Prepare For Retirement

 
 
Header light.png
 

How do you imagine your retirement lifestyle?

Together, we can create a plan to make your retirement dreams a reality.

 

do you Have enough money to retire?

 

When you stop accumulating wealth, the financial skills and planning you need are different and often more complicated than when saving for retirement.

  • Have you determined how much it will take to live the lifestyle you want?

  • Determine the appropriate Social Security strategy.

    • Social Security – It’s not always about “getting your money back” that was paid in over the years. For a husband and wife, we analyze the thousands of combinations of taking social security to determine a maximized strategy. In our opinion, Social Security should be looked at as longevity insurance versus a more traditional breakeven approach. 

  • Determine the appropriate survivor benefit on any pensions that might be available.

  • Prepare a rigorous analysis of retirement spending to determine if the goals are in line with the reality of their investment assets and other retirement income.

 

Designing a Spend-down strategy in retirement

 

We work with you to develop a customized spend- down plan that protects your wealth from excessive taxes and that comes into play when you are no longer earning income. Our goal is to help you avoid getting locked into a high tax bracket throughout retirement. This sets up the next phase of retirement, when you begin taking required minimum distributions from retirement accounts at age 70½. The detailed planning we provide can achieve significant savings for you, your family and your legacy plans – helping you maximize the wealth you share with future generations as well as the causes that are most important to you.

Tax Planning. The goal should not be to pay the least amount of taxes in any given year but rather to lose the least amount of wealth in your lifetime to taxes. 

In retirement, certainly in the first several years, you are often in the lowest tax bracket of your life. As such, there many tax opportunities during this time.

  • Roth conversions. Determine the appropriate amount to convert each year to maximize the lower tax brackets. Not only will you be able to select which tax rate you pay, but this will also lower future Required Minimum Distributions at age 70 ½ that may push you into even higher tax brackets. Further, after the 5-year rule has been met, the distributions from the Roth IRA are not characterized as earned income when determining the taxability of Social Security benefits.

  • Investment Asset Placement. Strategically use taxable, tax-exempt and tax-deferred accounts to lower your lifetime tax obligations.

    • Certain assets are tax efficient, meaning such earnings are taxed favorably. Other assets are not tax efficient, meaning such earnings are not taxed favorably. Proper placement of these assets can significantly reduce your lifetime tax obligations. Further, there are other investments that create valuable tax credits. Placing these investments in the wrong type of account will cause you to lose the entire tax credit, which can significantly reduce your rate of return. Lastly, of course, there are times that investment values go down. By having these in the appropriate accounts you can take advantage of the loss on your tax return. 

    • Benefits of Asset Placement:

      • Position higher expected growth assets for lower tax rates

      • Position equities for income tax-free step up in basis

      • Position equities for loss harvesting opportunities

      • Capture foreign tax credits

      • Reduce future dollar amounts of RMDs, which starts at age 70 ½

      • There is also an opportunity to further lower your future Required Minimum Distributions at age 70 ½ by placing the appropriate investments in
        your traditional IRA.

 

Passing wealth on to the next generation

 

For many investors, passing on their wealth to the next generation in the most efficient way possible is important. Efficient in both reducing the burden of administration and by paying the least amount in taxes. We can help with both of these goals.

Certain assets are best inherited, rather than gifted during an investor's lifetime, as there are special tax provisions when such property is inherited. Holding these assets in the wrong accounts can negate these tax advantages.

A review of an investor's estate plan and their retirement account beneficiary designations may further save family members significant amounts in taxes upon the death of the investor.

 

Are you ready to start preparing?