Posts Tagged ‘financial advisors’

Conducting A Review of Your Estate Plan

Monday, April 7th, 2014

Your estate plan is successfully implemented. Now you are done, right? Wrong. There is still one critical step that remains: carrying out a periodic review and update. This is important because, let’s face it, life is not predictable. Things change. People retire, people get divorced, people move, people die, laws change, the stock market fluctuates, and much more! And each one of these individual circumstances can have a major impact on your estate.retirement benefits

A periodic review can give you peace of mind. And how often should you conduct a review of your estate plan?

Large Estates: Those of you with large estates should review your estate plan annually.

Small Estates: Those of you with smaller estates should review your estate plan every five years, minimum.

Major Life Events: Aside from the above recommended reviews, you should also look at your estate plan after any major life event, including:

•      Changes in estate valuation

•      Economic changes

•      Changes in occupation or employment

•      Changes in family situations

•      Changes in your closely held business interest

•      Changes in the estate plan

•      Major transactions

•      Changes in insurance coverage

•      Death of trustee/executor/guardian

•      Other important changes

If you have any questions about what you have just read, or if you would like to know more about trusts and retirement planning, consult the financial advisors at Safe Retirement Solutions by calling 877-268-4086 or visit our website today!

We help our clients in all phases of their retirement planning. We help them prepare for a retirement free from financial worries, so that they can enjoy their retirement years. We help to enable our retired clients with the transition of their wealth into a carefree income that will last them a lifetime.

You can also follow Safe Retirement Solutions on Facebook and Twitter.

How To Financially Plan After College

Monday, January 13th, 2014

After graduating from college, young men and women have many things to worry about, especially when it comes to finding a job in today’s business world.  But what many recent grads fail to take into consideration is their financial future.

The best time to start saving for your retirement is NOW!

Financial Advice for Recent College Graduates

  1. Save as much as you can now: Try and save as much money as you can while you are young. Odds are that the future will bring with it many more financial obligations, including a mortgage and a family. But saving along isn’t enough…
  2. You need to Invest: Making the right investments now can make all the difference in the future.
  3. Talk to your Employer: Most companies offer a 401K match plan, which means that your employer will match all or a percentage of what you put away for retirement. If you do not take advantage of this, you are essentially leaving money on the table.
  4. Contact Safe Retirement Solutions: We are a full service, independent financial advisory firm dedicated to providing you with the very best in retirement income planning. Our President and CEO Rod Borowy has been helping people achieve their financial goals since 1975. He considers all of our clients to be a part of the “Safe Retirement Solutions” family.

For more information about Professional Financial Planning or Financial Advice, consult the financial advisers at Safe Retirement Solutions by calling 877-268-4086 or visit our website today!

Safe Retirement Solutions’ financial advisers help our clients in all phases of their retirement planning. We help them prepare for a retirement free from financial worries, so that they can enjoy their retirement years. We help to enable our retired clients with the transition of their wealth into a carefree income that will last them a lifetime.

You can also follow Safe Retirement Solutions on Facebook and Twitter.

Benefits of IRA Legacy Planning

Monday, September 30th, 2013

Protecting and preserving your retirement savings is just one of the many crucial aspects that go into planning for retirement. If handled properly, an IRA can sustain you throughout retirement and provide a significant inheritance for your loved ones or favorite charity. If not handled properly, your beneficiaries could end up losing as much as 80% of your retirement savings to taxes. 

There is a solution – IRA Legacy Planning.

This important retirement planning strategy helps secure how you will pass along your hard-earned savings. IRA Legacy Planning ensures that your IRAs and other qualified plans are properly incorporated into your estate plan.

Benefits of IRA Legacy Planning

•      Increase the extent and validity of your retirement savings

•      Minimize taxes on the transference of your retirement savings

•      Provide a significant inheritance for your loved ones

•      Ensure the “Stretch IRA”

•      Avoid common mistakes that could result in unnecessary taxes and loss of assets

•      Communicate instructions to beneficiaries upon your passing

If you have any questions about what you have just read, or if you would like to know more about IRA Legacy and retirement planning, consult a financial advisor like Safe Retirement Solutions by calling 877-268-4086 or visit our website today!

We help our clients in all phases of their retirement planning. We help them prepare for a retirement free from financial worries, so that they can enjoy their retirement years. We help to enable our retired clients with the transition of their wealth into a carefree income that will last them a lifetime.

You can also follow Safe Retirement Solutions on Facebook and Twitter.

Sources:

IRA Legacy Planning: Protecting Your Life Savings

Annuities: Common Benefits

Monday, September 23rd, 2013

Both fixed rate annuities and variable rate annuities share several common benefits. These benefits include:

Annuities are Ideal for Estate Planning: Upon your death, the proceeds of your annuity pass directly to your beneficiaries without delays or hidden fees.

Annuities are Tax Deferred: Thanks to this annuity tax deferral, you only pay taxes on earnings when you withdraw your annuity’s gains.

Annuities have No Contribution Limits: Unlike 401 (k)s and Individual Retirement Accounts, which are limited, annuities allow you to contribute as much as you want (up to the limits imposed by the insurer).

Annuities have Flexible Payment Options: 401 (k)s and IRAs require you to begin withdrawals at the age of 70 1/2. Annuities offer more flexibility through the following payment methods:

•      Lump Sum distribution (one-time payment)

•      Periodic distributions (withdraw money when you need it)

•      Systematic distributions (a fixed or variable amount is withdrawn at regular intervals)

•      Annuitization (fixed or variable payments, guaranteed for the rest of your life)

Annuities and Tax Control: Annuities are made up of two parts: principal and earnings. As long as you open your annuity with after-tax dollars, only your earnings are taxable.

Annuities are Easy To Start and Maintain: An application, a check, and a signature is all that stands between you and the beginning of your retirement savings.

Additional Annuity Benefits: These include:

•      Annuities do not offset Social Security benefits.

•      Annuities are easy to establish and often come with a “free look period.”

•      You can exchange older, non-performing annuities into a newer fixed annuity with no tax consequences.

If you have any questions about what you have just read, or if you would like to know more about annuities and retirement planning, consult a financial advisor like Safe Retirement Solutions by calling 877-268-4086 or visit our website today!

We help our clients in all phases of their retirement planning. We help them prepare for a retirement free from financial worries, so that they can enjoy their retirement years. We help to enable our retired clients with the transition of their wealth into a carefree income that will last them a lifetime.

You can also follow Safe Retirement Solutions on Facebook and Twitter.

Sources:

Annuities: Common Benefits

What is a Trust

Monday, September 2nd, 2013

A trust is a legal entity that is created for the purpose of transferring property to a trustee for the benefit of a third person (beneficiary). The trustee manages the property for the beneficiary according to the terms of the trust document.

Beneficiary: A beneficiary is an equitable (or beneficial) owner of the trust property. Either immediately or eventually, the beneficiaries will receive income from the trust property, or they will receive the property itself. Until this time, the trust is primarily the responsibility of a trustee.

Trustee: Trustees are usually appointed by the trust, but can be court appointed in the case that no trustee was previously designated. There are two main types of trustees, professional and non-professional. A trustee has several rights and responsibilities depending on the type of trust.

Types of Trusts

  • Revocable trusts
  • Irrevocable trusts
  • Irrevocable life insurance trusts
  • Qualified terminable interest property trusts
  • Spendthrift trust
  • Grantor trusts

 

  • Credit shelter trusts or Bypass trust
  • Generation-skipping trusts
  • Qualified personal residence trusts
  • “Self-Settled” Special Needs trusts
  • “Third-Party” Special Needs trust
  •  And more!

Consult a financial adviser to find out which type of trust best fits your wants and needs.

Benefits of Trusts

  • Provide management assistance for your heirs.
  • Can help minimize estate taxes for married individuals with substantial assets.
  • Contingent trusts for minors allow you to avoid the costs of having a court-appointed guardian to manage you children’s assets should you die.
  • When properly funded, trusts help avoid many of the administrative costs of probate, including attorney fees and document filing fees.
  • Revocable living trusts help keep the distribution of your estate and other private assets.
  • Trusts can be used to dispense income to intermediate beneficiaries (e.g., children, elderly parents) before final property distribution.
  • Trusts can ensure that assets go to your intended beneficiaries. For example, if you have children from a prior marriage you can make sure that they, as well as a current spouse, are provided for.
  • Trusts can minimize income taxes by allowing the shifting of income among beneficiaries.
  • Properly structured irrevocable life insurance trusts can provide liquidity for estate settlement needs while removing the policy proceeds from estate taxation at the death of the insured.

If you have any questions about what you have just read, or if you would like to know more about trusts and retirement planning, consult the financial advisors at Safe Retirement Solutions by calling 877-268-4086 or visit our website today!

We help our clients in all phases of their retirement planning. We help them prepare for a retirement free from financial worries, so that they can enjoy their retirement years. We help to enable our retired clients with the transition of their wealth into a carefree income that will last them a lifetime.

You can also follow Safe Retirement Solutions on Facebook and Twitter.

Sources:

Advantages of Trusts

Trust Law

What kinds of trusts are there?

Different Types of Trusts for Different Purposes

What is a Thrift Savings Plan?

Monday, August 5th, 2013

A thrift savings plan (TSP) – which was first created by the Federal Employee’s Retirement System Act of 1986 - is a defined, tax-deferred retirement savings plan for Federal employees, members of the armed forces, and all employees covered under the older Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS). A TSP is one of the three components that comprise the Federal Retirement System (FERS).

  1. Thrift Savings Plan
  2. FERS Annuity
  3. Social Security

A TSP – which is administered by the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board – is designed to closely resemble the dynamics of the 401 (k) retirement plans offered by most private sector companies. Contributions to the plan are automatically deducted from each paycheck. By participating in the TSP, Federal employees to…

  1. Save part of their income for retirement
  2. Receive matching agency contributions
  3. Reduce their current taxes

In the event of your death, if you have not already withdrawn funds, payments would be made to your survivors as follows:

  1. Widow or widower.
  2. Child or children
  3. Descendants of deceased children by representation.
  4. Retiree’s parents or to the surviving parent.
  5. The executor or administrator of the retiree’s estate.
  6. To any other of the retiree’s next of kin who is entitled under the laws of the state in which the retiree resided at death.

Or, if you prefer a different payment succession, you can fill our a designation form.

If you have any questions about what you have just read, or if you would like to know more about Thrift Savings Plans and retirement planning, consult the financial advisors at Safe Retirement Solutions by calling 877-268-4086 or visit our website today!

We help our clients in all phases of their retirement planning. We help them prepare for a retirement free from financial worries, so that they can enjoy their retirement years. We help to enable our retired clients with the transition of their wealth into a carefree income that will last them a lifetime.

You can also follow Safe Retirement Solutions on Facebook and Twitter.

Sources:

Thrift Savings Plan

Thrift Savings Plan – TSP

Thrift Savings Plan (TSP)

Estate Planning in Baltimore: A Brief Overview

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013

Estate planning is one of the most important parts of planning for the unexpected. Many people procrastinate about the decisions that need to be made about their estate and if one is unprepared, your beneficiaries may feel disenfranchised when it comes time to deal with your estate.

According to the National Association of Estate Planners & Councils, more than 120 million Americans do not have up-to-date estate plans to protect themselves or their families in the event of sickness, accidents, or death.

By definition, estate planning is a process designed to help you manage and preserve your assets while you are alive, and to conserve and control their distribution after your death according to your goals and objectives. But what estate planning means to you specifically depends on who you are.

Your age, health, wealth, lifestyle, life stage, goals, and many other factors determine your particular estate planning needs. For example, you may have a small estate and may be concerned only that certain people receive particular things. A simple will is probably all you’ll need. Or, you may have a large estate, and minimizing any potential estate tax impact is your foremost goal. Here, you’ll need to use more sophisticated techniques in your estate plan, such as a trust.

Here are a few estate planning tips from Safe Retirement Solutions:

  • Prepare a will – If you don’t prepare a will, the laws that govern your domicile will determine who inherits what. This is important for non-financial resources such as your prized possessions that relatives may want. Making a will can ensure that your possessions get inherited by the correct people.
  • Create a trust – A trust will make sure that your funds are allocated to cover specific expenses after you’ve passed on. Expenses such as funeral costs, school loans, house payments and any other bills that are overdue can be adequately planned and paid for using a trust.
  • Minimize the impact of Estate & Income Taxes – Using tax-efficient strategies can help curb the costs of estate and income taxes. Strategies such as giving your saved-up wealth as a gift to beneficiaries or leaving your taxable assets to charities are both great ways to minimize the effects of these taxes. Talking with your local Annapolis estate planning professionals at Safe Retirement Solutions can help you figure out ways to avoid heavy taxes.

 

If you’re ready to plan your estate, that’s where we come in. The financial advisors in Annapolis at Safe Retirement Solutions can help you develop a diversified portfolio to help you make the most of your investments. The Baltimore financial advisors at Safe Retirement Solutions can help you determine what steps to take to make sure your estate is properly taken care of, and provide alternative retirement savings guidance. To get started, call 877-268-4086 or visit our website today!

Follow us on FacebookTwitter, LinkedIn, and Google+ for more retirement planning tips.

A Deeper Look into a Roth IRA :: Financial Planning :: Retirement Planning

Thursday, May 10th, 2012

What is a Roth IRA?

Introduced in 1998, the Roth IRA was named after Senator William Roth Jr. of Delaware, the chief sponsor of this new financial planning tool.

What is the Difference Between a Roth IRA and a Traditional IRA?

Unlike a traditional IRA, Roth IRAs are funded with after-tax dollars and accumulate tax-free. This type of IRA also has no restrictions governing when you are allowed to start taking distributions.

What are the Advantages of a Roth IRA?

  • Contributions to a Roth IRA can be withdrawn tax-free and penalty-free at any time.
  • No required minimum distribution (RMD) during the owner’s lifetime.
  • A spousal beneficiary can roll over an inherited Roth IRA and continue to defer withdrawals.
  • As long as the taxpayer is earning some type of compensation or receiving alimony, contributions can continue to a Roth IRA past the age of 70 ½.
  • And more!

What are the Disadvantages of a Roth IRA?

  • Earnings can be withdrawn tax-free and penalty-free only after the Roth IRA has existed for five years and any of the following: the taxpayer has reached age 591/2, is disabled, died, or is withdrawing up to $10,000 to purchase a first home.
  • There are RMDs required after the Roth IRA owner dies, but only for non-spouse beneficiaries.
  • Contributions are not tax-deductible.

What are my IRA Options?

This is where a Safe Retirement Solutions can help! Our full service, independent financial advisory firm is dedicated to providing you with the very best in retirement income planning.

We help our clients in all phases of their retirement planning. We help them prepare for a retirement free from financial worries, so that they can enjoy their retirement years. We help to enable our retired clients with the transition of their wealth into a carefree income that will last them a lifetime.

For more information about Roth IRAs, or for professional financial advice, consult the financial advisors at Safe Retirement Solutions by calling 877-268-4086 or visit our website today!

You can also follow Safe Retirement Solutions on Facebook and Twitter.

Sources:

Roth IRAs

Do-It-Yourself Financial Planning vs. Hiring a Professional Financial Planner

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

Time and time again, we hear of individuals who choose to handle their finances on their own. While this is perfectly acceptable (as long as you know what you are doing), it does have its drawbacks.

DIY Financial Planning

Benefits

  • Save Money.
  • You can learn the basics by reading books on personal finance, attending seminars, and using computer software.
  • You will be able to handle most basic financial tasks.

Disadvantages

  • You will not be prepared to handle more in-depth financial planning tasks, such as: How to reorganize your present investments in order to increase your net after-tax investment return; How to structure the investments held by you and your family in order to maximize the potential financial aid for education funding or long term care; How to select and purchase the best mix of investments and insurance to pre-fund education, survivor needs and retirement income expenses; What changes should be made in your estate plan and retirement plans as result of a thorough needs analysis and goal setting; And much more!
  • You probably do not have the time needed to adequately handle your finances the way a professional financial adviser would.
  • You probably do not have the licenses to make the purchases of products directly.

Professional Financial Adviser

Disadvantages

  • You will have to pay a professional financial adviser.

Benefits

  • Sufficient experience guiding personal financial affairs.
  • Professional education, both initial and ongoing.
  • Standing in recognized financial associations.
  • Adherence to the developed professional standards.
  • A commitment to client service and your objectives.
  • The capacity to fulfill your current and future needs.
  • Sufficient staff, facilities and computer equipment.
  • Provides comprehensive analysis and ongoing services.
  • And much, much more!

For professional financial advice, consult the financial advisors at Safe Retirement Solutions by calling 877-268-4086 or visit our website today!

Safe Retirement Solutions’ financial advisers help our clients in all phases of their retirement planning. We help them prepare for a retirement free from financial worries, so that they can enjoy their retirement years. We help to enable our retired clients with the transition of their wealth into a carefree income that will last them a lifetime.

You can also follow Safe Retirement Solutions on Facebook and Twitter.

Sources:

Obtaining Professional Advice

Testing Your Financial Knowledge

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

You don’t need professional financial advice, right? You know enough to get by.

Well, it is time to test your knowledge or current financial affairs. The following test was developed by the National Center for Financial Education (NCFE) to help you gauge your financial knowledge and how well you are taking advantage of the financial opportunities presented to you.

Answer either: True, False, or Don’t Know

1. The tax Reform Act of 1986 eliminated the tax advantages of real estate investments.

2. Two earner couples can take a deduction up to $3,000 or 7.5%, whichever is greater.

3. Mutual funds only invest in common stocks.

4. Since interest payments on a mortgage are tax deductible, home owners should always itemize instead of taking standard deduction.

5. A tax “deduction” of $1,000 is better than a tax “credit” of $1,000.

6. If an individual is in a 28% federal tax bracket, 28% of their income goes to the federal government.

7. A couple wants to establish an “education account” for their four year old child. If they use the child’s social security number they will not have to pay income tax on the investment’s earnings.

8. An investment which simply “defers” income tax offers no real tax advantage since the tax must be paid eventually.

9. Life insurance is an inflexible contract which offers no investment options, such as stocks or bonds.

10. If you own a mutual fund, outside of an IRA, there is no way you can avoid being taxed on dividends paid.

11. A wife should usually be the “owner” of her husband’s insurance policy to avoid paying federal estate taxes when she collects on the policy.

12. Joint tenancy is the best way for a couple to hold title to property.

13. Since annuities are offered by insurance companies the primary benefit is insurance.

14. An “insured” municipal bond fund has no investment risk.

15. Interest earned in a life insurance policy is always lower than the rate of interest you can earn in a certificate of deposit.

Questions 16-20 – Answer by Circling One Answer

16. Currently, a self-employed individual will contribute what percentage of his or her income towards Social Security?
a. 6.5% b. 7.51% c. 13.02% d. 15.30%

17. If you invest $1,000 for your child or grandchild, age 1, and the yield averages 12%, approximately how much will the investment be worth when the child reaches age 65?
a. $250,000 b. $500,000 c. $1,000,000 d. $1,500,000

18. In fiscal year 1995, the highest federal rate at which income is subject to tax is:
a. 28% b. 31% c. 39.6% d. 36%

19. Currently, corporate employees earning $50,000 will have the following amount contributed to their social security account:
a. $3,312 b. $4,243 c. $7,650 d. $7,848

20. A 45 year old individual would like to retire on $2,000 a month at age 65. Assuming an average inflation rate of 7.2% over the next 20 years, how much income will this individual need each month in retirement to keep pace with inflation?
a. $4,000 b. $6,000 c. $8,000 d. $10,000

FINANCIAL FITNESS SCORING

ANSWERS TO THE QUIZ:

Questions 1 through 15 are all FALSE

16 = d

17 = d

18 = c

19 = c

20 = c

SCORING: Total the number of correct scores and multiply by five. Twenty correct answers = 100%

RATING:

90-100% = Excellent shape

80- 89% = Good shape

70- 79% = Fair shape

60- 69% = Poor shape

How well did you do? Are you still confident in your knowledge of financial affairs?

For professional financial advice, consult the financial advisors at Safe Retirement Solutions by calling 877-268-4086 or visit our website today!

Safe Retirement Solutions’ financial advisers help our clients in all phases of their retirement planning. We help them prepare for a retirement free from financial worries, so that they can enjoy their retirement years. We help to enable our retired clients with the transition of their wealth into a carefree income that will last them a lifetime.

You can also follow Safe Retirement Solutions on Facebook and Twitter.

Sources:

A Financial Fitness Test