Unfortunately, many people are still investing the same way they have for the past 30 or 40 years, not realizing how significantly the world of investing has changed. The old methods clearly won’t work anymore, but many people have no idea what will work.
The overwhelming majority of retirement planning and investing is still done with the premise that the stock and/or bond markets will always go up over the long term. But the two most important questions to ask are these: Is that always true, and how long is long term? History shows us multiple decades in which this premise has not been the case. If someone is unfortunate enough to retire when the market goes flat or during a protracted down market, he or she faces the real risk of running out of money.
Let us educate you on how to take the guesswork out of investing for retirement. We will expose the failures inherent in traditional methods of retirement planning, and give you a new way to think about money and investing, a concept we call Lifestyle Driven Investing.
In recent years, we’ve seen that aggressive and conservative products, both domestic and global, can move in tandem with one another. In other words, we have experienced market scenarios in which there is very little security anywhere—even for diversified strategies.
Given recent lessons learned in stock market investing, it is important to remember that more conservative retirement strategies typically have only a portion of the assets invested in the stock market. Other allocations should be set aside for more conservative investments and/or secured income contracts such as annuities. After all, the last thing you want to do is lose more ground during the next market correction.
Twenty-first century asset protection calls for more than just strategic asset allocation. Product allocation—buying instruments that can protect your monies from negative returns early in retirement, and equally important protect your assets from lawsuits as a result of car accidents or rental properties—is generally considered a more effective means of protecting assets.
Diversifying your retirement assets among a variety of vehicles—both insurance and investment oriented, depending on what is appropriate for your situation—may offer you the best chance of meeting your retirement income goals throughout your lifespan.
Tax Minimization Planning
In the US, we have entered an environment of rising taxes. That’s why it’s important now, more than ever before, to incorporate tax planning into all of your financial decisions.
Investing in or purchasing a tax-deferred vehicle means your money will compound interest for years, unfettered by income taxes, allowing it to earn interest at a faster rate. While very few financial vehicles avoid taxes altogether, many allow you to defer paying them until retirement – when you may be in a lower tax bracket.
Long-Term Care Planning
As the oldest Baby Boomers begin to wind through their 60s, one of the biggest concerns may not be outliving income, but outliving good health.
For seniors, home health care can cost $50,000 or more per year1, and nursing home care can run as high as $80,0002. Does your retirement plan account for this kind of possibility? Would you be prepared for twice that amount as a married couple?
Considering that you have to exhaust virtually all of your financial means before Medicaid will pay for long-term care and neither your group nor major medical insurance will cover long-term care, it’s critically important to plan ahead and protect yourself from these costly expenses.
We can help evaluate your situation and determine if purchasing a long-term care insurance policy is the right move to help secure your financial future.
1 Genworth Cost of Care Survey, 2010
2 MetLife Market Survey of Nursing Home, Assisted Living, Adult Day Services, and Home Care Costs, 2009
Estate Planning Strategies
Estate planning is simply determining (while you’re still alive) where your assets should go after you die. Without a properly structured estate plan, your wishes may not be fulfilled, and your loved ones could be hurt both emotionally and financially.
While the concept is simple, the vehicles, planning and implementation process can be rather complex. Because of the constantly changing estate tax laws 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.
IRA Legacy Planning
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 increase the payout your beneficiaries will inherit upon your death.
A properly structured IRA may provide your beneficiary(ies) 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 scenario to determine if IRA legacy planning may be the best means for ensuring a long-lasting inheritance for your heirs.
Life insurance isn’t for those who have died—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. A 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 of coverage to your beneficiary only if you die within that time period. You pay the same amount of premium from the first day of the policy until the term ends. Permanent insurance, on the other hand, does not need to be renewed. A permanent insurance policy will stay permanently in effect for the rest of your life so long as premiums continue to be paid.
Probate is the potentially lengthy and costly legal process that oversees the transfer of your assets upon your death. If you do not create a will or set up a trust to transfer your property when you die, state law will determine what happens to your estate. This is called probate or “intestate.” Without a will or some other form of legal estate planning, there is the chance that more of your property may go to the state than is necessary or desired.
Creating a charitable gift giving plan may provide you with multiple tax breaks: an income tax deduction, the avoidance of capital gains on highly appreciated assets and no estate taxes on the charitable contribution upon your death.
With the increasing tax environment we expect in the U.S. in coming years, there may be compelling reasons to integrate philanthropy into your financial and estate planning.
Thanks to new prescription drugs and medical technology, people are living longer than ever before. However, one drawback to a longer life is the greater possibility of outliving your savings – creating all the more reason to develop a retirement income plan designed to last a longer lifetime.
A significant investment loss in the years just prior to and/or just after you retire can have a damaging impact on the level of income you receive over the course of your life. In fact, the earlier a loss occurs, the greater the chance of depleting your retirement savings.
We can help you design an income plan which incorporates insurance, annuity and investment vehicles to create opportunities for long-term growth as well as guarantee income throughout your retirement.
IRA & 401(k) Rollovers
When you change jobs or retire, there are four things you can do with the money in your employer-sponsored retirement plan:
- Leave the money where it is
- Take the cash (and pay income taxes and perhaps a 10% federal penalty tax if you are younger than age 59½ )
- Transfer the money to another employer plan (if the plan allows)
- Roll the money over into an IRA
Rolling over from one qualified plan to another qualified plan allows your money to continue growing tax-deferred until you receive distributions in retirement. We can help you determine if a rollover is the right move for you, and we can help find the best vehicle to help conserve and grow your rollover assets.
Neither the Company nor its agents or representatives may give tax, legal, or accounting advice. Individuals should consult with a professional specializing in these areas regarding the applicability of this information to his/her situation.
Any comments regarding safe and secure investments, and guaranteed income streams refer only to fixed insurance products. They do not refer, in any way to securities or investment advisory products. Fixed Insurance and Annuity product guarantees are subject to the claims-paying ability of the issuing company and are not offered by Global Financial Private Capital.