Retirement planning involves evaluating your current financial standing and creating an accumulation strategy that will help to ensure your desired retirement lifestyle. Because an individual’s retirement can take up a good portion of his or her life, retirement planning generally dominates other financial goals. A successful plan put into place during the process of wealth building should address ways to maximize growth and tax-efficient distributions.
There are several ways to save for retirement, and they are as follows:
- Qualified employer-sponsored plans
- Individual retirement accounts (IRAs)
- Personal savings
- Executive deferral plans
QUALIFIED EMPLOYER-SPONSORED PLANS
Qualified plans are employer-sponsored retirement plans such as 401(k)s and pension plans. Although there are contribution limits and strict distribution rules, these plans are popular because of their appealing tax benefits. Generally, employers will make participation more attractive by matching some or all of an employee’s contribution.
INDIVIDUAL RETIREMENT ACCOUNTS (IRA)
Individual Retirement Accounts are inexpensive, easy to establish and maintain, and offer favorable tax incentives. They can be either created by an individual or provided by an employer. Most people use IRAs to consolidate retirement savings that were previously held in employer-sponsored plans. Our process can help coordinate your IRA investments with your other savings plans.
You may find that qualified plans, IRAs, and social security won’t provide enough money to support your desired retirement lifestyle. By identifying your retirement gap, we can help you develop a strategy for personal savings invested outside of the traditional retirement vehicle.
EXECUTIVE DEFERRAL PLANS
Business owners or executives may have access to other tax-advantaged retirement savings vehicles. “Nonqualified executive compensation” is a generic term used to describe a compensation arrangement that provides retirement income—and, in some cases, death benefits—to key employees of a business. At the heart of any retirement plan is the distribution of accumulated assets. The correct distribution method will help to ensure that your retirement savings last beyond your lifetime with minimum shrinkage from taxes. From premature distribution options that allow access to retirement assets prior to age 59½, to products intended to provide stable monthly payments for retirement, distribution planning is paramount to a successful retirement plan.
Estate planning entails the creation of a master plan for the management of your property during your life and the distribution of that property at death. Estate planning aims to:
- Give you more control over your assets during your life
- Provide care if or when you are disabled
- Allow for the transfer of your wealth to whom you want and when you want it, at the lowest possible cost
- Reduce stress and confusion for your loved ones
In the wealth management process, we will address common estate planning issues in order to achieve all of the above points. These issues include:
TRANSFER OF WEALTH
Wealth transfer planning seeks to achieve the smooth transition and distribution of your wealth according to your wishes. With proper estate planning, you decide to whom your assets will be distributed--as well as how and when it will happen--and who will manage your estate or business. In some cases, you may also wish to plan for the financial security of family members or for children from a previous marriage, for the fair equalization of inheritances, and for retirement from your business. It is important to note that in addition to these scenarios, wealth transfer planning also involves the management of assets during any disability or incapacity you may face now or in the future.
MINIMIZATION OF TRANSFER TAXES
A major goal of estate planning is to minimize potential taxes without interfering with your other financial goals. If you give away wealth, during life or at death, you may incur federal and state taxes. You can help protect the assets you transfer from excessive depletion by understanding these taxes and the various strategies you can use to minimize them.
If you own substantial assets, creditor protection can be a concern. An asset protection plan will first identify potential exposure and then identify preventive tools and strategies to reduce that exposure. Asset protection planning deals with ownership issues, liability insurance, statutory protections, special needs trusts, offshore and domestic trusts, prenuptial agreements, divorce, and business dissolutions.
Charitable giving is motivated by both personal and tax incentives. Congress encourages charitable giving through tax legislation that can minimize your income and estate taxes. The process of charitable gift planning involves selecting the gifted property and charitable structure that will target your needs. Our process does not end with estate planning but instead coordinates your estate plan with your overall plans for your business, investments, insurance, and employee benefits.