Resource of the Month: Fall Planning Tips

The days are getting shorter and cooler, which means the winter holidays are just around the corner. The holiday season is fun, festive…and expensive. That’s why this month’s resource is focused on how you can keep your finances on track while enjoying the holidays!


Questions about planning for the holiday season and beyond? Contact the Robin S. Weingast & Associates team today for a personalized, free evaluation of your financial plan!

Need to Know: 2018 Plan Limits Increased

As the world watches to see if the proposed tax plan will affect 401(k) contribution limits, the IRS released its updated list of 2018 plan contribution limits — and there have been increases to several limits.

Check out our chart below for what you need to know.

You can read more about the plan limit changes here.

Questions about how to plan for retirement in light of this news? Contact the Robin S. Weingast & Associates team to find out how we can help you!

 

Podcast of the Month: Social Security Success Tips

Robin Weingast Social Security Podcast

Social Security is an important part of your retirement puzzle, but do you know how to get the most out of it? Since it’s such a complicated and ever-changing program, this month’s podcast features sought-after Social Security Speaker Tim Kiesling who will provide you with some helpful tips to maximize your Social Security benefit!

Need to Know: What to do in the year before you retire

If retirement is going to be a reality to you in the near future, it’s important to make sure you spend the year leading up to retirement effectively. After working so hard to plan and save for the retirement you want, make sure you use your final year to ensure you can enjoy the fruits of your labor. Here’s a primer on what you need to do:

Determine if you retire when you think you can.
Everyone has an age in mind, but it’s important to make sure your dream matches up to reality. Analyze your spending habits and compare them to what you expect to receive annually from your various income sources — be sure to include Social Security, pensions, and annuities. What does that analysis tell you? How do you need to adjust based on the results?

Figure out how to handle your 401(k) or other retirement accounts.
Upon retirement, you generally have three options with an employer-sponsored plan. You can transfer the money into an IRA, leave your savings where they are, or cash out the account. Each option comes with associated pros, cons, and, in some cases, penalties. Make sure you understand the implications of each option.

Decide what to do with employer stock
Much like your retirement accounts, you will have options when it comes to employer stock. Again, each option has parameters, so it’s essential to fully understand each one.

Plan how to avoid penalties on early withdrawals.
Early withdrawals (typically considered before age 59 1/2) often carry a 10% tax penalty. But did you know there may be exceptions to this penalty? For example, if you leave a job after age 55 (or 50 for certain types of public employees), you can withdraw from that employer’s plan without penalty. This is just one example of the scenarios that may help you avoid early withdrawal penalties.

Decide on how your pension benefits will be paid.
Pensions can usually be paid out in one lump sum or as annuity payments (i.e., a regular sum of money on a regular basis that lasts your lifetime as well as the lifetime of your spouse). Understanding the tax implications of both options and exploring how the pension money might be used can help guide your decision.

Decide on when to start Social Security
Typically, you can begin receiving Social Security any time between the ages of 62 and 70. But it’s important to understand how your age affects your monthly income. You can walk through various scenarios on the Social Security website.

Line up health insurance
Your age will likely affect the health insurance options available to you — so it’s best to sit down and determine your health insurance scenario well in advance of retirement.

These are just a few of the key steps you should take in the 1-2 years leading up to your retirement. Planning for retirement can be overwhelming, which is why the Robin S. Weingast & Associates team is here to help. Contact us today so we can be sure you’re on the path to a happy and fulfilling retirement.

 

Resource of the Month: Annual Financial Review

It’s hard to believe it, but we’re approaching the end of 2017. So much can change in a year, which is why our Resource of the Month gives you a rundown on six financial things you should monitor annually to make sure you’re staying on track and that your financial plan has adapted to your life.

Podcast of the Month: Life Insurance as an Asset

Life Insurance IconWhen you think of your most valuable assets you probably consider big ticket items such as your home or vehicles, but have you considered that Life Insurance could be on the list? Life Insurance is so much more than a death benefit, and 40-year Insurance Industry Veteran John Wheeler is here to show you just how valuable it is in our latest monthly podcast!

 

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Resource of the Month: Planning for Kids Going to College

August marks the start of college for many young people across the country —and as we talked about in this month’s blog post, having a child start college is a milestone that may affect your own retirement planning.

Paying for college involves more than just tuition, which is why our resource this month is geared towards helping families and college students understand the many factors that go into paying for an education. From transportation to credit cards, this resource will help you understand what college means for you and your family’s financial future.

Need to Know: When Should You Adjust Your Retirement Plan?

Planning for retirement isn’t a one-time event. Like going to the gym, eating right, or anything else we do to take care of ourselves, retirement planning is a process. At every step of the way, it’s vital to evaluate your goals, track your progress, and make the adjustments you need to secure your financial future. Making a plan once and then assuming everything will work out once it’s time to retire may bring you some unpleasant surprises. In fact, recent research from Legg Mason indicates that “baby boomers between the ages of 53 and 71…are falling short on their retirement savings goals due to an overly conservative investment approach.” Regular reviews of your retirement plan

At the same time, you don’t want to adjust your retirement planning tactics just for the sake of change. It’s important to find a balance between being nimble enough to adapt to change and stable enough to allow time for your strategies to show results.

Want some guidances on when to adjust your retirement plan? Here’s are some tips on good times to make adjustments:

Write down your retirement plan and set a reminder to review it on a regular basis. As per a 2015 study of Harvard MBA students, writing down goals increases your chance of achieving them. Write down your retirement plan and revisit it at least annually. Set a reminder for yourself on your phone, write it down in your planner — whatever you have to do to make it a regular habit.

Use major life events as a signal to shift strategies. While an annual review is likely sufficient, there are events that serve as natural times to evaluate where you are and where you’re going. Have you moved recently? Gotten a new job or lost your current job? Had a baby? Gotten married or divorced? Inherited money or assets from a relative? All of these milestones have definitive financial implications, which means they may affect your retirement planning progress. For life events that you have planned, make sure to incorporate a final step to evaluate your retirement picture. For unexpected events, be sure to take time to review your plan after you’ve gotten through the immediate items you need to address.

Remember that retirement tactics involve more than your employer sponsored plan. A 401(k) is just one piece of the retirement picture. Reviewing your retirement plan also includes reviewing your insurance coverage and regularly updating your will to ensure that everything in your portfolio is supporting your financial goals.

Need a partner in making sure you stay on top of your retirement plan? The Robin S. Weingast & Associate Team is here to make sure you don’t lose track of your goals and that you’re on track for the retirement you want. Contact us today to find out how we can help!

 

Podcast of the Month: The Longest Vacation of Your Life

Robin Weingast Retirement

How much time and effort did you spend on planning your last big vacation – days, weeks, months? What about your 30+ year vacation (retirement), how much time have you spent planning that? Tune in to our Podcast of the Month as Financial Professional Eszylfie Taylor shares some great tips on how to pinpoint your retirement goals, and what and who you might need to get there.