Social Security Survivor Benefits

We often get asked questions about the best time a widow or widower should collect the survivor social security benefits they become entitled to. This week’s article may help you understand the process of applying for those benefits, and to know what information you will need to gather in order to determine the best timing for you to begin to collect. We appreciate that it is likely already a stressful time for you and want you to know that we are here to help you navigate through the information needed to make the best decision regarding timing. Call us, come in and see us, we are always here to help.

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Feel good about entering the New Year

Over the past few weeks we’ve reviewed some things to think about regarding providing for your family’s future and protecting what you’ve worked for. As we enter the New Year, there are also strategies you can think about putting in place that will pass on your legacy. Just as your life changes over time, so can tax laws and regulations. It’s important to review your beneficiary designations and life insurance policies to ensure everything is up-to-date and aligned with your goals. You needn’t have purchased these products with us – we’re more than happy to discuss them with you and give you our thoughts on if they are still aligned with your goals. Call us, we’re always here for you. Happy New Year.

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Taking the first step to protect yourself

The pandemic and its impact has created a lot of unexpected events, changed the markets and caused each of us to adapt. Now is a good time to review how your needs may have already changed, or how you now understand they may change in the future. To get started, ask yourself if your goals remain the same and then outline where you are today. Depending on your life stage and goals, you may need to account for additional risks you hadn’t factored in before. Call us if you’d like help in deciding what you need to do to prepare for the future. We’re always here to help.

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Everyone shares these risks

There are some risks in life that everyone should be prepared for. The question that needs to be answered is how do you protect yourself from these risks since the impact each has on you can change throughout your life? Those risks include the following: unexpected expense risks, medical risks, liability risks and investment risks. Over the next two weeks we’ll be discussing these topics and what you can do to protect what you’ve worked hard for. Call us if you have any questions. We’re always here to help.

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Medicare won’t cover it, but something else might

I read an article that I thought to share with you as it indicates Government data shows “nearly 70% of individuals who reach age 65 will need long-term care at some point.” Further, “while the median cost of an assisted living facility was $4,300 a month as of 2020, what most Seniors don’t realize is that Medicare doesn’t pay for most long-term care costs”. “It only covers 100 days of care at a skilled nursing facility, and only if it was preceded by a hospital stay of three days or more”. This was stunning to read as even where individuals have surgery, it seems rare that a hospital will keep you long enough to trigger any Medicare assistance for the nursing facility that you may then need to move into. Did you know that there are financial products that can not only provide you an income you can’t outlive, even if you are in a nursing facility, and that some even provide enhanced benefits if you do end up there? Call us, we’re looking forward to discussing these options with you as it may give you the peace of mind you are looking for.

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The Withdrawal Rate

The author of this week’s article tells us the “so-called withdrawal rate should shrink to 3.3% from 4% according to a Morningstar report.” What does that mean? The withdrawal rate refers to how much a retiree can “safely” withdraw from their savings each year without fear of running out of money. Usually it assumes that someone will live about 30 years past retirement. Will this anticipated reduction affect you? Call us and we will help you determine if it might be time to consider other options that will generate income you can’t outlive, no matter how many years past retirement you want to plan for. We’re always here to help.

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The Withdrawal Rate

The author of this week’s article tells us the “so-called withdrawal rate should shrink to 3.3% from 4% according to a Morningstar report.” What does that mean? The withdrawal rate refers to how much a retiree can “safely” withdraw from their savings each year without fear of running out of money. Usually it assumes that someone will live about 30 years past retirement. Will this anticipated reduction affect you? Call us and we will help you determine if it might be time to consider other options that will generate income you can’t outlive, no matter how many years past retirement you want to plan for. We’re always here to help.

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Considering Both

Commentary:
We have been asked a question about whether someone should choose either an annuity product or a life insurance policy. That question is a reminder that it isn’t an ‘either/or’ choice. You may want to consider both annuities and life insurance for your long-term financial plan. Essentially, you purchase life insurance in the event you die sooner than expected and you buy an annuity in the event you live past your retirement savings. Each product is different. Call us if you’d like help understanding which one might be best for your personal financial and retirement situation. We’re always here to help.

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Six Questions to Ask

Commentary:

When building the foundation for your retirement income strategy, it’s important to consider ways to ensure your money lasts as long as you need it. Speaking with us about the following six questions can be a good starting point. 1) How much of your necessary expenses are covered by outside income sources such as Social Security and/or a pension? 2) How would you rate your ability and desire to reduce spending and expenses in case of unexpected events? 3) What is your comfort with risk? 4) Given your current health and family history, how long do you expect to live relative to the average life expectancy? 5) What is important to you when you think about leaving a legacy for beneficiaries? And 6) Do you prefer control over assets or higher lifetime income? Call us, we’re here to talk about all of these questions and help you understand some options that may be a good match with your answers.

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Do you know what FIRE is?

In the context of planning for your retirement, it stands for Financial Independence, Retire Early and it represents a philosophy where people become committed to a program of what many would consider extreme savings coupled with investments that aim to enable individuals to retire much earlier than traditional budgets and retirement plans would permit. While going to an extreme is not something all of us would or can commit to, applying some of the principles of FIRE can help to provide an income we can’t outlive, and can do so within a relatively short time frame. Call us if this topic is of interest to you. We’re always here to help you explore options you may not be aware of.

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