Author Archives: Maximum Wealth

Are You Retirement Ready Pt 2.

Retirement is swiftly approaching. You’ve been saving and investing most of your life for this moment, but now you’re not so sure you’re ready to retire. It’s a predicament faced by many people. Here are a few more steps you can take to help make sure you’re financially ready to retire:

1) Make sure your portfolio is low cost or better yet NO COST.

For every percent you pay in fees, you have to earn at least that much JUST to break even.

2) Consider Long Term Care Insurance.

Your entire nest egg can be wiped out by long term care costs. That’s because Medicare and other health insurance policies don’t cover it. Medicaid does, but it’s a poverty program that requires you to spend down virtually all of your assets to qualify and many places don’t accept Medicaid as it is.

3) Have a withdrawal strategy.

It’s not only about how much you’re withdrawing, but where you’re withdrawing from. If you’re withdrawing from pre-tax as well as tax-free (Roth) and regular investment accounts, you have the opportunity to structure your withdrawals to minimize taxes and even reduce health care costs in retirement. If your situation is more complex, this is an area where a tax-aware financial advisor can be helpful.

The idea of retirement can be both exciting and terrifying. Hopefully by following these steps, you can make it more of the former and less of the latter. Are you ready?

Feel free to contact us at Maximum Wealth to explore your options and make sure you’re truly ready for retirement!

minimum thought. Maximum Wealth

(706)876-0844

maxwealth@wdouglasjones.com

Are You Retirement Ready?

Retirement is swiftly approaching. You’ve been saving and investing most of your life for this moment, but now you’re not so sure you’re ready to retire. It’s a predicament faced by many people. While retirement has many financial and non-financial components to it, here are some initial questions to ask yourself to help you get started.

1) How much income will you need? Don’t make the mistake of assuming your expenses. You don’t want to discover that you’ve underestimated your income needs several months into retirement. Start by tracking your actual expenses over a few months and then make any adjustments you foresee to your lifestyle (relocating, downsizing, etc.) to create a retirement budget.

2) What will you be receiving from Social Security? There are over 1,000,000 choices and combinations for choosing Social Security benefits. A Social Security professional should be consulted for this part of your planning.

3) What other income will you be receiving? If you’re fortunate enough to qualify for a pension, get a pension estimate. Include rental income from any real estate you own. Be hesitant about including income from a part-time job or business since you don’t know how long that income will last, or how it could affect your Social Security benefits.

4) How much can you safely withdraw from your retirement savings? Add up all your retirement savings, including retirement plans from previous jobs, your current employer’s plan, IRAs, and any other investment accounts intended for retirement. Then multiply that total by 4% (which has been found to be the historical safe inflation-adjusted withdrawal rate from a diversified portfolio over time.)

5) How much will you owe in taxes? Taxes are different for everyone and will vary based on your income sources and what state you retire in. And based on the past, they will continue to increase!

At Maximum Wealth we work with individuals and small businesses to help them prepare, plan, and implement all aspects of retirement including a casual conversation about how to get started. Contact us today to get a “Head Start!”

minimum thought. Maximum Wealth

(706)876-0844

maxwealth@wdouglasjones.com

13 Reasons Why Your 401k Is Your Riskiest Investment Pt 3.

To conclude our three part series on the 401(k) retirement plan, here are the final 4 reasons in our list of 13 reasons why this could be your riskiest investment.

But if you’re just now tuning in,

click here for part 1 and part 2.

10. Whose 401(k) is it anyway?

Brace yourself—your 401(k) doesn’t even technically belong to you. Somewhere in the microscopically small print reads “FBO” (For Benefit Of.) The tax code makes it technically owned by our friends, the government, but they are nice enough to provide it “for your benefit.” If that doesn’t sound bad enough, if we judge from world history, 401(k)s could be in danger as other countries have raided private retirement plans to fund the government (Argentina 2008, Hungary 2010, Ireland 2011.) “That would never happen here, this is America!” Before you say that, during the last recession, Congress did invite an expert to give a testimony on doing just that.

Keep in mind that it only takes one economic crisis before you retire for possible rule changes or worse, confiscation of your 401(k).

11. Where’s the gold?

So maybe you can stomach the taxes when it comes time to withdraw your money. Everything gets taxed right? But can you stomach the market swings? Sure the financial planner who set up your 401(k) predicted for you an annual return of 8%. But what if the market gets volatile?

Say your fund is down 30% one year. Any withdrawal is tapping directly into your principal. At that point, your only choices are to start withdrawing principal, or leave the money alone until your account goes up again. But it may take years for it all to come back. It’ll probably be a tough night’s sleep knowing that your income is at the complete mercy of the markets.

12. What’s a trip without a map?

There are many people out there, finances in shambles, who still whole heartedly contributes to their 401(k). That’s like someone with a slit wrist tending to a scraped knee.

You need a bigger picture plan that can identify, prioritize, and manage all the pieces of your financial puzzle in perfect harmony. You don’t need some one-size-fits-all plan that’s sold to everyone as a courtesy.

13. Bad habits are hard to break

401(k) plans subconsciously encourage people to give up responsibility for their own investment decisions. It lulls them into believing that they can just throw enough money at the “experts” and, magically, years later, they’ll end up with all the money they need. And of course, when things don’t go their way, they blame others. A good financial plan requires responsibility and attention.

In summary: Saving for retirement is a wise and prudent thing to do. But other saving philosophies, products and ideas should not be ignored.

Whatever you choose, we urge you to do it in a conscious manner as a smart investor. Don’t just swallow Wall Street’s promises blindly—look to those who tell the truth about financial options.

When saving your money, look for products and strategies that guarantee your principal and interest, provide liquidity, and minimize or eliminate taxation during the growth periods, and when you begin to take it out.

Contact Doug Jones at Maximum Wealth to explore and understand these options today!

minimum thought. Maximum Wealth.

maxweath@wdouglasjones.com

(706)876-0844

Four Steps To Achieving Maximum Wealth

Stuck in a rut, or just want to have more money? Make use of these 4 steps to start achieving Maximum Wealth!

1. You are never too old or too smart to learn! Let’s face the facts, you’re not really as financially savvy as you think you are. But you CAN be. You need to stop procrastinating and educate yourself and your family about the NEW rules, laws, and strategies that apply to your money.

2. You are losing money every day and you’re not even aware of it. Learn how to save as much as 20% of your GROSS income by reducing your INVISIBLE ANNUAL EXPENSES in your 401K plans, Mortgages, Insurance Policies, and Taxes just to name a few. These are EASY FIXES and it will save you thousands of dollars every day, month, and year.

3. Stop the self-deceiving practice of turning wants into needs. Reduce your spending on frivolous and unimportant items and save a fortune!

4. Save as much of your income as possible. PAY YOURSELF BEFORE YOU PAY EVERYONE ELSE!

Stuck in a rut or maybe just want more money?

These 4 simple, yet extremely powerful exercises can change your financial life.

Maximum Wealth is passionate and eternally committed to helping individuals, families, and businesses hold onto more of their hard-earned money.

Contact us today to begin (or continue) your financial education!

Remember, you’re never too old to learn!

(706)876-0844

maxwealth@wdouglasjones.com

maximumwealth.net

910 S. Thornton Ave

Vital Choices

Are you making the wisest decisions regarding your 401k, Social Security, Long Term Care, Life Insurance, Retirement, and Healthcare choices?

Two questions that need to be asked in making these decisions that will directly impact your future cash flow are:

1. Are your fees, premiums, and costs associated with these products the absolute lowest they can possibly be, allowing you to save money where it counts?

2. Are these choices selected with all the information needed to make them the most profitable for you and your family when it comes time for them to be used in their respective ways?

If you second-guessed at one of these statements, it may be time to take a closer look.

Remember: A wrong decision can cost you a fortune!

Maximum Wealth can help you make the right choice.

minimum thought. Maximum Wealth.

(706)876-0844

maxwealth@wdouglasjones.com

13 Reasons Why Your 401k Is Your Riskiest Investment Pt 2.

Continuing on with our series on the pitfalls of 401(k)s, here are four more reasons why you might want to rethink your stance on that particular retirement plan.

6. Tax scares lead to under-utilization

Yes 401(k)s are tax deferred, meaning you avoid paying them today in lieu of paying them later, but today’s taxes are historically low compared to the days of 50, 60, or even 90 percent marginal rates of the past. Chances are that with the record national debt, by the time you get access to that money, the taxes will be much higher than they are now. If you hate paying taxes now, why would you want to pay more in the future? When the time finally comes to live off that money, retirees are demotivated to use their savings for fear of triggering hefty tax consequences.

7. You’ll likely be in a higher tax bracket down the road

It’s funny that people imagine themselves working their whole life, only to be in a lower tax bracket at the time of retirement. Let’s be real, if you have achieved any measure of success, you’ll be well past your old tax bracket at the time of retirement. This means that your 401(k) will be subject to even more of a taxable burden.

8. Where’s the exit?

With penalties for early withdrawal, complicated borrowing rules, and taxes, there are more incentives to leave the money alone than to actually use it. It’s very easy to get it in, but how easy is it to get it out?

9. 401(k)s are like sitting ducks for estate taxes

Since there’s all those nasty penalties and taxes, at the end of a person’s lifetime their 401(k) often ends up being a nice pile of cash that look very tempting to the government. And if it’s passed on to your family or loved ones? It’s hit not only by income tax, but estate tax as well. Double the taxes, double the fun (not!)

Still think the 401(k) is your best friend till the end? Join us next time for the conclusion to our 401(k) series.

As always, feel free to contact us directly if you have any questions or would like to schedule a free financial workshop to discuss your future!

minimum thought. Maximum Wealth.

(706)876-0844

maxwealth@wdouglasjones.com

Be Your Own Banker

Ask yourself: would you rather have a car with a few options or one with all the bells and whistles. More than likely, you want the one with more options!

So then why do we put our money in the “vehicle” that offers the fewest. What we’re talking about is putting your money in a bank or lender system where it either becomes stagnant, or requires you to pay back lenders with copious amounts of interest. Think of how much better your life would be if you had your own banking system that you could borrow from and there were no structured payments, charges or time limits to pay it back.

While every asset has advantages and fulfills a function of reaching a particular financial goal, there is actually one asset that can play SEVERAL roles. How does an asset that has a competitive rate of return and tax-free access to your funds, along with long term care benefits, critical illness coverage, and tax free life insurance sound?

Listen close.

This asset is called DIVIDEND PAYING WHOLE LIFE INSURANCE. Before you go off and say, “well I don’t need life insurance because…” This is an asset that can benefit you, me, and anyone that is concerned about saving money, living too long, or just wants a safe and secure retirement lifestyle.

Imagine borrowing from your own policy instead of your bank. You can pay it back whenever you want, however much at a time. Or not at all—it’s your choice (even though best practice is to replenish what you took in order to keep maximizing your wealth).

While there are other options and financial assets that are good for one or two things, Dividend Paying Whole Life insurance is one with multiple benefits and extreme flexibility.

Contact us to learn more about this innovative strategy of Being Your Own Banker!

minimum thought. Maximum Wealth.

(706)876-0844

maxwealth@wdouglasjones.com

13 Reasons Why Your 401k Is Your Riskiest Investment

The 401(k)–the gold standard of retirement plans. Or so many have thought. In reality, it is far from being a solid plan to coast you into your golden years. Started in 1981 as merely an experiment, the retirement plan has still yet to prove itself as a bedrock foundation.

The guinea pigs who took a gamble on the first offering of the 401(k) are just now starting to see their hard-earned results, but it might not be all they expected. Though it may have seemed like it was built in concrete nearly 40 years ago, the market sands have shifted and the 401(k) isn’t the holy grail its creators expected it to be.

Here are reasons 1-5 why you should consider alternative forms of retirement savings:

1. Your funds can disappear overnight

What kind of retirement plan allows millions of people to lose 30-50 percent of their life savings in one night. If you guessed 401(k) then you probably already know the following: unlike other investments that are protected from losses—your 401(k) plays roller coaster with the stock market and leaves you with absolutely no control. That sounds more like gambling and less like a savings plan. Now retirement planners will tell you that the market averages 8-11 percent returns per year. That may have been true LAST century upon its inception, but this century has seen that idea fail. From 2000-2016 the Dow Jones Industrials averaged 4.38% return each year. The actual dollar return for that period was only 3.24% each year! Do you really want to risk your future on risk based 4% returns?

2. Fees, costs, and other drains

Many people take the option of a 401(k) plan, invest money, and never think twice. But do you actually know where your money goes? With 401(k)s, there are usually more than a dozen undisclosed fees: legal fees, transaction fees, trustee fees, bookkeeping fees, and more. But that’s just the beginning. The mutual funds themselves often take a 2 percent fee right off the top.

“What happens in the fund business is that the magic of compound returns is overwhelmed by the tyranny of compound costs.” – Jack Bogle, founder of Vanguard

100 percent return? More like 100 percent of the risk, with 100 percent of your capitol—for under half of the return.

3. No cash flow in case of better opportunities

The grand theory behind 401(k)s is that you keep throwing money into it where you can’t easily touch it without risk of penalty, and it will magically compound into enough to retire on. Money left to compound unpredictably for 30 years or more is stagnant money. There’s no cash flow ready to direct to today’s best uses. Instead, it is placed inside a 30-year old bet, while newer, perhaps better opportunities could be passing you by.

4. It’s a solid brick that should be a float

Even though you could access your 401(k) money, you don’t want to. It’s essentially tied up in penalties for early withdrawal. The only exception allows you to borrow a limited amount of money for a limited amount of time. And that leads you to an even worse situation: double taxation. Borrowed money must be paid back with after tax dollars—then at retirement you are taxed again when you receive the actual withdrawals from your 401k account. Double taxation! You don’t like paying taxes once, why would you want to pay them twice?

5. Driving blindfolded

Perhaps the worst thing about a 401(k) is that it teaches you a nasty habit of unconscious investing. Think about it. How much do you really know about your own 401(k)? Do you really know the funds you’re invested in? The details of those companies? Do you even know the histories of those funds, or where your money is actually located? If you’re like most people, then probably not. You wouldn’t drive blindfolded, so why invest your money that way?

Check back next time in continuation of our 401(k) series to find out even more things you didn’t know about your 401(k)!

Alternatively, you can contact us at your convenience to learn more about better decision making regarding your money!

minimum thought. Maximum Wealth.

(706)876-0844

maxwealth@wdouglasjones.com

Healthcare: It Isn’t Going Away

Healthcare is one of those things that looks like it isn’t getting any better anytime soon. Sure we can always hope for affordable healthcare, but we should plan for the worst case scenario, shouldn’t we?

The issues and concerns surrounding healthcare in the future will be as great if not greater than the retirement issues facing everyone today. That being said, have you even factored the cost of healthcare into your retirement?

You’d be floored just looking at the latest numbers and seeing just how much the average person pays for healthcare in their retirement years.

The total projected lifetime healthcare premiums for a HEALTHY 65 year old couple for 2018 are expected to be $321,994 in today’s dollars. That’s not counting for inflation. If you add in deductibles, co-pays, hearing, vision, and dental that number jumps up to $404,253! Who has that kind of change lying around?

Healthcare will be one of the most significant retirement expenditures; however the savings required to cover this expense may be a little more modest by optimizing retirement portfolios to address healthcare needs.

According to the latest data, a 65 year old couple will pay that $404k for their entire lifetime. Sure, when you’re in the workforce and paying only 25% of group plan premiums it doesn’t affect you much. But those in retirement suddenly find themselves responsible for 100% of their healthcare expenses, including premiums, co-pays, deductibles and all that other nasty stuff.

In ten years a now 55 year old couple will pay 25% more for the exact same coverage. The now 45 year old couple can be expected to pay over $600k!

Seems catastrophic when you take it in. But there is a silver lining. It’s called saving and preparing for the future. If you’re young, you’ve got plenty of time to save accordingly. Whether you’re young or old, there is still plenty of time to prepare it you learn the simple techniques of saving and leveraging. It all depends on how well you make your money work for you, and where you choose to save it.

Healthcare issues and expenses in the future will be as great if not greater than the retirement issues facing everyone today.

But educational sessions and free information is available for those who want to learn more about and how to be better prepared for this important issue!

Call or contact us today to set up your free discovery session!

Source: https://www.cms.gov/Research-Statistics-Data-and-Systems/Statistics-Trends-and-Reports/ReportsTrustFunds/Downloads/TR2016.pdf

The Maximum Wealth Mentality

If you’re reading this, you’re probably wondering: who or what is Maximum Wealth?

Don’t worry, we’re not a get rich quick scheme attempting to add you to some sort of pyramid of endless product. We’re not really trying to sell you anything at all. In fact, it’s just the opposite.

Maximum Wealth is more than a building conveniently located on 910 S Thornton St, we’re a state of mind.

Above all else, we value truth and understanding.

We want to pull the mask off of the financial planning monsters and give REAL advice, from seasoned professionals and trusted community members who mean what they say. In other words, we wouldn’t suggest anything that we ourselves wouldn’t do.

Star­ting today, we will begin showing you new and exciting ways that YOU can save money each week.

We will educate and inform you on topics that may seem scary and impossible to understand, but rest assured – we’ll walk you through it every step of the way.

Minimum thinking, Maximum Wealth.

We’re ready. Are you?