DEFENDING YOUR WEALTH
The Wealth Defender System
In accumulating assets and building a robust source of retirement funds, you have two main objectives:
Efficiently gathering assets
Retaining as much assets as you gathered.
For the first objective, there are a number of strategies that can be employed to safely and smartly grow your assets, with little to no market risk. For many people, this first objective is what they focus on the most, especially as they hit their peak earning years.
However, just as it is important to grow your wealth, it is as important to retain it, ensuring you do not unnecessarily lose assets to market risk and taxes. Because of longer life expectancies, inflation, and the two factors mentioned in the last sentence, many retirees face a real risk of outliving their income.
So while we can think of income planning in discrete phases (accumulation and protection) both are equally crucial for achieving your financial goals. If we think of financial planning as a bridge, focusing on one side without considering the other, can you leave you in the water.
The Wealth Defender System is designed to carry you throughout the life of your financial plan, from the initial steps of repositioning assets into safe growth vehicles to ensuring distribution of wealth does not face unnecessary tax liabilities. Our goal is to help you build the bridge and get you from one side to the other.
With a dynamic and customizable approach, The Wealth Defender System provides tax-planning, income planning, and retirement planning strategies that meet your specific needs. Whether you are an individual or a business, The Wealth Defender System can uncover the pathway you may wish to take for optimized growth and wealth retention.
Contact us at 610.633.0202 now for a free consultation.
Efficiently Gathering Assets
While good retirement planning can occur at any time in an individual’s life, many people seriously begin the process ages 35-55. This is because individuals will find themselves stabilizing in their careers and having more to protect (i.e. home, family). People in this age range are typically far enough away from retirement that they can explore accumulation strategies that benefit from compounding and time, but not so far away that retirement is abstract.
What you do in this phase of financial planning can dramatically shape the lifestyle you retire into once you do stop earning income from work. At a simple level, you know what you need to do: save. But placing your savings in low-growth checking accounts or even Certificate of Deposits likely won’t give your retirement of your dreams. In fact, due to inflation and taxes, the impact of your retirement dollars can be effectively less than when you began to save.
This is where tax-advantaged strategies come into play. There are several tax-advantaged vehicles and products available, each with their own nuance and appropriate application. However, a solution that is becoming used more and more Indexed Universal Life Insurance.
Before we explore Indexed Universal Life Insurance, let’s zoom out a bit. For many people, life insurance means one thing: a death benefit. Certainly, a death benefit is one need a life insurance policy can satisfy. But life insurance has evolved to include several kinds of living benefits, such as accelerated death benefits in the case of a terminal illness or, what’s pertinent to us here, tax-advantaged growth with cash value available through policy loans and withdrawals.
In the case of Indexed Universal Life Insurance, not only is a death benefit secured, the account grows based on the performance of a specific stock market index, but without direct exposure to market fluctuations. Because of the living benefits available on some policy types (Indexed Universal Life Insurance especially) life insurance has become a key retirement tool.
While tax-deferred retirement accounts such as 401(k)s, IRAs, and the like, can play an important role in your retirement planning (especially if your employer offers matching contributions) they still involve a tax-liability upon distribution. IUL policies, on the other hand of do not require taxation during the accumulation, offer tax-free distributions, and the death benefit will generally be received by heirs tax-free.
Because tax-deferred accounts require participants to ultimately pay income tax on
contributions and accumulation, the overall taxes projected to be paid is an important consideration. Below is an example of a tax-deferred account, like an IRA. This example shows the taxes deferred at the time of contribution, and the taxes owed at the time of withdrawal.
For this example, we’ve assumed an individual in the 25% tax bracket contributes $10,000 annually for 15 years with a 7% net annual growth rate into a tax-deferred asset, like a 401(k) or IRA.
This hypothetical example does not consider every product or feature of tax-deferred accounts and is for illustrative purposes only. It should not be deemed a representation of past or future results, and is no guarantee of return or future performance. This information is not intended to provide tax, legal or investment advice. Be sure to speak with qualified professionals before making any decisions about your personal situation.