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Questions You Must Be Able to Answer to Have a Successful Retirement

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Do You Have Responses to these Critical Retirement Planning Considerations?

All retirees have their own unique beliefs about what a successful retirement looks like, yet too many are unable to answer important financial questions about achieving that success. And, when you can’t find answers to your most pressing money questions, it’s difficult to feel financially secure.

In our 50+ years of experience, we’ve come to realize that there are nine specific questions you need to be able to answer about your money in order to plan – and achieve – a successful retirement:

  1. How much money can you safely take out of your assets for income?
  2. How long will your money actually last?
  3. Can you guarantee you will never run out of money?
  4. How can you protect your assets from volatility and losses?
  5. How much income tax will you pay on your income distributions?
  6. How much will you lose if the market takes another big drop?
  7. Is it OK to start spending some of your money?
  8. What are the total fees you are really paying and how can you reduce them?
  9. What is going to happen if you or your spouse pass away?

If you can’t answer these nine questions, it means your retirement planning is based on hope and luck – not the best recipe for success. Read on to learn Momma’s Secret Recipe, instead.

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Five Annuity Myths – And Why They’re Wrong

Annuities Can Generate Reliable Income, Though They Often Get a Bad Rap

When you think about financial planning and the money you’ll live on in retirement, stocks and bonds probably come to mind. These market-based investments are often in the spotlight, and it’s true that they can help you grow your wealth. However, it’s also true that they may a number of downsides, one being that growth is unpredictable. This means that if you’re approaching retirement, or you’re already retired, one poorly timed downturn in the market could greatly set you back or even lead to you running out of money in retirement.

Since risk is inherent in investing, many people look for safer options. However, things like checking accounts or even high-yield savings accounts may not be the answer. Though they won’t lose money in a technical sense due to FDIC insurance, the value of your savings may still erode over time due to inflation.

So, what’s a savvy saver to do? One potential option is an annuity. If you’d like to save for retirement and create a guaranteed income stream – one that isn’t directly tied to the markets – a fixed indexed annuity offers an excellent option for consideration. Unfortunately, annuities get a bad rap because of misinformation, stereotypes, and myths. Below, we’ll tackle five of the most common reasons people hesitate to consider annuities as a viable retirement income option.

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10 Questions to Help You Choose a Financial Advisor

Be Intentional About Who Will Guide Your Retirement Planning

We all dream of a relaxing, carefree retirement that allows us to enjoy the fruits of our decades of hard work. However, this may be possible with proper planning. Whether you’re getting an early start or you’re nearing retirement age, it’s helpful to seek out the guidance of a professional financial advisor to ensure you’re taking the right steps to maximize your nest egg.

With so much riding on your retirement planning, it’s important to be intentional about the advisor you choose. You’ll want to find someone who you feel comfortable with, who takes the time to answer questions, and who can provide the type of advice and services you need.

With that in mind, consider the following ten questions as a suggested interview for potential financial advisors:

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Five Tips to Help Protect Your Retirement Savings in an Economic Downturn

You Have More Power Than You Realize to Keep Your Finances on Track

The COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing economic turmoil have caused many people to reexamine their finances. Even if you have taken control of your financial future by being diligent about saving for retirement, it’s normal to feel out of control when facing an uncertain economy and the prospect of a recession that may last for some time.

So, how can you shield your retirement portfolio in troubling times? Luckily, you have more power than you realize when it comes to recession-proofing your nest egg. These five tips will help you stay on track even in an economic downturn.

Tip #1: Bulk Up Your Savings

The typical rule of thumb is to maintain an emergency fund with three to six months of living expenses, but an economic downturn could last longer than that. Aim to up your cash reserves to one year’s worth of expenses and utilize a high-yield savings account to maximize your efforts. Doing so can give you greater peace of mind when unpredictable financial events happen.

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Five Reasons the Pandemic May Be a Good Thing for Your Retirement

Finding the Silver Lining of COVID-19

There is no disputing that the COVID-19 pandemic has been a tragic event for millions. Illness, death, job loss, fear, and a world essentially shut down for weeks on end has wreaked havoc – and it isn’t over just yet. Truly, the negative impacts of this global health crisis cannot be overstated.

And yet, as is often the case in times of turmoil, there is a silver lining if we look closely. Below we’ll examine five ways that COVID-19 may positively impact your retirement.

1.     We’ve been forced out of our routines.

Routines can be positive, certainly. More often than not, though, they become less routine and more “rut.” We begin living life on autopilot, which can rob us of opportunities, experiences, and fresh perspectives, but we stay in the rut because it feels safe and certain. If there is anything that can be unequivocally said about this pandemic, it is that it has dragged each and every one of us out of our usual ruts. Though it has created much uncertainty, it has also caused us to think about many aspects of our lives in new ways – and this can be a good thing if we remember to look for the opportunities that may present themselves.

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The CARES Act Has Changed 2020 RMD Rules

When President Trump signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act on March 27, he enacted the largest aid package in American history.[i] One important impact is that Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) for 2020 are, in essence, suspended. In this way, the federal government chose to sacrifice short-term tax revenue in order to provide immediate financial relief to retirees.

This change bears discussion, however, as there are many questions about what the CARES Act means for those who have already taken their 2020 RMDs, as well as any impact on taxes and inherited accounts.

Let’s begin with a review of the basic tenets of the RMD portion of this new law.

Understanding the CARES Act

This relief package allows defined contribution plans, including 401(k)s, 403(b)s, 457(b)s and IRAs to suspend 2020 RMD requirements. Now, RMD rates were already a bit lower since 2020 is the first year, per the SECURE Act[ii], in which the age change from 70.5 to 72 began, but skipping RMDs in 2020 altogether is a meaningful change. With so many Americans facing financial struggles due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the flexibility to opt-out of distribution means that retirement portfolios have more time to recover from the current market volatility.

[i] https://www.forbes.com/sites/jackbrewster/2020/03/27/trump-signs-2-trillion-stimulus-bill-into-law-largest-aid-package-in-us-history/#77d59e864ea5

[ii] https://www.fidelity.com/learning-center/personal-finance/retirement/understanding-the-secure-act-and-retirement

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Financial Literacy Month, Coronavirus and Financial Resilience

Beginning 16 years ago, April was declared Financial Literacy Month as part of a strategy to enhance and increase nationwide financial literacy. It was implemented with the hope that it would lead to increased government advocacy of financial literacy programs, as well as spark more interest in programming already offered through schools, non-profit organizations, and businesses.

The creation of a month-long focus on financial literacy was a pointed acknowledgment of its importance in helping Americans gain necessary financial knowledge – knowledge that proves integral during a time of crisis like we are facing now with the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.

Though prevention is always preferable over a cure, it’s never too late to learn more and change your financial behaviors. Doing so can help you become more resilient in the face of financial adversity during times of personal or worldwide crisis. So, here are three ways you can personally celebrate Financial Literacy Month this year:

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Scams Abound Amid Pandemic Panic

Sadly, as is the case in any crisis, there are those among us who are looking to capitalize on cruelty and take advantage of heightened vulnerabilities. Hackers are trying to lure victims to click on COVID-19 related hyperlinks that contain malicious software and other computer viruses. In some cases, these scams look like official messages from the government and they send people to fake websites where their sensitive information can be stolen.

The following guidelines can help you protect yourself from these digital scams and stay clear of suspicious links you may come across in your internet travels.

How to Spot a Phishing Email

Phishing is a practice in which scammers send emails that appear to be from legitimate organizations. In the case of COVID-19, they may promise to share important information about the coronavirus or how to keep your family safe. In short, they prey on a public fearful of a dangerous virus.

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CARES Act Signed into Law –Brings Relief to Millions of Americans

On March 27 the President signed into law the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) to address the unprecedented public health and economic crisis related to COVID-19.

This $2 trillion bill is meant to impact both individuals and businesses and contains significant tax-savings measures. It could affect prior tax years while also creating immediate cash-flow.

Impact on Individuals

Stimulus Checks

Perhaps the most impactful provision for American citizens is the CARES Act’s promise of cash payments of up to $1,200 per single individual and $2,400 for a married couple. Parents will also receive an additional $500 per qualifying child. Payments are phased-out for individuals with incomes greater than $75,000 and for married couples filing jointly with income greater than $150,000.

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Tax News: IRS Announces Extended Deadline for 2019 Tax Returns

Americans Can Defer for 90 Days

As we continue to face uncertain times, the IRS has made a welcome announcement.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has announced that the IRS has decided to extend the filing and payment deadline for 2019 tax returns, allowing taxpayers to defer until July 15. Mnuchin indicated this move will put $300 billion into the economy during a time of great economic concern over the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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

DISCLOSURE:

All presentation data is provided and intended to be used for general educational purposes only and is not intended as a solicitation for you to buy or sell any financial product.  By contacting Peak Financial Freedom Group, you may be offered additional information regarding the purchase of financial products. None of the material presented is intended to give you, nor are the presenters engaged in giving you, specific tax, investment, real estate, legal, estate, retirement, or financial advice, but rather to serve as an educational platform to deliver information; nor is it intended to show you how the strategies presented can specifically apply to your own tax, investment, estate, financial, or retirement position, but rather to offer an idea of how these principles generally may apply. Consult with a qualified investment, tax, legal, and/or retirement advisor before making any decisions.

Stocks, bonds, or mutual funds have risks and can lose principal, even with a stop loss, and there are no guarantees of gains, as past performance is not indicative of future positive investment results. Hypothetical examples are used to explain concepts and are not indicative of potential results you could receive. The sale or liquidation of any stock, bond, IRA, certificate of deposit, mutual fund, annuity, or other asset to fund a new portfolio and/or annuity may have tax consequences, early withdrawal penalties, or other costs and penalties as a result of the sale or liquidation. You can’t invest directly into a stock market index. A fixed index annuity with an income rider can protect your savings from losses and provide you guaranteed lifetime income, but you could incur surrender charges, gains aren’t guaranteed, you’ll pay a fee, and guarantees are backed by the financial strength claims paying ability of the issuing annuity company. If you place assets under management with our firm, we receive advisory fees for assets you place under management and commissions from insurance companies you buy products from. Seminars, radio shows, TV productions, book releases, magazine and book promotions are sponsored, promoted and paid for by Peak Financial Freedom Group, LLC.

Peak Financial Freedom Group LLC and Fiduciary Solutions LLC do not make any representations or warranties as to the accuracy, timeliness, suitability, completeness, or relevance of any information prepared by an unaffiliated third party, whether link to Peak Financial Freedom Group LLC’s web site or incorporated herein and take no responsibility therefore. All such information is provided solely for the convenience purposes only and all users thereof should be guided accordingly.

2019(1) and 2020(2) Five Star Professional Wealth Manager Award - Dan Ahmad and Jim Files have been nominated for and have won the 2019 and 2020 Five Star Wealth Manager awards. Wealth managers do not pay a fee to be considered or placed on the final list of Five Star Wealth Managers. Once awarded, wealth managers may purchase additional profile ad space or promotional products. Award does not evaluate quality of services provided to clients. The Five Star award is not indicative of the wealth manager’s future performance. The inclusion of a wealth manager on the Five Star Wealth Manager list should not be construed as an endorsement of the wealth manager by Five Star Professional or this publication. Working with a Five Star Wealth Manager or any wealth manager is no guarantee as to future investment success, nor is there any guarantee that the selected wealth managers will be awarded this accomplishment by Five Star Professional in the future. Award winners represent an exclusive group of wealth managers who have demonstrated excellence in their field by satisfying 10 objective selection criteria. For additional information on the Five Star award, including a complete list of the 10 objective selection criteria and their research/selection methodology, go to https://fivestarprofessional.com.

Investment advisory services are offered through Fiduciary Solutions, LLC, a Registered Investment Advisor (CRD #148118). Insurance products and services are offered through PFFG Insurance Agency LLC, a licensed insurance agency (CA License #0N14103). 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).

© 2020 Peak Financial Freedom Group