Everyone navigates unique financial stages in our lives. Each stage offers opportunities and challenges. Tax and investment strategies can vary dramatically for each stage. Are you taking advantage of everything that is available to you? Are you in the most optimum tax position? Saving is critical, but there are so many variations on saving and investing that the choices can be paralyzing. Most employers provide a great deal of the assistance we need to save for retirement, but is it enough? How do you know if you will meet your goals? When your retirement window opens, will you see the life you envisioned or will you be looking for a job when you’re 75?
As, thankfully, each of us is unique, every facet in our lives brings with it more questions on how to plan our finances. The job you hold, the amount you earn, whether you have a working spouse or partner, whether you have children, or maybe you’re in the sandwich generation and you have children and parents living in the same household; what is YOUR unique situation?
Here are some of the ongoing questions one faces during employment and in retirement.
Decisions while working
Maximizing Employee Benefits and Adding Coverage
• Pre-tax or Roth?
• High or low deductible health plans?
• To HSA or NOT to HSA?
• Additional disability and life insurance through employer?
• Outside policies for disability, life and umbrella insurance?
• Insuring a non-working spouse?
• Tax withholding, how much is adequate?
• When to write a will or trust?
Investing for retirement
• How much?
• How often?
• Where to invest and in what percentages?
Projecting results of investing for retirement
• Will I meet my goals for retirement?
• How long do I need to work?
• How much can I spend when I retire?
• Projections for two-earner households
College Savings and Student loans
• Planning for your child’s education
• Paying your student loans
• New job? Higher payment due?
• Paying for children’s school loans
• Loan Forgiveness Programs
The 3 D’s: Death, Divorce, Devastation
• Handling the after-effects of a sudden death in the family
• Preparing for a divorce and understanding what “fair” means
• Dealing with an unforeseen financial crisis
How to divide and conquer
• Funding your retirement
• Funding your child’s education
• Paying off debt
• Paying off school loans
• Paying off your mortgage
Decisions at retirement
• Will I be vested in my benefits?
• Will I receive full pension benefits?
• When do I start my pension?
• To rollover or not to rollover?
• When an annuity makes sense
• Electing retiree medical at early retirement
• The best time to start Social Security – it’s different for everyone
• Are you eligible for a current or former spouse’s Social security?
• Decisions surrounding pensions, commencement and including beneficiaries
• Paying off or extending the mortgage
• …and the list goes on
Decisions after retirement
After all this saving, and working, and to-do lists, retirement is in your face and…NOW WHAT?
• I’ve saved all this money, how much can I spend?
• Should I withdraw funds from savings, IRA or Roth?
• When do I get a raise?
• When can I buy my next car?
• How much can I spend on vacations?
• What happens if my furnace needs replacing?
• Will my family be okay if I die early?
• When should I downsize?
• How about that vacation property?
• What are YOUR questions?