At HighPointe Financial Group, we distinguish eight important planning areas that every pre-retiree must consider in order to build and implement a properly balanced and coordinated financial plan.
Income Retirement Strategy
Your planning should be based on your personal goals, objectives and circumstances specific to only you. Strategies are developed in the areas of income replacement in the event of premature death and at retirement. Solutions are developed that will enhance your unique goals and ambitions. We work with you through the accumulation and distribution phases of your life. Target dates are established to monitor the progress of your planning and to initiate other strategies beneficial to your future financial security. One key area of concern is the “sleep at night factor”. Any recommendations or course of action will be based on your risk tolerance level thereby eliminating a lot of worry about the outcome.
This type of planning and the relationship we develop gives you clarity, less worry and more confidence in the path you follow. We view our relationships and the people we work with as true partnerships demanding honesty, sharing and a joint research for ideas and solutions to enrich your lives. Ultimately, you will know what obstacles and roadblocks you will face and how best to overcome them. The missing pieces to the puzzle will be found and our goal is to give you confidence.
Long-Term Care Planning
Long-Term Care (LTC) planning is one aspect of retirement planning that many people overlook. They don’t want to cover the additional expense of LTC policies, and find it difficult to plan for care that they might not need for years down the road. But the biggest mistake often made with long-term care planning is putting it off until health issues can make LTC planning much more costly or impossible to qualify for. When you consider the potential financial impact of not planning for long-term care, planning for LTC should be an important part of any retirement plan.
Carefully constructed asset protection strategies that are fully implemented early, before any hint of trouble, are much more likely to succeed, and can save you hundreds of thousands, or even millions of dollars. Asset protection has become a significant issue as our lives become increasingly litigious. Both individuals and businesses are at risk of sometimes frivolous claims, so more and more people are ensuring that their assets are well protected. Asset protection strategies generally concentrate on separating assets from risks.
Here are some of our recommendations to help protect clients:
- Permanent Life Insurance
- Liability Umbrella Policies
- Limited Liability Company
- Family Limited Partnerships
- Asset Protection Trusts
401(k) and IRA Distribution Planning
Saving for retirement is half the battle. Withdrawing from your retirement funds so they provide a steady income after you stop working presents a whole other set of challenges. Some professionals believe as much as 70% of your hard-earned retirement funds can be eaten up by income, estate and state taxes.
When you retire, you have to decide what to do with your 401(k) money. Generally speaking, you will have some, if not all, of the following five choices: leave your money parked in the plan; take a lump- sum distribution; roll the money into an IRA; take periodic distributions; or purchase an annuity through an insurer recommended by the plan sponsor (i.e., your employer). All have different advantages and consequences depending on your personal situation. We help you to make sense of these choices, and win the other half of the battle.
There comes a time in your life when you begin to appreciate its vulnerability. You become more focused on the desire to live a life of significance and leave a meaningful legacy. Legacy planning is a process whereby you determine what you want your legacy to be, then evaluate how to best use your time, talent and money to make a lasting impression on those you love and the causes you believe in.
YourLegacyisacollageofyouractions,contributions and achievements. Positive or negative, big or small, what you do, give and accomplish defines your legacy. We work with you on your legacy plan to help you discover ways to use your time, talent and money to make a lasting impression on those you love and the causes you believe in.
“What man really fears is not so much extinction, but extinction with insignificance. Man wants to know that his life has somehow counted, if not for himself, then at least for a larger scheme of things, that it has left a trace, a trace that has meaning, its effects must remain alive in eternity in some way.”
—Ernest Becker, Pulitzer Prize-winning Author
Income for Life Planning
One of the greatest challenges in retirement is figuring out how to convert a pile of savings accumulated over a lifetime into a monthly stream of income that you can’t outlive. The issue is gaining new urgency as the oldest of the baby-boomers start turning 65 this year. They are ushering in a new era in which retirees must anticipate longer life spans, stock market volatility, low interest rates on savings and rising health care costs.
For many new and soon-to-be retirees, there are no precedents or guideposts for these financial decisions. It’s not like your parents’ retirement, when people simply signed up for Social Security benefits and, if they were lucky, collected a pension. Many boomers have worked for numerous companies during their careers and have retirement savings stashed in a variety of accounts. But most are unlikely to be covered by a pension or retiree health benefits. We help you to figure out how to stretch your savings over a retirement that could potentially last 30 years or more.
Social Security Planning
What’s the greatest fear of today’s retirees? It is having enough money to maintain one’s lifestyle throughout retirement. What’s the greatest benefit Social Security can offer? Regular income that is guaranteed to increase over time—and continue for as long as you live. No other vehicle can match the combination of inflation-fighting increases, longevity protection, investment risk elimination, and spousal coverage that Social Security can—potentially making it one of the most valuable sources of retirement income. On average, Social Security accounts for about 40% of income in retirement.
However, many retirees today do not understand how their Social Security benefits really work. Sadder still, most never focus on how to help maximize the very benefits that may help sustain them throughout retirement.
Other financial services firms have placed little emphasis to date on helping retirees learn how they can best use Social Security to help generate optimal retirement income and risk protection. If guidance is provided at all, it may not provide complete information.
Maximizing Social Security benefits has become much more critical—now that post-retirement risk has largely shifted from the employer to the individual. This results from the move away from traditional defined benefit (DB) pensions to defined contribution (DC) plans such as 401(k)s.
We help you to understand why Social Security deserves to be considered as a valuable resource worthy of careful stewardship by individuals—and how today’s retirees can best maximize its benefits while helping minimize the taxes on their retirement income in general.
Tax Reduction Strategies
A well balanced financial plan will consider income taxes now, taxes on investments as they grow and how taxes will affect the withdrawal of the asset. Unsuspecting investors often pay unnecessary taxes to the IRS, when they could have given that money to their children or a charity or spent it on a large purchase.
We partner with accounting firms in order to give our clients the most accurate and up to date tax reduction strategies. With the complexity and ever changing tax code, it’s imperative to stay current with all IRS codes and regulations.