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Current Newsletter

Encore Financial Current Newsletter - Financial Tips                                                                                        

September 2017 Newsletter


What Should You Invest In? It's All About YOU!

As financial advisors, many times we are asked by clients what they should invest in.  It’s not always an easy answer, because our answer to clients depends on many things.  What you should invest in is personal to YOU, and should take into account your personal situation.

However, one easy answer to ‘what should I invest in’, is to invest in your retirement.  Participate in your company’s retirement plan to the maximum allowed contribution each year.  Once you are on your way to maximizing your 401(K), the next investments you choose are part of a process that takes into account many factors.

Your tolerance to market risk will be determined through your completing a ‘risk tolerance profile’.  Once we determine how you feel about losing value of your investments, and consider your timeline for needing to use your investments for specific purposes, we can start to discuss types of investments that fit your personal situation.  We will also discuss affordability and fees associated with those investments, and the suggested allocation to specific fund sectors.

‘What should I invest in’ is always the beginning to a discussion about ‘You’.  As we work together, periodic meetings should involve rebalancing, reassessing your investments, and discussing your goals and life events.  If you want to know what you should invest in, let’s get together and start the discussion, or revisit what you’re currently invested in.


Envisioning Your Retirement Dream

Regardless of your age, envisioning your retirement is one way to get started on a plan for what you want to do when you’re able to retire.  If you’re already retired, maybe you’re ready to take on a new challenge and change what you’re currently doing.  If you’re still twenty to forty years away from retiring, what you ‘envision’ now will keep you moving toward your goals.  As you age, you may change your idea of what you envision your retirement dream to be, or you may be forced to change your idea of retirement based on your financial situation.  What retirement dream do you have?

Vacationing is commonly a retirement dream many people have, and traveling will be directly tied to your financial situation and your health.  If you want to travel in retirement, add it into your financial plan and start to increase your savings to have vacation expenses covered.

Do you envision retirement to be a time to have ‘more time’ to do those things you always wanted to do?  Write down things you are looking forward to doing, even if it is more time to relax.  Listing it and looking at your retirement dream, if only on a note, helps you to bring it to reality.

Is starting a new career or becoming an entrepreneur something you want to experience in your lifetime?  Retirement is a time when you can do this, providing you don’t need to rely on the income and you aren’t planning to invest your retirement savings into a new business.

Some retirees decide to seek additional education or take classes on something that interests them.  Art classes, literature experiences, or even educational experiences abroad can enhance your retirement years.

Have you always had an interest in working for a non-profit or volunteering for a cause close to your interests?  Having the time to give time to something meaningful can give you a sense of purpose and help you fulfill a desire to make a difference in the lives of others.  If your retirement dream is to volunteer for others, research opportunities in your area, regardless of your age.

Perhaps you are someone who envisions your retirement dream to be a continuation of working.  Many retirees are finding that they still enjoy working and choose to continue working full time, or at least part time in their profession.  There is no requirement for when you choose to quit working.  If you decide to continue working, consider delaying taking Social Security benefits.  Consult your financial advisor or attend a Social Security meeting to fully understand how continuing working will affect your benefits.

Let’s get started on planning your retirement dream, however you envision it!


Estate Planning 101

Basic estate planning is something that everyone should do, regardless of your age, marital status, and if you’re a parent or not.  In the US, the statistic is staggering that only 40% have a will or have an estate plan.  Of those that are older Americans, 81% of those age 72 and older, and 58% of ‘Boomers’ have estate planning documents in place.  However, many in this age group have not planned how to leave their estate, which is a common trend in our country.  Estate planning should include the following elements, and a formal estate plan should be drafted by an attorney qualified in this area:

A Will- A will determines where assets will go that don’t have a beneficiary listed.  Common items listed should include your home (if paid off), cars, collections, even household items.  Bank Accounts and even brokerage accounts with no beneficiary listed would be included in your will and estate plan, with the terminology appropriate to these types of assets.

An ‘Executor’ of Your Estate- Commonly this is a relative or friend, but in more complex cases where there are substantial assets, a professional manager may need to be considered.

A Guardian’ for your Minor Children- If you have a young family, your estate plan should include who you would like to care for your children if both parents are deceased.  Without this directive, the state of your residence decides, and your children may be otherwise be placed with someone you wouldn’t prefer.  In cases of a child with special needs, consideration should be addressed and planned for care of the child now, and after age 18 throughout their adulthood.

Medical Power of Attorney- Commonly, spouses list each other as medical power of attorney, but you have the full authority to list anyone you choose.  A Medical Power of Attorney makes medical decisions for you when you’re incapacitated to do so for yourself.

Financial Power of Attorney- This individual, or individuals have the authority to pay your bills, and manage your finances for you, if you are unable to yourself.  This is important because if you require extended medical or nursing care, they pay the bills so you’re able to remain in that facility.  Without planning and having a Financial Power of Attorney named, your assets are seized and liquidated by the state, even if you have the assets to pay.

A Trust Document- Living Trusts allow you to pass assets without going through probate, and allows someone else to handle your financial affairs if you’re unable to.  A trust document names the ‘trustees’, or who the trust benefits, as well as a successor trustee who will take over when the trustees are unable to manage their own affairs or pass away.  This is a key element in estate planning.

Although these elements are the main parts of an estate plan, they may not be all you need depending on your personal situation.  When working with an attorney, tax planning professional, and financial advisor, include all of them in your estate planning process.  This will ensure that your plans are carried out the way that is best for you and how you intended.  If you have any questions regarding getting started on an estate plan, feel free to contact our office to set up a meeting regarding prepping financial documents or obtain referrals for attorneys specializing in estate planning in our area.

This information is not intended to be a substitute for personalized tax and legal advice.


The Role of Asset Protection and Your Investments

Protecting your assets is directly tied to protection of everything, including you, through insurance.  Without proper protection, your investments and assets can face premature liquidation.  Insurance in its many forms serves to offset risk, whether it’s health insurance, home owners insurance, or any other type of liability protection and income replacement.  This article is not intended to ‘sell’ you the idea of insurance, but outline why and when it’s appropriate.

Many of us know the foundation of insurance is to protect ourselves, and those we love.  The insurance many of us associate with this protection is life, medical and disability, homeowners, and auto insurance to name a few.  But have you ever considered the ‘why’ behind insurance to protect assets?

Because none of us can control getting sick, hurt, having an accident, or experiencing a fire in our home, planning for expenses or loss is a good idea. Without proper insurance, you are more likely to liquidate your assets and even your investments if you don’t have proper insurance coverage in place.  If you haven’t considered the reason to have insurance, or had the discussion with your financial advisor, you may be missing something important in your financial planning process.

Additional reasons to have insurance, besides the ‘protection’ aspect, is for estate transfer, business buy-sell, and other tax planning strategies where insurance may be a solution to help protect asset liquidation.  An example of this is insurance used for estate planning and asset transfer purposes, where insurance benefits offset the taxes that your beneficiaries may have to pay for receiving the proceeds of your estate.

Liability coverage to protect your assets is important, and even more so if you’re a high net worth individual.  If you are, consult an attorney regarding setting up business entities to protect certain assets.  An example of this, would be if you own an airplane for business and want to protect your other assets in case of an accident resulting in multiple injuries or deaths related to your airplane.  Sheltering your other investments by having the ‘airplane’ as a separate business can accomplish this in most situations.

If you’re a business owner, and plan to transfer a business to a family member or key employee, part of the transfer can be paid through insurance proceeds.  To fully understand insurance used for this purpose, or for any tax planning strategy, consulting a tax professional and attorney is recommended.

As your financial advisor, understanding if your insurance coverage is appropriate and enough, will be a part of your financial planning process and help me make recommendations for you.  Regardless of where you purchase your insurance, ensuring you have it is one way to protect all of your assets and your investments.

All guarantees are subject to the claims-paying ability of the issuing insurance company.


Securities and advisory services are offered through The Strategic Financial Alliance, Inc. (SFA) Member FINRA/SIPC. Kimberly Surber, CFP is a registered representative and investment advisor representative of SFA, which is unaffiliated with Encore Financial Consulting. Supervisory Branch office: 202 Abbey Court, Alpharetta, GA 30004. 678-456-4049. Past Performance is not a guarantee and the SFA does not give tax or legal advice.

Past Performance is not a Guarantee and The SFA does not give tax or legal advice.

Copyright 2017 Fresh Finance LLC; Copyright 2017 Leno Communications Corp. All rights reserved worldwide.


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