Personal Planning

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Below are brief summaries of some of the topics that may arise as we explore your long- and short-term financial goals. The information will give you something to consider as you prepare for our initial review.

Accumulating Retirement Assets Retirement can signify a lot of things to a lot of people: sailing off into the sunset with your beloved; never having to worry about waking up early to catch the morning train; finger-painting with your grandkids. But to make these dreams a reality, you'll need to create a nest egg that will make your retirement years as comfortable, if not more, as when you were working. Essentially, it's never too early to think about saving for your golden years. As the average lifespan increases, you should be prepared to put aside more to accommodate a longer retirement. We understand the importance of having enough to spend during your retirement. That’s why we offer a variety of tax wise strategies and and financial products that can help you fund your retirement, and make the money you’ve worked for years to save go even further.

Inherited IRAs: Let Your Beneficiaries Stretch Your IRA Assets Over Their Lifetimes
 
IRAs have become very popular retirement savings vehicles and play an increasingly important role in many people’s retirement planning. But did you know that an IRA could also be an important part of the legacy you leave to your loved ones? By leaving your IRA to your spouse or others, you can stretch your IRA assets over the course of their lifetimes as well.
 
You may be aware that there are tax consequences to your beneficiaries when they receive a potentially significant sum of money. Fortunately, the law provides ways for them to minimize the burden. If your spouse is your beneficiary, for example, he or she may be able to defer taxation by transferring the IRA into his or her own name. Non-spouse beneficiaries, on the other hand, can choose to "stretch" the assets—meaning, they can receive the IRA distributions over time, as a regular income stream, based on their own life expectancies. In this way, they can spread out the tax burden and also grow remaining IRA assets tax-deferred for a longer period of time.
 
Stretch It, Leverage It
Between estate and income taxes, an IRA or retirement plan may lose as much as 90% of its value at death, if no other assets are available to pay the estate taxes. One strategy is making use of an Irrevocable Life Insurance trust to manage life insurance and help to pay the taxes at death. Death proceeds held by such a trust a generally tax free. A portion of required distributions from the IRA could be a source for premiums for any new insurance and all existing insurance could also be transfered. This will leverage the income from the IRA to create sufficient liquidity at death. The balance of the IRA would be preserved and could be stretched to your beneficiaries as lifetime income. 
One rule of thumb is to accumulate enough life insurance inside the trust to cover at least 50% of the value of your estate at your death. Even if the estate tax exemption continues to increase or is eliminated, there is no real downside, the heirs of the trust will receive additional assets that are income and potentially estate tax free. Family education funds for future generations or charitable foundations could benefit.

Creating a Lasting Legacy for Loved Ones With hard work and careful planning during your income-earning years, you may have built a healthy nest egg, sufficient to ensure a comfortable, independent retirement. You may actually be in the enviable position of being able to leave something to those you love the most: your spouse, children, grandchildren, and perhaps your favorite charities. Now is the time to seize the moment and put together a plan that creates a legacy for those you love.

Your Children's Education Consider this scenario: The car's packed and the teary good-byes have been exchanged. You may feel as though your baby's leaving you, but this is one of the proudest moments of your life. You've scrimped and saved to afford your child's education, and now that the day is finally here, you can breathe a sigh of relief. Thank goodness you planned ahead and started saving early so that the next four years won't be so financially stressful. Now, consider the alternative: What if you didn't plan? Then those next four years could be your worst nightmare, turning into a juggling act of student and parent loans, financial aid requests, and semester payments. Fortunately, we understand the importance of funding your children's education, and, therefore, offer a selection of products to help you meet that goal. Of course, we can't promise that you won't get the occasional phone call, "Mom? Dad? I'm a little low on cash.…"

              Please see the published articles on this website for more topics of discussion


 

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