In recent months we’ve been focusing on intergenerational planning and estate planning. Life insurance can be an important part of such planning and can play a critical role in a successful financial strategy. It protects from financial loss in the untimely death of an income earner, caretaker, or even a business owner or key employee.
The best way to make sure assets go to the right people is to list them as beneficiaries. By law, the beneficiaries designated for an account or policy will receive the assets in that account or payable under that policy upon your death.
One study found that more than 60% of adult Americans have never discussed their estate plans with their heirs – my experience shows this number may actually be higher.
When planning for retirement, often the focus seems to be almost entirely on “how much can I save?”, but there are some other significant questions to consider.
As we end one year and begin another, there are things you need to think about doing to maximize your retirement assets, gain any available tax benefit, and/or avoid any tax penalty that may be linked to your investments. Here are things you should consider:
In the year in which you turn 70 ½ years of age, the current IRS guidelines require you to take a Required Minimum Distribution (RMD), by April 1 of the following year, from your Qualified accounts (tax-advantaged accounts). For each year thereafter, you must take your RMD by 12/31 each year.
Retirement planning does not end at retirement. The need to continue to grow assets to produce more cash flow remains important for most.
Just over 1 in 4 of today’s 20-year-olds will become disabled before they retire.1 About 20% – or 1 in 5 American adults- have a disability according to the CDC July 2015.
Have you heard of the Stanford Marshmallow Experiment conducted in 1972 by a Stanford University psychologist? In this experiment, children are given a marshmallow and told they would receive a second marshmallow if they could resist eating the first. Scientists studied how long each child resisted the temptation to eat the marshmallow. A long-term study of the children who participated in this experiment showed those who were able to wait for the marshmallow – to defer gratification – were most successful in life.