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Social Security Planning — Maximize your benefits


Often overlooked, Social Security planning can be a cornerstone to achieving your retirement lifestyle goals.

Many people don't know that with careful planning and timing, they can maximize the amount of income from Social Security, helping optimize the effects of Social Security on their retirement.

As part of your overall retirement planning, we factor in the importance of timely Social Security Planning. And, to help ensure we're considering everything along the way, we've even attained National Social Security Advisor Certification through the National Social Security Association, LLC.

Frequently Asked Questions
Q: 1. How big a difference will Social Security Planning make for me?

To get an idea how much you stand to gain or lose, we can provide you with a complimentary "What's at Stake" report.

Q: 2. Who can benefit from Social Security Planning?

Our analysis covers most situations, including married, single, divorced, widows, government employees and people who have already elected but are not yet age 70.

Q: 3. Why should I involve a financial advisor in my Social Security decision?

Your decision will impact your other assets, including how and when you tap certain assets to supplement your income. An advisor is positioned to help you understand how all these pieces fit together.

Q: 4. Why not ask the Social Security Administration for advice?

The Social Security Administration (SSA) cannot give advice, ask you about other assets, or evaluate the impact of your decision on the rest of your financial plan. Once you have developed your Social Security Strategy, please consult the SSA.

Q: 5. What if I've already elected Social Security?

If you feel you've made a mistake in electing Social Security early and you're not yet 70 years old, there are several options for fixing a mistake, or at least minimizing the damage.

Q: 6. When should I start my planning?

If you're over age 55, the sooner the better. As you approach retirement age, it's important to evaluate your options and identify which assets you'll use to supplement your Social Security income.

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Things We Consider

90% of investment results happen because of correct asset allocation.1

The aim of asset allocation in the first place though is to balance risk and reward. In looking at how to best allocate your assets, we factor in your timelines, goals, and needs, and apportion your portfolio's assets accordingly.

And, it's customized for each client.

1 Research supports this claim. We don't just make this stuff up.

The old saying, "It isn't what you make, it's what you keep," is the core of an effective wealth management plan. Since taxes are inevitable, after tax returns are crucial to achieving wealth planning goals.

Asset location refers to how an investor distributes their investments over taxable accounts like Trust brokerage accounts, tax-deferred accounts such as IRAs and 401Ks, and tax-exempt accounts such as Roth IRAs and Roth 401Ks.

And, using asset location planning correctly can increase how much money is kept and not paid out in taxes.

Often also referred to as marketability, liquidity is the ability to turn an asset/investment into cash quickly.

For example, investments in ETFs, most company stocks, and bonds that trade on national exchanges have high liquidity; real estate on the other hand takes longer to convert to cash.

We strive to understand our clients liquidity needs so there's access to cash as needed.

Periodically, portfolios drift away from goals as the value of investments within the portfolio change.

Rebalancing brings a portfolio back into line with your goals and helps reduce risk.

Under-weighted securities can be purchased with newly saved money; alternatively, over-weighted securities can be sold to purchase under-weighted securities.

Our goals are to maximize returns and minimize taxes.

To help achieve these things, we look to do things like: sell tax efficient assets first, use Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) with low portfolio turnover, and buy investments with the biggest tax advantages.

Since every investor has different needs from fixed income to access to capital, we factor all this into your portfolio construction.

ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds) offer clients a way to build a tax efficient asset allocation that's diversified, low cost, low conflict of interest, tactically tradeable, and highly liquid.

Building a core asset allocation using ETFs can provide exposure to all the necessary portfolio constituents with low minimums. We use ETFs to generate core portfolios that strategically expose our clients to investments that meet their risk tolerance and investment goals.

Using ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds) significantly reduces portfolio conflicts of interest.

One of the more difficult things that happens when using Mutual Funds and Separately Managed Accounts is that portfolio managers may all be investing in the same investments for a number of reasons.

For instance a Value manager may be buying a stock that your current growth manager is selling. Often Mutual Fund Managers and Separate Accounts Managers suffer from style drift. This is where fund managers invest money outside of their mandated portfolio model, often to boost poor performance. Unfortunately, this can unintentionally raise the risks of--and to--a portfolio.

ETFs offer high transparency and often have low turn-over of positions that make up the fund. This helps eliminate conflicts of interest and allows us to look at making better choices for you.

"Don't put all your eggs in one basket," is one way of thinking of global diversification.

True diversification means to reduce risk by investing in a variety of assets that have low correlation of return to one another.

Diversification can be achieved many ways within asset classes, amongst asset classes, by sector, by size, by industry, and so on. The idea: don't expose all your money to the risk of a single investment.