When you’ve earned an income all your life, it can be a challenge to transition to retirement when you enter a ‘decumulation’ phase. Pre-retirees need to take this time to develop a strategy for drawing on their savings that both: 

  1. Provides them with the income they need to live a lifestyle they’re comfortable with.
  2. Effectively minimizes taxes on their retirement income to maximize the longevity of their nest egg.

At Wood Smith Advisors, we believe that financial planning is about so much more than your money. Instead, we subscribe to the idea that a financial plan is created to help individuals and families live fulfilling, meaningful lives using their wealth as a tool to achieve their goals. This is why it’s critically important to create a life plan before sitting down with an advisor to create your financial plan. 

In 2022, new life expectancy tables from the IRS go into effect. The IRS has not updated their life expectancy tables in 20 years. This means that RMDs for retirees and those who have inherited an IRA will be lower than they have been in the past. But, how much lower are they? And how does that impact retirees?

Savings bonds are often something that people have access to either because they purchased them directly, or because they were gifted years ago by a loved one. However, it can be stressful to decide what you want to do with savings bonds after they’ve matured.

Most taxpayers think of their taxes once a year when they file. They assume that gathering all of the information their financial professional, or accountant, needs is the extent of the “planning” they need to do. After all, once the “accounting” is complete, taxpayers will either receive a refund or make a payment to the government if they owe money. Isn’t it just that cut and dry?

Financial advisors can belong to many different types of membership organizations. These organizations serve several purposes:

  1. They offer advisors resources to enhance their services and continue their education. 
  2. They create an advisor community that allows advisors to share ideas to improve their services and add extra value for their clients. 
  3. They often have a “find an advisor” tool that helps consumers find a financial planner who meets their needs.

As the tax-filing season approaches, it’s important to get organized! This is especially true this year, as pandemic-related delays are still slowing the process for filing returns and getting taxpayers their refunds. Additionally, because of new complexities (such as Advanced Child Tax Credit payments and Economic Impact Payments), filing may be more complex this year for both taxpayers and their tax professionals. 

If you were to change jobs tomorrow, would you know what to do?

The typical employee stays at their job for an average of 4 years, which means that most people will have about 10-12 jobs in their lifetime. Since the reality of changing jobs is so frequent, you need to be prepared for when the time comes to take on a new challenge.

When you envision your living situation in retirement, what does it look like? Perhaps you’ve always dreamt of downsizing and moving to the beach or a cabin in the woods. Or maybe you’d like to enjoy your home for a bit longer. 

When deciding which option is best for you, you’ll need to consider several factors.

Planning for assisted living and long-term care is something that can’t be put off. It feels like you have ages to prepare for it, but then before you know it, it’s time. The decision to move into assisted living is a difficult one, but you can plan for it with your spouse.

Long-term care can be tricky, so let’s take a look at the basics.

From the moment you started your first job, life insurance has likely been a part of every stage of your adult life. But now that you're retired (or going to be!), what happens next? When your employer isn’t paying for your life insurance anymore, it can be daunting.

As you enter retirement, you have to decide whether you want to take out a new policy or risk it without one. How do you make the best choice? 

Pension maximization is a retirement income strategy for couples. The goal is to “maximize” the pension benefit and offset risk with other avenues. Let’s take a closer look at how this strategy could benefit you and your spouse.  

For this strategy, one spouse opts for the highest annuity payout for their lifetime (single-life annuity) and obtains a life insurance policy to provide income for the surviving spouse. 

When working with couples who are part of the Millennial or Gen Z generation, the topic of starting a family often comes up. For many, the idea of having kids has always been part of their long term life plans. Then, when the milestone starts to get closer, sticker shock starts to set in. 

Although many organizations have stopped offering formal pensions, there are still several large corporations out there with a pension plan in place for dedicated employees. If you have a pension available to you, or if your spouse has one, it’s critical to understand how the cash flow from your benefit will impact your retirement. Knowing what payout options you have, and which is right for you, is the perfect first step. 

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