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Thursday, September 22, 2022

Saving for retirement is a long-term endeavor. It’s not about finding the next hottest stock or getting rich quickly. This means that retirement requires a perspective on your wealth and income that accounts for your needs at different stages of your life, from the beginning of your working years through your retirement.
 
The Bucket Strategy is an investment strategy that separates your savings and investments into three buckets: the Risk Bucket, the Safe Bucket, and the Spend Bucket. Together, these buckets provide diversification of risk, but the key to the bucket strategy is the Risk Bucket funnels to the Safe Bucket, and then to the Spend Bucket over the course of your life as you age, and your risk tolerance decreases.
The Risk Bucket is for high-growth assets that may grow in value but could see significant pullbacks during a downturn. This bucket is usually favored when you have many years to recover from a downturn before utilizing your savings to cover your costs of living.
 
The Safe Bucket often refers to the assets you hold that may not have as great of an upside, but don’t have as much of a downside either. Depending on what your income goals and risk tolerance are, this bucket can provide you with dividend income or interest income that can supplement other forms of retirement income.
The Spend Bucket is the pool of money you use to pay for your costs of living. This usually consists of cash held in checking accounts, savings accounts, or short-term Certificate Deposit accounts (CDs). Social Security payments are also used in this bucket. During working years, this bucket is less of a concern, but come retirement, planning your income sources to fund this bucket is important.
To do the Bucket Strategy, gains from your Risk Bucket assets are withdrawn to your Safe Bucket assets at a rate that fits with your retirement timeline and risk tolerance. This allows you to build up your income-earning assets over time as your risk tolerance shifts.
The reason the Bucket Strategy may work well for retirement is that it’s built to weather downturns that are likely to happen throughout your life using diversification and timeline strategy. When a downturn occurs, it might affect your Risk Bucket the most, but because you either have time to recover or you’ve already built up a sizable Safe Bucket, the effects of a downturn are less than if you tried to time the market with one big transition from a risky strategy to a safe one. In addition, if you play it too safe and forgo your Risk Bucket, your savings can erode over time, not providing enough to retire on.

The Bucket Strategy is built to account for your needs at different stages of your life. But putting it into action is easier said than done. If you’re looking to build a retirement plan that’s structured to protect your savings and grow your savings over time, the Bucket Strategy might be for you. Get connected with our team today!

Friday, September 16, 2022

You’re probably familiar with the classic retirement accounts such as 401(k)s, IRAs, and pensions. But did you know there is a financial product out there that is customizable and can be tailored to your specific risks and financial goals?

An annuity is an insurance-based financial product that takes in payments from individuals and pays them back usually over a long period of time in a flow of payments or a lump sum when a certain event occurs, such as a specific time, age, or if an illness occurs. The insurance company can accept payments over time or in one lump sum as well. The money in it is invested by the financial institution and grows until the date that the payments are to be distributed to the beneficiary or account owner.

An annuity can provide regular payments from a fixed-rate, variable, or indexed annuity.

Fixed-rate annuities often take the form of a singular lump sum that is structured to provide you a set amount of income periodically. It’s not exposed to any market risk, its payout rates are fixed, and its principal value does not grow or decline.

Variable annuities are market-exposed annuities. These annuities have more risk involved and their payout amounts usually factor in the portfolio performance. The amount invested in a variable annuity can grow or decline.

Index annuities are market-exposed annuities but track a diversified index of stocks or equities. These types of annuities are a middle ground between some of the riskier assets that go into a variable annuity and the risk-averse, non-market-exposed fixed annuity.

Though annuities may seem complicated, the basic idea is simple. An insurance company receives a fixed or variable income stream for a predetermined period, or for life, in exchange for money in return.

With your retirement accounts, such as your 401(k)s, IRAs, or Roth IRAs, there are annual contribution limits and age restrictions that are meant to have your money used in a specific way regardless of your unique circumstance. With an annuity, the main benefit is that it is structured to be tailored to your unique needs.

It’s important to know that any guarantees, like interest or market protection, are backed by the financial strength and claims-paying ability of the issuing insurance company.

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Wednesday, September 7, 2022

Taxes are one of the most important things to consider when it comes to your retirement. You’ll likely have several sources of income in retirement that can be taxed, such as IRA distributions and Social Security benefits. But is your...

Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Ever wonder what type of life insurance is best for you? It depends on various factors, including how long you want the policy to last, how much you're willing to pay, and if you wish to use the policy as an investment vehicle. Let's...

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Long-term care is generally the most significant question mark when saving the optimal amount for your retirement years. According to Financial Professional Barry Bigelow, “statistically, if you're a married couple, there's a 25%...

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Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Let’s talk about tax brackets. They aren’t straight across the board but graduated based on income, meaning most taxpayers fall into more than one bracket. Current tax brackets are 10%, 12%, 22%, 24%, 32%, 35%, and 37%, and you could...

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Have you ever considered that saving for college is different than saving for your long-term retirement?Let’s start with the fact that, when saving for college, you’re saving for a specific year (the year of high school graduation)....

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Investopedia conducted a survey of 4,000 US adults in January and February of 2022 which included 1,000 individuals from each generation to better understand their financial literacy by generation. Side note: Seeing other generations’...

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

The average couple retiring today needs a whopping $315,000 to cover the cost of health care throughout their retirement.1 You’ll want to plan for those future health costs. Have you considered that your HSA (Health Savings Account)...

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

ForbesAdvisor.com recently reported, “According to a 2020 survey from Allianz, nearly half of Americans are worried that rising prices in retirement will cause basic expenses to be unaffordable once they stop working. But there’s an...

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

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Wednesday, July 6, 2022

For young couples just getting started, new commitments, such as buying their first home or having children, bring with them the responsibility of making sure their loved ones are financially covered. Life insurance can help loved ones...

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

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Wednesday, June 22, 2022

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Wednesday, June 15, 2022

A 401(k) is a common savings tool for many working Americans. It’s an easy way to save and generally comes with the benefit of employer matching. But are you really clear on where your money is invested and if it’s the optimal place...

Wednesday, June 8, 2022

We’ve all seen the commercials for checking your credit score, and some even talk about ways to boost it, but if you’re over 50 and well established, does the number really matter that much? According to the FICO® Score model, the...

Wednesday, June 1, 2022

According to Annuity.org, there are multiple reasons Americans are investing billions into annuities. There’s much talk around annuities regarding retirement planning, which leaves the conversation open to a lot of questions and...

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

If the fear of outliving your retirement savings haunts you, then looking into income sources that can keep going as long as you do may not be such a bad idea. One way to potentially alleviate this financial anxiety is to consider an...

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Insurance gets a bad rap and, as policies go, life insurance might be at the top of the list. But we’d like it to be on the top of your list for another reason. We often think of insurance as a means to paying for funeral expenses, but...

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Medical liability is a pervasive concern for physicians because of the potential effects of a settlement and the costs of fighting a prolonged and costly legal battle. While laws capping tort damages have been effective in some states,...

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Most of the nation’s teachers and K-12 educational employees are members of their state’s public pension plans. After years of service, these plans have promised a secure retirement for educators and support staff. Unfortunately, a...

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Your first line of defense against potential litigation will likely be insurance in the form of an “umbrella policy.” Your financial professional can help with the right coverage but be prepared for a policy that’s at least equal to...

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

An annuity is an insurance product that pays out guaranteed income and can be used as part of a retirement strategy. The income you receive from an annuity can come monthly, quarterly, annually, or even in a lump sum payment. But what...

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

According to IRS Revenue Procedure 2020-45, a couple age 70 or older who both have the right kind of long-term care insurance policy can deduct as much as $11,280 in 2021 an increase of $420 from the $10,860 limit for 2020. Essentially...

Wednesday, April 6, 2022

According to the US Census Bureau, there were 430,411 new business applications in January 2022.2 Starting a business sometimes comes with a learning curve that can trip you up, so it makes sense to get as many things as right as...

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

One of the most complex parts of preparing for retirement is thinking about life where working and building income isn’t the main focus. At times you may become so overwhelmed thinking about saving for an unknown future that you end up...

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

During the early months of the Covid-19 pandemic, all 50 states and the District of Columbia transitioned to telemedicine, in part due to state emergency orders that mandated the coverage of telehealth visits and waived requirements...

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

It’s no surprise that couples disagree throughout their marriage. For the most part, those differences can be resolved relatively quickly, but common ground can feel very far off when it comes to estate planning. A few critical...

Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Wills and trusts are both estate-planning tools that can help ensure your assets are protected and bequeathed to your heirs. However, the transfer process becomes more involved when passing wealth to a subsequent generation. We highly...

Wednesday, March 2, 2022

It’s tax season for you and a veritable identity gold mine for thieves! Empowered with a name and Social Security number, crafty thieves can open credit cards, take out loans, wipe out your bank account and even file a tax return in...

Monday, February 28, 2022

Annuities can be mysterious. You might even feel like they come with a hidden agenda, which could explain why you’re not too interested in adding them to your portfolio. But as we get closer to our 60’s and live longer, now might be...

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

A combination of rising wages and inflation is threatening to push some taxpayers into higher tax brackets this year, which means you could owe more to Uncle Sam come 2023’s filing season. With inflation at its highest level in nearly...

Wednesday, February 9, 2022

Since taking office, President Biden has expressed his intention to close the step-up in basis loophole as a means to debt reduction. For some investors, this causes alarm as they were planning to use this loophole to leave investments...

Wednesday, February 2, 2022

Identity theft isn’t a new phenomenon; however, the face of identity theft has changed dramatically. Over the years it’s evolved with the technology and economic landscape that surrounds it. Understanding your exposure and staying...

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

If you’re getting Social Security retirement benefits, some members of your family may also qualify to receive benefits on your record. Your ex-spouse or spouse may receive a monthly payment of up to one-half of your retirement benefit...

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

There are many benefits of being self-employed, but sometimes it can feel as though there are just as many hindrances. Many owners consider staying abreast of tax laws and changes tedious and frustrating, so partnering with an expert...

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

It’s not often that the IRS provides a tax-free option for your money—so when it happens, it’s a good advantage to take. A Health Savings Account (HSA) is the one program that offers you three different tax benefits. Most people think...

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Happy New Year! It’s a new year, a new you, and a new time to do things differently—like your taxes. Tax-filing season is officially here, and there are many things you can do to be prepared and organized. Here are a few simple tips...

Wednesday, December 29, 2021

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economy Security Act (CARES Act) provides relief to self-employed people by delaying the Social Security tax payment due in 2020 for two more years. Specifically, individuals were allowed to defer 50%...

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Small businesses need suitable types of insurance to protect assets against damage and legal claims. While most business owners hope they’ll never have to rely on insurance, the truth is, it’s an essential investment. It could make the...

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

There’s a potential game-changer being discussed when it comes to retirement savings. It’s called SECURE Act 2.0 (Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act), and it’s intended to help more Americans ensure they’ll have...

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

The Internet is your entrance to the marketplace for the world from the comfort of your home or office. There are safety concerns to address when it comes to identity theft and fraud because organized identity theft groups constantly...

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

If you're one of America's 64 million Social Security beneficiaries, you might want to prepare yourself for a significant pay raise. According to the Social Security Administration, the annual cost-of-living (COLA) benefits increase...

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

It's Long-Term Care Awareness Month, and it might also be time for you to purchase your insurance plan. Insurance can be costly and confusing, but it's also necessary to avoid wiping out your retirement savings. Knowing what you need...

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

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Wednesday, November 10, 2021

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Wednesday, November 3, 2021

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Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Annuities are one way to generate a lifetime income, save for retirement, and leave a financial legacy. However, there are three main types of annuities—fixed, variable, and indexed—so selecting the right one for you can get...

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

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Wednesday, October 13, 2021

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Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Medicare open enrollment – also known as Medicare's annual election period – runs from October 15 through December 7. During this window, Medicare plan enrollees can reevaluate their coverage and make changes or purchase new policies...

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

While life insurance is designed to benefit your loved ones after you pass away, it also helps them and you before that time comes by way of something known as living benefits. Living benefit options for term life include: Accelerated...

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Ever wonder what type of life insurance is best for you? It's going to depend on a variety of factors, including how long you want the policy to last, how much you're willing to pay, and if you wish to use the policy as an investment...

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Many small-to-medium-sized business owners don't recognize how beneficial a life insurance policy can be to the success of their business. Whole life insurance can help companies break free from traditional bank loans, benefit their...

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

The best time to apply for life insurance is when you're young, healthy, and not likely to need it soon. The reason is simple: The younger you are, the lower your life insurance premium will likely be due to your probable lack of...

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Life can be full of surprises, and you want to be ready for whatever lies ahead. Through life insurance, you can prepare for the unexpected by providing financial security for your loved ones in the event of your death. An important...

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

The Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act fundamentally changed the rules governing distributions from inherited retirement accounts. Inheriting an IRA or 401(k) under the new administration could create...

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Each type of retirement benefit has a different eligibility age. Your age plays a significant role in how much you can expect to receive from Social Security and what you need to do to avoid retirement account penalties. Key Milestones...

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

If you're 62 or older – and want money to pay off your mortgage, supplement your income, or pay for healthcare expenses – you may consider a reverse mortgage. It allows you to convert part of the equity in your home into cash without...

Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Pre-tax contributions, tax-free withdrawals, and tax-free gains = the Holy Grail of savings opportunities. If you estimate yourself at the 25% tax bracket when you retire, and you put $60,000 into a savings account, you lose $15,000 to...

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

2021 could be the pivotal year for how businesses operate moving forward. Will they offer employees a work from home option, will Zoom meetings be standard procedure, will telehealth replace typical doctor visits? The answers are still...

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

There's much to be said for taking care of your health, and you should make caring for your wealth part of your focus, too, as it directly correlates. In fact, the American Journal of Public Health confirms that Americans at lower...

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

The 2019 Employee Wellness survey by PwC found that 73% of Millennials, 70% of Generation X, and 61% of Baby Boomers think health care costs will adversely affect their retirement. If a healthy 65-year-old couple retiring in 2019...

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

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Wednesday, June 30, 2021

For many, owning a business is the American dream come true, and making management decisions that grow your business brings about well-deserved feelings of accomplishment. Playing devil's advocate here—did you decide to use any of your...

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Carrying consumer debt into retirement can quickly reduce the monthly cash flow available to spend on healthcare, travel, and leisure activities or could necessitate drawing down retirement accounts faster than planned. Either...

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Over 99% of America's 28.7 million firms are small businesses, and 88% have fewer than 20 employees. After the year of COVID, many can't wait for a Government stimulus to bail them out and are instead looking for ways to fund their...

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Many families have plans to give their children and grandchildren financial gifts when they die, but it might make sense to gift earlier. Making financial gifts during your lifetime can significantly impact their lives, sometimes when...

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Every year the federal government decides how much of your estate isn't subject to taxes when you die. This year, thanks to inflation, it increased to $11.7 million. This means, when you pass away, the value of your estate is...

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Millennials are victims of many stereotypes, but the one that portrays them positively suggests they're a planning generation. They research and collaborate and plan for all life's major decisions, and their long-term care (LTC) isn't...

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Candidates run campaigns on promises and plans, but that doesn't mean they ever come to fruition. The Biden administration will maintain a Democratic majority in both the House and the Senate for at least the next two years, giving him...

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Does your estate plan include transferring your wealth onto your family? Have you looked over potential tax implications? It's important to understand that your beneficiaries may be in for sticker shock when they receive a tax bill...

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Guaranteed returns, you ask? Yes, but it's complicated – one simple word can make a big difference. If you have a fixed annuity, you get a fixed rate of return. If you add one simple word "indexed" creating a fixed indexed annuity,...

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

We spend years of our life working and saving for that retirement dream, and as you get closer, it's important to take all steps to preserve your nest egg. Perhaps a move across state lines will help in that endeavor. Some states don't...

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Cryptocurrency is a form of digital payment that can be exchanged online for goods and services. Many companies have issued their own currencies, often called tokens, and these can be traded specifically for the good or service that...

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

The Social Security Administration (SSA) recently announced that the annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for benefits would be 1.3%. Here's a closer look at some of the most significant changes affecting Social Security recipients...

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Financial Literacy Month suggests it's time to take advantage of available tools, resources, and tips for financial education that can help increase your financial success. This month put yourself back in the driver's seat! Do a...

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Don't overlook the benefits that annuities provide during your retirement planning years. Yes, some myths make them appear to be a lousy choice, but there are reasons to trust in financial insight rather than the Google results on the...

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

The loose definition of a financial professional is someone that provides insight intended to lead to a better outcome for your financial future. The workings of their daily routine include everything from planning to building your...

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

If you have a Health Savings Account (HSA) option, the benefits are worth the investment. The tax benefits of an HSA magnify the advantage of investing in, say, stock funds or diversified mutual funds. First, your contribution is...

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Retirees face multiple income traps, and many retired taxpayers will see a portion of their Social Security income make its way onto the taxable income line of their 1040s. Those who convert their traditional IRAs to Roth IRAs are...

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

The Internal Revenue Service announced that the nation's tax season started on Friday, February 12, 2021, but it’s important to note that the filing deadline wasn’t extended. The February 12 start date for individual tax return filers...

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

As if the 2008 recession wasn’t rough enough, hardships struck millennials again in 2020. Already facing professional and financial challenges, including a dismal job market, sky-high levels of student debt, and soaring living costs,...

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Imagine if Goldilocks was planning her retirement: “this date is too early” and “this date is too late” but “this date is just right”! Sweet retirement can’t come soon enough for some of us, but it’s important to know precisely when...

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Your business’s success is in your hands when you're self-employed, so you need to be knowledgeable about and take advantage of whatever assistance is available—especially when it comes to lowering your tax bill. It’s commonly known...

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

The face of identity theft has changed dramatically, evolving with the technology and economic landscape surrounding it. Understanding your exposure and staying informed of the trends and methods that thieves use to steal from you is...

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go...” ― Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Places...

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

This past year highlighted small businesses more than any other. The impact from a struggling economy has not gone unnoticed and the support from local shoppers has made the difference between open and closed for many small business...

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

All 50 states and the District of Columbia have now certified their presidential election results, and President-Elect Joe Biden will drive our next four years. What does that mean for your investments as you move closer to retirement?...

Monday, January 11, 2021

The Week on Wall Street Shrugging off COVID-19 infections and the disruption at the Capitol on January 6, stocks powered higher to kick off a new year of trading.The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 1.61%, while the Standard &...

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Happy New Year! It’s a new year, a new you, and a new time to do things differently—like your taxes. Tax-filing season is officially here, and there are many things you can do to be prepared and organized. Here are a few simple tips...

Monday, January 4, 2021

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Monday, November 23, 2020

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Wednesday, September 9, 2020

With COVID-19 at the forefront of everyone’s mind, many who have been holding off on estate planning are now prompted to quickly finalize estate plans so they will have something in place should illness or worse come calling. Without...

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

The Week on Wall Street A late week sell-off sent stocks broadly lower as investors took some profits after stocks reached all-time highs earlier in the week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 1.82%, while the Standard & Poor’s...

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

For young couples just getting started, new commitments, such as buying your first home or having children, bring with them the responsibility of making sure your loved ones will be provided for financially. Life insurance can help...

Monday, August 31, 2020

The Week on Wall Street Stocks advanced relentlessly last week on positive COVID-19 developments, encouraging economic data, and a supportive policy shift in the Fed’s approach to its target inflation rate. The Dow Jones Industrial...