Diversify Your Retirement Plan and Achieve Success

How do you define someone as having a successful life?  Better yet, how does one achieve a life of success? It’s a loaded question, I know.  However, with so many possible answers, there is a single theory at its very core…diversification.

Ultimately, a successful life can be achieved by financial stability and a comfortable home life, which leads into an enjoyable retirement.  To get here, one needs to have strategies in place that are creative enough to achieve whatever your definition of success may be.  The more diversified your funds and retirement plans are, the happier you will be in the long run. For example, a retiree is better having their money work for them in multiple, successful ways rather than putting their nest egg completely in one basket.  The potential for success is higher when multiple opportunities to reach this success are presented.

Often, my clients come to me with questions and concerns about the stock market thinking that this unpredictable platform is the only way to invest their money.  The truth is, there are a handful of valuable outlets and strategies you can use when preparing for your future.  In fact, financial expert Walter Updegrave stated in a CNN Money article that the addition of annuities in your financial plan “could provide lifetime income regardless of how your investments perform.”  What is a more successfully diverse plan than this? Don’t limit your money; spread it to various outlets where it can help increase your overall returns and lead you into a comfortable retirement.

Saving money and strategic planning is the key to a successful retirement, but you don’t have to do it alone.  Call today and ask about our one-on-one consultation! You can speak with me directly at 877-476-5051 or email me at warren@warrenelkin.com.

For more information go to www.warrenelkin.com and learn more about our unique process to make sure your financial decisions are made in your best interest.

Sources:

http://money.cnn.com/2013/03/15/pf/expert/retirement-savings.moneymag/index.html

http://www.ehow.com/about_5544897_retirement-planning-statistics.html

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Plan For Tax Season and Avoid The Mess

Tax season is upon us and I can already see the stress that is overcoming many of my clients.  With only a month left to get your taxes taken care of, I continue to hear all sorts of questions.  Will I receive the amount on my tax returns that I am anticipating?  What should I do with my refund?  What are stealth taxes?  These are important questions that come about every year during this season.  Just like retirement planning, it’s important to have a plan for your taxes and to make sure you’re asking the right questions.

Adam Spiegel, a Miami-based certified public accountant and partner with Morrison, Brown, Argiz & Farra summed tax planning up with a very simple acronym, PLAN.

P stands for ‘prepare your records ahead of time.’

L stands for ‘list your issues and questions.’

A stands for ‘analyze your financial statements for accuracy.’

N stands for ‘note the changes in laws during the year and discuss them with your tax advisor.’
As a Retirement Income Specialist, planning and preparation are at the root of all of my clients’ strategies.  In this field of work, the better prepared you are, the more educated your decisions can be about future finances and investments.  Before you begin completing your taxes, complete a consultation with me, Warren Elkin, and get your finances in line so you’re ready for your CPA.  Don’t be a victim to the mistakes that many people make during tax season; learn what questions to ask your CPA to cut your taxes now and avoid tax problems in your future.

Call today! Speak with me now at 877-476-5051 or email me directly at warren@warrenelkin.com.  For more information go to www.warrenelkin.com and learn more about our unique process to make sure your financial decisions are made in your best interest.

Have a great day,
Warren Elkin

Sources:
http://www.inc.com/guides/2010/06/tax-season-planning.html

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Low savings? No problem, retirement is still possible!

Will I ever have enough to retire? Will I outlive my savings? How can I catch up if I haven’t been saving? As a Financial Advisor, these are questions I often hear when meeting with new clients, and it is my job to help my clients plan and prepare for their future retirement.

In general, my clients usually fall into two major categories, early-bird planners or fashionably late planners.  One situation is not necessarily better than the other, there is just a different strategy depending on your financial situation.  When my clients come to me early in their career, it gives us more time to layout a long-term strategy of investing and saving for when retirement does come. But just because you don’t have a large savings built up does not mean you can’t enjoy retirement; it simply means you must plan differently.

Planning for retirement may seem like a daunting task that is far off in the distance, but it doesn’t have to be complicated. If you seem to be hitting roadblocks, give me a call and let’s make sure you have all the facts necessary to make the right decision with your financial future. Speak with us now at 877-476-5051 or email Warren at warren@warrenelkin.com.

Some professional guidance will help make sure you have all the facts necessary to make correct decisions when designing your specific retirement plan. For more information about our company visit www.warrenelkin.com and learn all about our unique processes that help make sure your financial decisions are made in your best interest.

Have a great day,
Warren Elkin

 

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Getting Ready is the Secret to Success

Henry Ford once said, “Before everything else, getting ready is the secret to success.”  This is something that is most definitely relevant in the finance world today.  As a Retirement Income Specialist, I preach preparation.  The more you focus on situating your finances now, the better prepared for retirement you will be.  Retirement is designed to be a time in your life to relax, not a time to stress over your finances.

According to a 2012 report from the Center for Retirement Research, “at Social Security’s earliest retirement age of 62, only about 30 percent of households are prepared for retirement…By age 66, Social Security’s current Full Retirement Age, about 55 percent of house-holds are projected to be prepared for retirement (this figure includes the 30 percent already prepared by age 62).” Too often I run into clients who fall into this category, they are emotionally ready for retirement, however their finances are not in the same place. This is a significant part of planning for retirement as there are a variety of pitfalls to avoid and questions to ask before just waiting until you are the correct age and signing up. Planning early is key and that’s where I can help! Call me today at 877-476-5051.

Don’t be a statistic. It’s time you protect your money, receive a guaranteed income stream and retire with confidence.  The goal should be not to simply retire from something or some job, but to retire into a lifestyle that is pleasing to you!

If you have questions about your retirement call us today and make sure you have all the facts necessary to make the right decision with your financial future! Speak with us now at 877-476-5051, email Warren at warren@warrenelkin.com, or go to www.warrenelkin.com to learn more about Warren Elkin and his unique process to make sure your financial decisions are made in your best interest.

 

Have a great day,

Warren Elkin

 

Source:

Center for Retirement Research, Boston College. National Retirement Risk Index: How much longer do we need to work?  Retrieved from http://crr.bc.edu/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/IB_12-12-508.pdf

Image courtesy of: http://www.forbes.com/sites/financialfinesse/2012/07/25/what-young-people-need-to-know-about-retirement/ (Getty Images)

Do you have all the pieces to retire?

The conversation about retirement brings a lot of different topics for discussion; it also brings about the controversy over many myths surrounding retirement planning.  It is not uncommon for me as a Retirement Income Specialist to see these financial “myths” scare retirees away or put off planning for their future.

I am here to tell you that while these myths make planning for retirement seem daunting, it is not as complex as it seems!  Having a well thought out financial plan will indeed make things less stressful and less confusing when retirement draws near.  There are a lot of pieces that go into planning for retirement and understanding each piece will help you put together the whole puzzle.  Annuities are often the most misunderstood and therefore overlooked piece, but they can play a vital role in your planning.  FoxBusiness.com illustrates this role perfectly when it makes the comparison that “annuities work exactly like a company pension or your Social Security benefits.” Take a look at annuities if you feel you’re missing that last piece of the retirement puzzle.

I have over three decades of experience working in the financial industry and would be delighted to guide you and clear up any misunderstandings about your retirement that you may have. If you are nearing or planning for retirement, don’t let the financial “myths” lead you astray.

If you have questions about your retirement call us today and make sure you have all the facts necessary to make the right decision with your financial future! Speak with us now at 877-476-5051, email Warren at warren@warrenelkin.com, or go to www.warrenelkin.com to learn more about Warren Elkin and his unique process to make sure your financial decisions are made in your best interest.

 

Have a great day,

Warren Elkin

 

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Don’t Let Medical Costs Destroy Your Retirement

Medical CostsToday I wanted to tackle a topic that is often a question and concern for many of my clients, “how can I continue to pay for all of my expenses once I retire?” The answer is less complex than you think…layout a financial plan, execute that plan and continue with more planning.

A New York Times article released earlier this year stated that “a 65-year-old couple retiring this year without any employer-based health coverage would need an estimated $240,000 to cover medical costs through retirement, according to Fidelity’s latest estimate.”  Medical costs are just one of the realities of retirement and something you can’t always plan for, but you can plan for financial freedom with a good retirement strategy.  An employer providing no help with health benefits to their employees is a burden many retirees face, and that’s where I can help!

One in six individuals considered to be “older Americans” live below the poverty line according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Once your working days are over, you deserve to relax and enjoy retirement not stress over financial burdens.  Avoid the stress and plan for your retirement.

We can help you find the money falling through the cracks to help pay for the high cost of medical care or insurance premiums now and in the future. For a free, no obligation, 3 Step Review; call me today at 1-877-476-5051.

Make sure you have all the facts necessary to make the right decision with your financial future by calling us today! Speak with us now at 877-476-5051, email Warren at warren@warrenelkin.com, or go to www.warrenelkin.com to learn more about Warren Elkin and his unique process to make sure your financial decisions are made in your best interest.

Have a great day,
Warren Elkin

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Dream Big for Retirement

elkin_dreamretirementLast week I discussed how misinformation keeps many retirees from getting the most out of retirement.  This week, I want you to stop thinking negative thoughts about your future and start designing the retirement of your dreams.  Don’t buy into the myth that you’re sure to outlive your money: start thinking positively and take the necessary measures to place yourself in an ideal position once retirement arrives.  Being proactive about your future is important and can even be downright fun; to start planning, set up a consultation with me by calling 877-476-5051.

Meeting with me, Warren Elkin, is the right place to begin the journey but it shouldn’t end there.  Money may be at the root of retirement, but the monetary aspects are hollow without spending it wisely.  First, think about surrounding yourself with friends and family that will keep you physically and mentally healthy.  Retirement is not a solitary existence, so if you’d like to be closer to loved ones start looking for real estate developments as soon as possible.

When you were younger, your dreams may have been put on hold due to a mortgage or children’s college tuition; take retirement as your time to finally spend the way you’d like!   You’ve worked hard, so feel free to spoil yourself and get on the list for that fancy car, or sign up for a membership at that golf club you never thought you could afford.  If you’ve always wanted to travel, start looking into trip options and narrow down where you’ll go and who you will be taking with you.

Your ideal retirement is out there, so plan wisely and get creative!  Don’t get bogged down in the nitty gritty pessimistic thoughts about the future, let these years be the best of your life!

Our unique review process may help you find the money falling through the cracks in your tax and investment planning to pay for some of those dreams. Make sure you have all the facts necessary to make the right decision with your financial future by calling us today! Speak with us now at 877-476-5051, email Warren at warren@warrenelkin.com, or go to www.warrenelkin.com to learn more about Warren Elkin and his unique process to make sure your financial decisions are made in your best interest.

Have a great day,
Warren Elkin

Retirement Rumors

SecretsI’ve recently been privy to conversations with friends and colleagues over the ramifications of having revealed the heartbreaking truth about Santa Claus to their children or grandchildren over the holidays.  The myth that a jolly old man in a red suit shimmies his way down the chimney bearing gifts for those who have behaved well all year was instantly shattered by parental confessions.  However, those who think only children believe in fictitious legends are very much mistaken.  In fact, I have many clients who believe in rumors about retirement with equal vigor; it’s my job to debunk these financial untruths, as there’s much more at stake here than a couple of reindeer and a bountiful sleigh.

While you can choose what age you’d like to retire, those who believe they can claim their Social Security early and still get all of their benefits later are mistaken.  When you claim early, your benefits will be 25 percent less than if you had waited until retirement age and even up to 80 percent less than if you held off until age 70.  Of course, unforeseen events such as an illness can cause families to take this course of action, but the decision should not be taken lightly.

Don’t rely on being able to work longer or part-time during retirement, you will regret it later.  We all have the optimistic hope that we’ll work as long as we please, but the reality is you cannot predict your own health and work circumstances.  Taking big risks with your investments as you age can hurt your savings, and a backup plan to just keep working is not a sure safety net.

Just because your kids are grown does not mean your expenses will decrease, and thinking that you will need less income during retirement is a common misconception.  You want retirement to be a happy time of life, and failing to accurately budget can result in very stressful decisions for both you and your loved ones.

The key to retirement is planning for your own future and ignoring the popular myths perpetuated by rumors.  It’s important to meet with me, Warren Elkin, in order to sift through the gossip and find out the truth.  Have you bought into the myth that you can withdraw 4-5% of your portfolio because you are going to make 8-9% and, if so, would you like to know how long the amount you are withdrawing is sustainable?  Just like not believing in Santa Claus doesn’t make the holidays any less joyous, knowing the realities about retirement will make that time of life a special and happy one.

Make sure you have all the facts necessary to make the right decision with your financial future by calling us today! Speak with us now at 877-476-5051, email Warren at warren@warrenelkin.com, or go to www.warrenelkin.com to learn more about Warren Elkin and his unique process to make sure your financial decisions are made in your best interest.

Have a great day,
Warren Elkin

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Planning for Your Future NOW

www.ehstoday.comAs another year gets off to a fast start, I have many clients and friends alike who have become nostalgic for the past and tend to reminisce about where the time has gone. Their once full houses are either devoid of children, brimming with new grandchildren, or still house a few adult children transitioning into their own independent lives. In all of these cases, I understand the tendency to look backward and reflect; but I also try to relate the importance of looking toward the future. I want the Baby Boomer generation to be sure to focus on their present financial habits in order to plan for the best retirement they can.

I’ve listed some helpful tips to get the conversation started, but for more information and insight don’t hesitate to set up a time to speak with me by calling 877-476-5051. For the moment, let these act as some guiding principles of retirement planning:

Decide what age you want to retire at. Many clients picture their first day of retirement as a time far down the road that is not worth the time and effort to even start thinking about now. Simply put, retirement can start early if you plan accordingly. Not only would you be able to travel or pursue lifelong dreams, you’d also be safeguarding yourself against unplanned health concerns or unforeseen job troubles down the line. Be aware, according to a report by The NTAR Leadership Center, over 50% of those job seekers aged 55 and up have spent 27 or more weeks looking for work; their younger counterparts in that same duration only total 40%.

Update your portfolio if need be. When it comes to your retirement, don’t just stick with the plan you made ages ago. The market is forever in flux, and it takes constant attention and care to make rsure you’re getting the most out of your portfolio. As time goes on, you need to reassess the risks within your portfolio since you increasingly have less potential recovery time. It’s imperative to find the right balance between aggressive and conservative risk taking, and you want your money to grow at a steady pace.

Despite being a potentially difficult task, get your estate planning in order. Often when clients consider planning their will, it causes an emotional challenge that they would rather just avoid. Remember that caring for your loved ones does not mean you are leaving them tomorrow, just that you are being a responsible planner. While the Fiscal Cliff deal left the estate tax exemption at $5 million, those underneath that threshold should still make the proper preparations. Your beneficiaries are important to you, so make sure to get the support of your family and friends to accomplish the estate planning.

These pieces of advice are simply to get you thinking about your future with as much fondness as you look toward your past. I assure you, breaking out those old photo albums will be much more pleasant when you have the peace of mind that you and your family are taken care of for years to come. Do you have a process to filter out all the myths, misconceptions and even incorrect information that you may have received to make sure any major financial decision is made in your best interest?

Make sure you have all the facts necessary to make the right decision with your financial future by calling us today! Speak with us now at 877-476-5051, email Warren at warren@warrenelkin.com, or go to www.warrenelkin.com to learn more about Warren Elkin and his unique process to make sure your financial decisions are made in your best interest.

Have a great day,
Warren Elkin

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Financial Hide and Seek: Finding the Stealth Taxes that Congress Missed

Good afternoon!

The financial sector greeted 2013 with a collective sigh after spending a nail-biting few weeks unsure of how the potential Fiscal Cliff would affect us all in the new year.  I received many emails and phone calls during this tenuous time; most clients wanted reassurance that their investments were safe.  Keep in mind, the Fiscal Cliff sounds confusing because it is.  While the most obvious premises of the deal are more easily researched, there are stealth taxes that could be costing you money at this very moment.

As a Retirement Income Specialist, it’s my job to seek out these hidden taxes that could potentially hurt my clients.  I want to provide you with a brief synopsis of these stealth taxes, but to learn more you can set up an appointment to discuss current financial trends and how they affect your personal finances.  Set up an appointment by visiting us at www.warrenelkin.com.

There are two provisions that were previously dormant from the 1990 tax increase that, as of this week, are re-enacted.  The Pease and PEP will now limit deductions and exemptions for taxpayers in a higher income bracket.  Those who make above $250,000 will potentially suffer the steepest tax increases under this new law.

Of that bracket, married couples with two kids could see a 4.4 percentage point rise in their marginal tax rate.  Americans with incomes topping $1 million could lose up to 80% of itemized deductions, which includes mortgage payments, healthcare, local and state taxes, and charities.

While missing from the main coverage of the Fiscal Cliff deal, Congress has allowed the Social Security Payroll Tax Cut to expire.  Over the past two years, wage earners have enjoyed a 2-percentage-point-cut in the payroll tax.  By allowing this to lapse, that percent now returns to 6.2%, earning the government about $115 billion a year in revenue.  This means the average taxpayer now loses approximately $740 a year.

There are also other stealth taxes that are not covered by the Fiscal Cliff deal.  Things like Phantom Income Taxation, Social Security Taxation, and IRA losses you can’t deduct.  Have you ever heard of Phantom Income Tax before?  Are you paying taxes on your Social Security?  Do you have losses in your IRA?  These are great indicators that you could benefit from a simple review process.

All of these stealth taxes have variances, depending on income bracket, etc.  Don’t start 2013 in the dark about tax policies.  Meet with Warren before going to see your CPA or completing your tax return to learn what questions to ask your CPA to cut your taxes now and avoid tax problems in your future.

Make sure you have all the facts necessary to make the right decision with your financial future by calling us today! Speak with us now at 877-476-5051, email Warren at warren@warrenelkin.com, or go to www.warrenelkin.com to learn more about Warren Elkin and his unique process to make sure your financial decisions are made in your best interest.

Have a great day,
Warren Elkin

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