3 Financial Resolutions For The New Year

3 Financial Resolutions For The New Year

In this article, we will take a closer look at three financial resolutions you should consider making for 2023.

Even when your financial health is something you feel satisfied with, as the new year approaches, it is important to review your finances to ensure that everything remains on track. After retirement, your want to make sure you have enough money to live the life you want, so make it a habit to look at your financial plan at least annually.

1. Financial Resolutions to Prepare for the Unexpected

When it comes to managing your finances effectively, you don’t only need to cover the expected expenses you have throughout the year. Unexpected things happen and can cause a significant setback if you are not fully prepared.

This is why you should consider preparing for the unexpected as one of the financial resolutions you make for 2023. Many professionals suggest opening a savings account and putting money into this account to ensure you have money set aside should you need it. It’s easy to open a savings account, and at this time, you should decide how much money you will put into the account every month.

2. Improve Your Portfolio

Your financial portfolio is something you are proud of, as you have spent years building it to the point it is now. As you are making your New Year Financial Resolutions, consider how you can improve your portfolio.

It’s a good idea to look at your savings and any existing investments that are part of your portfolio. If you have excess funds available, consider strengthening your portfolio by investing the excess funds.

If you notice that some of your investments are not performing as well as you expect them to, consider moving the funds to a different investment opportunity. Our wealth advisory services can help you along the way.

3. Manage Debt You Have

Studies show that Americans 65 years old have an average amount of $66,000 in debt that they still need to pay off. Thus, you likely still have some debt you need to pay off.

As you make your financial resolutions, consider any debt you have in your name. Now is a good time to consider how to manage the debt and pay it off faster. When you pay off your debt faster, you’ll usually have less interest and other fees that continue to accumulate on the account.

Take a look at your budget and consider whether there are any areas where you can save some extra cash. Perhaps you are spending too much on eating out or vacations. Cut back and use the funds to pay your debt.

Financial resolutions are important for everyone, regardless of their finances, age, and position they find themselves in. By making these resolutions, you can set goals for yourself, which can help to keep your motivation levels up. Start with the three financial resolutions discussed above as a foundation for the coming year. If you’d like help accomplishing your financial resolutions for 2023, please get in touch with the professionals at Quantum Strategies Wealth Advisory.

Advisory services are offered through Quantum Strategies, LLC dba Quantum Strategies, a Registered Investment Advisor in the State of Pennsylvania. Insurance products and services are offered through William Rizzo, Sole Proprietor.

2023 Inflation Adjustments for Qualified Retirement Plans and Accounts

Inflation adjustments for Qualified Retirement Plans.

No matter where you’re located in the country or your circumstances, the financial landscape continues to shift. Getting the most out of your savings plan is critical for those planning or nearing retirement. To help boost savings for retirement, the IRS recently announced inflation adjustments for qualified retirement plans and accounts.

Inflation Adjustments for Qualified Retirement Plans and Accounts for 2023

On Friday, October 21, 2022, the IRS announced the 2023 dollar-amount thresholds and ceilings as adjusted for inflation. This plan will be applied to a wide array of retirement accounts and plans, including Roth IRAs, individual retirement arrangements, and elective deferral plans under Sec. 401(k) and Sec. 403(b) and most plans under Sec. 457.

Some of the specifics of this announcement are as follows*:

  • $22,500 is the limit set as the amount individuals can contribute to Sec. 401(k) plans in 2023, which is an increase from $20,500 for 2022 – it is applied to most Sec. 457 plans, Sec. 403(b), and the federal government’s Thrift Savings Plan.
  • The IRA annual contributions were increased to $6,500, up from $6,000. Also, the limit for catch-up contributions for IRAs for those 50 and over will not be subjected to an annual cost-of-living (COLA) adjustment and is still $1,000.
  • The catch-up contribution limit for employees 50 and over who participate in 401(k), 403(b), and most 457 plans, and the federal Thrift is $7,500, up from $6,500.
  • The SIMPLE retirement accounts threshold increased to $15,500, up from $14,000. In addition, catch-up contribution limits for those 50 and over using SIMPLE plans increased to $3,500 from $3,000.
  • The income limit for saver’s credit for low- and moderate-income workers is $73,000 for married couples filing joint returns, up from $68,000; heads of households is up to $54,750, from $51,000; and singles and married people filing separately is up to $36,500 from $34,000.

Overall, the IRS has implemented these new changes to help those at or near retirement age. If you have questions regarding any of these changes, we would be happy to help answer them. Contact us today.

Advisory services are offered through Quantum Strategies, LLC dba Quantum Strategies, a Registered Investment Advisor in the State of Pennsylvania. Insurance products and services are offered through William Rizzo, Sole Proprietor.

*Source: Journal of Accountancy

3 Retirement Mistakes to Avoid

Retirement mistakes concerned couple.

Too often, people make retirement mistakes that may condemn their golden years to financial insecurity and anxiety. However, by being aware of common pitfalls, you can avoid them and set yourself up for a bright future. Here are three retirement mistakes to avoid.

1. Not Having a Plan at All

While it may be tempting just to let retirement happen, this can be a dangerous approach. Without a retirement plan, you’re just winging it and hoping for the best. This is not a sound strategy.

You need to know the adequate amount of retirement money, where that money will come from, and how you’ll make it last. Retirement planning can help you figure all of that out.

2. Relying Too Heavily on Social Security

Social security was never meant to be a retiree’s sole source of income. It was initially designed as a safety net to supplement other sources of retirement income.

However, an estimated 40 percent of Americans rely on social security as their only source of income in retirement. This can be an issue. The amount you receive from social security is relatively modest and may not be enough to cover all of your costs.

3. Life Insurance Retirement Mistakes

Many people make the mistake of cashing in their life insurance policies when they retire. However, this is usually not a good idea.

Life insurance can be an important source of retirement income, so it’s usually best to keep the policy in place and use it as needed. However, there are other ways to get money if you need it, such as taking out a loan against your policy’s cash value.

Avoid Retirement Mistakes to Enjoy Your Golden Years!

Retirement can be a wonderful time of life, but only if you’re prepared for it. If you can avoid common retirement mistakes, you’ll be on your way to a bright future.

Would you like to learn more about retirement planning? Contact us today. We offer a variety of resources to help you plan for retirement and make the most of your golden years.

 

Advisory services are offered through Quantum Strategies, LLC dba Quantum Strategies, a Registered Investment Advisor in the State of Pennsylvania. Insurance products and services are offered through William Rizzo, Sole Proprietor.

How Much Money Do You Need for Retirement?

How much money do you need for retirement?

Even if you meticulously review your retirement savings and anticipated retirement plan, inflation, volatility in the stock market, and unexpected bills can derail your strategy. So how much money do you need for retirement? Here are a few things to keep in mind.

Rising Costs (and the Future Impact of Inflation)

Rising costs caused by inflation can erode your purchasing power in retirement. The savings that you thought would be sufficient may no longer be enough.

Take inflation into account when deciding how much you need to save for retirement. Look for a comprehensive calculator that considers inflation when calculating your savings goal.

For example, the retirement savings calculator at Bankrate includes an expected inflation rate of 2.9 percent but allows you to adjust the number for more accurate projections.

To increase the chances that your investment returns outpace inflation, utilize a variety of savings options.

Market Volatility

It can be disheartening logging into your retirement account to see the value of your account has dropped significantly in a day.

However, it’s important to remember that it’s normal for investments to fluctuate in value; consider focusing on creating a mix of investments that have the opportunity to increase in value over time.

Another thing to remember is that you don’t lock in your losses until you sell your funds. Avoid panic selling in an attempt to minimize future losses; panic selling locks in your losses and reduces your overall returns.

If you’re worried about your ability to not panic during market volatility, consider avoiding checking your account daily; this may only fuel your anxiety.

Make sure you’re invested in funds that are suitable for your preferred risk level. As you near retirement, consider keeping the portion of your savings that you’ll need over the next few years in an investment option that may retain its value even with market fluctuations.

Unexpected Expenses

You’re facing an unexpected medical bill, or your car needs expensive repairs. Don’t let these unexpected bills cause your retirement savings to fall short.

Make sure that you’re prepared for these irregular expenses by setting up an emergency fund or sinking fund. An emergency fund ensures you have money available for true financial emergencies, like job loss.

A sinking fund is an account you use to set aside money for expenses that you can anticipate but tend to overlook when budgeting. This includes things like:

  • Car repairs and maintenance
  • Home maintenance and repairs
  • Holiday expenses
  • Medical and dental expenses
  • Insurance premiums

Review your bank statements to see how much you spend on these items, and then set aside a certain amount each month to fund the account before you need it.

For example, if there are six months until the holiday season and you usually spend $2,000, set aside $334 each month to prepare for holiday expenses.

Consider Getting Help Revamping Your Retirement Savings Strategy

Feel your retirement savings strategy needs updating? Contact us for help with your retirement savings management.

Advisory services are offered through Quantum Strategies, LLC dba Quantum Strategies, a Registered Investment Advisor in the State of Pennsylvania. Insurance products and services are offered through William Rizzo, Sole Proprietor.

3 Retirement Tax Considerations You May Want to Prepare For

You’re steadily increasing your retirement contributions while paying down debt and giving some serious thought to your desired lifestyle in retirement. One thing that many would-be retirees fail to consider is how taxes will impact their retirement. Here are three retirement tax considerations you may need to anticipate.

1. Withdrawals from Your Retirement Plan Are Taxable

One of the benefits of using a tax-advantaged account to save for retirement (like a 401(k) or traditional IRA) is that you can deduct your contributions on your taxes, allowing you to reduce your tax liability.

However, when you withdraw money from these accounts, you’ll have to pay taxes on your withdrawal. If you plan on withdrawing a certain amount to cover your expenses, you’ll need to take out more money to pay taxes on this withdrawal.

For many people, tax-advantaged accounts are still a smart option for saving for retirement, as many individuals are in a lower tax bracket in retirement.

There are a couple of ways to deal with retirement withdrawal taxes. You can adjust your withdrawals to include the taxes or adopt a tax strategy to minimize your tax liability.

Another alternative is to use after-tax retirement accounts, like the Roth IRA or Roth 401(k), to reduce your tax liability on retirement withdrawals. You pay taxes on your contributions to these accounts, but your money can grow tax-free. Your qualified withdrawals are also tax-free.

If you anticipate being in a higher tax bracket during retirement or want to hedge your bets, utilizing after-tax accounts is an excellent option to explore.

2. Your Property Taxes are Likely to Increase

Retirees who plan to own property in retirement should expect their property taxes to increase at some point, usually due to increases in their property’s assessed value or increases in their state and local property tax rates.

Leave a little room in your budget to accommodate increases in your property taxes. You should also see if your state or town offers programs permitting individuals who meet certain age or income guidelines to reduce their property taxes.

Or, if you’re planning to relocate during your retirement, consider an area known for having affordable property taxes.

3. Your Roth IRA Needs to Meet Certain Guidelines for Tax-Free Withdrawals

Many individuals embrace the Roth IRA to provide them with tax-free distributions during their retirement. However, to make sure that your distributions are always tax-free, your Roth IRA must adhere to the following guidelines:

  • You’ve had your Roth IRA for at least five years
  • You’re 59.5 or older

If your Roth IRA is less than five years old, your withdrawals are potentially taxable, even if you’re 59.5 or older. Note that your retirement contributions always qualify for tax-free withdrawals; it’s your Roth IRA earnings that are subject to taxation.

Create a Financial Plan to Prepare for Your Retirement

Want to confirm that your retirement and investment strategies are right for your financial needs? Contact us today so we may help you to build and protect your wealth.

Advisory services are offered through Quantum Strategies, LLC dba Quantum Strategies, a Registered Investment Advisor in the State of Pennsylvania. Insurance products and services are offered through William Rizzo, Sole Proprietor.

Your Retirement Timeline

What is Retirement Planning?

The process of retirement planning involves saving and investing portions of your current paycheck so you have money to live on when you decide to leave the workforce. Simply put, you are putting away money now to pay yourself in the future. We think your retirement timeline is made easier by breaking down the process into five key decisions.

1. Deciding when to start planning. Financial planning, at its core, demands a plan. We recommend you start this as soon as possible. How much money you need to save and how much money it will cost in the long run is dependent on when you start.

2. Deciding how much money you will need. Retirement planning depends on one number that will provide you with a comfortable living while no longer working. A financial advisor can help you determine this number using life expectancy actuary tables, statistical data, and historical economic data.

3. Deciding to prioritize savings. No matter where you are in life, there is a good chance you have other financial obligations that make it harder for you to choose to save. But part of this step is making that difficult leap. At this point, your debt-to-income ratio will come into play, followed by a serious decision to make retirement investing a priority. Sometimes thinking of it as a bill helps incorporate it into your budget. A financial advisor can sometimes even find ways to save you hadn’t considered before.

4. Deciding on a retirement account. This decision involves picking a retirement account based on your current situation and eventual goals. Common accounts include:401(k)

  • Roth IRA
  • Traditional IRA
  • Self-directed IRA
  • Simple IRA
  • SEP IRA
  • Solo 401(k)

5. Deciding on specific investments. Once you choose a retirement account, you need to determine what you will invest in. Some of the most common choices include stocks, bonds, and mutual funds. Here is another area where enlisting the help of an experienced financial advisor can help simplify this process. Financial advisors have their thumb on the pulse of the investment industry and can help you decide how much risk you are comfortable with, along with other qualifying decisions.

Important Milestones in Your Retirement Timeline

Regardless of when you decide to begin retirement planning, there are important milestones you should plan on:

Age 59 ½: This is the earliest you can start withdrawing from a 401(k) or IRA without a 10% penalty
Age 62: You are eligible for Social Security at this age, but with reduced benefits.
Age 64 ¾: This is the time to enroll in Medicare
Age 65: Medicare officially begins; time to sign up for Medigap
Age 66-67: You qualify for full Social Security retirement benefit; if you wait until you are 70, its value will increase each month you delay

Depending on your year of birth, AND if you were born from 1943 to 1960, your full retirement age differs. Source: Social Security Administration.

Age 70: If you haven’t filed yet, it’s time to file for Social Security
Age 72: Now is when you need to begin taking required minimum distributions (RMDs) from your retirement plans

Retirement Planning with a Professional

If you have not yet begun planning for your financial future, there is no time like the present. Our Quantum Strategies Wealth Advisory team can walk you through all the decisions you need to help grow or preserve your wealth. Contact us today, and let’s get started on your future!

Advisory services are offered through Quantum Strategies, LLC dba Quantum Strategies, a Registered Investment Advisor in the State of Pennsylvania. Insurance products and services are offered through William Rizzo, Sole Proprietor.