Our Expertise

Since 1981, we have helped many people take control of their finances. We work primarily with retirees and pre-retirees to save toward retirement as well as plan for income in retirement. We never have a charge for the services we provide. During our confidential meetings, we gather factual and emotional information related to your financial matters. It is important we understand what you hope to achieve or avoid through your planning efforts. Very often, clients are pleasantly surprised at some of the options available to them related to preserving and growing their savings and investments, potential tax savings as well as options to increase income in retirement.

Call us if:

  • You recently retired
  • You will be retiring in the next several years
  • You lost your job and have a 401K plan you are concerned about
  • You sold a property or business
  • You received an inheritance
  • Your spouse or loved one passed away
  • You recently went through a divorce
  • You are considering moving to new home or adult community
  • You need more income from your assets
  • Your financial professional retired or changed firms
  • You want help understanding your finances better
  • You are concerned about your finances and don't know who else to call

Some of the common services we provide our clients with include:

 

 

Second opinion on current financial position

It never hurts to get a second option on anything. Tema and Joel Steele spend countless hours every year providing people with a no-cost, no obligation second opinion on currents investments accounts and retirement plans. There are never any silly questions during this meeting. If everything is in good order, Tema and Joel will tell you this. If there is room for improvement, they will send you home with some things to think about. If you’d like them to make some recommendations specifically for your situation without any pressure, that is their specialty. You don’t need to understand every single little detail of your investments. However, you need to feel comfortable with your investments you own. Equally as important, you need a trusted, unbiased financial professional as a resource that is there for you as life happens.

"Safe" money alternatives

Conservative does not need to equal little to no return. If fact, there are a number of low to no risk financial products and investments that may help you earn a better return. Like most individuals, you may not be happy with the returns you are currently earning on your "safe" money. Tema and Joel Steele have been helping retirees and pre-retirees for almost thirty years. If you want to discuss alternatives to what you currently have, come in to discuss your specific situation which includes your goals, time horizon and risk tolerance. You can't go wrong by exploring some other options. There is no fee for this meeting and there is never any pressure to make a decision.

Tax minimization strategies*

Most people will agree that that are paying their fair share of taxes or more. You can’t evade taxes, but you can work to avoid taxes. There are many options available that offer various tax treatments. Below is a short explanation of four tax payment options on your savings and investments:

Pre-Tax: This is anything like a 401(k) or IRA. This money is deducted from current income so you do not pay tax on it when you earn it or while it grows. You DO pay tax on every penny of it when you withdraw the money. Also, your beneficiaries have two options on this money. They can take it as a lump sum and pay tax on the whole thing. Or even better, they can do an Inherited IRA where they transfer it into their name and defer taxes on the lump sum and spread the tax liability out over the rest of their lifetime.

Tax-Free: This is just what it says. No tax is due now or later. Most experts agree it is good to be tax diversified and you should have some money in things that are tax free. This can include things such as municipal bonds and life insurance cash value and/or death benefit.

Tax-Deferred: This means you are not paying tax while your money is growing. You are deferred the tax you pay until a later date. An example is you can defer money during your peak income earning years and then take the growth/income out later once in retirement and possibly a lower tax bracket. Tax-deferred investments can exist in pre-tax and tax-free accounts.

Taxable: This means you are paying tax on the money whether using the interest or not. It applied to all non-IRA CDs, savings accounts, money markets and dividend paying stocks and mutual funds. Yes, that’s correct. If you’re not using this interest, you are still paying tax on it every year. It is important to understand if it makes sense to defer taxes or not.

Unfortunately, no investment exists that is pre-tax, tax-deferred and tax-free. The good news is that there are many investments that offer 2 out of the 3.

Income maximization in retirement

If your goal is to retire someday then you’ll need to replace some or all of your income without working. The key to this is to have your money invested in a way where the income generated from the principal is enough to support your lifestyle needs and wants. Usually, the goal is to not touch the principal. The principal is the golden nest egg that creates the income. Now more than ever, it is difficult for the average retiree to successfully plan for income. With so much stock market volatility and historically low interest rates, it is harder to get the income you need and want. However, there are always options. If you want a higher level of income with no risk, we have some suggestions such as a Lifetime Income Annuity. If you need more income and need to take some risk to help achieve it, we have some other suggestions. Our goal is to make sure your money lasts at least as long as you do. We will also explain to you that if you need an income, you need to be in the appropriate financial products that produce income. Did you know that most stocks and equities may not provide a reasonable level of income? Whether you need more income or you want more income, we can help show you different options how to do it.

Investment strategies in retirement

If you are fortunate enough to not need to take income on some or all of your investments in retirement, then congratulations! You are not the norm and should be commended. On the other hand, this does not mean it is time to put your investments on auto-pilot. Just because you retire doesn’t mean your money does. If you want some solid recommendations on how to invest your savings and investments in retirement, we are here to help. All money needs to have a purpose. There’s emergency money, vacation money, future health care money for unexpected illness, and there is legacy money. We can help you figure if your current investments are on track with your goals or if they need some fine tuning. Since retirement can last for 30 years or more, it is critical to have a financial resource that keeps you up to date with investment options available to you. We’re always happy to tell people when they have their money in a good place. However, you can imagine that not everyone falls into that category. Only positive things come out of knowing your options.

Savings strategies toward retirement

If you are within about 5-10 years of retirement, you need to know if your are on track or not. Do not wait until you turn 65 to sit down to see if you’ll have enough income to live on for the next three decades. It is never too soon to sit down with a knowledgeable financial professional to get an idea of what you income and expense will be down the road. If you find you are on track, then you’ll go back to work feeling good about your plans. If you need to change your investment options and/or increase the amount you are saving toward retirement, then at least you’ll know what you have to do. Don’t get out of bed and go to work everyday without knowing what the big picture is. If you tell us when you want to retire and sit down with us to review your current finances, we’ll tell you where you stand. If that isn’t a worthwhile experience, then we don’t know what is.

Beneficiary planning

Many times, people get so caught up with what their money is doing that they neglect to see who the money will eventually go to. Beneficiary planning makes no money for you or your financial professional. It is, however, critical planning that we always make sure we incorporate into all of our client’s accounts. Kids or no kids, you want to make sure your money goes to the right people or places. One step further, while you are still alive, you have a say in the amount of taxes your beneficiaries are going to pay. Many times it comes down to a simple choice: Do you want your money going to the IRS and/or state or do you want it to go to your family? Any savings and investment account you own will have a beneficiary equivalent. Generally, you will be told it is your responsibility to make sure you list your beneficiaries. We make it our responsibility, at no cost, to correct list your beneficiaries for all accounts. We work with two and sometimes three generations of families. Beneficiary planning, very often, can mean more to people you love more than you’ll ever know.

Social security & pension decisions

There are two things to remember about social security and pension decisions. They are huge decisions to make, and they are usually irrevocable. That means, if you pick a pension option that isn’t what you thought you wanted, you may be out of luck. We have helped countless people save themselves from disinheriting their spouse and children. Part of our free service is discussing these decisions with you so we can help you make the best decision for you and your family. Over the years, we have helped thousands of people pick the best choices for them. This costs you nothing. Do not make these life changing decisions on your own. There is usually more than it seems involved on both of these decisions. Don’t just pick the one with the most money. Become informed on how all the options work specifically for you. Not retiring for another year, two or three? It doesn’t matter, understand your options so you know what to expect when you get to the time to make these decisions. You’ll have so many other issues to contend with at retirement. Make sure you get help where and when it counts. Also, please contact your Human resources representative for more information.

Overall coordination of insurances & investments

Every one has various insurance policies and various investments. Wouldn’t it be nice to have someone make sense out of all of these accounts at no cost to you? Well, we are happy to do this for you as part of our complementary services. That does not mean, we’ll make changes to these accounts. It means, we will analyze and assess what they are and how they work. This way, you can be part of the decision process to decide what you want to keep and what, if anything, you want to change. If you have life insurance policies, we’ll gather information on them with you help to see what these polices are or aren’t doing for you. If you have long term care insurance, we’ll review your policy.

Most people have investments scattered all over the place. We can help you identify and inventory where everything is. Most clients use our meetings as a roadmap to recall where they keep all of their different investments. This does not mean that we manage all of our client’s accounts. We know where they are and what they’re doing so we can look in on everything. That is what we call investment coordination. If we or the client has a concern on any particular account, we’re able to immediately be on the same page and have a conversation about each asset. When it comes to making decisions on investments, the right information at the right time is critical. The wrong move or bad timing can literally cost you thousands. Overall investment coordination can sometimes be the most valuable service for some people.

Please contact us to set up a complimentary meeting to discuss the overall coordination of your insurance and investments.

 

Newsletters

  • Following the Federal Reserve

    The regulatory and supervisory responsibilities of the Federal Reserve, including emergency lending, stress tests, and capital controls.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Market Watch

September 20, 2017 @ 12:01 PM

Ticker Name Percent Difference (when noted with %) otherwise Last Price Difference (where applicable)
Dow Jones Industrials ETF +0.0%  
Nasdaq Composite ETF -0.1%  
S&P 500 ETF +0.0%  

[ Markets | Charts | Quotes | Portfolio ]

Market data delayed per exchange rules.
All quotes are in US Eastern Time (EST).
Market data provided by ICE Data Services. ICE Limitations. Powered and implemented by FactSet. Legal Statement.