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Jason Parker
Tax Planning

Since the early 1930s dividends have accounted for more than 40 percent of the total return of large-cap stocks in the United States.

As baby boomers begin to transition into and through retirement, they’re going to be looking for ways to generate income from their investments while at the same time trying to keep pace with inflation. The fact that 10 thousand boomers are retiring every day is reason to give pause and pay attention to income-producing investments. The baby boomer generation has several options to try to pursue their income and lifestyle goals. Below are a few of the most common read more »

 
Financial

As a firm that specializes in working with retirees, I am often reminded of how blessed I am to serve such incredible people who are wise, intelligent and living role models on what it means to live the good life. One of the disadvantages to working with folks who are retired is I am often confronted with what it means to lose a spouse after 50 years of marriage or the impact deteriorating health can have on an entire family.

Early in my career I had a meeting scheduled with a woman who was concerned about long-term care. She asked me if I would mind coming to her home for the meeting because she said traveling was getting harder. Upon entering her home I sat down at the kitchen table, and I asked her why she was interested in looking into long-term care insurance. read more »

 
Financial

As you construct a plan to generate a lifetime of inflation-adjusted income, one of the items you should pay close attention to is how and when to begin taking your Social Security benefits.

Maximizing your Social Security benefits is an important part of an overall income plan for retirement for several reasons. First, Social Security benefits are tax-advantaged because in a worst case scenario, only 85 percent of the income you receive from Social Security is taxable. Second, Social Security income is adjusted for inflation so over the years your income will increase to keep up with it. And third, Social Security provides survivor benefits when one spouse passes, allowing the surviving spouse to continue to receive income guaranteed for life. read more »

 
Financial

Did you know that Roth IRA income is not used to calculate the amount of your Social Security income the federal government will tax. This is great news! If you are not a tax professional, then you may not know why this is important, so I’ll give you just a quick overview.

The amount of income you have will determine how much of your Social Security benefit is taxable. The federal government will tax anywhere from 0 to 85 percent of your Social Security benefits based upon a formula used for determining your provisional income. Income sources include, but are not limited to, pension income, taxable interest income, traditional IRA distributions, half of your Social Security benefits and even tax-free income from municipal bonds. read more »

 

Retirement really is all about cash flow and not your net worth. Over the years, I’ve met many people who have a very high net worth (usually because of the property they own) but not necessarily a high enough income to support their lifestyle. Like my friend and associate Dean says, “You can’t spend the land.”

Net worth and cash flow are not one in the same. One of the most important decisions you will make when you retire will be deciding how you will begin to transition from a lifetime of accumulating assets to a lifetime of income. You can plan to accomplish your income goals in many different ways. One school of thought recommends you diversify between cash, stocks and bonds, and depending on your risk tolerance set up a plan to withdraw no more than 4 percent per year each year. The challenge with a 4 percent withdrawal strategy is it can create some sleepless nights for individuals when the stock market is not behaving as anticipated. read more »

 
Financial

One sunny Saturday afternoon I decided to go for a walk in the woods with Oliver, my 6-year-old son. He is very adventurous and loves to just run and explore pretending he is a warrior of sorts. I’m never quite sure what he is mumbling or screaming, but from the way he swings sticks around and the sounds he is making I am pretty sure he is in the midst of conquering the world.

Being a dad is the greatest joy of my life. I love watching my kids discover and learn and remind me how to play. This particular afternoon we came across a very large tree that had blown over in a wind storm the year prior. The tree was strewn across the forest floor and stretched out about 20 feet over a large ravine. We jumped up on the log and started to walk toward the ravine. read more »

 
Stock market strategies may be based on 'science of investing' or 'art of investing'

I remember as a kid my dad used to say, “Jason, don’t put all your eggs in one basket.” I didn’t realize it at the time, but he was talking about diversification. Diversifying your investments in retirement is a different ballgame than while you’re in the accumulation phase. Retirement diversification really requires two levels: first across your time horizon, and second across investments for each time segment. Retirement really is all about cash flow as your income is what allows you to do the things you want to do. Preparing for retirement requires having a strategy for generating a lifetime of inflation-adjusted income. read more »

 

At Easter dinner, we were talking about how much things cost, namely healthcare. My good friend and mentor, Dean, had recently told me he purchased his first home for $12,000. Then my father-in-law chimed in and said their next door neighbor recently purchased a new sewing machine for $10,000. We all kind of chuckled and made comments like, “I wonder if you can drive that sewing machine to work?”

Isn’t it crazy to think how the purchasing power of the dollar has lost ground in the last 40 years? The Bureau of Labor and Statistics has an inflation calculator, and when I ran the calculator it said $10,000 in 1970 had the same purchasing power as $58,676 in 2012. read more »

 
Financial

Well, last year is behind us, and what is done, is done with respect to your annual income tax return. If you are retired, you should review these important line items on your 1040 tax return and make sure you understand how they impact your financial life. Get out your income tax return and circle the following:

  • Line 8a
  • Line 9a
  • Line9b
  • Line 13
  • Line 20b
  • Line 40
  • Line 43

Someone once taught me, “It’s not about how much money you make, but rather how much money you keep.” I’ve also learned that retirement is all about cash flow, not net worth, and to make sure that your cash flow is as tax efficient as possible. read more »

 
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