You Complete Me
By Steve Gaito
One of my favorite quotes comes from the movie “Jerry Maguire”. The scene sums up their relationship after Jerry tells her he loves her. Complete relates to a comprehensive connection between two people. Like puzzle pieces, they seamlessly go together. Now you may be asking what in the world does this have to do with retirement or financial planning. I hope you will see it by the end of this article. What I have found is that most advisors do a good job planning for what they know. An insurance agent will do a good job with insurance products and a financial advisor will do a good job with investment products. What I often find is incomplete planning. As a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER tm practitioner, I have for 27 years evolved in my planning. Early on it was the diversification of investments. Later it was adding predictable income with annuities. Now my practice focuses on two areas that are often overlooked but can have a significant impact on your retirement plan.
The first is Long-Term Care. In my opinion, failing to have a Long-Term Care plan as part of your retirement plan opens your plan up to a disaster. Fortunately for most people, it can be easily incorporated into your retirement plan if you know what to do. There are 5 different ways to pay for a Long-Term Care event. Which option you choose will determine the retirement income of your spouse or legacy you leave to your children. Long-Term Care is more than financial expense. It is the demand of time for family and options you will have for care. The other part of Long-Term Care is having it in place before you need it. This is another area I have evolved. Originally I was recommending Long-term Care around age 60 but now I have many clients that are funding their plan at age 50 or younger to take advantage of lower rates and to have it paid for by retirement. The benefit of funding it early is you take the risk of premium increases off the table and no ongoing expenses in retirement. Many people try to have their house paid for before retirement and having your Long-Term Care paid off before retirement is a great option too.
The second area I focus on is taxes. Here is where I differ from most. I look at cumulative taxes, not just current taxes. In other words, I take a macro view of taxation because I believe that the total taxes you pay over your lifetime is a greater risk than what happens in any one given year. Qualified Retirement Accounts (401(k), 403(b), 457, and IRA plans) have an embedded risk of tax increases in the future. Finding ways to minimize or eliminate this risk is critical to your retirement success. No one can guarantee that taxes will rise, but no one dismisses the risk that taxes put on retirement accounts. I help people evaluate their qualified accounts and see how large of a tax risk they face. If taxes remain the same paying taxes now will not affect your future income. If taxes are reduced you will have paid more taxes than you could have. If, however, taxes increase, which I believe is likely, you will have saved thousands or hundreds of thousands of taxes over your lifetime. What I can do is to show you the impact of taxes on both your income and the assets you leave on to your heirs. The question I have for you is, do you think taxes will go up given the national debt rising at trillions at a time.
At the beginning of this article, I referenced the movie quote “you complete me”. If your current plan does not address Long-Term Care and Taxes it is complete, and I would love to complete your plan. I don’t manage assets and can show you how to reallocate your assets so you can have a complete plan.
To schedule a time to review your situation give me a call or send me an email. I do not charge for the initial meeting and there is no obligation on your part. What you will see is what a complete retirement plan looks like. Many professionals will build you a portfolio, but what I provide is a plan and a complete one at that too.
Steve is owner of Faith Based Health Care and Retirement Resource Management. He is a National Speaker on the topic of Social Security optimization, quoted in national publications like Money Magazine, US News and World Reports and Fox Business. Steve loves to educate and teach on financial topics like taxation of retirement accounts, long term care, healthcare, and efficient savings plans for small businesses. He has provided financial planning for missionaries through the International Mission Board. You can find Steve at 68 South Main St. in Marion, NC by calling 828-559-0299, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit his website at www.faithbasedhc.com.
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