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Elite Wealth Planning: What It Is And Why It Matters

Elite wealth planning, otherwise known as elite wealth management, plays an extremely important role in the lives of individuals and those whose financial success is rapidly increasing.

If you’re looking to further develop your understanding of what exactly elite wealth planning is, why it matters, and how it can positively impact your life, read on.

What is Elite Wealth Planning?

Elite wealth planning is an all-inclusive collection of processes centered around clients, focused on building out a plan in order to increase and protect their wealth and financial assets.

This involves the use of wealth advisors to look towards areas such as retirement, taxes, asset protection, and more. Let’s dive deeper into the types of planning involved in elite wealth planning:

Taxes

A large part of elite financial planning involves mitigating taxes using advanced wealth strategies, such as modifying corporate structures.

Charitable Giving

Elite financial advisors are able to turn charitable giving into a tax-efficient process. We maximize the tax code to your advantage and at the same time maximize your philanthropic effort to the world.

Asset Protection

Through the use of advanced financial strategies, we will build a moat around your assets to help ensure your wealth is not unjustly taken.

Estate Planning

Through a combination of legal strategies and financial expertise, we will help ensure future arrangement has been determined — such as who will own assets, and how — on current and projected assets.

Business Succession

Elite wealth planners work to put plans in place for the succession and transitioning of businesses in the most tax-efficient manner.

Lifestyle Management

This involves the planning of how to structure a client’s wealth over the span of their lifetime and encompasses everything from longevity to health-related worries.

Marital and Relations

This process revolves around protecting an individual or family’s finances and assets in the case of separations or disputes within marriages and relationships.

Why Does Elite Wealth Planning Matter?

Elite wealth management differs significantly from simply hiring financial professionals for a select few services, such as tax planning or asset protection. Wealth management encompasses every aspect of your financial life.

There are various types of wealth planners out there, all of which have the same technical capabilities, but what makes elite wealth planning so “elite” is that it largely focuses on the human element of the process — much like we’d see in a family office. Elite wealth planning must revolve completely around the client, and this includes:

  • Considering each and every one of the client’s needs, wants, and concerns
  • Understanding the client’s professional and personal relationships
  • Understanding the full scope of the client’s financial situation, including any assets
  • Forming relationships with the client’s current preferred professionals
  • Understanding the way in which the client prefers to work
  • Discovering the client’s interests

Elite wealth planners choose to focus largely on the human element and go beyond the numbers, meaning that they’re truly able to work towards coming up with the best plans and solutions for their clients. This also means that the client must always be at the center of every decision made — which is where it differs from regular wealth planning and why it matters to high net worth individuals.

In other words, elite wealth management focuses its solutions on exactly what the client wants as a person, rather than based on their numbers. A standard wealth planner may tend to focus solely on the financial and legal aspects of the operation, and while this doesn’t mean that they don’t take the client relationship into account, it does mean that this is not their main focus or area of expertise.

The true qualities of an elite wealth planner are particularly important to consider when it comes to recognizing the warning signs of an imposter. There are certain financial professionals who promote the service of elite wealth management but can’t actually perform adequately nor meet their promised goals. On the other hand, there are some who will deliberately sell false promises to a client in a play to cheat them. Others set out to exploit wealthy individuals with their eye set on a large paycheck, rather than taking into consideration a client’s wants and needs. None of these match the qualities of an elite wealth planner, and that’s a large part of why bespoke elite wealth planning matters.

Elite wealth planning, in due time, will enable both the client and the elite wealth planner to build up a relationship of trust, familiarity, and security — in which they can better work together to meet their goals.

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Long-Term Care: Should I Insure or Self-Fund?

Transcript:

Crystal Oculee:

Hi, I know you joined us a couple of weeks ago, or I should say probably a month ago, not even a couple of weeks ago. Time flies by when you’re on a lockdown during 2020, right? Sometimes it freezes, sometimes it passes by. We had a longterm care Q and A session, and a lot of people were asking questions. After that, I got a lot of questions about people wanting to self-fund. I have a lot of clients that are also self-funding. Really, the big question at hand was, is there a way I can self-fund in a smarter way? Because I want to have access to my money where it’s liquid, and I don’t want to give it up if I don’t use it. So, that’s why I’m bringing Brian back really quickly to give you this little quick tip of, Brian, is there such a thing? Can you explain it to us a little bit?

Brian Kelca:

Absolutely, and thanks, I’m always happy to talk to the clients at Confidence Wealth, or people that are considering being clients. The first thing I want to do is really, so everybody can understand what self-funding means, self-funding is typically when somebody thinks, well, I have plenty of assets to pay for long-term care, and I’m just going to spend down my assets over time to pay for that coverage. That obviously is one way to do it, but there are some significant benefits with having a long-term care plan through an insurance company. For example, one thing I want to talk about is, if somebody does have significant amount of assets, there’s a plan out there that, let’s say you had $100,000 in a CD or a money market, is that you can actually transfer that over to your other pocket and get a long-term care plan. Because this long-term care plan gives you 100% liquidity of money. You can get at it at any time. It also gives you a death benefit, so at least that money’s going to come back to your heirs. Thirdly, most importantly, it gives a long-term care benefit on top of it, which is significantly more than you actually put into your other pocket. So, by transferring money from one pocket to another, you still have 100% liquidity, a death benefit in that amount or more, plus long-term care benefits. That’s really what we’re looking for.

Crystal Oculee:

Okay, so the best example, I think, because sometimes we learn from example, Brian, the reason I brought this up is because you helped one of my clients where that’s exactly what she did. She had extra cash sitting aside, $150,000 earning less than 0.1%. So, now she has it in that policy that covers her for seven years, giving her, I think about $7,500 a month, approximately, give or take, and obviously [inaudible 00:02:35] free.

Brian Kelca:

Plus she has the inflation rider on that one too. So, the benefit does go up year by year, whether she’s on claim or not, because there’s inflation in-

Crystal Oculee:

Thank you for pointing that out. Absolutely, because she’s in her mid fifties. So, by the time she’s 80, that $7,500 has grown to a lot more, and she always has access to that $150,000. The $150,000 she put in, she’s always able to access it if she chooses that she doesn’t want the policy and take the money back. From what I learned, was that if she doesn’t use it at all, that $150,000 goes back to her heirs, correct?

Brian Kelca:

That’s absolutely correct. Or if she uses just a portion of it, maybe she uses $75,000 or $80,000 then unfortunately passes away. So, the balance of that $150,000 would go back to her heirs. So, in every instance, either she or her heirs will have access and be able to have that money.

Crystal Oculee:

Yeah, and you know what’s really funny is, I’m super sizing my savings to this long-term care plan. It was really funny because I didn’t think about it that way because it’s literally taking her cash and supersizing it for the cost of long-term care and have it always be available. Now, I know you said something also that it allows care coordination. Can you explain that a little bit to me?

Brian Kelca:

Yeah, in fact, a lot of people that purchase long-term care that are a very high net worth, they say, I really don’t need this. But one of the main reasons I’m getting this is for something known as care coordination. Let me just ask a question to the audiences, let’s say your doctor comes in and says, you’re going to need assistance, you’re going to need home health care or nursing home, who’s the first person you call? I mean, if you ask your doctor that question, no. Okay, what do I do now? They are not experts in that particular area. Well, most of the carriers, not everyone, but most of the carriers have what is known as care coordination services. These care coordinators, what they do is they’ll help you understand the benefits of your policy. They’ll guide you through the claims process and also all the claims, papers, and forms, which can be very daunting. They’ll also give you indication or tell you where the best care is because there’s many nursing homes, especially in the greater LA area, but which ones have the best reviews, which ones have the worst reviews, the cost for them. So, things of that nature. They also work with your family to construct a plan so that it meets not only the family needs, but also your needs as well. So, that’s just a few of about a dozen different benefits under care coordination.

Crystal Oculee:

Actually, you just mentioned the family. I was reading this blog about ultra wealthy families and why sometimes they use insurance. It was interesting, and it’s all about how is your care going to be if it’s covered by insurance versus if it’s your assets. Can you go a little bit deeper into that and tell me why someone who has money that can self-fund chooses to self-fund through a product like this? What’s the purpose behind this coverage, and where it leaves the family in a better situation?

Brian Kelca:

Yeah, let’s just first summarize the fact that the care coordination for these wealthy people that can self-fund, the care coordination is really, really [inaudible 00:06:00] because to rely on your family members to do that can can be difficult. Then you may have some squabbling amongst the family members on how that care coordination could [inaudible 00:06:11]. Now you have a third party doing that for you. One of the other things is these private nursing homes, the first thing they’re going to ask you is, do you have private insurance, because they want to be paid promptly. The private insurance does, they pay promptly on time. Whereas, if you’re relying on a family member to make those payments, it may be delayed sometimes.

Brian Kelca:

The only way I can say this is just giving you an example. I actually have a client that is in a nursing home right now, in a wonderful, wonderful nursing home, getting great care. The son came up to me and he said, Brian, I’m so happy that she purchased that long-term care policy from you. I said, well, [inaudible 00:06:56], he says, because I would never put her in such a nice place. I said, why wouldn’t you? It’s your mother? He says, well, she’s now spending my money because he’s looking at it from an inheritance standpoint, she’s not spending my money. Maybe she would have been better in something that’s a little bit less expensive, but instead, now she’s got the best care possible and he doesn’t have to worry about his money being spent.

Crystal Oculee:

That’s a really good point. That’s a really good point, Brian, because you’re absolutely right. We don’t think about this, but when it comes to money, people start thinking that way. It may not be the son, it may be the wife, it could be anybody else.

Brian Kelca:

The daughter-in-law.

Crystal Oculee:

That’s right, the daughter-in-law, yeah. That’s what I mean, exactly. Hey, why do you need your mom in such a nice nursing home, because this is going to eat away $100,000 per year or $80,000 per year and that’s coming out of inheritance. So, that’s a really good point. Maybe this is exactly why the ultra wealthy uses insurance, so they can have the best care without the family interfering in the process. Oh, that’s funny. Money does make things…

Brian Kelca:

People react differently when it comes to money.

Crystal Oculee:

Absolutely. So, I’m excited that we got a chance to talk about this really quickly. I think it’s so important for people to see and be educated, because obviously, these also you have to qualify for, it’s not like you can go in and they take everybody. So, Brian, what would you say would be the next step? If someone is hearing this and they’re like, this sounds like something I want to do. I want to self-fund through an insurance company with some of my own money, what will be the best way for them to get ahold of you?

Brian Kelca:

Yeah, the first thing we need to do is have a conversation. The best bet is to give me a call at (424)273-8844. If we both have time at that point in time, we can talk. If not, we can set up a time where it’s convenient for both of us. We’ll discuss a custom plan specifically for you, everything from how much coverage you need, assets, everything’s customized for you individually.

Crystal Oculee:

Perfect, that sounds great. So, learn about it. You have a go-to person, you’ve been hearing Brian in the last Q and A session a few times. I have a lot of clients that love talking with him and really educates them very well. I’m super excited that I learned about this particular fund, because I really liked the fact that you don’t lose your money. That’s important. That’s one of the things that we’re always passionate about, keep your hard earned money and don’t just give it up in case you don’t use it. So, thanks Brian, for being in this quick little tip of the week segment with us today.

Brian Kelca:

Thank you.

Crystal Oculee:

Have a good one, everyone.

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July 15 Due Date Approaches for Federal Income Tax Returns

The due date for federal income tax returns and payments is Wednesday, July 15, 2020. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the original due date for filing federal income tax returns and making tax payments was postponed by the IRS from April 15, 2020, to July 15, 2020. No interest, penalties, or additions to tax are incurred by taxpayers during this 90-day relief period for any return or payment postponed under this relief provision.

The relief applied automatically to all taxpayers, who did not need to file any additional forms to qualify for the relief. The relief applied to federal income tax payments (for taxable year 2019) due on April 15, 2020, and estimated tax payments (for taxable year 2020) due on April 15, 2020, and June 15, 2020, including payments of tax on self-employment income. There is no limit on the amount of tax that could be deferred.

Need more time?

If you’re not able to file your federal income tax return by July 15, you can file for an extension by the July due date using IRS Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return. Filing this extension gives you an additional three months (until October 15, 2020) to file your federal income tax return. You can also file for an automatic three-month extension electronically (details on how to do so can be found in the Form 4868 instructions).

Pay what you owe

One of the biggest mistakes you can make is not filing your return because you owe money. If the bottom line on your return shows that you owe tax, file and pay the amount due in full by the due date if at all possible. If you absolutely cannot pay what you owe, file the return and pay as much as you can afford. You’ll owe interest and possibly penalties on the unpaid tax, but you will limit the penalties assessed by filing your return on time, and you may be able to work with the IRS to pay the unpaid balance (options available may include the ability to enter into an installment agreement).

It’s important to understand that filing for an automatic extension to file your return does not provide any additional time to pay your tax. When you file for an extension, you have to estimate the amount of tax you will owe; you should pay this amount by the July due date. If you don’t, you will owe interest, and you may owe penalties as well. If the IRS believes that your estimate of taxes was not reasonable, it may void your extension.

Tax refunds

The IRS encourages taxpayers seeking a tax refund to file their tax return as soon as possible. Apparently, most tax refunds are still being issued within 21 days of the IRS receiving a tax return. However, the IRS is experiencing delays in processing paper tax returns due to limited staffing.

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How Secure Is Social Security?

If you’re retired or close to retiring, then you’ve probably got nothing to worry about — your Social Security benefits will likely be paid to you in the amount you’ve planned on (at least that’s what most of the politicians say). But what about the rest of us?

The media onslaught

Watching the news, listening to the radio, or reading the newspaper, you’ve probably come across story after story on the health of Social Security. And, depending on the actuarial assumptions used and the political slant, Social Security has been described as everything from a program in need of some adjustments to one in crisis requiring immediate, drastic reform.

Obviously, the underlying assumptions used can affect one’s perception of the solvency of Social Security, but it’s clear some action needs to be taken. However, even experts disagree on the best remedy. So let’s take a look at what we do know.

Just the Facts

According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), approximately 68 million Americans currently collect some sort of Social Security retirement, disability or death benefit. Social Security is largely a pay-as-you-go system, with today’s workers (and employers) paying the benefits for today’s retirees. (Source: Fast Facts & Figures About Social Security, 2019)

How much do today’s workers pay? Well, the first $137,700 (in 2020) of an individual’s annual wages is subject to a Social Security payroll tax, with half being paid by the employee and half by the employer (self-employed individuals pay all of it). Payroll taxes collected are put into the Social Security trust funds and invested in securities guaranteed by the federal government. The funds are then used to pay out current benefits.

The amount of your retirement benefit is based on your average earnings over your working career. Higher lifetime earnings result in higher benefits, so if you have some years of no earnings or low earnings, your benefit amount may be lower than if you had worked steadily.

Your age at the time you start receiving benefits also affects your benefit amount. Currently, the full retirement age is in the process of rising to 67 in two-month increments, as shown in the following chart:

What Is Your Full Retirement Age?

Birth Year Full Retirement Age
1943-1954 66
1955 66 and 2 months 
1956 66 and 4 months
 1957 66 and 6 months
1958 66 and 8 months
1959 66 and 10 months
1960 and later 67

Note: If you were born on January 1 of any year, refer to the previous year to determine your full retirement age.

You can begin receiving Social Security benefits before your full retirement age, as early as age 62. However, if you retire early, your Social Security benefit will be less than if you had waited until your full retirement age to begin receiving benefits. Specifically, your retirement benefit will be reduced by 5/9ths of 1 percent for every month between your retirement date and your full retirement age, up to 36 months, then by 5/12ths of 1 percent thereafter. For example, if your full retirement age is 67, you’ll receive about 30 percent less if you retire at age 62 than if you wait until age 67 to retire. This reduction is permanent — you won’t be eligible for a benefit increase once you reach full retirement age.

Demographic trends

Even those on opposite sides of the political spectrum can agree that demographic factors are exacerbating Social Security’s problems — namely, the number of retirees is increasing and the birth rate is decreasing. This means that over time, fewer workers will have to support more retirees.

According to the SSA, Social Security is already paying out more money than it takes in. However, by drawing on the Social Security trust fund (OASI), the SSA estimates that Social Security should be able to pay 100% of scheduled benefits until fund reserves are depleted in 2034. Once the trust fund reserves are depleted, payroll tax revenue alone should still be sufficient to pay about 77% of scheduled benefits. This means that in 2034, if no changes are made, beneficiaries may receive a benefit that is about 23% less than expected. (Source: 2019 OASDI Trustees Report)

Possible fixes

While no one can say for sure what will happen (and the political process is sure to be contentious), here are some solutions that have been proposed to help keep Social Security solvent for many years to come:

  • Allow individuals to invest some of their current Social Security taxes in “personal retirement accounts”
  • Raise the current payroll tax
  • Raise the current ceiling on wages currently subject to the payroll tax
  • Raise the retirement age beyond age 67
  • Reduce future benefits
  • Change the benefit formula that is used to calculate benefits
  • Change how the annual cost-of-living adjustment for benefits is calculated

Uncertain outcome

Progress on addressing Social Security’s financial challenges has been slow. However, the SSA continues to urge all parties to address the issue sooner rather than later, to allow for a gradual phasing in of any necessary changes.

Although debate will continue on this polarizing topic, there are no easy answers, and the final outcome for this decades-old program is still uncertain.

In the meantime, what can you do?

The financial outlook for Social Security depends on a number of demographic and economic assumptions that can change over time, so any action that might be taken and who might be affected are still unclear. But no matter what the future holds for Social Security, your financial future is still in your hands. Focus on saving as much for retirement as possible, and consider various income scenarios when planning for retirement.

It’s also important to understand your benefits, and what you can expect to receive from Social Security based on current law. You can find this information on your Social Security Statement, which you can access online at the Social Security website, ssa.gov by signing up for a my Social Security account. Your statement contains a detailed record of your earnings, as well as estimates of retirement, survivor, and disability benefits. If you’re not registered for an online account and are not yet receiving benefits, you’ll receive a statement in the mail every year, starting at age 60.

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U.S. Government Sends Millions of Economic Impact Payments by Prepaid Debit Card

In May 2020, the IRS sent Economic Impact Payment (EIP) prepaid VISA debit cards to individuals who qualified for a stimulus payment under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and didn’t receive a payment via direct deposit.

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