Tag Archives: asset protection

Key Elements to Retirement Planning

Key Elements To Retirement Planning

There are countless books, articles, and videos that discuss how to plan for your retirement — many of which can be found at universities, books written by financial gurus, business owners, institutions and professionals in the industry. If one were to Google retirement planning, there would be tons of information, multiple websites, retirement calculators and sources to learn about what to do and how to do it.

There is no one right way to plan or a single investment strategy that works for everyone. But there are some important elements to follow that can help improve the odds of retiring successfully. Some of them include investment strategies, retirement timeline, risk management and asset protection, and estate planning.

Investing has many levels that range from very risky to very conservative. An investor can choose to invest in stocks, bonds, annuities, insurance and real estate. All of these can be valuable if used the proper way and for the right purpose.

But before choosing an investment, I would recommend to complete a series of questionnaires to learn more about what may be suited for that investor. Also, having a good mix of different risk levels and different products can help provide opportunity and protection.

Another important element that should be at the top of the retirement planning list is the value of time. The earlier we start the better the odds to navigate through difficult markets and the better we can plan for life changing events. Navigating through difficult markets is very challenging and staying the course usually works to the investors favor. Having the courage to stay invested and setting aside emotional decisions is critical. Also, by starting sooner it will allow investors to take advantage of compound interest.

Risk management and asset protection can be looked at in many different ways. The most common, is protecting our loved ones by insuring them and the assets we have accumulated. Unknown events will occur from time to time and preparing for these events before they happen can make or break our retirement success. Balancing for the now as well as the future is essential.

Once we have reached our goals, investors should plan to protect their estate with the hope to pass it to their heirs. This task first begins by organizing financials and personal interest to meet one’s wishes upon their passing. The best and most appropriate way to accomplish this is to seek the services of an attorney. It is important to provide the attorney all of the necessary information and have thorough discussions of your wishes so they can be carried out accordingly.

These are important elements of retirement planning and vary per person or household. It is important to take the time to research and learn about what steps to take in starting your plan, managing your plan, and having a resolution to your estate. I recommend working with a financial professional and reviewing your plan annually.

For more information about retirement planning and investing, visit Jacob Gold & Associates’ website.

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This information was prepared by Michael Cochell of Jacob Gold & Associates Inc. and is for educational information only. The opinions/views expressed within are that of Michael Cochell of Jacob Gold & Associates Inc. and do not necessarily reflect those of ING Financial Partners or its representatives. In addition, they are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. Neither ING Financial Partners nor its representatives provide tax or legal advice. You should consult with your financial professional, attorney, accountant or tax advisor regarding your individual situation prior to making any investment decisions.



Employer Retirement Plans in Phoenix, Ariz.

Employer Retirement Plans: Take Advantage Of The Best Of What’s Available

Most of us will have the opportunity to benefit from a 401(k), a profit-sharing or some other corporate retirement plan.

Typically, after accepting a position with a company, employees are given a great deal of information about their benefit options. These may include health insurance, life insurance and retirement options. This is where an overload of information can make it challenging to make the best decision. There is a definite need for further education within companies to assist employees with choosing benefits, and specifically when planning for their retirement.

In most cases, employees complete a packet for their 401(k) or other type of plan with advice from a family member, other employees or no advice at all. This is certainly not the best way to choose the right investments to help reach one’s retirement goals.

It is important to evaluate and consider many factors in choosing what type of investments make sense. One must consider his or her risk tolerance, time horizon and retirement needs. Moreover, some plans may have limited contribution amounts or investment options. These specifics make it even more difficult to understand and choose the best amount to contribute or the best investments to take full advantage of plan benefits. Some limitations may require employees to consider other resources for further retirement needs in addition to corporate plans.

Today, corporate retirement plans have improved as they have become more dynamic. Of course, using them the proper way and understanding your choices are critical to achieving maximum benefits. For example, many plans offer pre-tax contributions, after-tax contributions, a match of employee contributions (free money), loans options and asset protection.

Adding various mutual funds, bond funds, fixed accounts and target date funds to choose from can make it even more daunting when deciding what is best for each person. I highly recommend seeking the advice of a financial professional or a representative from the plan sponsor to help make the best choices for each person’s situation.

I am often asked to sift through a maze of investment options and analyze the best funds from which to choose in a company plan. Knowing the best plan and investment choices are hardly self-evident to the average investor.

Through education, guidance and a checklist of relevant questions, one can highly improve their odds of success. Choosing the right funds, the amount to contribute and when to make changes is an on-going process. It is critical to review these regularly.

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Here are some questions to consider:

  • What type of plan is offered?
  • Does the company match employee contributions, and how long before matching contributions are vested?
  • Are there additional fees for managing the accounts, and what are they?
  • Is there someone who can help with investment and contributions choices?
  • What is the maximum amount that can be contributed?