By Jeff Pesta
I can’t tell you how many times this has happened to me. A couple comes in, sits down heavily in a chair, and says something like, “We’ve worked for 25 years. We got married, purchased a home, and put our kids through college. Now we’re in our fifties and we know very little about how money works. We have some savings, but 65 is coming so fast – we’re overwhelmed!”
These conversations are why we’ve partnered with eMoney Advisor to provide comprehensive financial plans for clients. A financial plan can help us get a big picture view of a client’s situation. We can help you talk through situations like income tax consequences, retirement financing and much more, and then the plan gives us an understanding of how one move affects all the other factors. Let’s look at a few today.
Social Security as Part of Your Financial Plan
There are several questions that appear at the retirement threshold in life. One of the most popular: when should I retire? You can take Social Security at 62, but your monthly check will be substantially lower than it would be if you waited until full retirement age (around 65). If you wait until you’re 70, you can maximize your monthly benefit for the rest of your life.
What about my spouse? Your spouse can receive spousal benefits, which are a percentage of your overall benefits. Again, this number rises if you wait until you’re 70 to take benefits. And this is complicated by other factors – your general health, life expectancy, retirement finance goals, family situation – just to name a few!
Again, here’s where a comprehensive financial planning tool like eMoney Advisor can be so helpful. A big picture view can help you and your advisor create a timeline for retirement.
Tax Preparation as Part of Your Financial Plan
Having a comprehensive financial plan in place can also be helpful as we prepare your income tax return. Let’s say someone retires, taking Social Security and a Required Monthly Distribution from their IRA in the same year. They are able to cover their expenses that year, but they are left tax-liable for a six-figure amount!
Planning with eMoney and their advisor could help them work out this timeline ahead of time. Taxes are so contingent on timing, working out dates for financial moves ahead of time can help you save a lot of money at the end of the day. Financial planning can help give you the long view.
Plan for Tomorrow Today
Making powerful decisions like this before they become a financial nightmare is the true gift of a comprehensive financial plan. A little planning ahead of time – using the tools available and in conversation with your financial advisor – will help give you confidence long before the day arrives.
We can help you put an eMoney financial plan together at no charge, we just spend about an hour together and upload your data then give you access to your own client dashboard. Take this short investor survey today to start the process today.