Advice, Preparation . . . Results™

Do You Have a Financial Plan for Your Future?

We talk a lot about planning with our clients:  tax planning, succession planning, retirement planning, estate planning, long-term care planning, etc. Some are short term in nature but most are for the long haul. Unfortunately, most people do much more talking about plans than executing them.

You’ve likely heard it said those who fail to plan, plan to fail. That philosophy may be harsh and not always prophetic, but it is likely your success will be impaired if you don’t take proactive steps to set and ultimately reach goals.

Here are some thoughts to work into your financial plan:

  1. Make a realistic inventory of your retirement assets. While you can expect some appreciation to your investments, be sure inflation will reduce that growth.
  2. Consider simplifying your portfolio by reducing your number of financial advisors so you can better track what you have. We often see clients with half dozen or more sets of brokerage statements at the end of the year with unintended redundant or overlapping asset allocations.
  3. Remember that liquidating your assets will likely result in an assessment of income tax, so don’t count on your entire retirement portfolio to live on. Your business, rental property, securities, annuities, retirement plan and residence all have the potential of significant income tax assessment on their growth. Consider both the impact of investment risk and income tax liability while deciding when to cash in your chips.
  4. None of us knows how long we’ll live, so we need to be optimistic that we could reach the century mark. That approach means your plan must use a conservative approach to withdrawals of principal.
  5. Schedule the liquidation of your assets, or even significant changes to asset allocation, so that the “tax man” doesn’t take an unfair share. Earning too much income in any one year can take an unpleasant bite out of your Social Security benefits or nullify a possibly large medical deduction. It can even increase your marginal income tax rate or create alternative minimum tax.
  6. Review the ownership of your assets and reassess the beneficiary selections on property, plans and policies. Things change over time, so what was best 20 years ago may not be what you want now. You may even be surprised whom you included then.
  7. Laws change, as do people and their needs, so review your wills and trusts to see if they still clearly express your intent.
  8. Consider leaving a legacy with assets you may not consume during your retirement. Heirs may not need to inherit all your remaining assets, and sometimes react imprudently when newfound wealth comes their way. Leave enough to enable them, but not so much as to disable them. Also remember equal and equitable are very different.
  9. Old life insurance policies may possess more value than you think. Before you decide to drop them, consider using one to bless a charity or enhance your estate plan with a conversion option. Modern contracts are much more flexible than those we purchased in our early years.
  10. Determining a retirement budget is a new experience. The transition to spend what you’ve worked so hard to save can be a tough one. You may also be tempted to splurge on lifetime dreams, but assess those purchases carefully before adding to your shopping cart.

At Patrick & Robinson CPAs, we understand that approaching our 60’s and 70’s can be rewarding…yet also stressful and complex. We can help you evaluate what you own, what resources you’ll need and how to properly enjoy the fruit of your decades of hard work while minimizing financial losses on the way to the bank.

Contact us for help planning your golden years: Office@CPAsite.com or 904-396-5400.

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6000-A Sawgrass Village Circle, Suite 1, Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida 32082

 

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