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Wealth Management 101

Often, preserving wealth can be almost more important than generating it. This presentation will help you learn the fundamentals of estate management, as well as the inner workings of estate taxes, estate management documents, and tactics.

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Analysing the Numbers

Retirement Planning

Would you be more comfortable handling market ups and downs if you knew your savings would be protected?

Generally, people who convert their individual retirement accounts (IRAs) to annuities are near retirement. They’re worried about outliving their money. Or maybe they’re trying to protect their nest egg from a future bear market – or worse. If this describes you, an annuity that offers a consistent stream of income for life may be right for you. 

Don't put retirement planning on the back burner. Use a 401(k) Rollover expert to plan ahead now, and reap the benefits later.

IRA annuities have a number of attractive characteristics: there are no age limits on making contributions as long as a person has earned income, funds can be withdrawn tax-deferred, and distributions are not required at age 72. Individuals can let their money grow in an IRA annuity tax-deferred during their lifetime, leaving whatever is left in their accounts at death to their heirs. For these reasons, many traditional IRA owners take advantage of an opportunity the IRS gives them to convert traditional IRAs to IRA annuities. Qualified plans, tax-sheltered annuities (TSAs), and government plans also can be converted to an annuity.

You can roll over your IRA, 401(k), 403(b), or lump sum pension payment into an annuity tax-free. Annuities funded with an IRA or 401(k) rollover are "qualified" plans, enabling an insurance company to create an "IRA annuity", into which you can deposit your retirement funds directly.

Converting to an IRA annuity is a fairly easy procedure. Our services are customized to meet the specific needs of each client. We work collaboratively throughout the entire process and guarantee measurable results. Contact us to find out how we can help you today.

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How To Roll Your IRA,
401k or 403b Into an Annuity

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Tax-efficient ways to lower RMDs in retirement.

If you’ve built up a large balance in 401(k)s, an IRA or other tax-deferred account and have another source of income, such as a pension, RMDs can create a host of tax tribulations. Because the withdrawals are taxed as regular income, RMDs could push you into a higher tax bracket. And the increase in your adjusted gross income could trigger other unpleasant consequences, such as higher taxes on your Social Security benefits, a surtax on your taxable investments and a Medicare high-income surcharge.

The key to avoiding a big tax bill is to start planning for RMDs well before your 70th birthday.

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Tax-free Retirement With Living Benefits

Converting a portion of your qualified plan into a tax-free vehicle could minimize your future tax liability. Take advantage of our complimentary consultation today.

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What We Do For You

  • Create multiple scenarios and compare different withdrawal strategies.

  • Calculate the impact of paying both the employee and the employer's share of Social Security and Medicare taxes for self-employed clients.

  • Demonstrate the impact of the deduction for pass-through income and the phase-out of the deduction under the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

  • Demonstrate the impact the Saver's Credit can have on a client’s retirement plan and more.

  • Show you how to maximize Social Security and make it easy.

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Inside Business

Clients don’t always understand the interactions between different types of income and deductions, leading to potentially significant tax inefficiency in their retirement strategy. 

We can show you how to identify which accounts you should withdraw from, and when, in order to make better retirement strategy decisions such as: 

*How to identify future tax issues 

*How to optimize Social Security and not end up with a tax torpedo

*Why IRA conversions may help you as a long-term tax play

*What to consider for tax-efficient harvesting patterns

Take advantage of our complimentary consultation today. We can help you put together a tax-deferred strategy to maximize Social Security, prepare for long-term care costs and provide you with options for guaranteed lifetime income.

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Social Security Planning

Social security is a key part of almost every retiree’s income plan.  And there are very important decisions that need to be made about when to claim, spousal benefits for married couples, divorcees or widows, survivorship benefits and the taxation of your social security benefits.  Unfortunately there are a lot of misconceptions about social security that can leave people confused and looking for clear answers.

As of April 22, 2020, Social Security benefits will be reduced by 22%, according to the summary of Annual Social Security and Medicare Report. 

We understand the intricate details of social security and can help clients maximize their benefit, plan for spousal benefits and possibly reduce the taxes they will pay on their social security benefit.  We have software to provide a personalized report comparing total benefits received for different claiming strategies.  We also have software to incorporate different social security claiming strategies within the context of one’s overall income plan to include pension income, continued work and drawing from investments.

Here are a few things we can help you with:

  • Understand the future value of your social security benefit.

  • Provide an analysis of your different claiming options and offer advice about which option may add the most value to you and your family in retirement.

  • Coordinate your claiming strategy with other sources of retirement income (i.e. pensions, continued work, investment income, etc)

  • Help you to understand the impact life events such as marriage, divorce or the passing of a spouse has on your social security.

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Maximizing Your Social Security Income

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How a person's age at benefit claim will affect the benefit amount.

Electing to take early benefits decreases the amount a worker would otherwise receive, delaying benefits results in a larger benefit that's payable, as shown below.

Around 57 percent of Social Security retiree beneficiaries make the claim to receive benefits before their full retirement age. This is important because a claim made before full retirement age produces a permanently reduced benefit. A significant number of retirees accept reduced Social Security benefits for the rest of their lives. This, in turn, causes spouses and survivors to receive reduced benefits.

The timing decision is important, and we can review these issues with you to help you evaluate when to claim Social Security benefits.

Consider investing for income.

After maximizing your lifetime Social Security benefits, consider income products that bridge the gap between Social Security checks and the monthly income you may need.

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The Tax Torpedo

The decision of when to take Social Security versus retirement plan benefits might change significantly if taxes are considered. A result known as the “tax torpedo” may occur, which refers to a high marginal tax rate that is potentially triggered when retirees take Social Security payments in the same year they receive income from IRAs and other taxable sources. The term “tax torpedo” alludes to the apparent unfairness of such a high tax being imposed on retirees with moderate incomes who are dependent on Social Security benefits for much of their retirement income.

The Social Security taxation formula can cause a taxpayer’s marginal income tax rate to exceed the top rate applicable to the highest income earners. Two conditions create the tax torpedo:

  • Income thresholds applicable to tax on Social Security benefits have not been indexed to inflation or changed since the initial laws authorizing income tax on Social Security payments over 20 years ago were enacted. Inflation has reduced these formerly high income levels to moderate income levels, thereby exposing many middle income retirees to a high marginal tax rate.

  • Combining taxable IRA and retirement plan income with Social Security income in the same year triggers the torpedo, causing retirees’ effective tax rates to soar.

State income taxes can also amplify the tax torpedo effect. However, the effect can be reduced or avoided by taking IRA or other retirement plan distributions first and claiming Social Security retirement benefits later. This tactic gives the Social Security benefit time to “mature,” resulting in a higher benefit later and ultimately reducing the amount of taxable income that a person will need to withdraw from IRAs and other taxable accounts during their retirement years.

Taking smaller IRA and other plan withdrawals will result in a lower adjusted gross income, which may increase the possibility that Social Security benefits will remain tax free.

Consider the following example.

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Social Security Is Taxed Differently

Up to 50 or 85 percent of a person’s Social Security retirement benefits may be taxable if his or her income exceeds certain threshold levels.

Social Security retirement benefits may also be subject to state income tax, depending on the state.

As a single taxpayer if your combined income exceeds $25,000 ($32,000 for joint filers), some of your Social Security will be taxable. ... By moving money from otherwise taxable accounts into a deferred annuity, the earnings on those funds are tax deferred and are not included in your Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) which includes wages, dividends, interest, taxable pensions, etc..

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The chart below shows the reduction and increase that apply when benefits are claimed at ages 62 and 70, assuming full retirement age (FRA) is 66.

Full retirement age (FRA) is the age at which one can receive his or her full retirement benefit.

The earliest age at which individuals can receive retirement benefits is 62; the earliest they can apply is 3 months before they reach 62.

All other applicants should apply for retirement benefits no more than 4 months before the date they want their benefits to start because the Social Security Administration will not process applications that have later starting dates.

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Tax-efficient Retirement Income

Most investors save for retirement with a 401(k), 403(b) or other tax-deferred account, which may result in a hefty tax bill or higher tax bracket for retirees when they withdraw income — especially at age 70½, when RMDs begin. (Now 72 after the SECURE ACT) The following slides illustrate the importance of having tax flexibility among various investments and accounts.

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Today’s retirees typically follow a predictable pattern

  • Take Social Security as early as possible

  • Withdraw from nonqualified accounts

  • Withdraw from qualified accounts, such as IRAs or 401(k)s, when needed/required  

A tax efficient income strategy can add tens of thousands of dollars to your estate value and may add up to 6 additional years of portfolio longevity. Contact us today to discuss a comprehensive retirement strategy.

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