Author Archives: Maximum Wealth

Are you a Creditor or a Debtor?

Are you a Creditor or a Debtor?

To understand the difference between the two positions, we need to first define the words.

A DEBTOR is someone who owes with the intention to repay. This person has a job and is willing to pay while things are going well, but in hard times they may not have the ability to pay. They have every intention to pay their debt, meaning they are spending money they have yet to earn.

A CREDITOR on the other hand borrows money and is in quite a different position. They HAVE money and could use their own money, but because of the control and other opportunities that may be available, they choose to keep their money and borrow the money they need from a lending or financial institution. Creditors seek to find opportunities where they can earn greater amounts on the dollar they have, than the cost that they will pay to borrow the funds. Control of their cash flow and the liquid benefits it provides, keeps the creditor in a master position of his/her money.

Access to capitol—YOUR capitol—has a value all its own. This is the very reason that banks loan out YOUR deposits to their loan applicants, rather than using the banks assets or the banks money as loan capitol.

There is a cost to use your money as well as there is to using someone else’s money. Most of the time, it pays to keep your money in the “bank” or in your control, and earning interest for you, rather than the old adage of “paying cash for everything.” “Paying cash for everything” destroys your ability to earn interest.

If you have money saved and you need to make a major purchase, always compare the cost of using your money, as well as the cost of borrowing. “Paying cash for everything” is more of an emotional feel-good reaction rather than a smart strategy for building wealth and improving cash flow.

Wise up and think outside of the box when it comes to borrowing and paying back a loan. The bottom line is to have more money, not just pay off a debt. Learn how to use borrowed money or your indebtedness to help you make more money.

 

The Truth About “Financial Experts”

By now, it should be obvious that the so called “financial experts” do not work one on one with individual clients. They sit in their “ivory studios” and announce from on high what everyone should be doing to relieve their financial burdens. However, their glossy ideas seldom help the struggling middle class achieve positive permanent financial results.

They offer patches of satisfaction that trick their audience into buying more and more of their books, CD’s, workbooks, and any other type of entertaining paraphernalia that can make their students “feel” like they are doing something to improve their financial well being.

These self-proclaimed experts are only financially successful because they get less successful people buying their boiler plate financial plans, and then perpetuate the problem by selling it to pastors and church leaders to pass it on to their parishioners in the name of God. These plans work on a consistent basis at best about 10% of the time.

Instead of relying on the “one size fits all” financial plans, individuals should learn to apply common sense strategies that are appropriate for their life and their life’s situations. If people spent only a fraction of the time with their checkbooks and their budget as they do with their pet, their phone, or their food—they would consistently enjoy that ever elusive financial peace, satisfaction, security, or well-being that they desperately seek from these financial entertainment experts and their black hole of financial feel-good books and tapes that never seem to work!

As hard as this may sound, if you are serious about fixing your financial problems, you must find a financial practitioner that will work one on one with you to educate you, not sell you a product, service, plan, book, or budgeting strategy.

Ongoing education is essential—not the stuffing of envelopes, buying Term Insurance, and jumping from one mutual fund to another—as suggested by the so called “financial experts.”

Ditch the overpriced books and the “bubble gum” financial planning material, and establish a relationship with a real person that is concerned about your financial education and understanding of money matters.

 

Rethink Your Savings

When you put money in a CD or Money Market Account, you are essentially loaning or renting your money to the bank for them to loan or rent out to their customers. You loan your money to them for a meager 1/2 to 1% of annual interest, and they turn around and loan that money out to their customers for a whopping 5% – 7% annual interest in the form of consumer loans.

They are basically LOANING OR RENTING your cash that you OWN to their customers and giving you the short end of the stick.

If you’re loaning the money to them at 1% and they’re loaning it out at 5%, they are not making a 4% profit, it’s a 400% PROFIT!

5% annual interest is 400% greater than 1% annual interest.

That is what we mean by “maximizing your wealth” and building upon your financial education.

So why are people doing this?

Most people do not realize that the banks take your money in the form of CD’s and Money Market Deposits and loan that money out to their loan applicants, along with securing and protecting bank assets by investing in financially strong life insurance companies.

Major life insurance companies, who administer 401K and pension plans for large corporations offer a 4% guaranteed interest product to the general public and have done so for over 100 years, yet people neglect to take advantage of it just because it is a LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY providing this amount of interest and not a local bank.

That’s right, banks are the LARGEST investors of life insurance companies. Why are you giving your money to the banks at 1% or less and allowing them to invest that money with the life insurance companies when you could be doing the EXACT SAME THING. You could be earning 400% or more than what you are currently earning by depositing your money at the life insurance company instead of letting it deteriorate at a paltry 1% or less? And… with inflation at 2-3%, you’re losing far more value and money through decreased purchasing power than you will ever gain just by leaving your money with the banks.

At Maximum Wealth, we can show you how to stop being the provider of money for the banks, who turn around and RENT your money to their loan applicants or life insurance companies, and then make a huge profit while paying you PENNIES to use your money!

WAKE UP AND SMELL THE MONEY… BANKS ARE!

Maximize Your IRA

Are you able to turn taxable money into TAX FREE money?

Did you know that your IRA is an asset that must be taxed before you can actually use the money that has accumulated inside of it?

However, there are ways to ease the tax burden, as well as turn it into a tax free asset for you and your family.

At Maximum Wealth we want to maximize your IRA in every possible way. That includes reducing the taxes, fees, and risk that destroy your money while inside the IRA accounts, as well as maximizing the returns and reducing or eliminating the taxes when you pull that money out or pass it on to your family at death. Your IRA education is essential and could save you and your family thousands of dollars in taxes.

Contact Maximum Wealth today for a free IRA educational guide that can eliminate confusion about these popular retirement accounts.

4 Things Financial Advisors “Neglect” To Tell You

Most financial planners and advisors show selective information about their products and services, never disclosing all the positives and negatives associated with the products they are offering. This keeps you, the client from making a sound and fully informed decision, thereby creating a situation with opportunities to fail that you, the client, are not aware of. Here are a few things they “neglect” to mention.

1. It’s just a calculator, it only adds and subtracts.

It does not reflect debt, cash flow, college education, inflation, market volatility, or any of the other eroding factors that can affect your money. These and other daily economic issues need to be included in your financial decisions, not just the basic functions of a calculator.

2. Your losses hurt you twice as much as your gains help you.

Simply put, a 50% loss requires a 100% gain just to break even. If you had $1000 and lost $500 (or 50%) of it, you’d have to gain $500 (or 100%) just to get back to where you started.

3. Diversification is NOT a wealth building strategy.

It’s a weak attempt to salvage the loss of your hard earned dollars. If you placed your money in financial products that guaranteed your principal and interest, there would be no need for diversification in the first place. Therefore, it would eliminate the stressful calculations and manipulations of loss prevention.

4. Liquidity, Use, and Control should be the three pillars of any successful retirement plan.

The government and financial institutions of this country promote retirement planning that tends to provide more benefits for them than it does for you. Why should you place your money into plans that include no liquidity, extreme risk, crazy penalties, and high taxation?

At Maximum Wealth, we do the exact opposite. We aim to inform and educate all our clients with information that will benefit them and their money the most. This not only grows their wealth, but it also grows their trust in how we manage their financial lives.

If you’re tired of the over complicated explanations and the extremely high fees, commissions, and unnecessary risk of your money, CONTACT US TODAY and see how to eliminate these problems that are destroying the viability of your monetary growth!

Cornerstone #2: Retirement Healthcare

Understanding HOW you will fund healthcare as you age is one of the most important components in the Maximum Wealth process, but because it is such a complex thing to plan for, most people put off thinking about it until it is too late.

Continuing on with the 4 Cornerstones Of Retirement, take some time to learn about Retirement Cornerstone #2—“Retirement Healthcare”, and why you need to start planning for it right away.

Rising healthcare costs have been a thorn in the side of many Americans for a long time. But most people don’t give enough thought to just how much healthcare costs will run them in their golden years. While the exact cost will vary for everyone, most people should expect healthcare to be their SECOND HIGHEST EXPENSE in retirement, just behind Taxes. Even a healthy 65 year old couple today can expect to spend more than $320k on healthcare alone in retirement. And that DOES NOT include health insurance premiums.

Many people are uninformed that Medicare imposes monthly surcharges on individuals and married couples whose incomes exceeds certain amounts, and these costs continue to rise each and every year.

But people aren’t entirely oblivious to the challenges of paying for healthcare in retirement. In a recent study, 80% of more than 1,000 American adults said that they were worried about funding the costs of healthcare as they age, yet only 56% of respondents said they have factored healthcare into their actual retirement plan. And half of those who indicated they have planned for healthcare costs also admit that they have most likely underestimated those expenses. Experts estimate that at age 65, spending on healthcare is close to $16k per person—per year!

To help you plan ahead, Maximum Wealth has all the information pertinent to planning for “Retirement Healthcare”, which includes tools to estimate how much an individual can expect to pay for healthcare once they retire based on their life expectancy, overall health, assets, and gender.

Contact Doug or his team at Maximum Wealth today if you would like a personalized analysis or free consultation concerning yourRetirement Healthcare.

3 Reasons Not To Claim Social Security Early

Are you making the right financial choice when it comes to Social Security?

In continuing with our 4 Cornerstones of Retirement, let’s talk about Social Security Planning.

One of the toughest decisions regarding Retirement is trying to figure out when to take your Social Security. Most people can claim as early as age 62, but in doing this you’ll suffer a reduction as much as 30% in the monthly payment you receive if you do so, rather than waiting until your full retirement age. Yet having those benefits available for several extra years is more than enough to entice millions of Americans into taking their Social Security early.

In rare cases, its actually smarter to claim benefits early, but there are also some great reasons why you should consider not claiming your Social Security early. Even if circumstances change and force you into making different decisions when it comes time to retire, knowing why it makes sense to wait can help you plan your entire retirement strategy more effectively, saving you thousands (or millions) of dollars.

 

1. YOU’RE STILL WORKING AND WILL END UP FORFEITING YOUR BENEFITS ANYWAY

The most obvious situation is when you’re still working and making enough money that you’ll have to forfeit whatever you receive in Social Security benefits. The Social Security Administration has strict rules that force you to give up what you get from Social Security if your income is above certain limits.

Specifically, if you make more than $17.040 in 2018 and won’t reach your full retirement age during the year, you’ll have to give up $1 in benefits for every $2 you make above the threshold.

But this isn’t as bad as it sounds, because in exchange for forfeiting benefits, the SSA treats it as if you had just waited to claim benefits later. So if you lost a whole year’s worth of benefits, you’d get the same amount later that you would have gotten if you’d waited an extra year before claiming.

 

2. YOU WANT TO LEAVE YOUR FAMILY THE MOST BENEFITS POSSIBLE

While many people decide when to claim Social Security based on their own expectations, it’s not just your benefits that will suffer if you claim early.

“Survivor Benefits” for spouses and children are determined, in part, by when you claim your primary retirement benefits. If you claim early, then the lower monthly payments you get will also be reflected in what your family receives after you pass away.

Whether the survivor benefits are important depends on your family situation. If your spouse works and will have their own benefits, survivor benefits aren’t as big of a deal. But for single-earner families, or those who have disabled children who will be eligible for benefits, waiting to claim can have a HUGE influence on their financial futures.

 

3. YOUR TAX SITUATION MIGHT WANT YOU TO WAIT

Many people don’t realize that Social Security benefits can be taxable if you make over a certain amount. In some cases, claiming early makes it more likely that your benefits will be taxable. The most common scenario is for married couples who file jointly, when one spouse is still working. Even if it’s your spouse and not you who brings in the cash, they still count towards that threshold.

 

BOTTOM LINE: BE SMART WITH SOCIAL SECURITY

Deciding when you take Social Security is one of the toughest choices you’ll have to make financially. If you’re aware of the pros and cons for and against claiming early, you’ll be in a much better position to make an informed and educated decision.

Contact Doug or his team at Maximum Wealth to receive a personalized detail analysis and options about which Social Security choice works best for you and your family!

What The New Tax Law Means For You

Taxpayers wanted reduced rates, expanded brackets, and all of this on a permanent basis.

Permanence we did not get. But… we were able to get expanded brackets and lower rates, which for most people mean more money in their pockets

The chart below explains the changes in rates and brackets for a married couple filing jointly from 2017- 2018:

If you would like to learn more about the new tax laws and how they might affect you, contact Doug Jones or his team at Maximum Wealth TODAY.

Where Are You Storing Your Cash?

Money passes through our hands every day. And when we are able to save some of that money, it should be placed in positions that MAXIMIZE, not minimize.

Is your money growing at a high rate of interest? Is it protected, liquid and guaranteed to grow tax free regardless of how the market performs?

Or… is it stuck in a 401k or IRA waiting for you to reach 59 ½ so you can finally enjoy your hard-earned money?

Money should be in a position to flow and multiply, not sit and stagnate in an account that grows at a paltry rate of interest, or worse, deteriorates because it’s providing salaries and bonuses for financial advisors and investment firms!

Contact Doug at Maximum Wealth today and ask for information about “Alternative Investments” that provide security and opportunity for your money and an abundant life for your future.

Financial Tips For Couples

Valentine’s Day is upon us and love is in the air.

Communication is the key to a long-lasting relationship, but many couples neglect to talk about one important thing: their finances. Money, or lack thereof, is at the bottom of many love squabbles. Here are some tips for couples to make sure money doesn’t get in the way of fun.

Set Goals Together

Sit down with your significant other and discuss financial priorities. Find out how your individual goals might sync up and figure out what steps you need to take to accomplish those goals. Want to pay off debt? Buy a home? Start your own business? Have kids? It’s important to find out which goals make sense for your relationship and plan your finances accordingly.

Put All Your Cards On The Table

If you want to navigate your finances as a couple successfully, you must confide and trust in each other. Keeping financial problems hidden can hamper plans and potentially damage your relationship. Start out by putting all your information on the table, including debt, income, the types of accounts you have, any property owned, obligations and so on. Discuss the financial concerns you may have and any money differences you had in your previous relationships. Being honest and transparent will give you and your partner a better idea of what is important and how to develop a financial partnership.

Set Financial Meetings Once A Month

Discussing money isn’t always comfortable for couples, but doing it regularly will make it a lot easier for you and your partner. Try scheduling a financial meeting once a month to discuss your financial situation, your goals and your status on achieving them. If you’re having money troubles, brainstorm solutions together.

Build A Budget Together

Tracking your spending as a couple is vital. You need to know where your money is going, to create goals and build toward them financially. Start by creating a budget that sets amounts for expenditures and keeps track of what you spend each month.

Set Up Joint and  Separate Accounts

How to pool and share money is one of the most important decisions you’ll make as a couple. Not every couple does this the same way. Some opt to have a joint account, others prefer separate accounts, and many couples decide on a combination of the two.

The first step is to agree on what expenses should be paid together. Make a detailed list of the expenses you think should be shared as a couple. You should also take time to discuss how much discretionary money each of you will have to spend. Make a list of what kinds of things each of you might spend money on personally to figure out the discretionary budgets. Once you agree, spending based on the discretionary funds should not be judged or argued. Each partner in the relationship should be free to spend that money as he or she sees fit. Discretionary funds can be allocated in your joint account, or you can create separate accounts for this money to be deposited every month. Whatever method ensures that you won’t fight over spending is likely the best option for you as a couple.

Divide Financial Jobs

Take some time to figure out who should be responsible for paying bills, balancing accounts, monitoring credit and researching large purchases like a house or car. Do you want to do it all as a team? Or do you want to divide tasks? Creating a structure will make it easier to ensure your finances are in order and encourages teamwork. You may need to try different options to find the best way to tackle your financial responsibilities. Don’t be afraid to switch things up.

Try to Save Money

Saving at least 10% of your income can go a long way toward realizing your goals as a couple. It can provide an emergency fund in case one of you loses a job or suffers an injury. A savings account can be used toward big purchases down the road, like a new home. It can also be used to invest in a retirement account. When you start talking about finances and make a budget, consider saving money early. The sooner you start, the easier it will be to realize all the goals you set forth as a couple.

If you and your partner need any assistance with financial planning, Maximum Wealth can walk you through it every step of the way.

minimum thought. Maximum Wealth.

(706)876-0844

maxwealth@wdouglasjones.com