple yet few people adequately prepare for any of them.

We can work with your tax and legal professionals to develop a plan to help you reach your financial goals. So please give us a call today.

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How Do I Choose Medicare Coverage When I Retire?

Video Transcript:
Many pre-retirees are uncertain about their choices when it comes to enrolling in Medicare.

There are 2 main ways to get your coverage – you can choose the traditional fee-for-service Medicare, known as Original Medicare, or A Medicare Advantage plan. Medicare Advantage plans are similar to an HMO, which stands for Health Maintenance Organization or a PPO, which stands for Preferred Provider Organization.

Original Medicare consists of Part A – Hospital Insurance for in-hospital care, and Part B Medical Insurance for outpatient services like doctor visits and lab tests.

Medicare Advantage, known as Part C, is a managed care option that rolls all the different parts of Medicare into one. There may be extra coverage like dental and vision.

And everyone on Medicare is eligible for prescription drug coverage either from a Part D plan or a Medicare Advantage Plan offering drug coverage.

There are many considerations that can factor into the Medicare planning process.

Let us help you with your important Medicare decisions – visit our website or give us a call today!

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How To Strategize for Your Social Security Benefits

Video Transcript:
As life expectancy has grown, your retirement now can last between 20 and 30 years. So Social Security planning is critical, no matter how much money you have. It can make a difference of hundreds of thousands of dollars. For example, if you retire at age 62 and pass away at age 86, you’ll receive at least 25% less for 24 years. But, if you wait to retire at age 70, you’ll receive 32% more for 16 years.

If your retirement income at age 66 was $2,000 per month, this could be a difference of over $200,000 during your lifetime. Arriving at a decision on when to retire is not easy. If you retire early, it could affect your spouse’s benefits. And wages and other taxable income could cause up to 85% of your Social Security benefits to be exposed to income taxes. Proper planning takes all of these factors into account to determine a Social Security strategy. For instance, a repositioning of assets could reduce taxable income and provide for more reliable monthly income.

With over 500 different combinations of factors affecting benefits, it makes sense to talk to a financial advisor and get it right.

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How to Create a Simple, Effective Budget

Video Transcript:

Many people tend to avoid the b-word, budget. But a budget is really a spending plan that gives you control over your finances by tracking what comes in and what goes out. It’s that simple and it doesn’t need to be fancy. It could be just two columns titled income and expenses. Start by tracking all your expenses. Include essential costs like rent groceries and medicine as well as non-essential expenses like cable TV, entertainment and travel. Next add up all your income such as your salary or paycheck after taxes and any other income including child support investment or rental income. Then subtract your expenses from your income. A break-even or negative number means it’s time to take a closer look at cutting non-essentials or trimming where you can. With a clearer picture of your income and expenses you can adjust your spending to begin saving for important financial goals like an emergency fund, college or retirement. Review your budget every few months and adjust accordingly. Your budget should be flexible enough to change with your needs.

To learn more about saving for your financial goals give us a call or stop by our website today.

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How Can You Plan for Long-Term Care?

Video Transcript:

Statistics say there is a seventy percent chance that you or your spouse will experience a need for long-term care!Long-term care includes a range of services and supports you may need to meet your personal care needs.Most long-term care is not medical care, but rather assistance with the basic personal tasks of everyday life, sometimes called Activities of Daily Living (or ADLs). These include Bathing, Dressing, Using the toilet, Transferring to or from bed or chairs, Caring for incontinence, and Eating.Other common long-term care services and supports are assistance with everyday tasks, sometimes called Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (or IADLs) These include Housework, Managing money, Taking medication, Preparing and cleaning up after meals, Shopping for groceries or clothes, Using the telephone or other communication devices, Caring for pets and Responding to emergency alerts such as fire alarms.The cost of Long-Term care varies with the amount of coverage, length of care, and deductibles.The initial premium level will increase based upon the age at which you apply.Like all insurance, most people wait too long before applying. 1 in 4 who apply between the ages of 60 and 69, don’t qualify. You owe it to yourself and family to know the options and prepare well today. Call us to find out more.

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Have You Defined Your Investment Philosophy?

Video Transcript:

Everyone knows that it’s important to have basic philosophies of life to simplify making complex decisions.

For example, it’s critical to have basic underlying philosophies of religion, business, education, and even the nature of good and evil.

Most people don’t even know that it’s possible to have a philosophy when it comes to the field of investing. It’s possible and critical to success.

Choosing an investment strategy without an underlying philosophy could cause a lot of stress and anxiety about your investments.

To be successful, a philosophy must be developed and instituted first.

There are two basic market philosophies: markets work and markets fail. It’s your job to understand what each means and choose the one that is appropriate for you.

Have WealthAbundance help you define your Investment philosophy for success!

Let’s meet to make sure your portfolio is well-positioned to take advantage of the current economic conditions, and that you have the protections you need in place.

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How to Allocate Assets Within Your Portfolio When You Retire

Video Transcript:

If you’re nearing retirement, you may need to consider asset allocation in a different way. Be aware that asset allocation cannot eliminate the risk of fluctuating prices and uncertain returns. When you were younger, you may have invested in stocks and mutual funds for the growth and perhaps the diversification offered. You had time on your side. You invested for the long haul and could weather the ups and downs of the stock market. But when you’re nearing or in retirement, the ground rules change. Losses are difficult to recover and your income stream could suffer just when you’re counting on it. Often, a balance between stocks and bonds is used because these investments usually move in opposite directions. This is where asset allocation comes into play. Because investments may go up and down, and your financial needs may vary, your planning must allow for contingencies. Various types of investments can help accomplish this. By allocating investments for growth potential, guaranteed income, risk management, and taxes, we can develop a strategy to help you meet your financial goals. Please give us a call today to find out how you can allocate your assets for your retirement.

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