1. Money is a commodity, scarcity, and a resource. Money, like all commodities, can rise and
    fall in value. Money is the one commodity universally accepted as an exchange for every other
    commodity. As John Steele Gordon states “As the price of money falls, the price of every other
    commodity must go up.” The fall in the price of money is called inflation, and it may be with us
    for some time. Be sure to include a reasonable inflation factor in your retirement planning.
  2. Seven Things you MUST know about Qualified Plans (IRA’s, 401K’s, 403B’s etc.):
    • Your partner is Uncle Sam. He determines how much money you will have on hand when you
    withdraw the funds because he makes the rules.
    • You do not get a tax deduction when contributions are made. You receive a taxable income
    reduction which minimizes the taxes you pay in the years the contributions are made.
    • You or your heirs will pay taxes on the money at a future date when it is distributed from the
    plan.
    • The tax obligation increases as your account grows.
    • You could pay more taxes than anticipated if your future tax bracket is higher when you
    withdraw than when you postponed the tax.
    • Your money is not easily accessible.
    • If you have a company match it might pay your future taxes.
  3. How long should you keep your financial records? The IRS generally has three years to audit
    individual returns. The auditing time is three years from the return due date, and not the date it
    was filed to assess deficiencies. There is no time limit if fraud is involved. Small Business Tax
    Strategies newsletter recommends keeping your returns for at least seven to 10 years.
  4. What is a financial consultant and what do they do? A consultant is someone who uses his
    or her talents, behavior, and experience to improve the client’s condition, primarily through
    counseling. Consultants need to examine the viability of a client’s model to determine if it is a
    realistic course of action, and to explore for a better alternative. Consulting is important because
    major disruption is occurring, and rules are drastically changing. People are living longer and
    hence need professional guidance on their best course of action. Clients simply chasing rates of
    return as a valid path will not work. There are too many unexpected events that could cause an
    erosion of wealth. The wealth needs to be properly protected.
  5. What makes consulting unique? It is a relationship business as opposed to a commodity
    business. Prospects and clients seek you for your intellectual fire power. You bring tremendous
    value to the discussion that is hard to duplicate in the marketplace. I’ve been training for these
    last “X” years so I could have this conversation with you today. My plan works under all
    conditions, good and bad times.
  6. What does it take to be an excellent consultant? Not only do you need to have the ability to
    read and write, but also to do it effectively and often. Consulting is a journey. The world is
    changing at a rapid rate, and it is important to be aware of trends and constantly evolve. It is
    important to be on the cutting edge of all industry and market changes.

 

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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