Raymond James Financial Services is proud to announce that their very own Bryan J. Sweet ChFC® of Sweet Financial Services has been ranked #5 on the Forbes Best-in-State Wealth Advisor list!*
Bryan Sweet, founder and CEO of Sweet Financial Services said “While this is a great honor to be at the top of the Forbes list, what this truly means to us is a reiteration of us always doing right by our clients. We strive to stay cutting edge and provide best in class service to the people that have allowed us to serve them.”
Sweet stays cutting edge in his industry by being an advisor to advisors, where he earlier this year co-hosted alongside one of the top producers at Raymond James Financial Services, Randy Carver, the Elite Wealth Advisor Symposium in Miami, Florida. This ‘by invitation only’ event consisted of the top wealth advisors from across the nation, where they spent 2 ½ days learning from a range of exceptional speakers on how to build a world class financial practice.
Bryan Sweet and his team always put an emphasis on how they can give more to their clients and to the wealth advisor community. It is because of this that Sweet has listed below the top 3 things they are focusing on with their clients as we venture through 2018.
Sweet stated, “People don’t know what they don’t know. It is our job to make sure all ends meet in regards to your finances. This means not just overseeing your investments but looking at the big picture -whether it be proactive tax planning in addition to what your CPA does, aligning your biggest goals with your financial picture and always working in your best interest.
Check out Sweet’s top 6 recommendations that you should plan for in regards to your finances.
- Put Your Why Before Your What and How
When was the last time you did something for the first time? Few people know what their lives will look like after their primary careers have ended. In many cases, it’s because they’ve been so busy accumulating wealth and taking care of day-to-day living that they have never sat down to figure out what types of activities they want to fill their time with after they leave the workforce. And sadly, many people do not know why they are building wealth, beyond basic survival.
In reality, numbers are important, but living a dream-filled life is more about what the numbers can provide you versus the technicality of investing. In other words, what are you retiring to and what are you retiring from? What do you aspire to do and to achieve? Who do you want to impact?
- Are you retired and want to make over $100,000 this year without paying Federal income tax?
A married couple could have just over $100,000 of annual income and pay no Federal income tax! How? It has to do with the nature of the income. Long-term capital gains (example: a stock you have held for more than a year and decide to sell) are Federally taxed at 0% if total income, including the long-term capital gain, is less than $77,200. Since the standard deduction is $24,000, this equals $101,200 of income and no Federal tax! In other words, you have the $101,200 long term capital gain less the $24,000 standard deduction, which then equals taxable income of $77,200… and long-term capital gain at this threshold is taxed at 0% Federal. This figure would be even better if the couple was over age 65.
- Generate Retirement Income Without Holding Your Assets Hostage
You will need a specific amount of income per year to meet your retirement goals. We want to use the smallest pool of assets to generate that income. In other words, if we use a large portion of your assets to produce income rather than having them in growth investments, we would essentially be “holding your assets hostage” in nongrowth investments.
To illustrate this point let’s look at a hypothetical example. For the purposes of a round number, let’s use a $1 million portfolio in which the investor will need $30,000/year of income starting 10 years from now. A common occurrence is for the investor to use a traditional 60 percent equity/40 percent fixed-income portfolio. This will work fine, but only 60 percent is in a growth-oriented investment. By using a specialized strategy, only $275,000 needs to be invested to generate this income, thus leaving $725,000 that the investor can invest more aggressively.
So what is the difference between having this extra $125,000 invested in stocks for 25 years at a 7 percent rate of return? Just over $634,000. A big difference!
- Lower Your Health Insurance Costs in Retirement
Health insurance costs may be the number one reason folks don’t retire prior to taking Medicare. However, there is a simple way to greatly reduce your health insurance costs, while keeping the same or very similar plan. For example, for a household of 2, you can reduce your health insurance cost by keeping your taxable income under approximately $64,000. Keep in mind taxable income is not the same as spendable income, which is your monthly spendable income to meet your living costs. Your spendable income can be whatever you want as long as you’re controlling what amount is subject to tax. So be aware of where you are taking income from to maximize your benefits.
- Create a blueprint of Your Financial Freedom
When architects plan a building, they put a lot of vision, insight, and expertise into the project. Your financial future requires a similar approach – vision, insight and a solid foundation of financial expertise that is all integrated to help provide clear direction for your path forward. And, like with any building project, your blueprint for financial freedom in retirement requires both short and long-range strategies.
Architects’ blueprints are detailed drawings that are precise and leave nothing to guesswork. You can see at a glance what the building will look like. For our clients we have a series of checklists, scorecards, analyses charts, and graphs we’ve developed over the years to present the results of our number crunching in an easy-to-understand, highly visual manner. Our goal is to paint a picture of our clients’ ideal retirement and show how their money can help support them in the life they have worked so hard to design.
- Maximize Your Gifting Strategy
During your lifetime and beyond, your money can only go three places: the government, your heirs, or charity. In most instances, you get to pick two. With the new tax law changes, your annual charitable giving strategies may need to change, as well. It is important to evaluation how you give charitably as opposed to simply writing a personal check.
For example – everyone gets to deduct at least the standard deduction amount, which is $26,600 if you are married and both over age 65. If you are over age 70.5 and you have an IRA, your giving should be done via ‘QCD’ or qualified charitable distributions. By doing it this way, your QCD is never even counted as income, so it’s indirectly fully tax deductible. If you are under age 70.5, you should consider “lumping” charitable giving to eclipse the ‘standard deduction’ – which can be done utilizing a Donor Advised Fund, which gives you the tax deduction immediately, but you don’t have to allocate the money to the charities of your choice until a later date of your choosing. Following these strategies can allow you to give even more to charity without “costing” you more.
It is imperative that you and your financial advisor have a clear vision for your future, so that you can ensure your money is always working for you, so that you can focus on the things you most value in life!
Bryan and his team are located at 1300 S. Prairie Ave, Fairmont, MN 56031 and can be reached at 507-235-5587. Securities offered through Raymond James Financial Services, Inc. Member FINRA/SIPC. Sweet Financial Services is not a registered broker dealer and is independent of Raymond James Financial Services. Investment advisory services are offered through Raymond James Financial Services Advisors, Inc. Randy Carver, President of Carver Financial Services Inc. located at 7473 Center Street Mentor, OH 44060 | Toll Free: 800-627-7279
The information contained in this blog does not purport to be a complete description of the securities, markets, or developments referred to in this material. The information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee that the foregoing material is accurate or complete. Any opinions are those of Bryan Sweet and not necessarily those of Raymond James. There is no guarantee that these statements, opinions or forecasts provided herein will prove to be correct. Investing involves risk and you may incur a profit or loss regardless of strategy selected. Every investor’s situation is unique and you should consider your investment goals, risk tolerance and time horizon before making any investment. Prior to making an investment decision, please consult with your financial advisor about your individual situation. Hypothetical examples are for illustration purposes only. Actual investor results will vary.
*The Forbes ranking of Best-In-State Wealth Advisors, developed by SHOOK Research is based on an algorithm of qualitative criteria and quantitative data. Those advisors that are considered have a minimum of 7 years of experience, and the algorithm weighs factors like revenue trends, AUM, compliance records, industry experience and those that encompass best practices in their practices and approach to working with clients. Portfolio performance is not a criteria due to varying client objectives and lack of audited data. Out of 21,138 advisors nominated by their firms, 2,213 received the award. This ranking is not indicative of advisor’s future performance, is not an endorsement, and may not be representative of individual clients’ experience. Neither Raymond James nor any of its Financial Advisors or RIA firms pay a fee in exchange for this award/rating. Raymond James is not affiliated with Forbes or Shook Research, LLC.
C18-009873 (Updated from C18-005788)