Broker Check

COMING SOON - NEW Bluffton Location

117 E Elm Street

Bluffton, OH 45817

JANUARY 2020 - WHEN TO CONSULT A PROFESSIONAL

When I talk to a mechanic, I am always amazed at what they know and how quickly they access that knowledge and act on it. I’m not a “car person” and there are many reasons I say that. I haven’t studied engines or the basics of how a car works, I haven’t spent time “under the hood”, and my only interest in cars is that they get me where I’m going safely, comfortably, and cost-effectively. However, because I’m putting my safety, comfort, and car budget on the line, I do want to take care of my car and be sure it gets regular maintenance.

Are there areas in your life where you have a vested interest but are not an expert? I think that is pretty common. Whenever we hire someone to take on a project for us, it is usually because we deem it to be important, but we know we’re not necessarily the most capable one to be doing it. Home repairs, tax preparation, insurance coverage, Medicare decisions, cars, travel planning, and so on...we do it all the time. Other times, we are capable, at least to some degree, but we’re not inclined to do it — tasks such house cleaning, yard work, home health care, child care, and grocery shopping come to mind.

Most of the time, we are comfortable acknowledging what we are capable of doing or are inclined to do and those things we are not. It becomes more difficult, for some reason, when it comes to financial decisions.

  • Maybe we wish we were more knowledgeable than we are, so we keep pedaling uphill, hoping to gain traction.
  • Maybe we’re reluctant to share our financial information with someone, even when we believe they could help us.
  • Maybe we feel like we are experts because we’ve bathed ourselves in street knowledge.
  • Maybe we feel like we “should” know more than we do and our lack of knowledge feels like weakness or failure.
  • Maybe we just don’t know we need input and assistance — and haven’t even considered utilizing a professional.

For whatever reason, it could be time to reconsider your position and talk to a professional. Back to the car analogy, it is very much like a tune-up. You bring the vehicle in (your account statements and basic financials) and we run it through a diagnostic process, looking for squeaks, codes, trouble lights, etc. After we’ve done some diagnosis, we talk with you and suggest either maintenance items or repairs that should be done. Sometimes, the trip to a mechanic prompts you to buy an entirely different vehicle!

At Faith Investment Services, we don’t specialize in everything. The things we do specialize in include:

  • Honest assessment of your financial situation
  • Clear, step-by-step analysis of your “trouble lights” with recommendations for change or improvement
  • Ongoing relationship with you to help you keep your financial health on track
  • Keeping fully abreast of the products and investments that would be most beneficial to our clients so that we can create a customized solution to your needs. We don’t take a cookie cutter approach!
  • Educating our clients about financial areas of concern—tax implications, Roth and Traditional IRA options, Social Security decisions, Medicare and Med Supps, college planning, income in retirement, and more.

We would welcome the opportunity to talk with you about your situation. There are no dumb questions and now is a good time. Contact our office to get started. 

SEND US YOUR NEWS!!

Have things changed for you — new home, new phone number or email, new child, family changes?  Do you need to change your beneficiaries? Please take a moment and email renea@myfaithinvestments.com We may simply need to update our files, but certain types of information should also be reported to the companies who hold your investments. Let us help you stay up-to-date!  If you are new to this mailing, we welcome you!  If you don’t wish to receive it, you can email the address above to opt out.  

 

BIG DECISIONS FOR TAX YEAR 2019 AND 2020

If you are an existing client of ours and you want to make a contribution to your IRA or Roth IRA for either tax year 2019 or tax year 2020, you have until April 15 to do so.  However, the paperwork and transaction must be ‘complete’ by then so we recommend that you contact us no later than March 15 to start the process.  If you send a check to your account without our help, be sure to clearly designate which tax year you intend it for on the memo line as well as the account number of your IRA or Roth IRA.  It is also helpful to write ‘Traditional IRA’ or ‘Roth IRA’ on the memo line.  

If you are considering becoming our client, we would love to discuss your options with you.  We can help you transfer an IRA, an old 401k or 403b, or other investment vehicle AND make a contribution at the same time.  But please remember that it takes time and the IRS deadlines aren’t flexible.  We can also help you establish a brand new account and begin making contributions—if that’s right for you.  It starts with a phone call to 419-358-4207 OR an email to renea@myfaithinvestments.com     Thanks! 

 

AN OPPORTUNITY FOR YOU

We have enjoyed hosting this series of workshops and the attendance and participation has been great.

Please keep an eye out for our next educational event!

If you’d like to stay informed, please follow ‘Faith Investment Services’ on Facebook or LinkedIn to see latest updates.

You can also send us your email address to get our bi-weekly email newsletter.

  

LIFE INSURANCE MATTERS  Regardless of the type of life insurance you buy, it can be very helpful in the long run.

Young adult—life insurance can help take care of burial expenses OR pay off debts that you’ve incurred.  Life insurance is least expensive when you buy it young so it is a great “plan ahead” option as well!

Young families to middle age—life insurance can help protect your family from a loss of income if you die OR pay off debts that you’ve incurred so that they don’t have to.

Retired adult — life insurance is helpful vehicle to transfer assets to your heirs without taxation.  All life insurance proceeds are distributed tax-free to the beneficiary. The younger and healthier you are when you buy it, the cheaper it will be.  

CONTACT US to explore whether life insurance is needed in your overall plan. 

 

SOME FAQS ABOUT SOCIAL SECURITY

After checking out these FAQs, if you have more questions or would like additional information, please contact us to start a conversation and to learn more about how our services might help you plan for a secure retirement.

WHEN SHOULD I COLLECT MY SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFIT?

That is a great question!  When you should collect, and what strategy you might use, is a very personal and  individual decision that depends on a variety of factors, such as: 

  • Your relationship status (married, single, divorced, widowed?)
  • When you plan to retire, stop working, move to part-time work, etc. 
  • The benefit amount you expect to collect
  • If married, how each of your benefit amounts compare to each other
  • If divorced, how long you were married
  • If you have adult disabled children
  • Your life expectancy

 WHAT IS THE EARLIEST AGE I CAN CLAIM SOCIAL SECURITY?

You can claim your retirement benefit as early as age 62.  This will be a reduced benefit, only 75% of what you would receive at your Full Retirement Age (FRA).  Also, if you start collecting Social Security prior to your FRA and are still earning income, you may be subject to the Earnings Test.

WHAT IS MY FULL RETIREMENT AGE (FRA)?

If you were born between 1943 and 1954 your FRA is 66.  If you were born between 1955 and 1960 it increases by 2 months per year. For instance, those born in 1955 have a FRA of 66 and 2 months and those born in 1956 have a FRA of 66 and 4 months.  The FRA for retirees born in 1960 and beyond is age 67.

HOW MANY YEARS OF WORK DO I NEED TO COLLECT SOCIAL SECURITY?

Most people will qualify to collect Social Security benefits after they have worked and paid into the program for 10 years.  A minimum of 40 'quarters of coverage' (QC) are required to be eligible to collect retirement benefits.   A quarter of coverage used to mean "working for a quarter of the year"; now, however, it is measured as an amount of earnings.  The earnings required for a quarter of coverage (QC) in 2019 is $1,360. So if you earn 4 x $1,360 or $5,440, have earned your 4 QCs for that year, even if you earned all that in a month or two.  And no matter how high your earnings may be, you cannot earn more than 4 QC's in one year.  

WHAT IS A SPOUSAL BENEFIT?

For couples, one spouse may collect a benefit based on the other spouse's earnings history.  The spousal benefit is 50% of the other spouse's Primary Insurance Amount (PIA) if the spouse collecting the benefit is FRA or older.  If the collecting spouse is younger than FRA, they will collect a decreased amount, as low as 35% of their spouse's PIA if they collect at age 62.  To collect a spousal benefit, the other spouse must be collecting their own retirement benefit.

WHAT IF I AM ELIGIBLE FOR A SPOUSAL BENEFIT AND MY OWN RETIREMENT BENEFIT?

You can only collect one benefit at a time.  If you are younger than your FRA and file for Social Security benefits, you will be treated as if filing for both and will receive the larger of the two.  Once you have reached FRA, depending on your age, there may be strategies you can use as a couple to increase your cumulative lifetime Social Security income.

WHAT IF I AM DIVORCED BUT WAS MARRIED FOR MANY YEARS?  

If you were married for at least 10 years, are currently unmarried and are both at least 62 years old, you are       eligible for an ex-spousal benefit, which is very similar to a spousal benefit.  For divorced spouses, a spouse may claim an ex-spousal benefit based on the other spouse's earnings whether the other spouse is collecting their own Social Security benefit or not.  Ex-spousal benefits do not affect the ex-spouse's own retirement benefit or that of their current spouse if they have remarried.

Contact Gary Reese (419) 358-4207 or gary.reese@cfdinvestments.com

 

 We have added a new email server but are also still using our existing one.  If you email us at   @cfdinvestments.com OR  @myfaithinvestments.com   email addresses, BOTH arrive in the same inbox for us.  They are completely interchangeable and both get the same prompt attention.  You may use whichever email address format you prefer.   Thanks!