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RETIREMENT PLANNING IN THE NEW YEAR

By Soutas Financial | December 12, 2020 |

Overview

At this point, near-term retirees tend to fall into one of three categories:

1. You already have all the savings you need; you’re ready.

2. You’re on track to have all the savings you need by the time you retire.

3. You’re not on track and are worried about it.

Regardless of which track you’re on, the steps are the same. However, if you believe your savings will be inadequate, use this time now to boost your nest egg.

That may include several actions. First, contribute regularly to your investments. If you’ve got a five- to 10-year investment timeframe before you retire, it may be appropriate to invest with a growth-oriented or balanced approach. This will depend on several variables, such as how much risk you’re willing to take for the potential of higher returns, your health status, how reliable your job is until retirement and if you’re willing to work longer than you’d planned.

Those are often the variables that help determine how much you can invest based on your projected future earnings. The second factor to consider is how much you can reduce your current expenses. Think about it. If you can cut $1,000 in expenses a month (perhaps all the fluff on your credit card bill), that adds up to $12,000 a year. If you don’t retire until 2030, that’s another $108,000 saved for your nest egg. Consider this hypothetical example of the impact of investing that $1,000 each month in a diversified equity portfolio for a 7% average annual return over the next nine years: The total yield would be more than $150,000.2 Hypothetical example is provided for illustrative purposes only and does not represent any product or investment and does not represent a real life scenario.

That household savings and investing added to your existing investment contributions to an employer-sponsored plan could help your future retirement look a lot brighter. Of course, finding ways to cut back spending can be quite challenging, but it’s a matter of setting priorities and thinking about them every time you’re about to spend money.

Retirement Income: What Will You Reasonably Spend in Retirement?

The key to figuring how much nest egg you’ll need is anticipating how much you’ll spend in retirement. Where you spend your money will change, but how much you spend overall may not — unless you make an effort. Start with your basic living expenses. For example, the general rule of thumb is to try to pay off your mortgage before you retire to alleviate that large monthly expense. Also consider that you will no longer be saving aggressively anymore.

Next, what do you plan to do with your leftover (discretionary) income? Do you have big travel plans, want to buy a second home — or are you planning to stay local and keep your expenses low? Those plans may depend on how much you’ve accumulated by the time you retire, so it’s important to realistically match your spending goals with your accumulation potential.

According to AARP, the rule of thumb is that you’ll need about 80% of your pre-retirement income to maintain your pre-retirement lifestyle. That’s based on the fact that you won’t have some of your pre-retirement expenses, such as costs associated with working (like commuting expenses), contributions to a 401(k) plan and so on.3

Bear in mind that there’s a good chance you’ll need long-term care (LTC) assistance at some point. The latest research shows that someone turning age 65 today has almost a 70% chance of needing long-term care services and supports during retirement. Moreover, women tend to outlive their husbands and need care assistance an average of 3.7 years longer.4

Inevitably, some expenses will be replaced with others. For example, at some point, retirees often have fewer transportation expenses, so those funds can be reallocated for LTC once gas, insurance and maintenance costs are eliminated. However, that may not be enough to cover all LTC expenses. According to the 2020 Genworth Cost of Care Survey, the median cost of an in-home caregiver is $24 per hour.5 If you need someone for eight hours a day, that can run you about $5,400 a month. If you need 24-hour care, that cost can spiral into about $16,000 a month.

It’s important to consider the options for a long-term care plan in case you and/or your spouse live beyond independent years. You’ll want to consider them while you’re still young and healthy enough to be eligible for potential insurance options.

Transition Assets: Develop a New Asset Allocation Strategy

Remember that generally, people invest for growth throughout their lifetime and then put those assets into conservative financial vehicles for use during retirement. However, there is a transition period — the three to five years before you retire — when you may want to reposition your portfolio from what is generally a more risk-oriented allocation to a more balanced allocation.

If you’re planning on retiring in the near term, right now may be your transition period. There are a lot of variables to consider in order to establish an asset allocation strategy for this last chapter before retirement. Much may depend on whether you’re behind the savings curve, and you’ll also want to consider your personal situation and the economic outlook for the next few years. It’s a good idea to consult with a financial advisor to help you determine the best way to allocate your assets for this pre-retirement investment timeframe.

Create a Withdrawal Plan: Consolidation and Tax Considerations

Next, establish your sources of retirement income and your spending plan. For example, how much of your income will come from Social Security, a pension or other guaranteed income sources? How much of your personal retirement portfolio will need to be tapped on a regular basis to supplement those income sources?

Before you retire, consider a withdrawal plan from your retirement portfolio. This means deciding whether you should maintain separate retirement accounts or consolidate them into one. If you have an employer-sponsored plan, find out what distribution options are available to help decide whether you should leave the money where it is and make regular or periodic withdrawals, or roll it over into an individual retirement account (IRA). Keep in mind withdrawals from retirement accounts could have tax consequences, so make sure you check with a tax professional regarding your personal situation prior to taking any actions.

Also consider — from a tax burden perspective — which accounts to draw from first. The order may vary based on your situation, so it’s good to get advice from both a financial advisor and a tax professional, like a CPA or an attorney. The general rule of thumb typically follows this order:

1. Start with taxable accounts to benefit from lower long-term capital gains rates

2. Then tax-deferred accounts (e.g., 401(k), traditional IRA) because distributions are taxed at ordinary income rates

3. Then tax-free accounts (e.g., Roth IRA) to give them the most time to continue growing

Multi-Year Calendar: Schedule Important Due Dates

An important component of your retirement plan is Social Security. The longer you delay taking it, the higher your benefit. It’s also important to consider when to start drawing Social Security with your spouse in mind. For example, if you start drawing early (you may begin at age 62) because you’re in poor health, consider that the benefit will be locked in at that lower rate for your spouse for the rest of his or her life, should you die first. Depending on your personal circumstances, it may be wiser to draw from invested assets that have the opportunity to continue growing rather than lock in a lower Social Security benefit.

On the flip side, claiming Social Security early may allow you to receive benefits for a longer period over your lifetime, which, in the end, may net the same or more total Social Security benefits than delaying benefits and not living as long. Like all the other components of retirement income planning, the decision on when to take Social Security is unique to your personal situation.

Another consideration is Medicare. You must enroll within three months before or up to three months after the month in which you turn age 65 (or face penalties). Medicare currently offers a lot of options, and they can be confusing, so start investigating how it all works and what it costs long before this enrollment window.

The Binder: A Tool For the Inevitable

Before you retire, or just after, make it easy for you and your family to find and understand your retirement and estate plans. The easiest way to do this is to use a large three-ring binder with dividers to file all of your financial and insurance papers. You don’t need to keep all of your statements. Make sure there is at least one per account, and you may want to update it each year.

Also include your legal papers, such as wills and trusts; everything your loved ones would need to settle your affairs according to your wishes.

“If you’ve thoughtfully prepared and have a well-allocated portfolio and a conservative spending plan, there’s every reason to think you can still retire as planned. But if your vision for retirement has changed, assessing the financial impact of your new priorities can help you adjust your timeline if necessary.”7

Final Thoughts

The pandemic has put a wrench in many people’s retirement plans. Some were forced to retire early, while others know that they will have to go back to work, or work longer, to make up for reduced income or investment losses.

Remember that the further you are from retirement, the more time you have to make adjustments to improve your long-term outlook. Working longer may enable you to save more, invest longer and postpone claiming your Social Security benefit.

Regardless of how well you are tracking toward retirement goals, consider how the pandemic and the recent economic decline may alter your previous plan. You may wish to reconsider travel plans, thoughts of moving to a retirement community and where you want to be cared for should you lose your independence in old age. Each of these factors can add or subtract expenses from the nest egg you need to plan for, and how long it lasts.

The new year is — as always — a great time to take a fresh look at your plans and set new goals to meet them. Never has this been more critical than after this difficult year. With a vaccine and the reopening of the economy on the horizon, make a plan for all the opportunities that may entail.

1 Judith Ward. T. Rowe Price. Oct. 8, 2020. “Retiring Baby Boomers: 6 Steps for Smart Planning.” https://www.troweprice.com/personal-investing/resources/insights/retiring-babyboomers-6-steps-for-smart-planning.html. Accessed Nov. 23, 2020.

2 Veeru Perianan. Charles Schwab. June 23, 2020. “Why Market Returns May Be Lower and Global Diversification More Important in the Future.” https://www.schwab.com/resource-center/ insights/content/why-market-returns-may-be-lower-in-the-future. Accessed Nov. 23, 2020.

3 John Waggoner. AARP. Sept. 17, 2020. “How Much Money Do You Need to Retire?” https:// www.aarp.org/retirement/planning-for-retirement/info-2020/how-much-money-do-you-needto-retire.html. Accessed Dec. 2, 2020.

4 U.S. Department of Health and Human Resources. Oct. 15, 2020. “How Much Care Will You Need?” https://longtermcare.acl.gov/the-basics/how-much-care-will-you-need.html. Accessed Nov. 23, 2020.

5 Genworth. Dec. 2, 2020. “Cost of Care Survey.” https://www.genworth.com/aging-and-you/ finances/cost-of-care.html. Accessed Dec. 2, 2020.

6 Judith Ward. T. Rowe Price. Oct. 8, 2020. “Retiring Baby Boomers: 6 Steps for Smart Planning.” https://www.troweprice.com/personal-investing/resources/insights/retiring-babyboomers-6-steps-for-smart-planning.html. Accessed Nov. 23, 2020.

7 T. Rowe Price. Fall 2020. “Can I Still Retire as Planned?” https://www.troweprice.com/ content/dam/iinvestor/planning-and-research/Insights/investor-magazine-fall.pdf. Accessed Nov. 23, 2020.

This content is provided for informational purposes; it is not intended to be used as the sole basis for financial decisions, nor should it be construed as advice designed to meet the particular needs of an individual’s situation. None of the information contained herein shall constitute an offer to sell or solicit any offer to buy a security or insurance product.

No investment strategy can guarantee a profit or protect against loss in periods of declining values. The information and opinions contained herein provided by third parties have been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed by AE Wealth Management. Neither AEWM nor the firm providing you with this report are affiliated with or endorsed by the US government or any governmental agency.

AE Wealth Management, LLC (“AEWM”) is an SEC Registered Investment Adviser (RIA) located in Topeka, Kansas. Registration does not denote any level of skill or qualification. The advisory firm providing you this report is an independent financial services firm and is not an affiliate company of AE Wealth Management, LLC. AEWM works with a variety of independent advisors. Some of the advisors are Investment Adviser Representatives (IAR) who provide investment advisory services through AEWM. Some of the advisors are Registered Investment Advisers providing investment advisory services that incorporate some of the products available through AEWM. Information regarding the RIA offering the investment advisory services can be found at https://brokercheck.finra.org/.

12/20-1428036

COVID Outlook: Economy, Finances, Health

By Soutas Financial | December 10, 2020 |

Overview

Compared to 2008, the current pandemic-induced recession is three times worse in terms of annualized gross domestic product (GDP) decline. Economists have urged Congress to pass additional stimulus legislation for unemployment benefits, forgivable loans to small businesses, aid to the travel industry and allocated funds to save local government jobs in the wake of reduced tax revenues.1

The good news is that vaccine manufacturers Pfizer and Moderna both recently announced they have developed vaccines that are more than 90% effective; the bad news is that it may take a while for production to ramp up enough to vaccinate the entire U.S. population.2 And globally, until the majority of intercontinental travelers are immune, we’re not out of the woods yet.

Economic Prospects

In addition to the U.S., Europe, Brazil, India and others, emerging markets have been hit hard economically. Even the Swedish economy, which never locked down, suffered due to lack of consumer demand. Domestic consumers have displayed a reduced willingness to spend throughout the course of the pandemic, especially those whose employment — and livelihood — remains tenuous.

Interestingly, countries that mandated strict protocols have emerged less scathed. For example, China technically escaped a recession altogether. South Korea and Taiwan conducted widespread testing and contact tracing, so they were able to quash outbreaks and largely contain the virus, saving their economies from the wrath of consumer fear.3

Because widespread vaccination immunity is still many months away, economists warn that the U.S. will face a very dark winter. However, one thing a vaccine does provide is optimism; we can now see a light at the end of this dark tunnel.

Financial Lessons for the Future

The pandemic brought with it a whole new set of variables for investment opportunity. For example, some companies flourished in the glow of the stay-at-home culture this year, such as Zoom, Amazon and Netflix.4 The country is in a precarious state. We have more than 1,500 deaths and 160,000 new positive cases of coronavirus per day, contested election results and potential shutdowns threatening a fragile economy.

On the day Pfizer announced its vaccine, the stock market rejoiced. The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 834 points, up 2.95%, while the S&P 500 rose to 1.17%.5 The vaccine news also boosted pharmaceutical stocks and industries hurt by the pandemic, such as cruise line, movie theater and airline stocks, as well as oil prices.6

The pandemic has been a good reminder that we cannot predict a global crisis or its potential impact on markets. It’s useless to try to time investment decisions, particularly when saving for a long-term goal such as retirement. Instead, time in the market allows for steady, sustainable growth, a key factor in achieving long-term financial goals.

It’s important to balance your long-term investing strategy in order to weather short-term bouts of market volatility. By maintaining an appropriate mix of a variety of financial vehicles, your asset allocation strategy can help you pursue financial goals within a specific time horizon.

Personal Safety Net

The pandemic left many people who had never been unemployed before with no income. Even those without much in savings may have felt immune from hard times because they had a steady job, employer sponsored health insurance and a retirement plan. Then suddenly, they found themselves with no insurance, no way to pay their bills and worried about withdrawing money from their 401(k).

For those living paycheck-to-paycheck, this underscored the need for an emergency savings fund to cover three to six months’ worth of expenses. Having a separate, liquid savings account can provide a safety net to help people stay in their homes, keep their car and put food on the table during difficult times — without taking on debt or threatening their future financial security.

Health Outlook

While a near-term vaccine is great news, it does not negate the damage already caused by COVID-19, both economically and physically. The medical community warns that we still don’t understand the long-term effects of this potentially debilitating and fatal disease.

Follow-up among people who survived serious COVID-19 cases suggests that many may never return to their previous health status. Studies show that the virus can cause serious damage to the heart, lungs and other organs that are likely to cause problems in the future. There is evidence that even those who suffered only mild symptoms may have lingering effects.7

While we continue to learn more about the long-term effects of COVID-19, the challenge of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has many Americans concerned. They worry that, if the Act is overturned, insurance providers could consider a previous COVID-19 diagnosis as a pre-existing condition and deny coverage as a result. As of this writing, the Supreme Court had not reached a decision regarding the future of the ACA.

President-elect Joe Biden outlined his steps to mitigate these types of foreseen ramifications of the virus with a plan that includes:8

• Communicating national, evidence-based guidance designed to slow community spread and stop outbreaks.

• Working with state- and local-level officials to implement prevention protocols and strengthen public health facilities.

• Boosting vaccine distribution and personal protective equipment production.

• Hiring thousands of public health workers to perform contact tracing and provide health services for high-risk populations.

• Strengthening the Affordable Care Act by expanding coverage for people eligible for premium subsidies and reopening the federal marketplace for special enrollment as necessary for those who lose employer-sponsored insurance.

• Creating a caregiving workforce for families struggling to find affordable care for their children, aging relatives or loved ones with disabilities, as well as helping improve the outlook for women’s employment.

“We have to function as one nation. That means having a national plan.” — President-Elect Joe Biden5

Final Thoughts

COVID-19 has impacted not only the U.S. but the entire global population in many ways. Throughout this pandemic, economists have cautioned that economies hit hard by the pandemic cannot fully recover until the coronavirus is contained. The big question on everyone’s minds is exactly when that might happen. Uncertainty and anxiety linger for many Americans, especially among rising case numbers and lack of additional stimulus from Congress.

There is light on the horizon, however. The promise of a new vaccine provides hope that we might begin to return to normal soon. Additional treatments for COVID-19 symptoms also look promising and could provide assistance in lowering death rates while shortening the length and strength of the illness. As we make progress on treatments for our physical health, our economic health should improve as well. Although questions around the coronavirus and its after-effects remain, we feel optimistic that we may be poised to turn the corner and open a new chapter for our economy.

1 Scott Egan. CNN. Nov. 9, 2020. “A vaccine might be coming, but the Covid economy still desperately needs stimulus.” https://www.cnn.com/2020/11/09/business/coronavirusvaccine-economy-stimulus/index.html. Accessed Nov. 9, 2020.

2 Zachary Brennan and Sarah Owermohle. Politico. Nov. 16, 2020. “There are two effective Covid-19 vaccines. What’s Next?” https://www.politico.com/news/2020/11/16/modernacoronavirus-vaccine-effective-436776. Accessed Nov. 16, 2020.

3 Ceri Parker. World Economic Forum. Sept. 25, 2020. “World Vs Virus podcast: An economist explains what COVID-19 has done to the global economy.” https://www.weforum.org/ agenda/2020/09/an-economist-explains-what-covid-19-has-done-to-the-global-economy/. Accessed Nov. 9, 2020.

4 David Goldman and Anneken Tappe. CNN. Nov. 9, 2020. “Dow soars more than 1,000 points after Pfizer announces great news about its vaccine and Joe Biden declared victorious.” https://www.cnn.com/2020/11/09/investing/dow-stock-market-today/index.html. Accessed Nov. 9, 2020.

5 Joseph Woelfel. The Street. Nov. 9, 2020. “Dow Closes Up 800, Nearly 3%, on Coronavirus Vaccine Progress.” https://www.thestreet.com/markets/stock-market-dow-pfizer-vaccinecoronavirus-110920. Accessed Nov. 9, 2020.

6 Richard Beales. Reuters. Nov. 9, 2020. “Breakingviews – Pfizer jolt delivers taste of postCovid markets.” https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-vaccine-breakingvi/ breakingviews-pfizer-jolt-delivers-taste-of-post-covid-markets-idUSKBN27P1YP. Accessed Nov. 9, 2020.

7 David Hunter and Anne Moore. World Economic Forum. Oct. 2, 2020. “7 things we still don’t know about coronavirus, even after 1 million deaths.” https://www.weforum.org/ agenda/2020/10/million-deaths-coronavirus-experts-questions/. Accessed Nov. 9, 2020.

8 Allison Aubrey. NPR. Nov. 8, 2020. “President-Elect Biden Has A Plan To Combat COVID-19. Here’s What’s In It.” https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2020/11/08/930887069/ hold-president-elect-biden-has-a-plan-to-combat-covid-19-heres-what-s-in-it. Accessed Nov. 9, 2020.

9 Ibid.

No investment strategy can guarantee a profit or protect against loss in periods of declining values. The information and opinions contained herein provided by third parties have been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed by AE Wealth Management. This information is not intended to be used as the sole basis for financial decisions, nor should it be construed as advice designed to meet the particular needs of an individual’s situation. None of the information contained herein shall constitute an offer to sell or solicit any offer to buy a security or insurance product.

AE Wealth Management, LLC (“AEWM”) is an SEC Registered Investment Adviser (RIA) located in Topeka, Kansas. Registration does not denote any level of skill or qualification. The advisory firm providing you this report is an independent financial services firm and is not an affiliate company of AE Wealth Management, LLC. AEWM works with a variety of independent advisors. Some of the advisors are Investment Adviser Representatives (IAR) who provide investment advisory services through AEWM. Some of the advisors are Registered Investment Advisers providing investment advisory services that incorporate some of the products available through AEWM. Information regarding the RIA offering the investment advisory services can be found at https://brokercheck.finra.org/.

11/20-1408627

Fresno Financial Consultant: November 2020 Highlights

By Soutas Financial | December 1, 2020 |

Fresno Financial Advisor News: The High Price of Health Care in America

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If the U.S. health-care sector was a separate country, it would be the fourth largest economy in the world when measured by gross domestic product. Currently, the nation spends an average of $3.5 trillion annually on health care, more than Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain and the United Kingdom combined.1 If you break that down by how much we spend per capita compared to other countries, it looks like this:2
  • U.S.: $10,246
  • Australia: $5,331
  • Germany: $5,033
  • Canada: $4,754
  • Japan: $4,168
  • United Kingdom: $3,858
  • Singapore: $2,618
It’s also worth noting that more Americans die by preventable and treatable medical conditions than in those countries, as well.3 This is one those expenses that can make it tough for consumers to save money. One reason is because health care pricing isn’t transparent. Even if you shop around for a low-cost procedure in a hospital, you’re still likely to get hit with other separate charges. For example, the expense of an out-of-network anesthesiologist who happened to be working on the day of your operation. Most patients do not get the bill they were expecting, and it often comes a few months down the road. Another reason we have a hard time curbing spending is that U.S. health care doesn’t benefit from the normal principles of capitalism. Without greater transparency of fees, there is very little competitive pricing that would normally help drive costs down. Health care is expensive whether you’re still working or retired. There are several ways to help you save in case you have excessively high health-care costs in the future, such as a health savings account or a whole life insurance policy that allows you to tap into a growing cash account. If you’d like to learn more about flexible ways to save or help leverage assets for high care costs, please contact us. Read More

Fresno Retirement Consultant News: Home Health: Has the Time Come?

The health care industry has been trying to contain expenses through technology offering medical services to people at home. Some insurance plans offer a 24-hour nurse line, allowing you to call a nurse for advice in the middle of the night about a child’s high fever rather than rush to the emergency room. Some providers promote telemedicine for chronic care patients, using a quick video conference to update patient information and allow for a cursory visual exam. This growing trend has accelerated in light of the coronavirus, which may well be a silver lining. In recent months, virtual care has skyrocketed in use as consumers quickly adopt technology-enabled physician visits as a safer option. Before the pandemic, an average 13,000 Medicare beneficiaries received telemedicine in the span of a week. By the end of April 2020, nearly 1.7 million a week engaged in telemedicine calls.1 On average, a telemedicine call costs $79 versus $146 for a doctor’s office visit.2 This has been particularly key for elderly patients who tend to need more health care but are also more vulnerable to the devastating effects of COVID-19. In fact, seniors who receive in-home assisted living have avoided the rampant contagion that has been occurring in nursing homes.3 To further assist the at-home elderly, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services proposed a rule in June that would permanently allow reimbursement of administrative expenses for home-health agencies registered with Medicare. Today, about 6 million older Americans receive some form of home-health care, such as skilled nursing, physical therapy, speech-language pathology, occupational therapy, home health aides and medical social services. The Trump Administration is also recommending upping payment rates for home-health providers by 2.6% starting in 2021.4 The reality is that people are living well into old age and most people in their late 80s and 90s do need in-home care assistance, whether medical or otherwise. It is very expensive. If you would like to explore ways to help leverage your retirement assets in the event you need to pay for in-home care during your later years, please contact us. Read More

Fresno Financial Consultant News: Is it Time to Go Global?

Competitive edge is a real factor. Here in the U.S., we boast that capitalism is the key to our success. Unfortunately, that key has gotten a little rusty lately thanks to the rampant spread of COVID-19 throughout the country. Some areas have locked down or experienced slowed economic growth because of safety protocols that prevented business as usual. The principles of capitalism – such as competition and supply and demand – have been crippled.1 On the other hand, countries that were hit early on with the pandemic have managed to control the contagion and reopen their economies.2 Market analyst Carl Kawaja believes this comparative advantage gives way to more global opportunities than the U.S. can currently pursue. In his words: “I like to compare it to basketball – a sport where the U.S. historically has been fairly dominant. But then Argentina started getting better, and Greece started getting better, and Spain started getting better. And, the next thing you know, the U.S. lost the Olympics.”3 The good news is U.S. investors can take advantage if international companies pull ahead in the near-term while we struggle to flatten the curve of contagion. If you would like to consider ways to incorporate more global equity opportunity within your asset allocation, we’re happy to work with you. Don’t hesitate to reach out to schedule a consultation. Regardless of the state of the pandemic, it’s important to recognize that not all the best investment opportunities are in the United States. According to the World Bank, in 2018 the nation represented only 44% of world stock market capitalization.4 Read More

Fresno Retirement Advisor News: The Future of Retirement Planning

As of the end of July, the stock market was still performing relatively well and the Federal Reserve had announced no near-term changes to interest rates.1 However, other economic news was not as rosy. According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the U.S. economy contracted by nearly a third (32.9% annual rate) in the second quarter of this year.2 The pandemic has taken quite a toll on the U.S. economy. While eventually the economy will recover, individuals may want to re-assess their retirement portfolios going forward. Long term, it’s important to consider what types of permanent changes may take place post-pandemic, and how to anticipate them for long-term retirement planning. For example, one of the issues with employer-sponsored 401(k) plans is that they are designed to take advantage of tax-deferred growth. However, given today’s historically low tax rates, that is less of an advantage than it was when the idea was first introduced. Consider a median-income married couple with two children:3
  • In 1980, the marginal federal income tax rate was 43%. Today, it is 12%.
  • In 1980, the capital gains tax rate was 28%. Today, it is 0%.
  • In 1980, interest rates were around 15%. Today, they are 0%.
Tax rates could be adjusted upward in light of the debt America continues to accumulate through COVID-19 stimulus efforts. However, they may not rise as high as tax rates were back in the early ’80s. Read More Other Fresno Financial Advisor Articles

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Our firm is not affiliated with the U.S. government or any governmental agency. We are an independent firm helping individuals create retirement strategies using a variety of insurance products to custom suit their needs and objectives. This material is intended to provide general information to help you understand basic retirement income strategies and should not be construed as financial advice. Investment advisory services offered only by duly registered individuals through AE Wealth Management, LLC (AEWM). AEWM and Soutas Financial & Insurance Solutions, Inc are not affiliated companies. California Insurance License # OK48173 The information contained in this material is believed to be reliable, but accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed; it is not intended to be used as the sole basis for financial decisions. Investing involves risk, including possible loss of principal. Insurance product guarantees are backed by the financial strength and claims-paying ability of the issuing company. Diversification cannot ensure a profit or guarantee against losses in a declining market. If you are unable to access any of the news articles and sources through the links provided in this text, please contact us to request a copy of the desired reference. 722736 – 9/20

Fresno Retirement Advisor News: The Future of Retirement Planning

By Soutas Financial | November 23, 2020 | Comments Off on Fresno Retirement Advisor News: The Future of Retirement Planning
Fresno Retirement Advisor News: The Future of Retirement Planning

As of the end of July, the stock market was still performing relatively well and the Federal Reserve had announced no near-term changes to interest rates.1 However, other economic news was not as rosy. According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the U.S. economy contracted by nearly a third (32.9% annual rate) in the second quarter of this year.2

The pandemic has taken quite a toll on the U.S. economy. While eventually the economy will recover, individuals may want to re-assess their retirement portfolios going forward. Long term, it’s important to consider what types of permanent changes may take place post-pandemic, and how to anticipate them for long-term retirement planning.

For example, one of the issues with employer-sponsored 401(k) plans is that they are designed to take advantage of tax-deferred growth. However, given today’s historically low tax rates, that is less of an advantage than it was when the idea was first introduced. Consider a median-income married couple with two children:3

  • In 1980, the marginal federal income tax rate was 43%. Today, it is 12%.
  • In 1980, the capital gains tax rate was 28%. Today, it is 0%.
  • In 1980, interest rates were around 15%. Today, they are 0%.

Tax rates could be adjusted upward in light of the debt America continues to accumulate through COVID-19 stimulus efforts. However, they may not rise as high as tax rates were back in the early ’80s.

A leading professional in retirement income research, Olivia Mitchell, executive director of the Wharton School’s Pension Research Council, recommends that more employer retirement plans incorporate an annuity option, and even mandate a 10% allocation to that annuity.4 This would establish a larger pool of insured annuitants to help fund income for retirees who live longer. Until this happens, bear in mind that anyone can incorporate an annuity into his or her personal financial strategy to receive insurer-guaranteed income during retirement. If you’d like to learn more, please contact us.

Another long-term consideration is the status of Social Security. A recent study concluded that potential cuts to benefits could come faster than expected, thanks to COVID-19. Researchers discovered the Social Security Trust Fund may be depleted up four years earlier than previously predicted — as early as 2032. This highlights the importance of saving more toward retirement.5 Post-pandemic, there may be significant changes that could impact investor portfolio opportunities. For example, this type of disruption in business models often leads to new innovations, so keep an eye on sectors and industries coming up with new ideas. Also, the newly accepted remote model for both work and school poses interesting opportunities in terms of people living much further away from their employers and colleges, even in different states. This means people could be less inclined to move to urban areas for jobs. Rural regions may see an uptick in populations where young people could purchase homes and start building equity at a younger age.6

Fresno Retirement Advisor Takeaways 

Fresno financial planning is our utmost concern here at Soutas Financial and we thought these takeaways were worth mentioning again: The pandemic has taken quite a toll on the U.S. economy. While eventually the economy will recover, individuals may want to re-assess their retirement portfolios going forward. For example, one of the issues with employer-sponsored 401(k) plans is that they are designed to take advantage of tax-deferred growth. However, given today’s historically low tax rates, that is less of an advantage than it was when the idea was first introduced. Bear in mind that anyone can incorporate an annuity into his or her personal financial strategy to receive insurer-guaranteed income during retirement. If you’d like to learn more, please contact us.

Diversifying your retirement assets among a variety of vehicles and alternatives—both insurance and investment oriented, depending on what is appropriate for your situation—may offer you a better chance of meeting your retirement income goals throughout your lifespan. We help our clients with problems sometimes associated with retirement such as stopping spend down and avoiding probate. In doing so we leverage stop spend down as well as long-term care strategies designed to help accomplish those goals.

When searching for Fresno financial advisors, look no further than Soutas Financial & Insurance Solutions Inc. your Fresno financial advisor is committed to helping take the complexity out of retirement planning. By using a variety of insurance and investment strategies that focus on Asset Protection, Long-Term Care Strategies, Legacy Planning, Tax-Efficient Strategies, IRA, 401(k) & 403(b) Rollovers, Life Insurance Annuities, Medicare, we can help you develop an overall retirement income strategy specific to you and your family. We have a strong team of professionals helping ensure you receive all the assistance you need not only in developing your retirement income strategy, but in maintaining it throughout your retirement. Contact us today at 559-230-1648 or visit us today at Soutas Financial to get your retirement plans on track for success!

Other Fresno Financial Advisor Articles 

Soutas Financial & Insurance Solutions Inc. 
333 W. Shaw Avenue Suite 106
Fresno, CA 93704 
(559) 230-1648 
Soutas.com 

Content prepared by Kara Stefan Communications. 

1 Joseph Woelfel. TheStreet. June 29, 2020. “Stocks Close Higher as Fed Vows Continued Support for Economy.” https://www.thestreet.com/markets/stock-market-dow-jones-industrial-average-general-electric-072920. Accessed July 30, 2020.

2 Anneken Tappe. CNN. July 30, 2020. “US economy posts its worst drop on record.” https://www.cnn.com/2020/07/30/economy/us-economy-2020-second-quarter/index.html. Accessed July 30, 2020.

3 Aaron Brown. Bloomberg. July 21, 2020. “401(k) Plans No Longer Make Much Sense for Savers.” https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2020-07-21/401-k-plans-no-longer-make-much-sense-for-savers. Accessed July 28, 2020.

4 Knowledge@Wharton. July 14, 2020. “Post-pandemic Retirement: Can We Build More Resilient Systems?” https://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article/post-pandemic-retirement-can-build-resilient-systems/. Accessed July 28, 2020.

5 Lorie Konish. CNBC. June 28, 2020. “What you need to know if you’re planning to claim Social Security retirement benefits during Covid-19.” https://www.cnbc.com/2020/06/28/coronavirus-what-to-know-if-you-plan-to-claim-social-security.html. Accessed July 28, 2020.

6 CapTrust. July 18, 2020. “Planning a Post-Pandemic Portfolio.” https://www.captrust.com/planning-a-post-pandemic-portfolio/. Accessed July 28, 2020.

Our firm is not affiliated with the U.S. government or any governmental agency. 
 
We are an independent firm helping individuals create retirement strategies using a variety of insurance products to custom suit their needs and objectives. This material is intended to provide general information to help you understand basic retirement income strategies and should not be construed as financial advice. Investment advisory services offered only by duly registered individuals through AE Wealth Management, LLC (AEWM). AEWM and Soutas Financial & Insurance Solutions, Inc are not affiliated companies. California Insurance License # OK48173 
 
The information contained in this material is believed to be reliable, but accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed; it is not intended to be used as the sole basis for financial decisions. Investing involves risk, including possible loss of principal. Insurance product guarantees are backed by the financial strength and claims-paying ability of the issuing company. Diversification cannot ensure a profit or guarantee against losses in a declining market. If you are unable to access any of the news articles and sources through the links provided in this text, please contact us to request a copy of the desired reference. 8/20-1294954C

Fresno Financial Consultant News: Is it Time to Go Global?

By Soutas Financial | November 16, 2020 | Comments Off on Fresno Financial Consultant News: Is it Time to Go Global?
Fresno Financial Consultant News: Is it Time to Go Global?

Competitive edge is a real factor. Here in the U.S., we boast that capitalism is the key to our success. Unfortunately, that key has gotten a little rusty lately thanks to the rampant spread of COVID-19 throughout the country. Some areas have locked down or experienced slowed economic growth because of safety protocols that prevented business as usual.

The principles of capitalism – such as competition and supply and demand – have been crippled.1 On the other hand, countries that were hit early on with the pandemic have managed to control the contagion and reopen their economies.2 Market analyst Carl Kawaja believes this comparative advantage gives way to more global opportunities than the U.S. can currently pursue. In his words: “I like to compare it to basketball – a sport where the U.S. historically has been fairly dominant. But then Argentina started getting better, and Greece started getting better, and Spain started getting better. And, the next thing you know, the U.S. lost the Olympics.”3

The good news is U.S. investors can take advantage if international companies pull ahead in the near-term while we struggle to flatten the curve of contagion. If you would like to consider ways to incorporate more global equity opportunity within your asset allocation, we’re happy to work with you. Don’t hesitate to reach out to schedule a consultation.

Regardless of the state of the pandemic, it’s important to recognize that not all the best investment opportunities are in the United States. According to the World Bank, in 2018 the nation represented only 44% of world stock market capitalization.4

Investing internationally does have its risks. But there are ways to do it strategically, such as investing in global mutual funds or ETFs, leaving the day-to-day stock picking to a professional money manager, whose job it is to weigh those risks, such as currency fluctuation, lack of government regulation, economic instability and the disruption of civil unrest. This means professional market analysts do the research and move assets in and out of geographic regions on your behalf.5

In recent weeks, Blackrock commented Europe has a “leg up” over the U.S. as well as other parts of the globe, citing the EU’s health care infrastructure and policy response to the pandemic. The money manager noted the region’s monetary and fiscal support provided a cushion during the pandemic that left many countries able to recover faster economically.6

Investors seeking income may consider global bonds, which have historically outperformed during short-term periods of market turmoil. They also offer the opportunity for long-term diversification benefits to U.S. investor portfolios.7

Fresno Financial Consultant Takeaways 

Soutas Financial your Fresno financial planner would like to remind you about the following points: The principles of capitalism – such as competition and supply and demand – have been crippled.1 On the other hand, countries that were hit early on with the pandemic have managed to control the contagion and reopen their economies.2 The good news is U.S. investors can take advantage if international companies pull ahead in the near-term while we struggle to flatten the curve of contagion. Investing internationally does have its risks. But there are ways to do it strategically, such as investing in global mutual funds or ETFs, leaving the day-to-day stock picking to a professional money manager, whose job it is to weigh those risks, such as currency fluctuation, lack of government regulation, economic instability and the disruption of civil unrest.

Diversifying your retirement assets among a variety of vehicles and alternatives—both insurance and investment oriented, depending on what is appropriate for your situation—may offer you a better chance of meeting your retirement income goals throughout your lifespan. We help our clients with problems sometimes associated with retirement such as stopping spend down and avoiding probate. In doing so we leverage strategic wealth management as well as retirement annuity designed to help accomplish those goals.

When searching for Fresno financial advisors, look no further than Soutas Financial & Insurance Solutions Inc. your Fresno retirement planning advisor is committed to helping take the complexity out of retirement planning. By using a variety of insurance and investment strategies that focus on Asset Protection, Long-Term Care Strategies, Legacy Planning, Tax-Efficient, Strategies IRA, 401(k) & 403(b) Rollovers, Life Insurance, Annuities, Medicare, we can help you develop an overall retirement income strategy specific to you and your family. We have a strong team of professionals helping ensure you receive all the assistance you need not only in developing your retirement income strategy, but in maintaining it throughout your retirement. Contact us today at 559-230-1648 or visit us today at Soutas Financial to get your retirement plans on track for success!

Other Fresno Financial Advisor Articles 

Soutas Financial & Insurance Solutions Inc. 
333 W. Shaw Avenue Suite 106
Fresno, CA 93704 
(559) 230-1648 
Soutas.com 

Content prepared by Kara Stefan Communications. 

1 Jim Chappelow. Investopedia. April 6, 2020. “Capitalism.” https://www.investopedia.com/terms/c/capitalism.asp. Accessed July 20, 2020.

2 Ferdinando Giugliano. Bloomberg. July 6, 2020. “Why Europe’s in Better Shape Than the U.S.” https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2020-07-06/coronavirus-recovery-why-europe-s-in-better-shape-than-the-u-s. Accessed July 20, 2020.

3 Capital Group. June 24, 2020. “Midyear Outlook: International markets on the comeback trail.” https://www.capitalgroup.com/advisor/insights/articles/international-midyear-outlook-2020.html. Accessed July 20, 2020.

4 James D. Peterson. Charles Schwab. Nov. 13, 2019. “Why Global Diversification Matters.” https://www.schwab.com/resource-center/insights/content/why-global-diversification-matters. Accessed July 20, 2020.

5 Tinesh Bhasin. LiveMint. July 24, 2020. “What to keep in mind if you want to invest in global markets.” https://www.livemint.com/money/personal-finance/what-to-keep-in-mind-if-you-want-to-invest-in-global-markets-11593015469209.html. Accessed July 20, 2020.

6 Callum Keown. MarketWatch. July 20, 2020. “Risks are mounting for U.S. stocks. Here’s where BlackRock says investors should look instead.” https://www.marketwatch.com/story/risks-are-mounting-for-us-stocks-heres-where-investors-should-look-instead-says-blackrock-2020-07-20. Accessed July 20, 2020.

7 David Wakefield. Pensions & Investment. July 13, 2020. “Investing during a pandemic: Three results a global fixed income strategy can deliver.” https://www.pionline.com/Mondrian_globalfixedincome. Accessed July 20, 2020.

Our firm is not affiliated with the U.S. government or any governmental agency. 
 
We are an independent firm helping individuals create retirement strategies using a variety of insurance products to custom suit their needs and objectives. This material is intended to provide general information to help you understand basic retirement income strategies and should not be construed as financial advice. Investment advisory services offered only by duly registered individuals through AE Wealth Management, LLC (AEWM). AEWM and Soutas Financial & Insurance Solutions, Inc are not affiliated companies. California Insurance License # OK48173 
 
The information contained in this material is believed to be reliable, but accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed; it is not intended to be used as the sole basis for financial decisions. Investing involves risk, including possible loss of principal. Insurance product guarantees are backed by the financial strength and claims-paying ability of the issuing company. Diversification cannot ensure a profit or guarantee against losses in a declining market. If you are unable to access any of the news articles and sources through the links provided in this text, please contact us to request a copy of the desired reference.
8/20-1290763C

Fresno Retirement Consultant News: Home Health: Has the Time Come?

By Soutas Financial | November 13, 2020 | Comments Off on Fresno Retirement Consultant News: Home Health: Has the Time Come?
Fresno Retirement Consultant News: Home Health: Has the Time Come?

The health care industry has been trying to contain expenses through technology offering medical services to people at home. Some insurance plans offer a 24-hour nurse line, allowing you to call a nurse for advice in the middle of the night about a child’s high fever rather than rush to the emergency room. Some providers promote telemedicine for chronic care patients, using a quick video conference to update patient information and allow for a cursory visual exam.

This growing trend has accelerated in light of the coronavirus, which may well be a silver lining. In recent months, virtual care has skyrocketed in use as consumers quickly adopt technology-enabled physician visits as a safer option. Before the pandemic, an average 13,000 Medicare beneficiaries received telemedicine in the span of a week. By the end of April 2020, nearly 1.7 million a week engaged in telemedicine calls.1 On average, a telemedicine call costs $79 versus $146 for a doctor’s office visit.2

This has been particularly key for elderly patients who tend to need more health care but are also more vulnerable to the devastating effects of COVID-19. In fact, seniors who receive in-home assisted living have avoided the rampant contagion that has been occurring in nursing homes.3 To further assist the at-home elderly, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services proposed a rule in June that would permanently allow reimbursement of administrative expenses for home-health agencies registered with Medicare. Today, about 6 million older Americans receive some form of home-health care, such as skilled nursing, physical therapy, speech-language pathology, occupational therapy, home health aides and medical social services. The Trump Administration is also recommending upping payment rates for home-health providers by 2.6% starting in 2021.4

The reality is that people are living well into old age and most people in their late 80s and 90s do need in-home care assistance, whether medical or otherwise. It is very expensive. If you would like to explore ways to help leverage your retirement assets in the event you need to pay for in-home care during your later years, please contact us.

Home-health care is now advancing to a point that addresses one of the elderly’s greatest fears: hospital visits. Because some older people end up dying while in the hospital, it is often associated with dying rather than healing. Unfortunately, it’s true that many older people risk contracting infections and other debilitating effects as a result of entering the hospital for an unrelated ailment. This is particularly true for patients who are frail, cognitively impaired or have other vulnerabilities.5

This reality has prompted Medicare to allow hospital providers to be reimbursed for acute care services delivered in surgery centers, hotels or other non-hospital facilities. The Veterans Health Administration has even funded its own hospital-at-home program. For example, a physician assistant or nurse practitioner may be able to administer lab tests, X-rays and other treatments in the home of a patient, whereas an emergency medicine physician can make diagnosis and treatment decisions via virtual consultation.6

Fresno Retirement Consultant Takeaways 

As your Fresno financial advisor we thought this was a good takeaway: In recent months, virtual care has skyrocketed in use as consumers quickly adopt technology-enabled physician visits as a safer option. This has been particularly key for elderly patients who tend to need more health care but are also more vulnerable to the devastating effects of COVID-19. The reality is that people are living well into old age and most people in their late 80s and 90s do need in-home care assistance, whether medical or otherwise. It is very expensive. If you would like to explore ways to help leverage your retirement assets in the event you need to pay for in-home care during your later years, please contact us.

Diversifying your retirement assets among a variety of vehicles and alternatives—both insurance and investment oriented, depending on what is appropriate for your situation—may offer you a better chance of meeting your retirement income goals throughout your lifespan. We help our clients with problems sometimes associated with retirement such as stopping spend down and avoiding probate. In doing so we leverage Medi-Care long term care as well as risk management designed to help accomplish those goals.

When searching for Fresno financial advisors, look no further than Soutas Financial & Insurance Solutions Inc. your Fresno portfolio advisor is committed to helping take the complexity out of retirement planning. By using a variety of insurance and investment strategies that focus on Asset Protection, Long-Term Care Strategies, Legacy Planning Tax-Efficient, Strategies IRA, 401(k) & 403(b) Rollovers Life Insurance, Annuities, Medicare, we can help you develop an overall retirement income strategy specific to you and your family. We have a strong team of professionals helping ensure you receive all the assistance you need not only in developing your retirement income strategy, but in maintaining it throughout your retirement. Contact us today at 559-230-1648 or visit us today at Soutas Financial to get your retirement plans on track for success!

Other Fresno Financial Advisor Articles 

Soutas Financial & Insurance Solutions Inc. 
333 W. Shaw Avenue Suite 106
Fresno, CA 93704 
(559) 230-1648 
Soutas.com 

Content prepared by Kara Stefan Communications. 

1 Mia Jasper. NextGov. July 17, 2020. “Early data shows patients quickly embraced telemedicine options agencies expanded during the coronavirus pandemic.” https://www.nextgov.com/it-modernization/2020/07/lawmakers-push-make-telehealth-options-permanent/166965/. Accessed July 17, 2020.

2 Himanshu Kansal. Highpoint. July 14, 2019. “Telemedicine: The cost effective future of healthcare.” https://www.highpointsolutions.com/telemedicine-cost-effective-future-healthcare/. Accessed July 15, 2020.

3 Bailey Bryant. Home Health Care News. July 14, 2020. “UnityPoint Health Developing New SNF-at-Home Model, Seeking Home Care Partner.” https://homehealthcarenews.com/2020/07/unitypoint-health-seeks-home-care-partner-for-new-snf-at-home-model%EF%BB%BF/. Accessed July 15, 2020.

4 Rebecca Pifer. HealthCareDive. June 26, 2020. “CMS wants to make home health telemedicine permanent.”

https://www.healthcaredive.com/news/cms-wants-to-make-home-health-telemedicine-permanent/580615/. Accessed July 15, 2020.

5 Martha Hostetter and Sarah Klein. The Commonwealth Fund. July 7, 2020. “Has the Time Finally Come for Hospital at Home?” https://www.commonwealthfund.org/publications/newsletter-article/2020/jul/has-time-finally-come-hospital-home. Accessed July 15, 2020.

6 Ibid.

Our firm is not affiliated with the U.S. government or any governmental agency. 
 
We are an independent firm helping individuals create retirement strategies using a variety of insurance products to custom suit their needs and objectives. This material is intended to provide general information to help you understand basic retirement income strategies and should not be construed as financial advice. Investment advisory services offered only by duly registered individuals through AE Wealth Management, LLC (AEWM). AEWM and Soutas Financial & Insurance Solutions, Inc are not affiliated companies. California Insurance License # OK48173 
 
The information contained in this material is believed to be reliable, but accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed; it is not intended to be used as the sole basis for financial decisions. Investing involves risk, including possible loss of principal. Insurance product guarantees are backed by the financial strength and claims-paying ability of the issuing company. Diversification cannot ensure a profit or guarantee against losses in a declining market. If you are unable to access any of the news articles and sources through the links provided in this text, please contact us to request a copy of the desired reference. 7/20 – 1252133B

Fresno Financial Planner: October 2020 Highlights

By Soutas Financial | November 9, 2020 |

Fresno_Financial_Advisor-Call_Us

When the coronavirus first began to reveal its ugly head in America, people were concerned. Not just about their health, but about their finances. Nearly nine out of 10 people (88%) surveyed by the National Endowment for Financial Education said they were worried about their financial situation.1

Financial stress is not exclusive to lower-income workers. In fact, during this particular crisis, many lower-income jobs are deemed “essential services” and are in high demand. Professionals employed in other industries, such as physicians, dentists and many small-business owners, have had to reduce their client base and/or temporarily close shop altogether. Nearly eight out of 10 (79%) people with a household income of more than $100,000 a year report being at least somewhat concerned about their finances.2

Take Charge

One way to handle financial stress is to deal with it head on. Take stock of the resources you do have; this may or may not help you feel better. Either way, knowledge is power. We may not be able to control the virus or its toll on the U.S. economy, but knowing what we have gets us one step closer to developing a plan for financial sustainability. For example, your personal financial assets may include: Savings accounts, Investment accounts, Retirement accounts, Health savings accounts, College savings accounts, Whole life insurance, Real property, Structured settlements, Vehicles (auto, boat, motorcycle, recreational), Art, jewelry, wine or other high-value collectibles, Expensive furnishings and household items.

Read More

Fresno Retirement Consultant News: Policy Issues, Stock Market Performance and the Election

The 2020 election presents an interesting distinction between candidates. While historically, the incumbent president has offered a certain stability for another four years, Donald Trump’s style of governing could be considered unorthodox and unpredictable at times. In contrast, former Vice President Joe Biden served for eight years under President Obama, and many feel his track record and style of governing may actually be the more predictable of the two.

Putting personal characteristics aside, each candidate’s stance on the policy issues can offer some clues as to how the country may respond under the next president — and the nation’s potential for economic growth in the future.

Policy Issues

According to recent surveys conducted by Pew Research, nearly 80% of registered voters report that the key to their vote will be the candidates’ policy direction for the economy.1 This is particularly important right now given this year’s rapid decline in growth and employment due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read More

Fresno Financial Consultant News: College Disrupted

Colleges all over the country have introduced incoming freshmen to orientation online, an entirely different experience. The online format offers several advantages in that more information can be presented and web pages bookmarked for future reference. This may be preferable to the barrage of information students normally receive during a seemingly rushed one-to-two-day orientation. However, many students have expressed concerns about not getting to tour the campus and get a feel for where their classes will be held.1

The economic impact of the coronavirus has likely affected everyone in one way or another. If you having been paying or saving for a child to attend college this fall, you may want to reconsider your options. Many students take a gap year before or during college either for another type experience or just to grow up a little more before living on their own. The pandemic makes this a more viable option. One of the benefits is a gap year could give families a little more time to save and potentially earn more from their investments. If you’d like help assessing your situation and exploring ways to help protect or potentially maximize your savings, we’re here to assist you.

One of the biggest concerns is the possibility that students won’t be able to attend college campuses in the fall, given the current rise of outbreaks in different parts of the country. Fortunately, most colleges finished out their spring semester by moving to an online format as students returned home. With many of these logistics already worked out, it’s possible online classes will be far more prevalent for the rest of 2020 and even beyond.

Read More

Fresno Retirement Advisor News: The Highs and Lows of Dollar-Cost Averaging

Investors who defer the same amount of money from their paycheck into a 401(k) plan at regular intervals are practicing dollar-cost averaging. By investing the same fixed dollar amount each time, the investor buys more shares when prices are low and fewer shares when prices rise.1 The long-term effect is that the average cost of each share purchased will be lower than the average share price.2

This strategy can work great when you are trying to accumulate assets for your retirement. But what happens when you withdraw from your investments for retirement income? While dollar-cost averaging reduces the risk of investing a lump sum of money when prices peak, it increases your risk of losing previous gains if you withdraw money when prices have dropped. If a retiree receives automatic systematic withdrawals for a fixed level of income, then in months when share prices drop, he or she will likely have to sell more shares to raise the needed money. Once those shares are sold, they never have the ability to recover lost gains.3

To create a more prudent income distribution plan, you may consider incorporating some solid, reliable income in your portfolio, in addition to Social Security benefits. This could mean government-backed bonds or an insurance-backed annuity.4 If you’d like to discuss how to position your assets to combine both guaranteed income and growth opportunity, please contact us.

Read More

When searching for Fresno financial advisors, look no further than Soutas Financial & Insurance Solutions Inc. your Fresno financial planner is committed to helping take the complexity out of retirement planning. By using a variety of insurance and investment strategies that focus on Asset Protection, Long-Term Care Strategies, Legacy Planning, Tax-Efficient Strategies, IRA, 401(k) & 403(b) Rollovers, Life Insurance Annuities, Medicare, we can help you develop an overall retirement income strategy specific to you and your family. We have a strong team of professionals helping ensure you receive all the assistance you need not only in developing your retirement income strategy, but in maintaining it throughout your retirement. Contact us today at 559-230-1648 or visit us today at Soutas Financial to get your retirement plans on track for success!Schedule Your Tele-Visit!

Other Fresno Financial Advisor Articles 

Fresno_Financial_Advisor-Call_Us

Our firm is not affiliated with the U.S. government or any governmental agency. 
 
We are an independent firm helping individuals create retirement strategies using a variety of insurance products to custom suit their needs and objectives. This material is intended to provide general information to help you understand basic retirement income strategies and should not be construed as financial advice. Investment advisory services offered only by duly registered individuals through AE Wealth Management, LLC (AEWM). AEWM and Soutas Financial & Insurance Solutions, Inc are not affiliated companies. California Insurance License # OK48173 
 
The information contained in this material is believed to be reliable, but accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed; it is not intended to be used as the sole basis for financial decisions. Investing involves risk, including possible loss of principal. Insurance product guarantees are backed by the financial strength and claims-paying ability of the issuing company. Diversification cannot ensure a profit or guarantee against losses in a declining market. If you are unable to access any of the news articles and sources through the links provided in this text, please contact us to request a copy of the desired reference. 722736 – 9/20

 



 

Fresno Financial Advisor News: The High Price of Health Care in America

By Soutas Financial | November 9, 2020 | Comments Off on Fresno Financial Advisor News: The High Price of Health Care in America
Fresno Financial Advisor News: The High Price of Health Care in America

If the U.S. health-care sector was a separate country, it would be the fourth largest economy in the world when measured by gross domestic product. Currently, the nation spends an average of $3.5 trillion annually on health care, more than Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain and the United Kingdom combined.1

If you break that down by how much we spend per capita compared to other countries, it looks like this:2

  • U.S.: $10,246
  • Australia: $5,331
  • Germany: $5,033
  • Canada: $4,754
  • Japan: $4,168
  • United Kingdom: $3,858
  • Singapore: $2,618

It’s also worth noting that more Americans die by preventable and treatable medical conditions than in those countries, as well.3

This is one those expenses that can make it tough for consumers to save money. One reason is because health care pricing isn’t transparent. Even if you shop around for a low-cost procedure in a hospital, you’re still likely to get hit with other separate charges. For example, the expense of an out-of-network anesthesiologist who happened to be working on the day of your operation. Most patients do not get the bill they were expecting, and it often comes a few months down the road. Another reason we have a hard time curbing spending is that U.S. health care doesn’t benefit from the normal principles of capitalism. Without greater transparency of fees, there is very little competitive pricing that would normally help drive costs down.

Health care is expensive whether you’re still working or retired. There are several ways to help you save in case you have excessively high health-care costs in the future, such as a health savings account or a whole life insurance policy that allows you to tap into a growing cash account. If you’d like to learn more about flexible ways to save or help leverage assets for high care costs, please contact us.

The U.S. health care coverage problem is reaching its peak in the midst of a perfect storm: Among the millions of Americans who lost their jobs, 41% also lost their health insurance.4 Gilead Sciences, the maker of the remdesivir drug that has proven to be an effective treatment for COVID-19, announced it would price the medication at $3,120 per course for U.S. patients with commercial insurance. The price tag for other developed nations is $2,340 per patient.5

The growing cost of health care in this country is hardly a new issue. Little effort has been made toward reform of this divisive, partisan issue, and now that infection hot spots are continuing to pop up throughout the country, the coronavirus has exposed further flaws in America’s health care system. These range from the lack of a cohesive national plan, to poor federal stockpiles of supplies, to supply chain problems in manufacturing and distribution. America’s health care problems go far deeper than simply running out of ICU beds in hospitals.6

After the next set of elections, and once we’re hopefully beyond this pandemic, the effort to reform our national health care system will likely be a top priority in Congress.

Fresno Financial Planner Takeaways 

As your Fresno retirement plan consultant we felt the following ideas were top notch: Health care is expensive whether you’re still working or retired. There are several ways to help you save in case you have excessively high health-care costs in the future, such as a health savings account or a whole life insurance policy that allows you to tap into a growing cash account. If you’d like to learn more about flexible ways to save or help leverage assets for high care costs, please contact us.

Diversifying your retirement assets among a variety of vehicles and alternatives—both insurance and investment oriented, depending on what is appropriate for your situation—may offer you a better chance of meeting your retirement income goals throughout your lifespan. We help our clients with problems sometimes associated with retirement such as stopping spend down and avoiding probate. In doing so we leverage long-term care as well as Medi-Cal designed to help accomplish those goals.

When searching for Fresno financial advisors, look no further than Soutas Financial & Insurance Solutions Inc. your Fresno financial planning consultant is committed to helping take the complexity out of retirement planning. By using a variety of insurance and investment strategies that focus on Asset Protection, Long-Term Care Strategies, Legacy Planning Tax-Efficient Strategies, IRA, 401(k) & 403(b) Rollovers, Life Insurance, Annuities, Medicare, we can help you develop an overall retirement income strategy specific to you and your family. We have a strong team of professionals helping ensure you receive all the assistance you need not only in developing your retirement income strategy, but in maintaining it throughout your retirement. Contact us today at 559-230-1648 or visit us today at Soutas Financial to get your retirement plans on track for success!

Other Fresno Financial Advisor Articles 

Soutas Financial & Insurance Solutions Inc. 
333 W. Shaw Avenue Suite 106
Fresno, CA 93704 
(559) 230-1648 
Soutas.com 

Content prepared by Kara Stefan Communications.

1 Jeneen Interlandi. The New York Times. June 29, 2020. “Employer-Based Health Care, Meet Massive Unemployment.” https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/29/opinion/sunday/coronavirus-medicare-for-all.html. Accessed July 10, 2020.

2  Huo Jingnan and Pranav Baskar. NPR. June 13, 2020. “Pandemic Perspective: What The 20 Poorest And Richest Countries Spend On Health Care.” https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2020/06/13/864563401/pandemic-perspective-what-the-20-poorest-and-richest-countries-spend-on-health-c. Accessed July 10, 2020.

3 Ibid.

4 Robert Preidt. U.S. News & World Report. June 23, 2020. “Pandemic Job Losses Leaving Many Americans Uninsured: Survey.” https://www.usnews.com/news/health-news/articles/2020-06-23/pandemic-job-losses-leaving-many-americans-uninsured-survey. Accessed July 27, 2020.

5 Michael Erman, Ludwig Burger and Manojna Maddipatla. Reuters. June 29, 2020. “Gilead prices COVID-19 drug remdesivir at $2,340 per patient in developed nations.” https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-gilead-sciences/gilead-prices-covid-19-drug-candidate-remdesivir-at-2340-per-patient-idUSKBN2401C8. Accessed July 10, 2020.

6 Jordan Davison. EcoWatch. July 9, 2020. “America Faces a Critical PPE Shortage, Again.” https://www.ecowatch.com/us-ppe-shortage-coronavirus-trump-2646373026.html?rebelltitem=1#rebelltitem1. Accessed July 10, 2020.

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We are an independent firm helping individuals create retirement strategies using a variety of insurance products to custom suit their needs and objectives. This material is intended to provide general information to help you understand basic retirement income strategies and should not be construed as financial advice. Investment advisory services offered only by duly registered individuals through AE Wealth Management, LLC (AEWM). AEWM and Soutas Financial & Insurance Solutions, Inc are not affiliated companies. California Insurance License # OK48173 
 
The information contained in this material is believed to be reliable, but accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed; it is not intended to be used as the sole basis for financial decisions. Investing involves risk, including possible loss of principal. Insurance product guarantees are backed by the financial strength and claims-paying ability of the issuing company. Diversification cannot ensure a profit or guarantee against losses in a declining market. If you are unable to access any of the news articles and sources through the links provided in this text, please contact us to request a copy of the desired reference. 7/20-1245958B

How Are Medicare, Long-Term Care, Medicaid and Medi-Cal Different?

By Soutas Financial | November 3, 2020 |
Fresno Financial Planner-“How Are Medicare, Long-Term Care, Medicaid and Medi-Cal Different?”

HOW DOES MEDICARE, LONG-TERM CARE, MEDICAID, AND MEDI-CAL WORK? MEDICARE DOESN’T PAY FOR LONG-TERM CARE. LONG-TERM CARE INSURANCE MIGHT NOT PAY ENOUGH.

MEDICAID IS MEDI-CAL IN CALIFORNIA. AND, MEDI-CAL MAY EVEN PAY FOR IN-HOME OR FACILITY CARE IF LONG-TERM CARE INSURANCE ISN’T ENOUGH.

HAVE MORE CONFIDENCE ABOUT LONG-TERM CARE OPTIONS WITH A COMPLIMENTARY 15 MINUTE VISIT WITH SOUTAS FINANCIAL.

Soutas Financial & Insurance Solutions Inc.
333 W. Shaw Avenue Suite106 Fresno, CA 93704
(559) 230-1648
Soutas.com

Fresno Financial Consultant News: Remember When Life Was Simpler?

By Soutas Financial | October 26, 2020 |
Fresno Financial Consultant

When things didn’t move quite so fast, and the world didn’t seem so complex? Remember that? We do. And as the world around us has continued to speed up, becoming more complicated, and still a bit uncertain, we have managed to keep things simple, providing sound, easy to understand financial advice and customized road-maps for the road ahead.

333 W. Shaw Avenue Suite 106
Fresno, CA 93704
(559) 230-1648
www.soutas.com

Our firm provides links to third-party articles in an effort to assist users in locating information on topics that might be of interest to them. Information presented has not been verified and is not guaranteed, nor can we attest to the accuracy of information provided. Linking to an article or website does not constitute a representation of the services offered by our firm, nor does it constitute an endorsement by our firm of the sponsors of the site or the products presented on the site. The information is not intended to be used as the sole basis for financial decisions, nor should it be construed as advice designed to meet the particular needs of an individual's situation.