Four steps to take not only to survive but thrive.

  1. Don’t panic – Start planning now!
    • Detail your lifestyle expenses so you can determine how much essential income you need to live on. Managing your liabilities is as important as managing your investments.
    • Make sure your lifestyle expenses are covered by certain and predictable income. This will help you avoid drawing on investment income that is subject to market fluctuations.
    • Consider securing an equity line of credit on your home. Equity values have risen dramatically in many parts of the country. In many cases there are no fees charged by the bank or lending institution and the interest rates are relatively low. The equity line will help ensure that emergency funds are available in case of unexpected events in your life.


  2. A reminder about qualified funds (IRA’s 401K’s 403B etc.) Qualified money is under government control. Your final tax on this money is not determined until you withdraw the money from your account. Uncle Sam also tells you when you must take the money and how much you will need to take. You face some stiff penalties if you don’t follow the guidelines. These fines are in addition to the usual taxes.
  3. Consider answering these questions before you retire, and if you have a substantial amount of money in qualified funds.
  • What is my exit strategy with this money?
  • Will I need to pay the entire tax?
  • Are strategies available that minimize or eliminate these taxes?
  • What tax bracket will I be in when I withdraw the money?
  • What deductions will I have when I make a withdrawal?


  • There are only two ways to access cash in your house – sell the house or borrow on the equity. The equity in your house is not yours. You must qualify, according to financial institutions, or lender guidelines and rules, to borrow money. You will be required to complete a form, and most likely the request will be sent to a committee for final approval.The marketplace will determine the value of the house when you sell it and the marketplace is always right. The time to grab an equity line of credit is when you don’t need it. The financial institution probably will not loan you the money when you do need it.


Recommendation: Secure an advisor, understand these concepts, and let him or her guide you to a worry free and successful retirement!

First Benefits Group Inc is neither a legal nor accounting firm, and does not render legal, accounting, or tax advice.

You should contact an attorney or CPA if you wish to receive legal, accounting, or tax advice.

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