SM Guidroz Financial - "Retirement planning and Insurance"


Retirement Income Strategies

Retirement income plans are not just for the wealthy. The traditional strategy as retirement nears has been to move growth-seeking products to more conservative, fixed-income products. This may have worked fine back when retirement was expected to last only five to ten years.

These days, however, people are living longer. Thanks to new prescription drugs and medical technology, it’s not unusual for someone retiring at age 65 to live to age 90 or longer. You may need to plan for your nest egg to potentially last 25 to 30 years.
One drawback to a longer life is the greater possibility of outliving your savings—creating all the more reason to develop a retirement income strategy designed to last a longer lifetime.

A significant loss in the years just prior to and/or just after you retire can have a damaging impact on the level of income you receive over the course of your life. In fact, if a loss occurs earlier in life, there is also the chance that you have more time to recover (versus a significant loss occurring later in retirement). Why? Simply because a smaller pool of assets is left to sustain you through your retirement years.
We can help you design a guaranteed* retirement income strategy which incorporates insurance and annuity vehicles to create opportunities for long-term growth, as well as guarantee income throughout your retirement.
*Guarantees are backed by the financial strength and claims-paying ability of the issuing company, and may be subject to restrictions, limitations or early withdrawal fees. Annuities are not FDIC insured


Asset Protection

In recent years, we’ve seen that aggressive and conservative products, both domestic and global, can move in tandem with one another. In other words, we have experienced market scenarios in which there is very little safety anywhere—even for diversified portfolios.

Twenty-first century asset protection calls for more than just strategic asset allocation. Product allocation—buying financial vehicles such as annuities that can help protect your assets from market risk early in retirement—is generally considered a more effective means of protecting assets.

Diversifying your retirement assets among a variety of vehicles—both insurance and investment oriented, depending on what is appropriate for your situation—may offer you the best chance of meeting your retirement income goals throughout your lifespan.

TaxMinimization Planning

Rising taxes are a concern for many individuals approaching retirement. It’s important to incorporate tax planning into your financial decisions.
Investing in or purchasing a tax-deferred vehicle means your money can compound interest for years, free from income taxes, potentially allowing it to earn interest at a faster rate. While very few financial vehicles avoid taxes altogether, insurance products only allow you to defer paying them until retirement—when you may be in a lower tax bracket.
Please note that withdrawals will reduce the contract value and the value of any protection benefits. Additional withdrawals taken will be subject to a withdrawal charge. All withdrawals are subject to ordinary income tax and, if taken prior to 59 1/2, may be subject to a 10% federal additional tax.

Estate Planning

Estate planning is simply determining—while you’re still alive—where your assets should go after you die. Without a properly structured estate plan, your wishes may not be fulfilled, and your loved ones could be hurt both emotionally and financially.
While the concept is simple, the vehicles, planning and implementation process can be rather complex. Because of the estate tax laws and emerging vehicles to help you protect and transfer your assets effectively, it’s important to work with experienced estate planning professionals who stay current in this field and advise clients on a day-to-day basis. We can refer you to professionals who will help meet your individual needs

IRA Asset Planning

IRA accounts have become one of the largest types of assets inherited by beneficiaries. If you don’t anticipate needing your IRA money in retirement, you may wish to consider a legacy planning strategy to reduce taxes and increase the payout your beneficiaries will receive upon your death.

You may want to use some of the value in your IRA to provide your beneficiary(ies) a regular stream of income while leaving the balance of IRA assets invested for tax-deferred growth. The result may yield substantially more money paid out over the course of your beneficiary’s lifetime. We can help you evaluate your financial situation to determine if IRA legacy planning may be the best means for ensuring a long-lasting inheritance for your heirs.

Trusts

There are many different types of trusts, and they can be complex to set up and execute. However, a trust can be a very flexible and advantageous means to transfer your assets in the future. Most trusts can also provide current benefits, such as tax deferral and deductions. Unlike a will, a trust may help avoid probate upon your death. To learn more about trusts and how they may benefit you, we will be happy to help you consult a qualified estate planning attorney who can assist you with these issues.

Annuities
In the past, retirees could typically count on three sources of retirement income that divided roughly into thirds. The three sources of income have traditionally been government-funded Social Security, employer-sponsored components, and individual savings. With this traditional scenario, both the government and employer-sponsored components of the plan were considered predictable—reliable  income sources that may also be adjusted for inflation. Only one-third of the plan, individual savings, was the responsibility of the individual. Today, however, due to employer-sponsored plans evolving from guaranteed pension payouts to more defined benefit contribution plans, which generally result in a payout at retirement based upon level of individual participation, the majority of the burden for retirement income seems to have shifted to the individual. For this reason, you may want to consider a guaranteed* fixed income component to your retirement strategy. In short, adding an annuity may be an opportunity to help ensure a portion of your retirement income will be guaranteed*.
An annuity is a contract you purchase from an insurance company. For the premium you pay, you receive certain fixed and/or variable interest crediting options able to compound tax deferred until withdrawn. When you are ready to receive income distributions, this vehicle offers a variety of guaranteed* payout options. Most annuities have provisions that allow you to withdraw a percentage of the value of the contract each year, up to a certain limit. However, withdrawals can reduce the value of the death benefit and excess withdrawals above the restricted limit typically incur surrender charges within the first five to fifteen years of the contract. Withdrawals will reduce the contract value and the value of any protection benefits, and because they are designed as a long-term retirement income vehicle, annuity withdrawals made before age 59½ are subject to a 10% penalty fee, and all withdrawals may be subject to income taxes.
* Annuity guarantees rely on the financial strength and claims-paying ability of the issuing insurance company. Annuities are insurance products that may be subject to fees, surrender charges and holding periods which vary by carrier. Annuities are NOT FDIC insured.



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