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2024

Retirement Planning Quiz and Guide

Retirement planning balances your timing and goals with resources, strategies, and optimization reviews

What is retirement planning?

Retirement planning is more than your savings, a social security paycheck or a 401(k) account. Retirement planning balances your timing and goals with resources, strategies, and optimization reviews. It gets complex quickly.

"When Can I Retire?"

To answer when is the right time to retire depends on you. It is determined by your goals and objectives, your current age, your ideal retirement age, and your resources. Through retirement planning, the details in the strategies and optimization will unfold to paint a clear picture for your retirement stages.

Step-by-Step Retirement Planning Process with 360

1. FIT – Discuss your goals, objectives, and your resources. Learn about retirement strategies, including the stages, income tax savings, risk management, and other opportunities.

2. Get Organized – Pull your documents and schedule a meeting.

3. Review – Retirement plan presented, discussed, and modified.

4. Deliver – The plan is delivered.

5. Optimize – Review and optimize annually.

Stages of Retirement Planning

1.

Accumulation

2.

Retirement

3.

Gifting

The Accumulation Stage with Mike Rogers

There are three stages of retirement; accumulation, retirement, and gifting. Within each of these stages, there are moments when having a plan can benefit with significant savings.

 

Timing everything right and knowing what to take out when can have a serious impact on what you have accumulated.

Stocks

Stocks (Equities) are ownership shares of a company.

 

When the company value increases, so does the value of your share. Returns for a shareholder come in the form of appreciation and dividend payments based on the company’s earnings.

 

Return Rate: High

Risk Level: High

 

You can lose money, including your principal due to price fluctuations in response to business performance and market conditions.

Bonds

Bonds (fixed income) make fixed payments on the principal investment, and the principal investment is held until a future date.

 

There are three types of bonds: government, corporate, and high-yield “junk” bonds.

 

Return Rate: Fixed and Low

Risk Level: Low

 

The Issuer of the bond could default and fail to repay the loan. An increase in interest rates typically decreases the bond value.

ETFs

ETFs (Exchange-Traded Funds) are a pooled investment security with many underlying assets.

 

They are similar to a mutual fund, but it can be sold on a stock exchange. They track specific investment strategies such as an index, sector, commodity, or other assets.

 

Return Rate: Moderate

Risk Level: Moderate

 

ETFs are expensive to trade.

Mutual Funds

A mutual fund is a entity that pools money from many investors and invests the money in its portfolio. 

 

The combined holding of securities such as stocks, bonds, and short-term debt.

 

Return Rate: Moderate

Risk Level: Moderate

REITs

Real estate investment trusts are public companies that own, manage, or fund a group of income-producing properties.

 

They are traded via stock exchanges.

Return Rate: Moderate

Risk Level: Moderate

Steps to Take 5 Years Before You Retire:

  1. Review your goals, objectives, and resources, including your expenses, liabilities, and assets.

  2. Determine if you are saving enough annually and if your investment allocations are appropriate for your goals.

  3. Learn if you are eligible to invest more through an IRA.

  4. If you are self-employed, learn about your retirement plan options.

6 Common Retirement Plans

  • 401(k)

  • Roth IRA

  • Traditional IRA

  • Simple IRA

  • SEP IRA

  • Solo 401(k)

401(k)

A 401(k) is an employer-sponsored retirement plan that allows employees to save money for retirement.

 

The contributions are tax-deferred, which lowers the employee’s taxable income. Many employees will offer a match based on a percentage of what they employee contributes.

Roth IRA

A Roth IRA is an individual retirement account that is funded by after-tax dollars.

 

The advantage is that all withdrawals are tax-free once you reach retirement age. There are annual contribution limits to Roth IRAs and not everyone is eligible to open one.

A Roth IRA offers tax deferral on any earnings in the account. Qualified withdrawals of earnings from the account are tax-free. Withdrawals of earnings prior to age 59 Ł or prior to the account being opened for 5 years, whichever is later, may result in a 10% IRS penalty tax. Limitations and restrictions may apply.

Traditional IRA

A traditional IRA is an individual retirement account that lets people save for retirement with tax-deferred contributions.

 

When people change jobs, they will often “roll over” their 401(k) from their previous employer into an IRA account to preserve the money’s tax-deferred status.

Contributions to a traditional IRA may be tax deductible in the contribution year, with current income tax due at withdrawal. Withdrawals prior to age 59 Ł may result in a 10% IRS penalty tax in addition to current income tax.

Simple IRA

A Savings Investment Match Plan for Employees is a retirement plan for self-employed people and small businesses that have fewer than 100 employees.

 

It is generally easier to manage than a 401(k) plan and has lower administrative costs for the employer.

SEP IRA

A SEP IRA (Simplified Employee Pension) is a retirement plan for very small businesses and self-employed people, such as freelancers.

 

The main benefit of a SEP is that the contribution limits are much higher than traditional IRAs, reducing your taxable income while allow you to save more for retirement.

Solo 401(k)

A Solo 401(k) is a retirement plan for self-employed small business owners.

 

One of the main advantages is that solo 401(k) plans allow you to make contributions as both an employee and an employer, which lowers your personal taxable income while also creating a tax deduction for the business.

The Retirement Planning Process

360's LifeWealth Process

Retirement Planning Goals

Potential retirement goals could be living to a certain age with a spending budget.

 

It could be ensuring that your medical expenses will be covered if you come upon health issues.

 

It could be to have two residences to have the ability to visit grandchildren or a warm location on a whim. Retirement goals are focused on what is important to you and basing the financial objectives to ensure that the plan is realistic, if not ideal.

Benefits of Retirement Planning

The benefit of retirement planning is the relief.

 

Once you have a plan, you can see it, and it covers your main goals for retirement; you will be relieved. You know what the future holds based on what you can control, and risk management is baked into the plan for what we cannot control. It won’t weigh on your shoulders.

 

You know your path and the hard work is done. Time to shift into staying the course.

Retirement Planning and Your 401(K)

If your employer offers a 401(k) plan, participating in it is one of the smartest retirement planning moves you can make.


It reduces your taxable income in the current year by setting aside tax-deferred retirement contributions. And since most employers offer a matching contribution, which is essentially free money, it’s a no-brainer to contribute as much as you’re able to.

Retirement Planning for the Self-Employed

Since self-employed people don’t have access to an employer-sponsored retirement plan, the burden of saving for retirement falls on them.

 

Retirement plans such as a SEP or a Solo(401K) offer self-employed business owners a smart way to set aside money for retirement, while reducing their taxable income.

Retirement Planning for Business Owners

Retirement planning is more complex for business owners, but doing it right is critical to your long-term financial well-being.

 

Not all businesses are profitable and some even lose money or fail altogether, so relying on the value of your business to fund your retirement can be risky. As a business owner, you can offer your employees retirement plans like a 401(k) that also let you set aside personal funds for your own retirement while creating a tax deduction for the business.

 

As your business becomes more successful, you may also be to take distributions and place them in tax-efficient investment vehicles to grow your personal savings.

Is Your Home Part of Your Retirement Plan?

​Your home is likely one of your largest assets.

 

But since you need a place to live, whether or not to include it in your retirement plan depends on a number of factors. These include how much you’ve saved for retirement, how much you still owe on the home, and if you plan remain in it when you retire.

 

If you want to stay in your home, you’ll need to have enough saved to cover living expenses, repairs and property taxes. If you’re thinking of selling your home and downsizing, you can buy a smaller place and use the remaining equity proceeds to enhance your retirement portfolio.

Retirement Planning Considerations

Estate planning is just as important as retirement planning, and the two often go hand in hand.

 

In fact, the more money you accumulate for retirement, the more important it is to make sure you have wills, powers of attorney, trusts and other legal documents that provide for the distribution of your wealth according to your wishes when you die.

 

Proper estate planning can keep your assets out of probate and reduce your beneficiaries’ tax liability.

Estate Planning

Life insurance is an essential component of any solid retirement plan.

 

Proactively planning for the unexpected protects your family in the event you die. The death benefit from a life insurance policy can provide your family with money to live when they no longer have your income.

 

It can also be used to cover funeral expenses, pay off a house and fund your children’s education.

Life Insurance for Retirement Planning

Tax planning is also an important part of retirement planning.

 

Most of the money you save for retirement will be taxed as income when you start withdrawing it. Savvy tax planning can help you know how much to withdraw and when, to maximize tax efficiency.

 

Additional tax planning strategies such as gifting and charitable giving are also great ways to share your money while reducing your tax burden.

This information is not intended to be a substitute for individualized tax advice. We suggest that you discuss your specific tax situation with a qualified tax advisor.

Tax Planning & Retirement Planning

Should You Work with a Retirement Planning Advisor?

Working with a retirement planning expert is generally a wiser move than trying do it yourself.

 

Most people lack the time and experience required to make the right decisions to maximize all the retirement planning opportunities available to them.

 

Your 360 Financial advisor will work with you to create a LifeWealth plan that’s custom built around your goals and designed to ensure you have enough saved to afford the lifestyle you want in retirement.

Retirement Planning Specialists

There are different types of retirement planning specialists.

 

Their areas of expertise can span income and investment planning, tax planning, risk management and estate planning. The more wealth you have, the more you stand to gain from including these skill sets on your financial and retirement planning team.

Choosing a retirement planning specialist or consultant can be confusing.

 

With so many different acronyms and certifications, it can be hard to know who the best choice is for you and your money. At 360 Financial, we are Registered Investment Advisors, which means we are fiduciaries who act in the best interest of our clients. We believe in building long term relationships with our clients that are built on transparency and trust.

A  financial advisor should focus on more than just investments.

 

They should consider your entire financial picture when creating a plan for you. At 360 Financial, we help you take greater control over your retirement destiny by focusing on tax strategies, income planning, legacy planning, risk management, investment planning, and estate planning.

360 Financial’s Retirement Planning Process

At 360 Financial, our LifeWealth Planning Process looks at four areas of your life to build a plan that’s individualized to your unique goals:

 

Family, Occupation, Recreation, and Money (F.O.R.M).

The process consists of three meetings:

 

  1. Discovery

  2. Design

  3. Deployment

 

Once we set the plan in motion, we monitor it, track its performance and meet annually or bi-annually to review and realign.

Schedule a 15-minute call with a 360 Financial advisor to find out if we're the right fit, how we can help you, and how the process works. 

Speak with a Financial Advisor about Your Retirement Planning

Get the best financial guidance for your exact situation and goals. No more cookie-cutter solutions or high-cost products.

Types of Investments Commonly Used in Retirement Planning

  • Stocks

  • Bonds

  • ETFs

  • Mutual Funds

  • REITs

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