Tax Planning Vs Tax Preparation
Before we jump into the questions, its essential to highlight the difference between tax planning and tax preparation.
Tax preparation concerns accounting for all financial matters within a given tax year and filing the appropriate information on a tax return. Minor planning is often involved, which usually focuses on maximizing deductions to reduce the tax bill as much as possible.
Tax planning, on the other hand, is thinking about ways to reduce your total tax liability over multiple years. That strategy sometimes involves taking steps that increase your tax bill now to reduce your tax bill further at some point in the future, like with a Roth conversion or strategically realizing investment gains. The focus is on forecasting which actions you should take and when rather than recording the actions you already took. In other words, tax preparation is reactive, and tax planning is proactive.
Tax planning and tax preparation are vital in different ways, and we can help you with both. We are incredibly passionate about the impact tax planning can have on your long-term financial strategy.
Here is a 2022 tax number reference guide to help as you start to think about your own tax plan as well.
Now, lets dive into the top 5 tax planning questions to review with your wealth advisory team.
Is There Anything Else I Should Consider
Whether or not you already have a written financial plan, chances are you have ideas about your goals and what’s important to you. However, an advisor can help you with certain strategies or nuances that may not be at the top of your mind. Some of these may include:
- Paying for healthcare, which is one of the largest expenses for retirees
- Determining when to start claiming Social Security
- Considering other sources of guaranteed income to supplement your Social Security to help ensure you don’t outlive your income
- Communicating your estate plan to your children via a family meeting
- Managing your required minimum distributions to avoid penalties, minimize taxes and protect growth opportunities
What Else Can I Do To Prepare For Retirement
These questions arent intended to be a comprehensive guide. Nevertheless, they are a helpful starting point. Another important thing to keep in mind about retirement is beyond the financial.
You should also prepare for the psychology of retirement. Your mindset will change from looking forward to the weekend to contemplating how you have spent your life. When people leave their career, its not unusual for them to experience some loss of identity.
Explore different options for how you will maintain your social connectivity and sense of purpose once you leave the workplace. Do you have causes or charities about which you are passionate? Have you always wanted to start your own business or another company, for matter? How will your new schedule look, including newfound time with your spouse? Do you want to work part-time to stay plugged in?
Another factor: You may have to deal with all the unrealized dreams that you have harbored, and whether they will come true or not. This is one part of retirement that your financial advisor cant help you prepare for as much.
A trusted counselor or clergyperson may be more able to help you deal with this.
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What Services Do You Offer
You should consider asking an advisor for more than one opinion before you make your decision. Financial planners typically use a Financial Planning Model or Financial Needs Analysis to assess your current situation and recommend a long-term plan.Some financial advisors will provide more specific advice on retirement planning, estate planning, tax strategies, and insurance needs while others may offer services such as financial planning, investment management, and pension administration.
What Can I Do To Be More Prepared
Financial planners may be able to see things you’ve missed on your journey to get ready to retire. To be as prepared as possible, your financial planner might be able to suggest some moves to make now to help you out later on.
Financial planner Amy Richardson of Schwab Intelligent Portfolios Premium says that there are several things she generally suggests to anyone who wants to retire in five years.
She often suggests that her clients start saving as much as possible during their last five working years, as well as start thinking about health insurance during that time. And, she says, it’s not too early to start thinking about the non-financial aspects of retirement, like how you’ll spend your time.
Your financial planner can help you start to think beyond the basics of your planning and help you reach your goals before you leave work.
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Best Certified Financial Planner
The best certified financial planners are all certified. You can question them with.
23. What credentials do you hold?
Credentials for financial advisors can vary. They may hold ed Financial Planner , Chartered Financial Analyst , Certified Public Accountant , and Chartered Financial Consultant .
24. What specializations do you have?
Financial advisors can opt for specialized credentials like Retirement Income Certified Professional , Certified Management Accountant, and Accredited Investment Fiduciary.
Do You Dream Of Retiring Early
Retiring early is a goal for many, but few of us have a plan for how to actually do it.
Instead we have questions like… How much money do we need? Where should we keep that money?
A financial advisor can help you sort through your options and come up with a solid plan. Get started today by taking this quiz from SmartAsset to get matched with a vetted financial advisor in your area.
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Great Questions To Ask Your Financial Advisor About Your Tax Plan
Proactive tax planning can be instrumental in your retirement plan and, when wielded properly, can help you achieve your financial goals. However, people often confuse it with tax preparation, meaning they miss many valuable opportunities.
Sound tax planning is a year-round strategy, so here are 5 important questions we think you should always ask your financial advisor about your tax plan.
Preparing For Retirement: When Is The Best Time
Picking your retirement date is the when part of retirement planning. It’s a necessary precursor to running the cash flow and income projection scenarios required for the how much part of retirement planning.
When you retire will affect how many more years you can save, how much longer your savings can grow, your expected pension benefits, and your Social Security benefit.
In short, much of your financial situation hinges on your answer to when, and also on the answers above to what and where.
Only after you have answered the when, what, and where questions will you have built the proper foundation to accurately determine how much it will cost.
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How Will I Compensate You
Its important to know upfront how youll compensate a potential retirement adviser. You should ask whether youll pay hourly, per transaction, or annually, based on the value of your assets. Other investment professionals may be compensated by commissions on the products they provide.
This isn’t to say you should necessarily avoid someone who charges more. A high-priced adviser may well be worth the fee you pay if the results are valuable to you. Be wary of commission-based compensation, as it could mean the professional will steer you into buying products with high fees.
When Should I Claim Social Security
Your age is important for retirement planning. For many people, its best to wait until your full retirement age to take your Social Security retirement benefit. You can claim as early as age 62, but when you do that, you get a reduced benefit. That reduction can end up costing you over the long term, and if a surviving spouse takes over your payment after your death, they will be stuck with that reduced amount.
You can delay claiming until age 70, which results in an increase of roughly 8% per year . But after 70, theres typically no benefit to waiting.
If you have known health issues that will result in a shorter-than-average life, it could make sense to claim earlier. It also makes sense in other limited circumstances, but its critical to understand that you may lose out on a substantial amount of money when claiming early.
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What Sort Of Life Changes Have You Seen Other People Experience In Retirement
Thanks to circumstances beyond their control, some retirees are forced to accept that they wont be able to realize some of their dreams. The disappearance of guaranteed pensions and rising inflation have taken a hit to many households retirement income.
This unfortunate reality can sometimes affect even those who have faithfully saved for retirement all of their lives. Consult with your financial advisor if you are afraid that this could happen to you and to see what can be done to prevent it.
Top 3 Questions To Ask Your Advisor Before You Retire
If youre preparing to retire, the quality of the relationship you have with your advising team could determine how successful your retirement journey is.
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If youre preparing to retire, the quality of the relationship you have with your advising team could determine how successful your retirement journey is. They will be navigating the next 30 years of lifes changes with you, ensuring you retire the way youve envisioned. But finding quality advice can be difficult because we are inundated with opinions, ideas, and financial advice from every corner. So how do you know youve made the right choice with your advisor?
Ask them good questions. Were going to equip you with some of the most important questions our clients have asked us before they have retired. Wed recommend that you ask these questions too, as they can help you determine if you are working with the right advisor.
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Who Is Your Custodian
Ideally, your financial advisor has hired an independent custodian, such as a brokerage, to hold your investments, rather than act as his or her own custodian à la Bernie Madoff, the notorious financial advisor who defrauded clients through a multibillion-dollar Ponzi scheme.
That provides an important safety check. If I send my clients performance information and it tells them how much I say is in their account, they can go online any minute and double-check, Finn says.
How Do You Get Paid
Advisors can use a variety of fee structures. To keep it simple and avoid conflicts of interest, focus on fee-only advisors. They dont get commissions for selling products.
“Make sure its fee-only those particular words,” says Alice Finn, founder of PowerHouse Assets and author of “Smart Women Love Money,” a guide to investing.
Fee-only advisors might charge a percentage of the assets they manage for you , a flat fee for services or an hourly fee. If cost is a concern, you may want to go with a low-fee robo-advisor or an online planning service like those mentioned above.
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Answering Your Frequently Asked Questions About Financial Planning
Financial Advisor at Lincoln Investment
When it comes to finances, investments, and retirement planning, theres practically no limit to the number and types of questions I receive. But with the right help and guidance, anyone can plan ahead for a successful financial future.
Surprisingly, many of the questions I get are the same. No matter your financial situation, we all have more in common than people think. We all need to think about our future and want to protect our loved ones.
So, heres a list of frequently asked questions that I can get about financial planning.
How Do You Make Money
Financial advisors can use a wide range of payment structures. If you choose an advisor who makes commissions, he or she might steer you into a product that is not best for your needs.
Instead, you might want to select an advisor who charges you a fee for services. If you opt for a fee-only financial advisor, find out if this fee comes down to a percentage of your assets, or if it comes in the form of a flat fee.
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About The Authortrue Tamplin Bsc Cepf
True Tamplin is a published author, public speaker, CEO of UpDigital, and founder of Finance Strategists.
True is a Certified Educator in Personal Finance , author of The Handy Financial Ratios Guide, a member of the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing, contributes to his financial education site, Finance Strategists, and has spoken to various financial communities such as the CFA Institute, as well as university students like his Alma mater, Biola University, where he received a bachelor of science in business and data analytics.
What Does Your Ideal Retirement Lifestyle Look Like
This is a good time to have your clients dream big and visualize what they would like to be doing once they retire. This could include travel, moving to a different location, doing charity and community service work, or any number of other activities. Today, this might also mean quitting their job and starting a business in an area they are passionate about.
It is important for clients and their financial advisors to understand how much their desired retirement lifestyle will cost. While there are rules of thumb regarding the percentage of pre-retirement income retirees generally spend in retirement, everyone is different. Further, this spending is not linear. Often, the earlier years of retirement tend to be more active in terms of things like travel, but these types of activities might slow down a bit as people age. The best approach is to have your clients do a budget factoring in things like where they will live, will they be downsizing their house, their activities, and other factors. In short, they need to prepare a retirement budget.
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Important Questions You Should Be Asking Your Financial Advisor
To get the most value from your financial advisor, you must ask the right questions.
Pose strategic questions to prospective advisors and you can quickly weed out the pros who donât fit your needs. During financial and retirement planning sessions, you can lean on pointed queries to reveal assumptions that should be refined. And in your annual reviews, targeted questions can uncover whats really working in your financial plan.
Here are 16 key questions to ask a financial advisor in the first interview, during retirement planning sessions, and in your year-end financial reviews.
Im Still Youngwhat Should I Do To Plan For Retirement
As you work toward retirement, the most important things you can do are save money and maximize your income. Also, living below your means is helpfulit helps you save money, and youll be able to live on a lower amount in retirement, which is more important than most people realize.
You can read more about how to retire from start to finish, including tips on where to save money and how much to save. Its important to be a smart investor as you accumulate assets, but investing isnt necessarily the most important thing, and its easy to get lured into fancy investing strategies that hurt your chances of retirement.
Best Questions To Ask A Financial Advisor About Retirement
Are you ready to retire?
Of course you are! The only problem is that you have one chance to make your money last nearly twenty five years or more.
Thats no easy task which is why you’ve decided to work with a financial advisor to help you retire.
But the work doesn’t stop there.
You want to make sure the relationship continues to serve you and your finances for the long haulup to and through retirement. To help accomplish that goal, youll need to ask the right questions.
You may be wondering, What are the best questions to ask a financial advisor about retirement?
While there is no definitive list of the perfect questions to ask, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most powerful questions based upon our experience in helping hundreds of clients retire.
Here are some important questions to consider in your financial planning journey.
I Have A Pension What Could Happen If Something Happened To My Old Employer Or If My Pension Benefits Were Cut
Its great if you are receiving a corporate pension of any kind. This type of pension is rapidly disappearing in modern times.
But what if your old employer is bought out or your pension benefits are cut for some reason? You might want to take proactive measures to regain your former stream of guaranteed income.
You may consider buying an annuity with some of your savings, because this could replace the income you were receiving before. Or you may want to move more of your money into income-producing instruments moving forward.
Your financial advisor can help you determine this. The answer depends, in part, upon how dependent you were on your pension income.
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What Can An Advisor Do For Me
Effective financial advisors offer more than just investment guidance. They’re also a trusted long-term partner, helping you navigate complicated financial matters and major life milestones successfully, so you can stay on course toward pursuing your dreams. An advisor can be an unbiased sounding board, helping to keep you from making investment decisions that may put your long-term plan at risk.
Advisors know everyone’s situation, goals and stages of life are different. If you just got married or are looking to buy a house, your investment and financial goals will be different than if you are nearing retirement. The best financial advisors take the time and effort to get to know you, including your unique dreams and aspirations, your family and your financial goals. They take a holistic view of whats going on in your life at any given time, and that view goes beyond just dollars and cents. This ultimately helps an advisor identify strengths and weaknesses in your investment plan.