Financial Guide to
Preparing for your retirement is one of the most critical aspects of wealth management.
After all, many of the efforts and sacrifices you made throughout your career were based on the principle of “save and plan now so you can enjoy later.” Said another way, “If you do the things you should do when you should do them, you can do the things you want to do, when you want to do them!”
”With this in mind, we thought it helpful to provide you with our Financial Guide to Approaching Retirement. The guide is designed to identify many of the important elements that we will address for you. Each element is based on the simple formula we use in managing your wealth:
Investment Consulting +
Advanced Planning +
Each aspect of this formula needs to be addressed to help you move towards a successful retirement, financially and emotionally.
From a financial aspect, we encourage you to strive towards achieving independence (the ability to do what you want to do) and dignity (the ability to do what you want in the manner you wish).
From an emotional aspect, we encourage you to prepare to make the best use of your time and pursue the activities and interests you find most fulfilling.
Understanding what you can control, what you can influence and what you have no control over will help to set the stage for further consideration.
Savings vs. Spending; Asset allocation & amounts in taxable or tax-deferred accounts
Employment earnings & duration; retirement age; personal longevity
Market returns; policy changes regarding taxes, etc.
Our goal is to provide you with the peace of mind knowing you are in the best position for a fulfilling retirement.
Let’s apply our formula to identify the elements we will address:
a. How should you consider a change to your long-term investment plan?
The level of fluctuation you were able to endure during your working years may need to be adjusted as you approach the time when your assets will produce a substantial source for your spending needs. We will review your current approach and illustrate the possible impact of changes you may consider. This will give you the ability to assess if your investments are on track for your long-term goals.
b. How do you best position your investments to balance one of the biggest risks individuals face during retirement (inflation) with and one of the most common investment goals (consistent annual rates of return)?
We will analyze your investments and “stress test” them under various scenarios to ensure you maintain your purchasing power for the rest of your life. This can help identify the best scenario to meet your desired level of independence and dignity.
All planning elements are designed to assess each aspect of your financial world to make sure they have been examined and placed on an appropriate path.
a. What is your current standard of living?
Our financial tools can guide you to uncover the frequently overlooked items that contribute to total living expenses. Armed with this information you can comfortably manage your expenses with confidence.
b. What living standard do you require during retirement to provide you with the desired level of independence and dignity?
Our process will evaluate potential changes to your current living expenses (either increases or decreases) once you retire.
Think of your goals regarding:
iii. Second career objectives
iv. Hobbies & new interests
v. Continual personal fulfillment
c. How will you know that you will not run out of money as you enjoy the years you have worked so hard to prepare for?
We run projections using the latest financial modeling technology to ensure your spending goals are achievable. If there are insufficient assets, we will provide alternative options to balance savings levels, spending models, return and inflation assumptions. All designed to minimize uncertainty and build your financial confidence.
d. What are alternative uses or start dates for your Social Security benefits?
We model various Social Security start ages to determine the optimal time to begin to maximize benefits and lifetime spending. We can also examine alternatives regarding how long benefits may be available. This information provides the clarity to make the most of a benefit you have contributed to for your entire working lifetime.
e. What is the best way to support your required living standard during the “bridge years” from retirement until the beginning of distributions from your tax-deferred retirement accounts such as pensions, IRAs or 401(K) accounts?
The decision can have critical income tax implications. Our modeling addresses the “bridge years” with sophisticated tools incorporating tax, investment, and estate planning considerations to know all aspects of your financial world are arranged to satisfy your goals.
f. What is the appropriate amount of cash reserve to maintain during retirement?
An appropriate balance should be maintained with cash reserves and invested assets to ensure your long-term goals are funded. We review your short- and long-term goals and assist with determining the appropriate balance to maintain as cash reserves.
g. What is the impact on your long-term tax planning if using Roth conversion strategies?
This strategy can reduce total long-term tax liability for you and your heirs. We model Roth conversion strategies to illustrate the current impact of conversions (higher current taxes) and potential long-term impact (lower lifetime taxes and reduced tax impact on heirs). All designed to keep as much of your assets working for you rather than being taxed by the government.
h. How might a change of residency be beneficial to you?
States have different approaches to income and estate taxation. Let us review acceptable alternatives so you can balance your personal interests with potential taxation benefits.
i. How might long-term health care costs or assisted living costs impact your retirement years?
These costs continue to skyrocket. We will analyze your risk exposure and evaluate if you are financially prepared for a potential long-term stay, or if changes to your retirement spending should be considered to better position yourself. We will analyze this important risk and compare it with your available assets, all with the goal of you not running out of money.
j. Given the potential of changing estate taxation and planning strategies, what should be considered to make certain that your assets are distributed to family, friends, or charities in the most efficient manner possible?
We work to bring alternatives for you and your estate planning attorney to ensure assets are titled properly and are distributed to your heirs according to your wishes. This is especially important given the expected changes to this tax structure.
k. Should your retirement change the way your assets are protected from potential legal actions?
We live in a litigious society and the threat of being sued always exists. We will review your current potential risks and provide alternatives for you and your legal team to consider.
l. What are the best ways to accomplish your charitable giving objectives given your approaching retirement?
We will review alternatives from the simple to more complex to make certain you accomplish this important goal in the most efficient manner possible.
a. How can you certain each of your advisors understands your plans?
We will act as the coordinator of this process to make certain all professionals working for you, such as your attorney, CPA, insurance broker, banker, and others understand what your goals and objectives are and are all working together to help you.
b. What are your other advisors plans regarding their retirement?
It is critical to make certain you have the appropriate backup plan in place to accommodate your needs if one of your other advisors is entering a new phase of their life.