1) The unexpected event of Hurricane Ian hit hard in Florida a few weeks ago. It is estimated the damage is over 100 billion dollars. The largest financial loss in hurricane history. We’ve been talking these past several years about preparing economically as best as we can for this type of event. We hope some Floridian’s benefited from this advice.
2) Mortgage rates continue to climb and are over 7%, the highest rate in a decade. People continue to ask if it makes sense to pay off their existing mortgage. Many of the mortgages are in the 4% or less range and are guaranteed to remain at that level over the next several years. Guaranteed fixed annuity rates are in the 5% range. I don’t know of anyone who likes making mortgage payments. However, the spread (mortgage paid vs. interest received) favors the latter. Cash on hand is a much better position than equity earning zero interest in a house.
3) Do you need a will or trust? Six factors to consider:

  1. Is your equity in your home greater than $50,000?
  2. Do you have children?
    i. Minors
    ii. Healthy Adults
    iii. Disabled Children
  3. Do you have assets greater than $50,000 in value?
  4. Do you own property in more than one state?
  5. Do you care if your assets and belongings become public knowledge?
  6. If you become incapacitated, who do you want to manage your care and assets?

4) Five important things to know about Social Security Benefits:

  1. When to take Social Security is a very important decision. You could lose as much as $250,000 in benefits if not taken at the proper time.
  2. Life expectancy is an important consideration when deciding to take Social Security.
  3. Social Security employees are not allowed to give you advice on when to take Social Security. They can only tell you what your benefit will be, given a specific scenario.
  4. Many married couples could receive as much as one million dollars in benefits during their lifetime if they had good income in their working years.
  5. Social Security is complicated. It is important to talk with an advisor who understands Social Security and has the resources available to calculate different scenarios.

5) Are you planning for retirement and don’t know where to start? A good place to start is determining your essential income, and monthly recurring expenses. Essential income is money used to fund your lifestyle. The last 12 months has taught us to add a realistic cost of living increase to your numbers each year. This factor can be significant, especially if you are young and several years away from retirement.
6) The largest assets retirees own today are haunted by the pending doom of uncollected taxes. Distributions from these IRA and tax-deferred savings plans are where the most common, costly, and often irreversible mistakes occur – even with advice from the most seasoned financial professionals. Don’t let Uncle Sam harvest your clients’ hard-earned savings, leaving only a skeleton of what was a life’s hard work. It does not take magic, but it does require specialized training and education. We are here to help you solve these issues.

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.

©FirstBenefitsGroupInc 2022