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.
Have you given a great deal of thought about your “bucket list” recently? For most people, a bucket list consists of things we have always wanted to do and many of those things involve taking risks or traveling far away from home or exploring some other type of great unknown. I read an article recently in Financial Advisor Magazine that discussed regrets that people had as they aged. The article said, “Among the top regrets were: not following their dreams, not taking risks with their careers, not taking risks with their lives in general, and not being gutsy enough in the choices they made.”CONTINUE READING
Do you remember when you learned how to dive? Do you remember how you felt when you saw others doing it and you wished, hoped for the day when you would have the courage and agility to take that plunge and know that you’d land gracefully in the water? Do you remember how ungraceful that first attempt was?
I have this vivid memory of learning to dive. We went to this pool every summer during childhood and there were older kids and adults who used to take turns practicing their dives. From my perspective, each of them was better than the last. They would walk slowly up to the edge, look down into the water, bounce once with two feet on the board, then with just one– shooting their knee straight up in the air, then one final time before they raised their arms high over their head, and traveled in a perfect arc, making the most peaceful splash as they landed– arms, then head then torso and lastly feet into the water. I so desperately wanted to be able to do as they did. My dad, was eager to teach when I asked him to show me the secret. But he explained that there was no secret at all. What was needed was precision, an understanding of gravity and physics and, most importantly, courage. He explained that courage was most important, not because it would improve your dive, but because it would empower you to keep going until you perfected it.CONTINUE READING