The Great Bay Insurance Agency Blog is meant to provide you with timely and useful information that can help you to make sense out of insurance, annuities, and retirement planning. If you have questions about any of the information presented, please contact us and we'll answer them or help you to find the answers.
Resolving to become more financially fit is a common resolution for many people in 2018. Some surveys suggest we place it as high in priority as eating healthier and getting more exercise. Studies also show that about 80% of people will fail to stick to their resolutions for longer than six weeks.
Let’s face it - money can be a major source of stress in our lives. We worry about earning it, spending it, losing it, growing it and protecting it. With a proper plan, money concerns can shift from being a source of stress to a source of security and peace of mind.
In much the same way that good health requires lifestyle changes for success, the same philosophy applies to achieving financial wellness. Here’s a look at how we are helping our clients on their way to achieving their financial goals.
With Baby Boomers still heading into retirement in droves, and millennials concerned about the future of social security, the biggest concern for all ages is with regard to retirement savings. Older people want to know if they will have enough to live on and the younger generation is concerned with affording to get started early on being able to live life on their own terms in retirement.
At Great Bay Insurance Agency, we offer several retirement accounts:
Traditional IRA – Individual Retirement Account that allows for tax deductible contributions, but contributions (and earnings) are taxed upon distribution.
Roth IRA – Individual Retirement Account that does not allow for tax deductible contributions, but the distributions (including earnings) are not taxed as income.
SEP/SIMPLE IRA – a Simplified Employee Pension plan that allows employers to make contributions to their employees’ retirement and their own retirement. With a SIMPLE Plan, employees can opt for salary deducted contributions and the employer makes matching,
403(b) Plans – a tax sheltered annuity for employees of public schools and certain tax-exempt organizations.
401(k) Rollover – allows for a rollover of a 401(k) balance with a former employer plan into an IRA without creating a taxable event.
We have a broad range of investment solutions for each of these retirement savings accounts and determining which ones are appropriate for you is part of the service we provide.
Let Us Help You Get Started Today
Sometimes taking the first step in taking charge of your financial future seems the most daunting. Where to begin? Whom to trust? What do I need?
What many people do not realize is our agents have the knowledge and experience to help assess your total financial situation. We work with individuals, small businesses, non-profits and people in all stages of life to evaluate their needs and present solutions. Learn more about how we can help.
Every situation is unique and the decisions you make must also be unique to your personal needs. We start with a free consultation, at your convenience, to understand your present circumstances, financial position and your short-term and long-term goals. From here, we identify gaps in your overall plan and provide options within your budget for consideration. There is no cost or obligation for our consultation.
Since it costs nothing for a conversation, why not schedule your personal evaluation? Call us at 603.743.4247 or visit us online to arrange your appointment today!
Your Great Bay Insurance Agent,
Life Happens - Are You Ready? If there is anything we know about life, it is that it's mostly unpredictable, but that does not mean we can't be well prepared.
There are certain milestones we can plan for and other life changes that we may not readily anticipate. The key is to plan for what we expect, and be well prepared to adapt to the unexpeted.
At Great Bay Insurance Agency, we work with our clients on a financial plan to best position them for life changes. We start with a consultation to learn about their current circumstances and their goals for the future. There are certain fundamentals we review to be sure clients are well protected with adequate insurance and an investment plan for short-term and long-term priorities. From here, we identify any gaps in their plan and provide options within their budget to help them achieve proper coverage and fund their investment goals.
We also regularly meet with clients to review their progress and discuss life changes that will impact their financial plan and insurance needs. We educate them to identify any number of life events that should trigger a re-evaluation:
Changes In Employer Insurance Coverage or Retirement Plan Eligibility
Marriage / Divorce
Having A Child
Buying A Home
Caring For Aging Parents
We are committed to the long-term well-being of our clients and we help them to be prepared for these kind of events, the ones we can often anticipate. For the things we cannot foresee, our planning helps them to better manage life's most unexpected challenges, and we're right there to help them navigate.
If you are anticipating any of these life changes and would like to arrange a free consultation, please contact me today at 603.743.4247.
Your Great Bay Insurance Agent,
Statistics suggest, baby boomers could have one or more 401(k) accounts with a former employer and they have yet to reach the age of retirement.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, "The average person born in the latter years of the baby boom (1957-1964) held 11.7 jobs from age 18 to age 48." For the eldest in this group, those born 1957-1959), the Social Security Administration defines "normal retirement age" or the "full benefit" retirement age as 66. For those in this group born in 1960 or later, it will gradually rise to age 67.
This means, baby boomers could have one or more 401(k) accounts with a former employer and they have yet to reach the age of retirement.
So, what to do with the assets you left in your former employer(s) plan?
If you participated in a 401(k) with a former employer and you left the funds in the plan when you took a new job, you have options for investing the money in another retirement account.
You can opt to “rollover” the fund to your new employer's qualified plan or you can do a rollover to an individual retirement account (IRA). With a rollover, the company distributes your plan assets to you in a check. It is up to you to transfer those assets to your new employer plan or an IRA within 60 days of the date you receive the distribution in order to maintain the tax-deferred status of those assets. If you fail to meet the requirements, income taxes on the entire distribution and early withdrawal penalties will apply.
Leaving the funds in the old plan may have certain benefits. If you are satisfied with the performance and find any associated fees to be customary and reasonable, there may be no reason to move the assets.
What we see most often, is that people tend to forget about managing and monitoring these investments. It is important, particularly as you approach certain life stages, that you understand how and where your funds are invested and what the associated plan costs are.
Risk tolerance is a critical component of investment strategy. Among other things, risk tolerance takes into account your entire personal financial scenario, your timeline for when the invested funds are expected to be needed, and your overall comfort level and ability to withstand with the potential volatility of an investment vehicle.
All too often, clients come to us with plan investments they have not evaluated in years.
If you have a 401(k) account at a former employer, start by reviewing your statements to understand where and how your plan assets are invested. Many plans are invested in mutual funds through a major investment firm where you can call with questions. Look for a customer service number on your statement.
If you would like help reviewing your statements and understanding your options, Great Bay Insurance Agency can help.
We can help you to evaluate whether your current strategy is appropriate for your life stage and risk tolerance, as well as evaluate the performance and fees associated with your current investment. We will provide recommendations accordingly.
Should you decide to move the funds from your current plan to an Individual Retirement Account, we can facilitate a “direct trustee to trustee transfer” on your behalf. We advocate this method because it goes directly from your company plan to your IRA and won’t trigger an unintended tax or penalty.
Every personal scenario is different and our experienced licensed agents are here to answer your questions and if necessary, handle all of the paperwork to safely and securely transfer your account.
It starts with a conversation. Contact us today for a free consultation at 603.743.4247.
For much of the 20th century, retirement in America was traditionally defined in terms of its relationship to participation in the active work force. Our parents and grandparents worked full-time until a certain age, and then left employment to spend a few years quietly rocking on the front porch. Sadly, the reality was that declining health often made retirement brief and unpleasant. As such, retirement planning typically focused on saving enough to guarantee minimal survivaI for a relatively short period of time.
THIS IS NOT YOUR GRANDFATHER'S RETIREMENT
Much has changed in the short time since the turn of the century, and many individuals are beginning to recognize, the ideas of retirement they grew up with are not applicable in today's society. In the new millennium, retirement goals can be radically different. For example, some individuals are v oluntarily choosing and planning to retire as early as their 40s or 50s. Others, because they enjoy working, choose to remain employed well past the traditionaI retirement age of 65.
Many retirees also now endeavor to do more than just rock on the front porch, and retirerment today is quite often defined by activities such as travel, returning to school, volunteer work, or the pursuit of favorite hobbies or sports.
The single most important factor in the new millennium retirement picture is the fact that we are now living much longer than before. For example, this storyboard of US mortality trends shows that as of 2013, a child born in 1940 had an average life expectancy of 62.9 years. For a child born in 2010, average life expectancy had increased to 78.7 years.
Want to know your life expectancy? Use the Social Serurity simple Life Expectancy Calculator to get an estimate of how many years your retirement plan should allow for.
Planning for a much longer life span involves addressing problems not faced by earlier generations. Some of the key issues include the following:
Paying for Retirement: Providing a steady income is often the key problem involved in retirement planning. Longer life spans raise the issue of the impact of inflation on fixed dollar payments, as well as the possibitity of outliving accumulated personal savings. Income from pensions and employer-sponsored retirement plans are no longer commonly offered and Social Security typicalty provides only a portion of the total income required. When income is insufficient, a retiree may be forced to either contiue working, or face a reduced standard of tiving.
Health Care: The health benefits provided through the federal government's Medicare program are generally considered to be only a foundation. Often a supplemental Medicare policy is needed, as is a long-terrm care policy, to provide needed benefits not available through Medicare. Health care planning should also consider a health care proxy, allowing someone else to make medical decisions when an individual is temporarily incapacitated, as well as a living will that expresses an individual's wishes when no hope of recovery is possible.
Estate Planning: Retirement planning inevitably must consider what happens to an individual's assets after retirement is over. Estate planning should ensure not only that assets are transferred to the individuals or organizations chosen by the owner, but also that the transfer is done with the least amount of tax.
Housing: This question involves not only the size and type of home (condo, house, shared housing, assisted living), but also its location. Such factors as climate and
proximity to close family members and medical care are often important. Completely paying off a home loan can reduce monthly income needs. A reverse mortgage may provide additional monthly income.
Lifestyle: Some individuals, accustomed to a busy work life, find it difficult to enjoy the freedom offered by retirement. Planning ahead can make this transition easier.
SEEK PROFESSIONAL GUIDANCE
The new definition of retirement, with all of its possibilities, does not happen automatically. Many of the issues naturally associated with aging and retirement, such as ill health and the need to provide income, still exist. Enjoying the retirement you have earned and so richly deserve involves careful consideration of your goals and strategic planning to hedge against potentiaI problems that threaten to interfere with your security and well-being during this time.
With early and proper planning, Great Bay Insurance Agency can help ensure your needs are best met. It is never too early to get started.
There are many insurance products available on the market today - life insurance, disability insurance, supplemental insurance, and health insurance to name the more common ones. Each of these has its advantages and applications. Here are some interesting and informative articles about these and other insurance plans available in the marketplace today. As always, if you have any questions about any of these or another type of insurance plan, give us a call and we'll help you find the answers to your questions.
Annuities can be an important part of anyone's retirement planning. As with insurance policies, there are a wide variety of annuity plans and offerings in the marketplace today. These articles can help you to better understand what makes an annuity worth your consideration. If any of these articles leave you wanting more information, just give us a call. We're here to help you understand and make informed decisions that could benefit your particular situation.