Let’s start with what FIRE stands for—Financial Independence, Retire Early. Isn’t this what everyone wants? I have a theory about how this movement started. There has been a lot of research in the financial planning space and trying to figure out how much you need in investment assets and how much you can take out over the course of your retirement (safe withdrawal rate) without running out of money.
The first step to deciding which retirement plan to choose for your self-employment income is figuring out the amount that you think you will be able to contribute. From that point, then you can choose which vehicle may work best for you.
Tax planning is considering your whole situation and making any necessary changes or decisions before the tax year is complete. Think of it as forward looking. When you prepare your tax return, you are looking backwards at things that have already happened and figuring out any credits or deductions that you can take based on things you cannot change.
Many of our clients don’t know what probate is, and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. If you’ve never had a loved one die, you may never have experienced it. Probate is the legal process by which a will is validated. If there’s no will, it’s the legal process of settling a person’s affairs. In other words, if you didn’t write your own will, the state has one for you.
There are several misconceptions about estate planning. For instance, many people think you need to be ultra-wealthy to create one, or that they are only relevant to parents with young kids and senior citizens.
A Financial Plan is a look at your current financial health and a map to help you reach your goals. It looks at income, expenses, assets, and debt. If you keep all four of these in balance, you should have enough money to invest in a way that matches your risk tolerance. A well-designed plan puts you on track to reach your goals.
Health Savings Accounts (HSA’s) are not a new thing, but many people still are not that familiar with how they work. Flex Spending Accounts (FSA’s) are still around and there is still confusion between the two because they do have similarities. One of the biggest differences between the two types of accounts is that the HSA does not have to be used by a specific time. (With FSA’s you have specific time to use the money for medical expenses or you lose it).
As you may know, the Secure Act put an end to the Stretch IRA. The stretch IRA is the ability to stretch the IRA distributions over the beneficiaries’ lifetime. Let us look at the new rules to see how this may impact your current situation.
Typically, all retirement accounts have named beneficiaries and do not go through your will. That being said, you do have to name the beneficiaries. If you do not have named beneficiaries, then most likely, the account will pass by your will. If you do not have a will—then the state you live in dictates what happens.
There are pros and cons to leaving your 401k plan with your previous employer that should be evaluated before any moves are made. This is not an exhaustive list, just some main points to get you thinking about things that are involved.