Here are my five “must eat” slices of any sound financial pie for any baby boomer that is still in the workforce, who is looking to effectively manage their finances and protect for the future. In today’s “new” economy, the key to success is planning ahead. Positioning your assets to obtain predictable results is more important today than ever. Each slice counts 20 percent towards complete financial success.
Reallocation and rebalance of investments. Think of investment as a matrix. On one axis, we have return potential. Some investments have fixed rates of returns (although the value of the underlying investment can go up or down). Other investments, like individual stocks or mutual fund shares, have variable rates of return and potential for valuation change.
On the other axis, we have conditions. Some investments are fully taxable; others like IRAs have tax-deferral and tax-deductible features; and yet others have special conditions attached, including time to maturity or a vesting principle. Examples of this include annuities; public or private pension plans; and employer matches, with some 401ks.
Income tax reduction strategies. Complex rules do apply with timing, contribution limits or legal structure to the more familiar tax-advantaged investments (IRAs, 401ks, annuities, etc.), as well as more complex strategies such as charitable trusts. Regardless, the right tax reduction strategy can make a huge difference in total investment return and post-retirement income stream.
Catastrophic illness. Longer life spans are translating into one clear realization—most of us will need long-term care or its equivalent at some time. Further, catastrophic illness of a family member, whether cancer, stroke, an accident or Alzheimer’s, can quickly deplete a lifetime’s investment. Today, sound financial planning demands comprehensive health care planning.
Estate planning. Three key issues come quickly to mind. The first is about control, making sure your wishes are followed, whether assets are left to relatives or a charitable purpose. The second concerns expediency, which concerns such areas as probate strategy and executor assignment. The last is minimizing tax consequences to beneficiaries. No surprise, here. Those who invest well during their lifetimes often also excel at estate planning.
A recipe for success. Avoid impulsive investment decisions. Work with a trusted investment counselor who you feel comfortable with, a professional who understands and insists upon a well-rounded approach to financial planning.
About the Author:
George Wells, founder and president of Auburn Hills, Mich.-based Legacy of America, Inc. is one of the nations leading experts on IRA planning. Wells frequently holds educational programs for consumers and professionals to teach the “little known rules” about asset protection and retirement planning. To learn more, please contact Legacy of America, Inc. at (800) 581-6855 or visit www.legacyofamerica.com.
Investment Advisory Services offered through Brookstone Capital Management LLC, an SEC Registered Investment Advisor.