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The Problems We Solve

People often come to us for help in solving problems. Below are some of the more popular problems we solve.

How much can I spend in retirement?

Another way to phrase this problem is “will I run out of money?” When you were working and had a paycheck coming in each month you knew how much you could safely spend. Once retired, you may need to supplement your social security, pensions, and other steady income with money from savings. You need an income plan that can both help you establish how much you can spend, and provide a way to see if you are on track as the years go by. A good plan may allow you to spend more in the early, more active “go-go” years of retirement, then cut back as you move into the “slow-go years.” Creating an income plan is one of the key things we do for clients.

Do I have the right investments?

In today’s world, we are constantly being pitched a wide variety of investment options. Once you get to retirement how do you know what to choose? It all starts with the income plan. If you don’t have a plan for where the money will come from for the rest of your life how can you begin to know what to invest in? Yet many people we meet with seem to have a “junk drawer” of investment statements, with no idea how they fit into their retirement income goals. We help clients develop a plan, then fund it with investments it calls for.

I’m paying too much in taxes.

We have yet to meet the person that wants to pay more than their fair share of taxes. While working a person’s regular income usually came from a taxable paycheck, you had little control over the taxes you paid. This changes in retirement. For the first time, you may have significant control over where you take the money from and thus how much you pay in taxes. You may be able to balance the withdrawals over time to minimize your taxable income. You may even be able to “pre-pay” some taxes in a lower bracket using strategies like Roth conversions. We work with a client and their tax preparer to integrate their tax plan with their retirement income plan.

How will I pay for Long Term Care?

The good news is we're living longer. The bad news is it often means we have increased medical cost. Traditional Long Term Care insurance has gotten more and more expensive. At the same time, newer “hybrid” policies have appeared on the market, opening up options we didn’t have before. We can help you compare your options and decided what strategy might be right for you.

Finding Beauty in Change: A Lesson from Lao Tzu

Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like. –Lao Tzu

Life, whether we realize it or not, is a series of transitions. We were born and had to learn to crawl and walk, to talk and read. We grow up, passing through school onto careers and relationships. For some, we raise children. As we grow older and head toward retirement all this change and dramatic transition, can start to feel harder. Experiencing a loss, leaving a job, downsizing, adjusting to changing health, children growing up, the end of a marriage. These major life transitions, some of which we cannot control, are challenging for even the heartiest of people. We try to create order in our lives and we try to plan, but there are some things you just can’t anticipate.

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4 Steps to Manifesting Your Future

Do you ever make lists of all of the things you intend to do but haven’t quite gotten around to? Get back to the gym, go on that trip, start seriously saving for retirement. Whatever it is, it seems that after a few weeks, the list goes back into storage, only to be carted out and dusted off the next time you feel ambitious about getting back to your intentions.

Wanting change and enacting change are two different things. We know we want to lose weight, but the process of changing our lifestyle, modifying our diet and making room in a busy schedule for exercise can seem daunting. Humans are complicated that way. The benefits of completing the goal are not enough incentive to stick to it. We know we need to save for retirement, we know we should be managing our finances, investing and working toward our long-term goals. But, like the grasshopper and the ant, it can be hard to focus on the future when there is so much in the present that grabs our attention. This is called “present bias” and it causes us to spend at the moment instead of stashing more funds away for the future. [i] But when 51% of affluent investors, those who have investable assets over $500,000, fear being financially insecure in retirement and only 56% of American households even have a 401K, it’s definitely something we should be striving toward and discussing.[ii]  So, in this article, let’s explore how to get from creating an intention to actually accomplishing it.

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