Month: November 2018

Tax Efficient Strategies for Charitable Giving

As the seasons start to change and the holidays approach, we are reminded of how fortunate we are and how much we have to be grateful for. We are also reminded that the season of giving is upon us. But, if you’re retired, you may be worried about where extra income will come from and how you can continue to support the charities that are important to you. For retirees, there are some strategies that you can use for giving to charity that may make charitable giving to your schools, religious organizations, cultural causes and neighborhood charities more tax efficient.

Just like with most things, before you begin you should have a plan. Knowing how much you want to give and the charities you wish to give to, can give you a better idea of how much you will be spending overall. Next, you should review your selection and follow the tax rules closely so that you are sure you’re getting full credit for your gift.

One of the tax-efficient strategies you could start with is using qualified charitable distribution or QCDs. These reduce your taxable income without itemizing and can satisfy and required minimum distribution. You may even be able to write a check straight from your IRA in order to satisfy your QCD. But, before you make any IRA moves, you may want to first check with your IRA custodian to make sure that you don’t miss any necessary steps. It’s also important to note some guidelines for QCDs, if you take out your required minimum distribution and then decide to do the QCD, it won’t count towards your RMD. You also have to correctly report your qualified charitable distribution on your tax return and know that there is a limit of $100,000 per individual.

Another option is looking into a donor-advised fund. This fund groups your deductions so you can itemize more easily. The money also grows tax free, and you have the option of donating anonymously. However, even though they are set up in your name, these funds are controlled by a large nonprofit organization. You can donate different things such as real estate, cash or assets just to name a few. But, although you may suggest grants to charities, you won’t have full control, and these accounts might come with additional fees.

Lastly, you should consider donating your appreciated assets in order to avoid long-term capital-gains of up to 20%. Before doing this though, you should consider your heirs who are looking their chance for a step-up basis by inheriting appreciated assets.

The world of charity and taxes can be overwhelming, which is why it’s important to talk over all your options with your financial planner before making any decisions. We want to make sure you’re making smart tax moves to protect your portfolio. Click here to schedule your no cost, no obligation financial review and make sure you have a tax efficient strategy for charitable giving

Thankful for Retirement

We spend a lot of time day dreaming about retirement, but once you finally get there, things might not be as you expected. The transition from full time work to retirement comes as a shock to some people which is why it’s increasingly important to have a lifestyle plan for retirement. Having these plans beforehand can make retirement something that you are truly thankful for this season.

There are leisure activities, and there are productive leisure activities. Once you retire, it’s important to not spend too much time in front of the TV, but instead focus on productive leisure activities like reading, travelling, volunteering or exercising. These can be more rewarding and give you even more to be thankful for. In retirement, you have much more free time in your day. Therefore, it’s increasingly important to set goals for yourself. This can help you prioritize and focus on the things that are most important to you. An example of something that might be a part of your retirement journey is returning to work. Some people take up a part time job or decide to open their own business. This could help you remain professionally active in a lower stress environment.

Some people might also enjoy going back to school after retiring. This leads to intellectual stimulation and new social connections. You could also try and learn something creative. Cultivating your creativity can have a powerful impact on mental, emotional and social wellness and can be a fun way to spend time in retirement.

To make the most out of your retirement, it’s important to spend time with your loved ones, especially this holiday season, which can sometimes feel lonely as we age. One of the most meaningful ways to accomplish this is by spending time with the younger generation. Consider including them in your holiday baking or teaching them your secret stuffing recipe. Maybe even just sit together and watch the parade or football game. This gives you a way to share your legacy and life lessons and form memories that will last a lifetime.

We’ll work with you to create a comprehensive retirement plan looking all aspects of your retirement. Regardless of what you want to do in your retirement, a plan that incorporates your personal goals and financial situation can increase your chances of getting there. Click here to schedule your complimentary, no obligation review today.

 

Long-Term Care Myths

November is long-term care awareness month. This month it’s especially encouraged for you to start planning for long-term care, or to update your plans according to your lifestyle. If you are in or approaching retirement, long-term care is probably something that is on your mind frequently, because there’s a lot of myths revolving around it. These myths and misunderstandings can seriously impact your long-term care plans, and it’s important to know the facts.

In your later years, you may start to hear that serious memory lapses are normal. This idea that memory loss is naturally associated with aging is misleading. Memory lapses are nothing to joke about, and generally, they aren’t normal. Some symptoms usually associated with dementia can be attributed to cataracts or vision problems and medications that cause delirium. Not every symptom is connected to dementia, but if this becomes a reoccurring issue, you should schedule a visit with your doctor.

We’ve all seen the commercials for medical alert systems like life-alert that make it seem like falling is a part of aging. However, falls can be dangerous, and they are not just a normal part of aging. This idea that falls are bound to happen is deceptive. Practicing strength and balance exercises can help prevent the risk of falling, along with home modifications such as removing throw rugs and improving lighting.

Another health misconception is that antibiotics are the best cure for older adults’ colds. Antibiotics are great, but they have been so freely prescribed by doctors that they start to become less effective later in life. The best remedy for your common cold is probably to get plenty of rest, drink fluids and take a pain or fever reducer if necessary.

One myth that could hurt your retirement plans is the idea that Medicare will pay for all long-term care. Believing this misconception could lead to unexpected bills down the line when procedures or medications are not covered. Medicare is most likely not going to cover everything you may need, so it’s important to budget those costs into your retirement plans. Along with this, some people think that long-term care insurance will cover all their needs. This may be the case for some people, but it depends on the policy and the amount that you have contributed. It can be an asset, but you should not fully rely on it to cover all of your long-term care expenses.

Don’t leave your retirement income to chance. Let us help you navigate your retirement decisions, taking all of the necessary risks into account. We’ll learn your life goals and combine them with your financial situation to create a customized retirement plan that aims to carry you to and through retirement. Click here to schedule a comprehensive, no obligation review to get started.

Staying Calm in Unpredictable Markets

There’s no doubt that the markets are unpredictable. Just over 2 months ago officially marked the current period of growth as the longest-lasting bull market in history. A bull market is generally noted as any period of rising stock prices and can be measured as a time in which market values rise at least 20 percent after a decline of 20 percent. However, as the saying goes, what comes up, must come down and in the past few weeks, the market has people concerned. With large daily drops and sharp jolts, it can be nerve-wracking. But, if you’re in retirement or approaching retirement, it’s important to stay calm and not let your emotions affect your financial decisions.

First things first, have a plan that prepares for down markets and stick to it. You can also create an investment strategy that looks at your risk tolerance and sell thresholds so that you are prepared beforehand.  Follow these tips to control your emotions when the market changes.

Stay focused and avoid panic by turning off the news. The TV stations don’t always help you make sense of the world, they tend to use alarming terms to focus on the declines. Instead, you should focus on what you know for sure. This is hard for most people, because we tend to dwell on what we don’t know and the questions that we have. However, you should remain at ease knowing that you need to be invested in order to achieve your goals and stocks are a great way to grow your portfolio over time.

Now that you’ve realized that stocks are important to your financial portfolio, try to avoid extreme changes to that portfolio. Doing something extreme can have long lasting repercussions. If you decide you need to do something, aim to make a smaller change that won’t fully disrupt your plan. Some people also consider rebalancing. Rebalancing your allocation to stock and bond funds for most means selling bonds and buying stocks. This isn’t easy to do when stock markets are in turmoil but can pay off in the long run.

Working with a financial advisor can also help give you peace of mind with your decisions. An experienced advisor can put things in perspective and talk you through any concerns you may have. A professional can also help you stick to your plan and stay focused on your goals because in retirement, emotional decisions can be costly.

You can’t outguess the market, but you can create an adaptable plan to accomplish your retirement goals. We can look at your whole portfolio and help you decide what moves are best for you so that you can achieve these goals. Click here to schedule your comprehensive financial review. There will undoubtedly be more ups and downs, but one thing that holds true is the need for a plan regardless of what happens in the market.

 

Peak Financial Freedom Group
2520 Douglas Boulevard, Suite 110
Roseville, CA 95661

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Investment advisory services are offered through Fiduciary Solutions, LLC, a California Registered Investment Advisor. Insurance products and services are offered through PFFG Insurance Agency LLC, a licensed insurance agency (CA Insurance License #0N14013). Peak Financial Freedom Group LLC is a financial planning and umbrella marketing organization, which enables the provision of multiple financial services under one brand. Peak Financial Freedom Group LLC, PFFG Insurance Agency LLC, and Fiduciary Solutions LLC are affiliated entities with common ownership and control.


Jim Files is licensed as an investment adviser representative with Fiduciary Solutions LLC (CRD #1620449) and is a licensed insurance producer with PFFG Insurance Agency LLC (CA Insurance License #0F06511). Dan Ahmad is licensed as an investment adviser representative with Fiduciary Solutions LLC (CRD # 1491561) and is a licensed insurance producer with PFFG Insurance Agency LLC (CA Insurance License #0732913).

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