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News Shows That Americans Have Not Come Far Enough on Retirement Planning

May 9, 2017

Filed under: Retirement Planning — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

retirement planning optionsAccording to a recent study conducted by the American College of Financial Services, three out of four adults reaching retirement age failed a quiz on how to make their nest eggs last throughout their retirement. 

 

Older Americans or those between the ages of 60 and 75, also indicated a lack of understanding about critical financial topics like paying for long term care expenses, investment considerations and different strategies that could help to sustain income over the course of retirement.

 

This is a particularly problematic study finding, given that approximately 10,000 baby boomers will be reaching age 65 single day over the course of the next 12 years. More Americans are facing retirement, but are doing so without clear knowledge about how to make this money last and what they need to have set aside when they begin the retirement process.

 

Many Americans, however, might not even know that they are simply unprepared for retirement. 61% of the respondents reported having high levels of knowledge about their retirement income, but only 33% of them passed the corresponding quiz. The survey found that there is a major divide when it comes to particular demographics as well.

 

Only 17% of women were able to pass the quiz when compared with 35% of men. 40% of those individuals who had at least a college degree passed this study as well. This divide underscores that it is so important for everyone to approach comprehensive estate and retirement planning.

How to Find Retirement Volunteer Opportunities

February 9, 2017

Filed under: Retirement Planning — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

Many individuals approaching retirement have spent many years saving for this opportunity and have adjusted their estate planning documents to reflect their retirement goals. However, the transition from the working world to retirement can be a difficult one as far as making use of all of your time.

Spending more time with children and grandchildren is a huge benefit of being retired, but you may also find that you wish to give back to your community. Thankfully, there are many different ways that you can give back to your community by considering some important questions about volunteering. More than 62 million Americans volunteered a median of 52 hours in 2010, according to research gathered by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. So, if you are hoping to volunteer, you are not alone. That number increases to a high of 96 hours for volunteers aged 65 and over. There are several key things you need to consider when approaching volunteering in retirement. These include:

  •    Seeking out a volunteer job you are good at. Whether you have empathy for others or have specific experience or skills uniquely suited to the position, make sure that you have identified a volunteer opportunity specifically in line with what you need.
  •    Ask yourself why you are actually volunteering. There are many different motivations for signing up for a volunteer opportunity, but ensure that you and the organization you choose to partner with are clear about yours.
  •    Will the need required match your commitment? Make sure that the hours per week required, the duration of the work and the intensity of the work is suitable with the time and energy that you are able to give to the position. Asking colleagues and friends in your community is a great way to get started with the volunteer process.

 

Some Tips for Bringing Debt into Retirement

January 26, 2017

Filed under: Retirement Planning,Reverse Mortgages — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

Most people approaching retirement age admit they have struggled with thinking ahead not just about life beyond their working years but also about how to make the money they’ve saved last during that time and to plan appropriately for it after they pass away. While a lot of information out there talks specifically about saving or how to maximize what you save, what about debt that you might be bringing into your golden years? Is there a particular way you should handle it? 

Did you know that the typical American couple has approximately $5,000 of retirement savings? However, debts are on the rise: studies show that debts have tripled since 2003 for those in their mid-60s. Many older Americans are picking up additional debt because they are refinancing their homes, adding on two or three decades worth of payments in the process. Others are taking cash out of a reverse mortgage. Sometimes this borrowing is done with the best of intentions, such as helping one of their children with the cost of a divorce, assisting a grandchild with a college education, or trying to enhance income after a job loss. With the downsizing that usually comes as part of this process, it can lead to a higher mortgage on the first house.

Now more than ever older Americans are working longer to try and make ends meet so that they can cover a child’s advanced education. Even those not pursuing further education may be returning home for additional financial support. The refinance process that might seem like a quick fix for cash flow could even double the size of the original mortgage, though.

Reverse mortgages are also picking up traction even with wealthy older individuals. The reverse mortgage seems like a way to enhance current income without having to delve into a retirement portfolio or a current income stream. Reverse mortgages have very specific rules, however, and should not be taken out until you have had the chance to talk over all the pros and cons.

Being aware of all your debts and being mindful of additional support you may need for healthcare needs is critical for anyone bringing debt into retirement. A team of professional advisors, including a financial advisor and your estate planning attorney, may be extremely helpful during this process.

 

 

Steps You Must Take If You Are Approaching Retirement

December 19, 2016

Filed under: Retirement Planning — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

During the holidays there is a good chance that your life is busier than ever so this might mean that you are looking at a massive to-do list. However, this is a great opportunity to reflect back on the previous year and think carefully about your to-do list as you approach retirement. What follows are several tips you need to keep in mind in order to be successful with this.

Examine Your Existing Retirement Planning Age

You might have thought previously about retiring at a particular age but now is a good time to take a step back and look at whether or not this is in line with your overall financial situation.

Be Aware of the Rules Associated with Retirement Plan Withdrawal

It is not enough to only recognize and set an intention for what you intend to withdraw from your retirement plan. You also need to know how much you have to withdraw. For example, after you turn age 70 and a half, you’ll need to begin taking money out of your traditional IRA as well as a 401(k). This is known as a required minimum distribution.

Put a Clear Price Tag on Your Lifestyle in Retirement

Do you want to stay at home pursuing hobbies or traveling the world during your retirement? Each of these can have a significant impact on the money you will need to support yourself.

Evaluate Your Healthcare Situation and Consider Long-term Care

Once you pass 65, you may be eligible for Medicare, but you also want to be familiar with what it does and does not cover in terms of your costs, so that you can set aside a healthcare budget on an annual basis. One service that Medicare doesn’t cover, or in the best case scenario, covers only in a small way is long term care. In the event that you’re looking at an extended stay inside a nursing home, this could be a major mistake.

Put Together Your Estate Planning

Your retirement to-do list should always include estate planning as well. You’ll want to work directly with an experienced estate planning attorney to ensure that all your bases are covered.

 

New Study Shows That Pre-Retirees and Retirees Are Uncomfortable with Estate, Retirement & Investment Planning

November 8, 2016

Filed under: Retirement Planning — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

Getting close to the point of retirement and thinking about it within the next five years should prompt discussions with these individuals about their next steps as it relates to estate planning, investing and retirement planning. It’s hard for anyone to plan for the future, but it becomes all the more important as longevity in the U.S. is increasing. This means that you not only need to think about retirement, but you need to be prepared to fund a potentially long retirement and consider how long-term care issues may also influence your situation. 

However, according to research from Hearts & Wallets, more than 5,000 adults shared that they are uncomfortable with the prospect of estate planning. A full 26% of the individuals who participated in the study said that estate planning was very difficult or somewhat difficult for them. This represents an increase of 2 percentage points since the previous years’ study asking the same question. Despite recognizing that estate planning was a worthwhile endeavor to explore, only 8% of retirees and pre-retirees admitted that they had sought help for estate planning in the previous 18 months.

Not getting help for estate planning can easily be avoided because you’re uncomfortable thinking about your own mortality or feel as though the issues don’t apply to you. However, everyone can benefit from comprehensive and aligned estate planning. Reach out to an experienced New Jersey estate planning attorney today to learn more about what’s right for you. Send us an email to info@lawesq.net to learn more.

                                                                                                                

Add Estate Planning Review to Retirement Checklist

September 26, 2016

Filed under: Retirement Planning — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

Approaching retirement involves a careful calculation of several different numbers- what you’ll be bringing in from any pensions, when you’ll leave your position for good, and when you should elect to receive Social Security. Don’t overlook the calculations about what will happen to your assets after you pass away, however.

Thinking about death is not something that’s top of mind for anyone, but it’s also critically important and worthwhile. In addition to putting together a will, you may have more assets than you think, necessitating a conversation with your New Jersey estate planning attorney about how you’ll plan for taxes and whether it makes sense to use a trust.

A healthcare proxy and powers of attorney are good tools to have just in case, too. Far too many people don’t realize just how common a disability-related event can be. Without the proper tools in place, you can make it difficult for family members to understand your wishes and to carry them out.

Likewise, even if you are drawing from a retirement account, make sure the beneficiary information is fully up to date. You may need to evaluate this a few times over the course of your retirement as life changes, but set up a meeting with your estate planning attorney to talk about all the documents you need to have in order to address your full estate planning needs.

Best and Worst States to Retire in the United States – Part I

March 15, 2016

Filed under: Retirement Planning — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

Making your retirement plans involves not just carefully thinking ahead about having enough finances to support you but also about where you’ll live. More investors than ever are thinking about moving in order to capitalize on the savings they have and maximize them effectively. To help you better weigh your options, consider some of the best and the worst states to retire in. Part one of this series looks at the best states to retire in.shutterstock_98725502

  • Wyoming: Wyoming has one of the lowest tax burdens in the country at 7.1%. It also scores well below the national average for issues like crime rates.
  • South Dakota: Just like Wyoming, South Dakota has one of the lowest tax burdens at 7.1%. Individuals living in the state also appear to be overall quite happy. The winters can be difficult.
  • Colorado: It will not come as a surprise to most people that Colorado has some of the best weather across the country. The state experiences a great deal of sunshine and very little humidity. The city of Denver, for example, enjoys more than 300 days of sun every single year. The tax burden in the state is 8.9%.
  • Utah: Individuals who love the great outdoors will find a broad range of activities to keep them excited and active in Utah. The state also ranks sixth best in the nation for weather. Taxes might be slightly higher than other states but the cost of living is below the national average.
  • Virginia: The only coastal state to make the ranking is Virginia, primarily because the state has very low cost of living. The low crime rate across the state is also beneficial.

New Fiduciary Rule Could Be Good For Investors In 2016

January 19, 2016

Filed under: Retirement Planning — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

 

The stock market may be a little bit bumpy in 2016 but it looks like those who are focusing on retirement saving can benefit during this same period. This is because the US Department of Labor is applying the final touches to what’s known as a fiduciary rule that means a lot for anyone who has an individual retirement account or 401(k).shutterstock_47215390

This rule will alter the retirement advice business completely because it will mandate that insurance agents, brokers, banks and mutual fund companies all keep their fees low in order to protect your savings from excessive risk when you are receiving information about what to do next. One important thing to consider in relation to this regulation has to do with the case of J.P. Morgan Chase and Company. shutterstock_47215390

Right before the holidays, the biggest bank in the country agreed to pay more than $300 million to settle claims about advisors and brokers forcing clients into their own costly investment products over other options without making the required disclosures about this for conflict of interest.

According to those claims, J.P. Morgan additionally gave preference to hedge fund managers in a third party possession who paid placement fees for the market value of the client assets that were invested. It can put a drag on performance for the investor and ultimately hurt the investor tremendously, which is part of the reason this fiduciary rule is being considered to begin with.

Contact a New Jersey estate planning attorney today to get started with the planning process for your estate. Reach out to us at info@lawesq.net.

Should I Worry About Protecting My IRA?

September 29, 2014

Filed under: Asset Protection,Asset Protection Planning,IRA,Retirement Planning — Tags: — Neel Shah @ 9:02 pm

This past June, an important ruling from the Supreme Court found that an inherited IRA is not protected as retirement funds. If a beneficiary of inherited IRA funds files for bankruptcy, the funds they inherited could be subject to creditor claims.

Photo Credit: breitbart.com

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This new finding highlights the value of a trust. If the inherited IRA funds were received by a beneficiary though a trust, this would help to protect those funds so that they could be used in the manner desired by the person setting up

the beneficiaries. One such example is the use of a Standalone Retirement Trust, where inherited funds flow to a third-party trust after the retirement plan owner passes away. While the beneficiary still retains access to the funds, the fact that he or she didn’t create the trust allows quite a bit of protection for the beneficiary.

There are some states where laws on the books do protect inherited retirement accounts from creditors, but it’s always wise to consult with an estate planning attorney to discuss best structures for passing down assets. To learn more about your options, send us an email at info@lawesq.net or contact us via phone at 732-521-9455 to get started.

New After-Tax Rollover Rules For Your 401(k)

September 26, 2014

Filed under: Retirement Planning,Taxes — Tags: — Neel Shah @ 8:47 pm

New rules for your 401(k) could actually end up benefitting you. If you have saved after tax money in your 401(k) retirement account, it can be rolled over to a Roth IRA. While in the Roth IRA, your money will grow on a tax free basis instead of a tax deferred basis. You’ll avoid having to pay pro rata taxes on your distribution, too.

Photo Credit: visionarywealthmgmt.com

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This new change creates an opportunity for planning. Prior to this new rule, advisors had to use complex planning tools to address client concerns. Taxpayers were required to roll over their entire 401(k) and use outside funds at the time to manage the 20% income tax withholding amount. The new rule, however, gives people without the cash on hand to replace dollars that were already withheld through a distribution.

In order to capitalize on this new rule, it’s important to understand that the distributions must be scheduled at the same time or they will be treated as separate, causing the mix of pre-tax and post-tax dollars. While the official rules begin on January 1, 2015, taxpayers can make use of them now since the rules were issued on September 18, 2014. In the past the IRS has allowed taxpayer relief based on a “reasonable interpretation” standard.

To learn more about the best strategies for your 401(k) and other retirement accounts, contact our offices for a personalized consultation. Request an appointment via email at info@lawesq.net or over the phone 732-521-9455.

Supreme Court Decision: Inherited IRA NOT Protected

July 31, 2014

Filed under: Asset Protection,Beneficiaries,IRA,Retirement Planning — Tags: , , , — Neel Shah @ 3:32 pm

A recent decision from the Supreme Court means there’s no better time than now to review your estate plans and ensure that you have identified the best possible solution for passing down assets to another generation. This new ruling states that inherited IRA funds DO NOT QUALIFY under the category of “retirement funds” under bankruptcy exemption guidelines. Previously, these kinds of funds might have been considered “bulletproof” from creditors, but this new ruling means it could be time to re-evaluate how you’re transferring your assets down to children and other beneficiaries. Is a Standalone Retirement Trust or IRA Trust right for me?

Supreme Court Decision Inherited IRA NOT Protected
(Photo Credit: baltimoretimes-online.com)

According to the Supreme Court, the members of which conducted reviews of the Bankruptcy Code to get more specifics on the situation, inherited IRAs should not count as retirement funds because the individual inheriting the assets cannot contribute to the funds or invest more money into them. Since the IRA also requires that the accountholder draw money from the account, the Supreme Court argued that this would “undermine the purpose of the Bankruptcy Code”.

Each client wishing to establish plans for the future transfer of assets to beneficiaries has their own concerns and situations, which is why it’s so critical that you work with a team of experienced planning attorneys to meet your goals and increase the chances that those assets will be protected and meaningful for the beneficiary. To review trusts and other options for asset transfer, email info@lawesq.net or contact us via phone at 732-521-9455

Mid-Year Tax Planning Tips

June 20, 2014

Filed under: Income Tax Planning,Retirement Planning,Taxes — Tags: , , — Neel Shah @ 3:57 pm

While not much has come out in the first half of 2014 with regard to tax legislation, there are still some important tax planning opportunities to tap into. Mid-year is a great time to schedule in your financial and estate planning review to double-check that nothing has changed and to verify that you don’t need any additional components in your plan.

Mid-Year Tax Planning Tips
(Photo Credit: w2taxservices.com)

Income tax planning usually involves a mix of three separate strategies: earning income that is received with favorable tax rates, like that which comes from qualified dividends or long-term capital gains, delaying the payment of tax by deferring income receipt to another year, and avoiding income bubbles that bump you up to another tax rate.

One way to reduce your tax obligations and contribute to your future is to ensure that you’re putting money (and enough of it) into a tax-qualified retirement plan. Doing so means that you are deferring taxes on earnings until you actually take the distributions out.

Finally, a great mid-year step to take is to verify that you are keeping good records. While most people make this promise to themselves after a hectic tax season in April, they tend to forget about it until tax time rolls around again next year. Instead, make sure you’ve kept track of your charitable deductions to date, any extra income, and other tax-related details. It’s also a great time to set up a meeting with your planner to discuss more options, especially if you have other goals you’d like to meet. To schedule your mid-year review, call us at 732-521-9455 or send an email requesting an appointment to info@lawesq.net.

Charitable Choices: Gifting Retirement Funds at Death

June 19, 2014

Filed under: Charitable Giving,Retirement Planning,Taxes — Tags: , , — Neel Shah @ 3:41 pm

Are you thinking about making a gift to a charity on your death? It might be a better option to instead consider gifting your retirement account, and there are a few different reasons for this. This can help to maximize the tax benefits for your estate, but also for the individual heirs benefitting from your estate.

Charitable Choices Gifting Retirement Funds at Death
(Photo Credit: bloomberg.com)

As of now, assets above the value of $5,340,000 that are outright transferred from a taxable estate are hit with a 40% tax, even though the individuals who receive those assets don’t have income taxes also taken out of that amount. There is, however, an exception to this, and it’s for IRAs, 401ks, and qualified retirement plans. They are categorized as ordinary income as distributions since the government has not yet taxed this money.

Gifts to charity are not subjected to the estate tax and are at the same time excluded from the taxable estate. The amount gifted to the charity can be deducted from your federal estate tax return to reduce your overall estate beneath the $5,340,000 referenced above. When done properly, this could mean that little or no federal estate tax is due upon your death, therefore meeting your goals of gifting charitably and maximizing the value of your assets for your beneficiaries.

To learn more about charitable giving and other strategies to accomplish estate planning goals, send us a message at info@lawesq.net or contact us via phone at 732-521-9455 to get started.

Wisely Select Your IRA Beneficiary

May 2, 2014

Filed under: IRA,Retirement Planning — Tags: , , , , — Neel Shah @ 3:36 am

If you have spent your working and pre-retirement years pouring into, rather than having to tap into, your retirement savings, congratulations! You’re on your way to being set up for success. Before kicking back and relaxing, though, it’s worth conducting a review to see how you’ve set up the beneficiary on your IRA. There are possible estate tax and income tax risks for you and your chosen beneficiary.

Wisely Select Your IRA Beneficiary
(Photo Credit: finance.zacks.com)

For non-Roth retirement accounts, you’ll want to factor in how long the beneficiary will push off distributions, the required minimum distributions, and the possible income tax bracket for that individual. All of these factors ca give you a window into the tax liability for the beneficiary. The majority of the time, RMDs will kick in pretty soon after a retirement plan is inherited. That depends on the oldest beneficiary, however, so the younger your beneficiaries are, the better off they’ll be. With smaller RMDs, there’s better opportunity for them to benefit from tax-deferred growth in the retirement account they are inheriting.

If you list your spouse as the beneficiary, which many people do, bear in mind that this could will increase their own taxable estate (although you’ll be able to transfer to your spouse estate tax free). Any beneficiaries outside your spouse will probably mean that your retirement account is included in your estate. Have you considered Stand Alone Retirement Trust? To learn more about the best planning strategies for your retirement account and asset protection needs, send us an email to info@lawesq.net or contact us via phone at 732-521-9455 to get started.

Planning for an Abroad Retirement? Keep These Tips in Mind

April 29, 2014

Filed under: Retirement Planning — Tags: , , — Neel Shah @ 8:35 am

A growing number of people are hoping to cash in on their retirement dreams by living abroad. Many retirees even keep their U.S. bank accounts and simply set up plans to live abroad, and retiring in another country and help to significantly reduce retirement expenses. In some cases, retirees may even be able to live abroad on just $25,000 a year.

Planning for an Abroad Retirement Keep These Tips in Mind
(Photo Credit: dailymail.co.uk)

You’ll need to be prepared to set up a new bank account abroad so that you can meet routine expenses. It’s also a very wise move to check out what link you’ll be using to transfer funds from U.S. accounts. Without doing your research, you might find that you’re hit with extremely high fees for transferring to another bank and especially into another currency. You must be prepared with a strategy to monitor currency risk, since whether it makes sense to convert assets over or keep them in your home currency largely depends on the market.

You also want to factor in taxes. You’ll have to keep filing a U.S. tax return and probably another one in your new country. The IRS will generally give you credit for taxes that you have paid abroad, but that is not true for all cases. You’ll want to set up a personalized meeting with an estate planning specialist before banking on paying foreign taxes only.

Finally, plan for healthcare. Many retirees look for a location that has access to quality and affordable healthcare. Locations far out from medical services can be a hassle for retirees, who are more likely to need routine care. Talk more about your plans to live abroad with an estate planning attorney so that you are prepared to go when it’s time. To get started fleshing out your overseas retirement dreams, contact us at 732-521-9455 or email us at info@lawesq.net

The Fifteen Best Countries for Overseas Retirement in 2014

February 26, 2014

Filed under: Aging In Place,Estate Planning,Power of Attorney,Retirement Planning — Neel Shah @ 10:00 am

It is not uncommon for Americans to spend significant time away from their home state in order to take advantage of more favorable living conditions. Be it to live for less, for diversity investments, or to simply enjoy one last adventure, more and more Americans are choosing to retire abroad. A recent article discusses the 15 best countries for Americans to retire in 2014.

The Annual Global Retirement Index created the list based on a series of factors, including the price of necessary goods and services such as groceries and utilities, average temperature, and friendliness of the locals. As executive editor Jennifer Stevens explains, the list is “designed to be a real-world snapshot of the places we deem most worth a potential-retiree’s attention today.”

English: View of the Chagres River in Gamboa, ...

English: View of the Chagres River in Gamboa, Panama. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Topping the list for 2014 is Panama. As Stevens explains, Panama offers American retirees a “great combination of variety and value…No matter what it is you’re hoping to find, Panama is a good place to look for it.” The remaining rankings are as follows: (2) Ecuador, (3) Malaysia, (4) Costa Rica, (5) Spain, (6) Colombia, (7) Mexico, (8) Malta, (9) Uruguay, (10) Thailand, (11) Ireland, (12) New Zealand, (13) Nicaragua, (14) Italy and (15) Portugal.

Taking advantage of overseas options does not always mean changing your place of residence, but precautions should be taken to make sure that your estate plan is appropriately adjusted for your travel. To determine your unique considerations before booking your tickets, consult with a qualified estate-planning attorney.

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Avoid These Common Estate Planning Mistakes

November 7, 2013

Filed under: Beneficiaries,Estate Planning,Retirement Planning,Special Needs — Neel Shah @ 5:49 pm

Estate planning is a field fraught with pitfalls. All too often, estate planning mistakes are discovered after the person who created the estate plan has passed on, so he or she cannot fix the problem or explain his or her intentions. A recent article discusses several estate planning mistakes to avoid.

Naming Special Needs Minors or Adults as Beneficiaries
This is often problematic because special needs individuals often receive benefits from the government. However, most of these benefits are needs based, and may cease if the individual receives a large inheritance. Therefore, gifts to special needs individuals must be structured in a way – such as a trust – that keeps them out of the immediate control of the individual.

Failing to Name a Contingent Beneficiary
Failing to name a contingent beneficiary becomes problematic when the primary beneficiary either predeceases the person who created the estate plan, or disclaims his or her share. In either situation, if a contingent beneficiary is not named, the share would pass in accordance with the intestacy statute under state law.

Naming Your Estate As The Beneficiary on a Retirement Plan
When an individual receives the proceeds of a retirement plan after the death of the plan owner, he or she can take advantage of special IRA “stretch out” provisions. Using these provisions, the beneficiary can structure the inherited IRA to receive distributions throughout his or her life. These provisions do not apply when the beneficiary on the plan is an estate.

Safeguard Your Wealth for Retirement

October 8, 2013

Filed under: Asset Protection Planning,Estate Planning,IRA,Retirement Planning — Neel Shah @ 1:27 pm

It is never too early to start planning for a long and comfortable retirement. A major part of retirement planning is safeguarding assets from the uncertainty that life often brings. A recent article shares some tips for protecting retirement savings from potential liabilities such as lawsuits, while also ensuring that there is money available to you when you need it.  Here are some important takeaways:

retirement

retirement (Photo credit: 401(K) 2013)

Schedule Your Assets Based on Your Financial Timeline
People often protect their wealth by putting it in investments or policies that they will not be able to access for a number of years. While this is typically a great way to keep assets from creditors, it may become problematic if a person needs access to the money. Therefore, it is wise to schedule your investments and policies so that they become due at various, critical times in your life, such as when your children go to college or when you plan to retire.

Be Risky, Within Reason
Risky maneuvers, such as putting money into the stock market, can often pay off where financial planning is concerned. However, too much risk can lead to disaster as well. In order to safeguard the bulk of your retirement savings, you may consider secured-return investments such as a fixed indexed annuity. Place a much smaller portion into vulnerable investments and securities.

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The Phases of Retirement

September 25, 2013

Filed under: Retirement Planning — Neel Shah @ 9:00 am

Too many individuals find themselves altogether unprepared for retirement. The difficulties that this unpreparedness creates are compounded by the fact that, with longer life expectancies, retirement is longer than individuals had originally anticipated. A recent article discusses how people can plan for the three phases of retirement.

Retirement

Retirement (Photo credit: 401(K) 2013)

The Early Years

Because Americans are living longer than ever, many will have to avoid pulling benefits from social security until it is absolutely essential. A person who delays taking his or social security withdrawals beyond his or her full retirement age will receive a benefit increase from 6% to 8%. Importantly, those who delay accepting social security benefits may need to sign up for Medicare at age 65 to reduce the cost of long-term health insurance down the road.

The Middle Years

After a person reaches age 70 ½, traditional IRAs and employer-sponsored retirement plans will require that person to begin taking annual withdrawals. Often, these plans have a steep penalty for those who do not take the withdrawals. Conversely, Roth IRAs don’t require individuals to make withdrawals during their lifetime. Therefore, for those who do not anticipate needing such withdrawals, a Roth IRA is a good option.

The Later Years

In the later years of retirement, estate planning becomes paramount. It is important to review all financial documents to ensure that they still align with your wishes. Moreover, many people experience changes in their circumstances as they age. It is important to be sure that these changes are accounted for in your estate plan.

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Protecting the Nest Egg: Asset Protection for Retirement

September 10, 2013

Filed under: Asset Protection Planning,Retirement Planning — Neel Shah @ 9:00 am

By the time a person retires, he or she should have created an asset base that is sufficient to allow him or her to retire without dramatically reducing his or her standard of living. Moreover, most individuals would also like to pass down assets to the next generation. As a recent article explains, those who succeed in creating a sufficient asset base for retirement need to be careful to protect it from any liability that may arise down the road.

Asset protection strategies cannot fully protect all assets from all claims. However, a good asset protection strategy can effectively reduce threats to many assets, such as real property, investments, businesses, and various other assets.

Nest egg

Nest egg (Photo credit: Gemma Garner)

One common asset protection strategy is holding property under Tenancy by the Entirety. This is a type of co-ownership that is available exclusively to married couples. Couples who own asset(s) through Tenancy by the Entirety each have a right of survivorship, meaning that the surviving spouse automatically takes the deceased spouse’s share. In certain states, assets held in this form are protected from lawsuits that fail to name both spouses as defendants.

Another common asset protection strategy is transferring the ownership of assets to a limited partnership. Limited partnerships are popular for holding investments and liquid assets. In order to form a limited partnership, you need one or more general partners, and one or more limited partners. These particular strategies will allow for the effective protection of assets for retirement. 

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