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Do you know how to access your retirement funds at any age without a penalty?
Did you know a portion of your company's retirement plan may qualify for capital gains tax treatment - but NOT if you just roll it over to an IRA?
Did you know you can have penalty-free access your 401(k) funds at age 55, but not until age 59 1/2 with an IRA?
Did you know 401(k) accounts are "asset protected" under federal law, while IRAs are only protected if a provision exists under state law?
As a Florida-based firm, retirement planning complexities like this have become our specialty, and anyone whose primary objective is to attain and maintain a comfortable retirement should be very cautious about the "advice" that will be routinely thrown your way.
Beware of financial advisors who are eager to roll-over
your 401(k) plan without evaluating all your opportunities
Florida is swamped with senior citizens whose retirement years are less than golden because they relied on bad advice and oversold products.
It is absolutely critical that the decisions you make while planning for retirement, approaching retirement, and during retirement are made with a NAPFA Registered Financial Advisor whose guidance is never driven by a sales incentive or other third party influence.
Planning for retirement is a good time to disregard the one-size-fits-all advice, such as, "You should save between 5 percent and 10 percent of your annual income for retirement." Effective retirement planning requires performing detailed calculations to evaluate the proper amount to save, the amount of net spendable income you can expect, when you can begin receiving it, and how long it will last under variable factors such as inflation, taxes, lifestyle conditions, future medical expenses and potential elder care.
Approaching retirement is an important time to adjust the risk exposures in your investment portfolio to ensure that no last-minute market fluctuations send you back to the drawing board.
During retirement, the focus should shift toward deriving cash flow (not "investing for income") with the least income tax consequence, managing the risk of loss, properly designating the right beneficiaries, and integrating retirement accounts into your estate plan.
It’s not just about how much you make… it’s about how much you keep.
An after-tax return of 6% in one bracket might be superior to a 7% in another bracket; so tax evaluations need to take place continuously throughout the year as we strive to maximize investment returns and minimize risk.
Tax planning is the on-going process of asking what-if questions and comparing various options. For example:
The conversation about "risk" at many financial companies results in an insurance policy or annuity. A FirsTrust Certified Financial Planner® sees risk as an actual issue, not a sales opportunity, and lends an unbiased evaluation and professional perspective to the subject from many critical angles:
Our clients tell us some of their greatest concerns pertain to cash management.
First and foremost, they want to make sure their money doesn’t run out before they do; so we generate a variety of what-if scenarios to project income, and stress-test the ability of their resources to generate cash flow under multiple scenarios and over different periods of time.
Additionally, they want a reliable and consistent “flow” of cash, which is achieved by creating a sustainable process for moving cash and funding their accounts on regular intervals.
Our clients also want to be tax efficient, so we also focus on “sourcing” their spendable income from their accounts in a manner that generates the least amount of tax burden. For many retired clients, this involves an ongoing efficiency analysis. Should your income come from investments that produce dividends and interest, or is there a more tax efficient way to generate cash flow? Should you defer withdrawals from your IRA or retirement account? Can your income be derived from capital gains at a lower tax rate?
At FirsTrust, our expert wealth managers discuss all of your tax planning needs with you to ensure your mind is put at ease.
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These are important conversations to have with an experienced, unbiased, Fee-Only Certified Financial Planner® at FirsTrust.
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