Financial Planning in Your 40’s and 50’s
Life Events Can Be Critical
As your children grow and you reach the peak of your career, your financial focus shifts toward retirement. Mature families today face difficult choices, especially as we all recover from the recent recession and housing market decline. Since the decisions you make today will significantly impact your future lifestyle, schedule regular consultations with us to ensure that you’re on track toward your retirement goals.
How much will you need to retire?
Hopefully, you’ve been planning for retirement since the start of your career. But now, as your expected retirement date looms, you might find yourself wondering whether you’re on track to meet your target goals. You might even wonder whether those target savings goals are really adequate to fund your retirement.
Those are good questions to ask. With the average life expectancy increasing, and the cost of health care rising, many people are not as well prepared for retirement as they once believed. You might spend twenty, thirty, or more years in retirement, so it’s important to ensure that your retirement income plan is solvent for at least two decades. We can help you analyze your priorities, decide upon your retirement income needs, and set a savings goal. If you’re coming up short in your progress toward that goal, we can show you strategies to help you establish a stable income in retirement.
Wealth Accumulation Strategies
Your parents and grandparents probably depended upon a company pension to provide income in retirement. But since most American companies are phasing out pension plans, the burden of saving for retirement rests squarely on your shoulders.
You will depend upon a 401(k) plan, IRA, or another type of retirement plan to help you prepare for the future. But the choices you make within these plans can significantly increase or decrease your earnings. We can help you navigate issues such as fund selections, fees, risk management, balancing your portfolio, and more. It’s important to regularly review your plan so that you can make necessary adjustments, and to continue to reevaluate your investment strategy even after you retire.
Most people think of retirement planning in terms of setting savings goals, reaching those goals, and then establishing a budget once they stop working. But it’s actually a bit more complicated than that. Income taxes can impact your retirement income much more than you would think, so it’s important to understand the tax implications of each of your decisions ahead of time.
With regard to taxes, there are two basic methods of saving for retirement:
- Tax-advantaged accounts, such as 401(k) plans, allow you to set aside pre-tax dollars. This lowers your overall tax burden each year, but withdrawals will be taxed as regular income in retirement.
- Roth accounts, such as the Roth IRA, are funded with after-tax dollars as you prepare for retirement. However, your future withdrawals will not be subject to income taxes, making Roth accounts an attractive option for those who need to establish tax-free retirement income.
Which method of saving for retirement is right for you? That depends on your individual situation. Some people even choose a mix of the above two methods. When you meet with us, we can help you estimate your future income taxes in retirement, and create a structured income plan that helps you to maximize your income while avoiding excessive taxation.
What can you expect from Social Security?
Retirement has changed significantly since your parents retired. When Social Security was originally established, it was meant to provide only a supplement to other forms of retirement income such as pensions or personal savings. But with pension plans disappearing and life expectancy increasing, retirees today are feeling a strain on their budgets. Yet, it’s important to remember that your Social Security benefits probably won’t be sufficient to cover your cost of living.
Recent changes to the Social Security program only add to your worries. By 2035, there will be 2.1 working taxpayers for every Social Security beneficiary. And with the surplus fund running out of money, lawmakers are struggling to come up with solutions that will keep the program afloat.
If you’re worried about your Social Security benefits, schedule an appointment with us to discuss your concerns. We can help you estimate your future benefit amount, create a strategy to maximize your benefits, and decide upon a financial plan to help fill in the gaps.
Strategies for College Funding
Your children deserve the best in life, and naturally, you feel willing to do whatever it takes to ensure they receive a solid education. Unfortunately, prices of college tuition are soaring. The average in-state public university charges over $9,000 per year, and private university tuition has now topped $31,000 annually. Many families face difficult choices with regard to college funding.
The pressure often leads parents to make drastic decisions, such as taking out a second mortgage or borrowing from their own retirement funds. These actions are nearly always a mistake and will cause significant financial harm in the long run.
Luckily, there are other ways to fund your child’s college education. A 529 plan allows you to set aside tax-free dollars in an investment vehicle, where the money can grow to cover educational expenses in the future. Plus, many families are surprised to learn that their child can qualify for more federal student aid than they previously believed. Private scholarships, grants, and work-study programs are also good options. We can help you plan for your child’s tuition expenses, without taking risks that harm your own personal long-term goals.
Using insurance to help protect your family – How much life insurance do you need?
It seems like a simple purchase, but selecting a life insurance policy is actually one of the most important financial decisions you will ever make. This is the insurance policy that will help protect your family in the event that something ever happens to you – and they deserve the best protection you can afford!
Neglecting to perform a needs analysis is one of the biggest mistakes people make when choosing a life insurance policy. You might think you know how much life insurance you need, but a needs analysis will uncover the reality of your situation. And because there are many different types of life insurance, it’s important to learn how each type can help you prepare for your future.
Don’t take the risk of under-insuring your loved ones. Come see us for a needs analysis, so that we can help you choose a policy that perfectly suits your needs.