Asset Protection

You may be reaching a stage in life when you’re becoming more conservative about investing and money management. As you transition into retirement, it’s only natural to be concerned with mitigating risks to your assets. Market or investment risk is the one people think of first. Others include sequence of return risk, longevity risk, inflation risk, tax liability, and more. Fortunately, having a good financial plan enables you to combat all of them.

Market declines in the beginning of retirement can be especially damaging to your accumulated assets. If you’re withdrawing money for income while the value of your savings is dropping, it will impact the longevity of your portfolio. This is known as sequence of return risk, and it can lead to running out of money in retirement. It’s easy to understand why. You’re essentially selling at the wrong time. A simple way to prevent this is by keeping a portion of your savings in conservative investments with guaranteed returns. 

It’s also important to protect assets from tax liability. While it’s impossible to escape all taxes, it’s important to minimize your lifetime tax liability. By paying less to Uncle Sam, you can wind up with more money to spend on yourself and more to leave to your heirs. This requires looking at financial strategies that promote tax efficiency, such as contributing to a Roth IRA or using a Roth IRA conversion. You may sacrifice higher taxes in the short-term to enjoy major tax savings in the long run thanks to tax-free growth, income, and wealth transfer.

A major life event, such as needing long-term care, can also threaten your financial well-being. There are several ways to protect yourself. If you have substantial savings, you can self-insure for the risk by earmarking some of your assets to pay for healthcare and medical costs. Long-term care insurance is another option. Today, insurers have both standalone and hybrid policies to choose from. You can also move money into an irrevocable trust. This type of trust can protect your assets from nursing home or home health care costs if it’s established years in advance of the long-term care event.

A great many risks to your assets can be anticipated and sidestepped if you have smart financial advice. Talking with a financial professional can help insure your assets are protected and available for you to enjoy. 

How We Help You Protect Your Assets

At Johnson Brunetti, we believe that asset preservation requires more than a diversified mix of securities. We use products with guaranteed returns for downside protection rather than relying solely on fixed income securities and bond funds. We favor insurance products, such as fixed index annuities, that can limit or eliminate downside losses while offering upside potential. These products can be advantageous for weathering the different market cycles of a typical 20- or 30-year retirement.

Our primary focus isn’t how much savings you have, but what rate of return you need for a successful retirement. It’s extremely important to balance risk and return your portfolio as you age. The majority of people we meet for the first time are taking more market risk than they know and more than is necessary for their financial objectives. We find most clients are better served by investments that produce more reliable, more consistent returns. Most breathe a sigh of relief knowing they’ve gotten off the investment roller-coaster.

Tax-efficiency also boosts asset preservation, so we offer recommendations that can reduce your lifetime tax obligation. You’re probably accustomed to looking only at your annual tax bill. If so, looking at the bigger picture will be eye-opening. Chances are, changing your perspective from short- to long-term will lead to using different financial strategies and investment tools. This might include doing a Roth IRA conversion to move tax-deferred assets out of a 401(k) and traditional IRA. It’s often the most efficient way to reduce the future tax burden from a large nest egg of tax-deferred savings. By evening out your savings profile to include more taxable and tax-free products like a Roth, you can enjoy more spendable retirement income and leave more retirement wealth to your beneficiaries. 

We’ll also address questions, such as:

  • How will I fare if we encounter another Great Recession or a DotCom Stock Bubble?
  • How can I protect myself against rising health care costs in retirement, including those associated with long-term care?
  • How big a risk is rising inflation?
  • What are the best ways to trim my tax bills?
  • Is it okay to have all my retirement savings in tax-deferred plans?
  • What should I do if my retirement coincides with a market downturn?

Our Philosophy & Approach to Asset Protection

1. We believe asset protection means safety of principal

Fixed income or bond funds are market-based tools that increase diversification but don’t safeguard your money. Fixed income is an important asset class, but when the objective is preserving principal, we turn to products with guaranteed returns.

2. We stress tax efficiency in retirement savings and income planning

Paying unnecessary taxes can threaten your financial stability and independence. We recommend strategies and tactics that can minimize the taxes you’ll pay over your lifetime.

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  • Sandy and Thomas C.
    Sandy & Thomas C. are clients of Johnson Brunetti and received no compensation for their statement.

    “We always felt our financial needs were in very capable hands. Alex Angst is great to work with. Our advisor always made us feel he had our best interests at heart and explained things so we could understand them.”

  • Robert G.
    Robert G. is a client of Johnson Brunetti and received no compensation for his statement.

    “We’ve been clients of Johnson-Brunetti for > 10 years. We’re enjoying a comfortable retirement as a result. Many thanks to Joel and our CFP, Eric Hogarth. I wish we had plugged into this decade approach back when we were in our 30s.”

  • Lisa D.
    Lisa D. is a client of Johnson Brunetti and received no compensation for her statement.

    “Working with Johnson Brunetti has had a positive impact on my life by providing me with the knowledge, confidence, and peace of mind to move forward with my retirement plans. The process of getting to this point, through their guidance, has been informative and pleasurable.”

  • Ken D.
    Ken D. is a client of Johnson Brunetti and received no compensation for his statement.

    “I view your company as one that puts my interests first. I think that is very uncommon and very refreshing. “

  • Jeanne P.
    Jeanne P. is a client of Johnson Brunetti and received no compensation for her statement.

    “Matt does an awesome job! So easy to understand and he listens to our concerns and addresses them! happy I chose your firm!”

  • Anonymous
    This testimonial was provided by a client of Johnson Brunetti and received no compensation for their statement.

    “I have been pleased with the help and service I have received from the company. I have met several team members on Eric’s team and have found all of them very well prepared to meet with me when reviewing my portfolio. I always feel that I am an important customer and appreciate that very much. I hope the firm continues to focus on the customer and maintains its great service. I think you do a great job for someone like me!!!! I’m happy I chose your firm!”

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