Enhancing Your Wealth One Step at a time

ST. CROIX INSIGHTS

Enhancing Your Wealth One Step at a time

BY BRETT ANDERSON/ST.CROIX ADVISORS, LLC

It’s time to start enhancing your wealth one step at a time. But how do you accomplish this? Break it down and take it slowly. This doesn’t happen in one day.

Start with small decisions that build up over time to create a big impact. Take a step back and look at your life. How do you feel about money? Do you feel secure, confident, and covered? Feeling worried, get upset and feel insecure about money? Avoiding the topic altogether? Assessing your relationship with money is important before you start to take these steps.

Once you understand where you are coming from, it will be easier to begin to shift your thinking. Money is just a means to be able to do the things that you enjoy. If you aren’t enjoying your life, no amount of money is going to change that.

1. Determine your values. What is it that sets you on fire and gets you up in the morning? What do you look forward to at the end of the day or the end of the week? Things that truly bring you joy and happiness in this world? Maybe when you think about all of this you realize that the best things in life are free for you. In that case, wonderful. However, the fact of the matter is that life costs money. Even just spending time with those you love usually involves a meal, a destination, or some type of entertainment.

2. Cut out the unnecessary stuff. Do you have a junk drawer at home? The one with miscellaneous pens, rubber bands, and free giveaways? Why is it that we hang onto so much that has no value? We live in a culture that loves stuff. Somehow stuff became a sign that someone has ‘made it’ when they have a bigger house, more toys, and a flashier lifestyle. But what in your life could you do without? Most of it!

3. Reframe your thoughts. When you think about saving vs. spending, shift your mindset. Would you rather get an expensive coffee drink with a flavor shot and whipped cream on top every day of the week or retire to a house on the water where nobody knows your name? Life is full of trade-offs, and unless we begin to think of the future as something to consider in this moment, we will never have what we think we need down the road.

4. Finally, discuss with others. Yes, it’s taboo to talk about personal topics. But get a feel for what other people make, spend, and save. Determine whether you’d like to make your money go further for you now or in the future. Talk to trusted advisors, friends, and people who are willing to engage in conversation. Especially if you’re struggling financially, talk about it.

In short, I am simplifying your life and saving your time by taking care of this end of the deal. You can focus on your kids’ sporting events, family birthdays, and work deadlines while I worry about your money. Know that it is in good hands.

One common thread that you and I have is 24 hours in a day. If you don’t protect your calendar, before you know it, you are no longer in charge of your schedule. We need to protect one our most important resources – time.

I’ve become guarded of my schedule over the years, so I don’t feel overwhelmed with the day to day expectations of my family and clients. I know I live by a calendar, I have to in order to keep it all straight each day. It’s even typical for my wife and I to compare our schedules to meet the demands of our family. Yet, that’s usually while we are in bed, with computers in each of our laps. Do you have a favorite calendar resource you use to track and schedule your meetings? Do you make a checklist on there too?

The bottom line is that neither you nor I can meet with everyone. I wish I could, I truly enjoy hearing each person’s stories. However, we need to protect our time and our calendar to focus on the items that are most important to us in helping us reaching our goals – personally and professionally.

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Can my portfolio support my lifestyle in my retirement? 

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Here are 5 tips to make your 2018 tax season better than 2017

ST. CROIX INSIGHTS

Here are 5 tips to take your 2018 tax season better than 2017

BY BRETT ANDERSON/ST.CROIX ADVISORS, LLC

It’s tax season and Uncle Sam comes collecting taxes; again.

With Trump tax cuts in effect for 2018, know the key areas that impact you.

– Many of us will see some form of income tax deduction as the rates have decreased. That’s good news. With the increase in personal exemptions to $12,000 for individual and $24,000 for married taxpayers, you may not need to file an itemized tax return.

$10,000 Federal deduction limit for high-income tax states.

– We now have a cap of $10,000 federal tax deduction for state and local taxes. This has an adverse impact on higher wage earners. This provision makes living in an income free tax-free state very appealing. For those of us living in Minnesota or Wisconsin, not so much.

For those still working – fund Roth 401k and/or Roth IRA accounts.

– Pay now or pay later. It’s just that simple. If you’ve been told you cannot contribute to a Roth account, you’ve been told wrong. There are various rules on how to fund these accounts, but you’ll appreciate that tax-free income when you retire.

Keep great records – it’s easy to forget and miss deductions.

– Use technology to track your records and numbers. Keep detailed records and receipts so you don’t have to work too hard early in the New Year.

Schedule a tax-planning meeting with your CPA over the summer months.

– CPA’s want to have tax planning meetings with their clients. They want to have these meetings mid-year to allow for time to make adjustments and make necessary changes as needed

Let’s work on just paying our fair share today and tomorrow. Taking the time now can help you to make strategic money decisions and hopefully keep more money in your checkbook vs. Uncle Sam’s. If you need to add a CPA with a business acumen to your team, I’d be happy to make an introduction.

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Can my portfolio support my lifestyle in my retirement? 

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How to Save a Million Dollars

ST. CROIX INSIGHTS

How to Save a Million Dollars

BY BRETT ANDERSON/ST.CROIX ADVISORS, LLC

Ultimately, are you ready to save a million dollars? Undoubtedly, everyone I encounter is a millionaire…including you, even though your checking account doesn’t show it today. Remain doubtful? Next, I’ll prove it to you!

First of all, you started working full-time at age 25 and were making $25,000. During that 40 years, how much have you earned? $1 million. So, I’ve just proven that you are a millionaire but when you look at your finances you realize you’re not. Hence, the key to becoming a millionaire is keeping more of what you earn! Provided, all kinds of thoughts and beliefs are probably going through your mind right now. Subsequently, I’m going to change your mindset on how to save a million dollars or more.

So, let’s get to it!

One of my most enjoyable moments in life is when I can show someone they are on the path to becoming a millionaire. I think that old sayings are true. The first $1 million is the hardest because most of us started at $0. I also believe that’s where the saying “self-made” came from.

For almost 99% of people $1 million is a lot of money. And it is. Yet, with life expectancy continuing to improve we’ll require more money to enjoy and be impactful in our retirement.

Financial security is achievable

I wrote this manifest to help you save a million dollars and hopefully more. For some that might be five years from now, others when they reach age 65 or for some others before they pass at 90. No matter when you accumulate a million dollars the fundamentals are the same. And once you achieve the first million dollars the second is easier – just don’t screw up the first million

We live in a society that says to feel better you have to spend money.

For many, our very possessions show and demonstrate a level of status. Every day, we are bombarded with ads selling us a “lifestyle” or “widget” we need to feel better about ourselves. And the message is, if we don’t purchase it now, we will not be fulfilled. Delayed gratification for most is unacceptable and for many is unheard of. Constantly, we are judged by the clothes we wear, the cars we drive, neighbors we live near, where our kids go to school and so on. Certainly, we know that our financial well-being is not enhanced by the amount of our spending, so why do we continue to put this pressure on ourselves? We know better, don’t we?

It’s the proverbial “Keeping up with the Joneses.” It’s our own hamster wheel of life and I’m here to tell you that the “Joneses” don’t care about your status and you shouldn’t care about theirs. It’s time to hop off that wheel.

Face your money issues

Dealing with money is not easy for many people no matter your walk of life or background. Many may view money as a tool, burden or pain in the rear. Many individuals I encounter would choose not to deal with it at all. To some, that would be the ideal world. Not having to deal with money and having all of our needs, wants and desires met. Wouldn’t that be cool? Unfortunately, that doesn’t exist.

I’m going to go out on a big limb and say that even Bill Gates and Warren Buffet have to deal with money issues.

Sure, they have lots of money (I suspect that much money creates its own unique problems), but I would guess that they still have problems just like you and me. Yet, the two key financial philosophies they have solved for themselves are how to earn money (and lots of it) and how to develop a money strategy. I’d argue that for many, those two items sound easy, but they are not only challenging to implement, but they also have to match your core long-term values.

The problem with money and living in the “United States of Money” (as I like to call it) is that we need cash for our basic needs.

That is something we can all agree on. Whether it is food, clothing, shelter, healthcare or transportation – everything requires money. We can’t avoid it, look the other way, or neglect it because if we do, it will come back and bite us. Our money decisions today can have a long-term impact that we may never recover from. So, let’s just avoid that, agreed?

For some, money can be complicated and may see it as easier to avoid than to address.

Some may not value money because they earn a lot of it and they have never worried about earning more. If they’ve run into a money problem, they’ll figure it out. I’m here to tell you, life is unpredictable. Forrest Gump famously said, “Mama always said life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.” Planning the rest of your life and retirement takes time, energy and resources. It can actually be rewarding and help clarify your life’s goals and values. I know planning your next vacation sounds more enjoyable, but financial security over the long-run is more rewarding.

When you were growing up, did you discuss money with your parents?

That question likely receives mixed answers depending upon your background. Growing up, if you didn’t have money, there wasn’t much to talk about, or it was a difficult discussion for your family. In my family, I had to start working at a young age if I wanted anything. For others, they never had to worry about money and never discussed it. We all have a money story. What is yours? You need to understand it and write it down.

In my business, I work with higher net worth/income individuals and business owners.

They make a good living and chances are they are not necessarily living “paycheck to paycheck.” However, consumption, and not saving as much as they are capable of, is a challenge for many before they started working with me. Most thought they were saving enough to reach their financial security, but shortly after we dive deep into this topic it becomes clear that they are not.

A false sense of financial security

Do you have a false sense of financial security and not realize it? I see it every day and most individuals I meet with don’t realize it. Many times, it takes multiple conversations and illustrations before the light bulb goes on. If you’ve been taught – and thought – of only one way of thinking about your relationship with money, it is time to update your understanding to reflect your core values.

Living with a greater thoughtfulness around our lives, the impact we want to make in our lives, families and communities is important.

If you don’t have financial security and a financial plan you follow and live by, you won’t have financial peace. Today I wonder where most people find their greatest amount of financial advice? With the growth of “robo” advisors, websites, call centers and index funds, I find it hard to believe that financial security and wealth accumulation boils down to a yearly rate of return. If it was really that simple I wouldn’t have a job. Rate of return is secondary. It’s not the most important factor in reaching your goals.

Seeking financial security is a common theme I hear from my clients. It’s not always initially definable beyond $1 million or $5 million in an account. I believe it is more comprehensive than that. No matter your income, background or education, financial security is achievable. Yet, you need to define it for you and your family. What does it mean to you beyond having saved a boatload of money?

Define your financial goals

Here are some key items to help place definitions (parameters) around financial security:
  • How much should you pay yourself FIRST each month?
  • What type of home meets your basic needs?
  • What is your basic transportation to and from work?
  • If the stock market drops by 50% (which you know it can) can you emotionally and financially handle it? Do you have the financial capacity to handle those types of losses? (I like that question because it makes you think!)
  • What other basic living expenses do you have each month?
  • How much do you want to give/impact others with?
  • How much financial risk do you want to transfer, or not transfer, to someone else’s checkbook in the event a significant event happens in your life?

The key to minimizing your financial stress and increase your financial security is to not live beyond your means. Managing your day-to-day finances is just as important as saving for retirement or wealth accumulation. That’s how to achieve financial the freedom. There is no secret sauce but rather an open recipe for everyone to use.

Saving for financial security

For instance, many feel like they need to take great risk in their investment portfolio to make up for a lack of saving. Therefore, we feel like we have to take on greater risks to make up for our previous decisions. Truthfully, you should be investing to decrease your stress not increase it!

Having financial security gives you the freedom to come and go.

It is the American Dream. You can pick and choose what you want to do and when you want to do it? One of biggest lessons I’ve learned is that it doesn’t matter what you make financially. Let me repeat that. It doesn’t matter, what you make…it’s about what you keep. This goes hand-in-hand with financial security.

So, if all your money goes into “stuff”, it leaves little or no money for financial freedom or life experiences. I’d argue that you are missing out on so much to have the latest iPhone, biggest home or the newest automobile. Our world is always about “go big” but the impacts we can have with others is huge as we are only here for short period of time.

Financial giving with thoughtfulness

Generosity towards others is a feeling everyone knows. It is a sense of joy and pride knowing you are helping someone or spreading joy and most times even better than buying something for yourself. Have you ever had the offering plate go by on Sunday morning wishing you had the money or didn’t think you had put enough in and felt guilty?

Sincerely, my wish for everyone is to achieve a level of financial security to live the life you desire, impact those around you and leave a legacy that you seek. Indeed, this can be an overlooked area of planning and I know you can find joy and meaning while tithing or helping others. However, you still can achieve financial security even while helping others.

Here are three questions to ask yourself:
  • First, how would you describe your values towards money?
  • Second, what are 4-5 hard decisions you need to make today to achieve financial security?
  • Third, do you believe you can do it all on your own?

Essentialism – The Disciplined Pursuit of Less

It’s not the pursuit of less. It’s the exact opposite. “An Essentialist produces more – brings forth – by removing more instead of doing more!” Now that’s cool!

Essentialism – The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown was recommended by a client at St. Croix Advisors. He thought I’d connect and relate to its message and boy did I. Simply put, it’s about “learning to filter through all those options and select only those that are truly essential.”

Eventually, you realize it’s a powerful opportunity we can implement in our daily lives. Today, we can start to apply essentialism to three primary parts of our lives: work, family and finances. It’s not about getting more and more things done. Likewise, I think we’ve all tried that and probably failed. Then we’ve also heard ‘work smarter not harder’ (been there, done that). Instead, it’s about investing in the ‘right activities.’ In other words, “essentialism” is a disciplined systematic approach for determining where our highest point of contribution lies, and then with little effort execute on those things.

A great question an essentialist will ask is “what are the trade-offs I’m willing to make?”

Therefore, a trade-off isn’t a negative.

Particularly, we can apply this to our daily lives and our finances. However, I’m not talking about more stuff, but instead perhaps less financial stress. Particularly, having clarity on our goals and envisioning what our retirement looks like will cause us to make different or better decisions today to achieve our goals sooner.

In order to reach your financial goals, here are the key steps you need to work on each day.

Be honest with yourself

Obviously, you know your strengths, weaknesses, likes, dislikes, etc. Yet the biggest question you need to ask is what trade-offs am I willing to make so I can accumulate $1 million by my goal date. As I discussed above, trade-offs are not negative. They are just trade-offs, plain and simple. Especially when it comes to technology – it can track all the ins & outs of money in your life. Thus, embrace it and let it do its job. When it comes to budgeting most will fail because we are not honest with ourselves. We are really good at outlining all the big expenses. But we fail in the day-to-day life and balancing out our wants. Consequently, it becomes freeing when you understand where your hard-earned money goes each month.

Right-sizing your life

In short, trade-off all of the big houses, fancy cars, expensive clothes and the theme continues to shine through. In spite of the opinions of most advisors, it’s extremely comforting to have $50,000, $100,000, $250,000 or a $1 million just in cash. I can’t tell you how many people I encounter disagree with having so much in cash but when they start to experience how this positively impacts their life, they are hook line and sinker in on their way to becoming a millionaire! In truth, it’s totally freeing knowing you have financial control and money readily available to address whatever issues arise.

Budgeting

At the same time, you need to pay yourself first. Focus on one key number, your gross savings rate. For this purpose, I’d target 15%-25% of your gross earnings. Surely this is the most important number in your planning. Frankly, if you don’t get this number right, reaching your financial goals will be almost impossible. Yes, that’s a big number but you have big goals. Plus, this number is very attainable within a short period of time if you’re not doing it today. If you can’t do it today, it can be achieved in 1-2 years.

To illustrate, this is also the most challenging area of financial planning and because it’s the hardest most struggle to adhere to it. One of my favorite words is “synergistic.” Within this manifest, all these strategies have a synergistic relationship. If you succeed in only three out four areas, that fourth area will bring your results down. Make no mistake about it. In order to obtain the best results you need to hit on all four cylinders.

What is financial leakage?

Financial leakage happens, and it can’t be overlooked. It’s something I hear on a regular basis. Just change the dollar amount for how much your household makes. I bet most of us can relate, especially when you have a couple of kids, mortgage, car payment and are saving for retirement. But those are not the things that hold you back in reaching your goals.

Over my vast experience in the financial services world, talking with hundreds or thousands of people, it’s generally not the mortgage or the car payment, but rather just everyday life that really gets us. It all adds up. $5 here, $50 there, $250 here – it all adds up to real money each month. It’s called financial leakage. We all have it, yet, some of us are better than others at controlling it.

Technology is an essential competent to be successful in tracking your daily expenses versus your actual budget each day, week or month. Are you on track? Do you need to make adjustments throughout the month?

Going through this process for the first 90-120 days is hard. Remember your checkbook shows your priorities.

Debt

Debt sucks. I don’t care what you call it. Many believe there is good debt. Mortgages, student loans, business loans are examples of what people would say is good debt. Bad debt would be general credit cards, store credit cards, payday loans, anything with high-interest rates that you really should be paying with cash but instead you use credit to purchase it.

Let’s just avoid all debt. I suspect many eyes are rolling on this. You use debt as a leveraging tool. I get it. But you still have to pay it back and many times have an exit strategy of the asset(s) you’ve leveraged. Use it wisely. I haven’t met a banker who didn’t what his Ben Franklin’s back.

Credit Management

Debt sucks because it limits our future lifestyle and we have to manage it responsibly. That entails paying your bills on-time. With “auto-pay” it’s easy to never forget a bill. If used properly, it’s a tool. A tool that allows you help build your wealth, especially for business owners. But it’s something you can’t take for granted. There is always a cost and your job is to minimize the cost of debt that you leverage.

Rate of return is important…however, it’s not the most important number!

It’s usually the first question on my client’s mind – “How much money have you made me?” It’s the underlying question of what’s my rate of return for the quarter, year, etc. But one must remember how to derive at a true (net) rate of return.

Most investors only focus on their “gross” rate of return yet overlook other factors.

Their biggest expense when it comes to investing is taxes. Yes, taxes. Ask yourself, “Am I going to invest with pre- or post-tax dollars?” Pre-tax dollars are dollars that will defer taxes today saving you 15%, 25% or more today. But at a future date and unknown rate, you will be taxed on those pre-taxed dollars!

You have to decide each year whether Uncle Sam is going to be taxing you on your investments or if you are going to invest those dollars in a tax-deferred vehicle so when you start making distributions, you’ll be hit with a tax bill.

Taxes will be by far your biggest expense in calculating your net rate of return.

Increasing your rate of return by looking at income tax planning is one of the biggest planning areas when it comes to investing.  Remember our government is broke and they need and want our money. The tax rate we pay is just as important in the success of our investments as a financial plan. Congress may change the rules, but we know the playbook today.

Taxes

We can’t escape taxes which is why we need to revisit this on an ongoing basis. We need roads, schools, military and infrastructure for our country to survive and thrive. And we’re all willing to pay my fair share but just our fair share. As you continue throughout life, earning more naturally brings higher income taxes for you. We can’t avoid this topic or paying unless you’d enjoy three hots and a cot. And if you’ve read this far, I know you wouldn’t enjoy that lifestyle.

Federal taxes are the same no matter which state you live in. But a major difference is which state you live in. Some states have a state income tax. Others collect “revenue” in different ways through fees or higher property taxes. Some states tax Social Security in your retirement years while others do not.

If you believe taxes will be higher down the road, just one or two key decisions today can allow for greater financial flexibility. It may not seem like it, but we are at some of the lowest tax rates today. But we don’t know what the tax rates will be 10, 20 or 30 years from now. Here is what I believe – our local, state and federal governments are broke, and they believe our money is their money. With that perspective, each financial decision you make today is key. We can’t control our overall tax rate, but we can control which buckets we place our money into each day.

You don’t have time to keep up with all kinds of tax law changes so hire a CPA that is focused on strategic tax planning with their clients. Don’t worry about paying them – their knowledge should more than pay for themselves.

And for business owners, with proper planning, you can pick who you pay – employees or the federal government. Remember, you want money to go to your employees to reward, retain and recruit them. Don’t overlook this as a planning tool for your business.

You need a proactive CPA on your team. If you don’t have one, I’ll be happy to give a few names you can consider adding to your team.

Transferring risk from your checkbook to someone else’s

I know what you are thinking, why even discuss this topic? We do because it’s the most important building block when it comes to creating a financial plan. By doing this right, it allows you to minimize how far you’d fall financially in the event “crap” happened. This comes in all forms: unexpected medical bills, 100-year hurricane or flood, a slip of the knife in surgery that cuts your patient’s major artery, or a husband won’t be coming home because of a drunk driver.

Yes, I’ve been there too.

Including paying $22,000 a month in health care even with good insurance. Of course, it doesn’t take long before this becomes real money. How long can you financially support those types of payments before your financial plan and future plans get blown-up? Usually, the people I talk to about this believe nothing bad will happen to them. In fact, they either can’t or refuse to see it ever happening to them. Thus, I’m here to tell you, shit happens. In conclusion, this category is just as important as your overall gross savings rate.

In other words, from medical, disability, life, long-term care, homeowners, auto, errors & omissions, malpractice – insurance is important.

On the other hand, most of us focus only on the premiums for our insurance. First of all, that’s the least important factor in transferring the risk. Then people get mad at insurance companies because they think they have the Cadillac coverage. However, I bet 99% of the population have never read their insurance contracts. And 99.5% of the insurance agents have never read them. It’s the contractual language that matters not the premiums. To sum up, pay attention to the details; it’s that important in your creating financial security.

Bottom Line

Focus on the basics. Build your financial foundation well and the results you seek should pay off.
  • Define what money means to you.
  • Create a dream board so you have a daily reminder of what you want to achieve in life.
  • Face your money issues.
  • Have less “stuff” in your life so you can achieve more.
  • Stop the financial leakage.
  • Be the master of your money.
  • Build your financial foundation from the ground up. Start with transferring risk.
  • Create different buckets of money. Understand access, tax treatment, risk and investments within each of those buckets.
  • Save a meaningful amount each month.

Each and everyone one of us can save a million dollars. I see happen all the time. For most, this isn’t an easy process, but it becomes rewarding when you have achieved financial freedom.

Now is the time to save a million dollars. If you’d like to talk about how we can help you reach your personal and professional goals, drop me a note.

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Advantages of retiring to Florida

ST. CROIX INSIGHTS

Advantages of retiring to Florida

BY BRETT ANDERSON/ST.CROIX ADVISORS, LLC

Sure, we all have some very obvious reasons for retiring to Florida.

Sun, warm weather, no estate or income taxes. From my perspective, how many more reasons do you need? As I write this on a Saturday night, watching playoff football, tomorrow morning’s low will be 43 degrees (No, that’s no typo) here in Naples, Florida. Down here they consider that cold. Big jackets, gloves, hats and I suspect long underwear will be essential for natives. For you snowbirds from Minnesota and Wisconsin, we’d be wearing shorts at home.

I see retiring to Florida as a lifestyle choice.

You want to enjoy the great outdoors year-round. You won’t miss the cold nor the snow. You’ve put up with all of that stuff for years let alone decades and now it’s time. The sun, warm weather, walking along the ocean, palm trees, etc.

While in Naples, Florida, I attended the Minnesota Men’s Breakfast (it’s not just men – women do attend and are invited). Prominent speakers, timely topics and a room of hundreds of people come together each week for three months during the winter. It’s almost like a homecoming each week when you see everyone greeting each other. Naples just happens to be Minnesota’s most southern city! Coming to one location, knowing so many people from back home is just darn cool.

Gov. Dayton certainly likes to tax the so-called rich by insisting on having an estate tax. In 2018, the threshold is $2.4 million. I suspect many of you reading this feel like that’s a lot of money. The reality is it’s not, particularly when you start adding everything you have from your home, retirement, life insurance and investment accounts. Remember, you and your estate have to pay taxes because you died. Isn’t that enough? You’re dead. Why does the government need to take my money? For those of you living in Wisconsin, you also enjoy no estate taxes just like Florida residents. But it’s still cold.

With the new federal tax law, living in a higher income tax state is going to cost even more.

For those of us who itemize, we will only be able to deduct to up $10,000 a year on our federal taxes. That seems like a big number, but when you total your state, sales and property taxes, it can easily be well over $10,000. In other words, you will be paying more for the privilege of living in the land of Gophers or Badgers.

Some states tax your Social Security benefits in your retirement years and some don’t. Minnesota’s elected officials have never met a tax they didn’t want to implement including taxing your Social Security. Florida and Wisconsin residents enjoy no tax on their Social Security.

Wisconsin is Minnesota’s Florida. Florida is Wisconsin’s Florida. Florida is just Florida. Taxes play a major role in our retirement years along with friends, family and lifestyle. If you are looking to relocate to Florida full time or become a “six months and a day,” let’s talk about how to make that a successful transition.

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Can my portfolio support my lifestyle in my retirement? 

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Covering Health Care Costs When Retired

ST. CROIX INSIGHTS

 

Covering Health Care Costs When Retired

BY BRETT ANDERSON/ST.CROIX ADVISORS, LLC

If you’re like many Americans, you’re eyeing retirement with apprehension. When my clients come to me, no matter the reason or the stage of life, there are always two questions that they ask me. “Will there be enough money?” and “Will everything be okay?” Let’s talk about covering health care costs when retired.

As with any other situation in your life, planning and being prepared ahead of time is key for retirement planning.

Making sure you cover your bases and manage potential factors before they arise is key. And one factor that weighs in is the cost of health care coverage.

The rising costs of health care (especially as we age) is enough to strike fear in the hearts of many approaching retirement. Health care costs can eat up a sizable chunk of retirement savings, especially given the hit that many retirement accounts took in the last decade.

“I know and can prove that if you pay attention to your money, you actually have more money than you think. ”

Outliving one’s retirement assets is becoming a real fear for those approaching retirement. People are living longer and being forced to spend diminished retirement income on rising health care expenses.

You shouldn’t be forced to spend your retirement worrying. Will I be able to qualify for Medicaid? Will my retirement nest egg will run out too soon? You should be enjoying these golden years of your life. This can be accomplished through the peace of mind that sound financial planning provides. You have many options for health care coverage as well as retirement savings and investing.

Are you like the 62% of Americans in pre-retirement age (50-64) who aren’t confident that they’ll have enough savings to weather their health care costs in retirement? I encourage you to contact St. Croix Advisors today to get a financial plan in place. Don’t waste another second of your life worrying about the future that you could be looking forward to.

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Can my portfolio support my lifestyle in my retirement? 

5 + 1 =

Financial Leakage – You’re Making $250,000 a Year & Live Check to Check!

ST. CROIX INSIGHTS

Financial Leakage – You’re Making $250,000 a Year & Live Check to Check!

BY BRETT ANDERSON/ST.CROIX ADVISORS, LLC

It’s not surprising; it’s something I hear on a regular basis. Just change the dollar amount for how much your household makes. I bet most of us can relate, especially when you have a couple of kids, mortgage, car payment, are saving for retirement, etc.

What is Financial Leakage?

Over my vast experience in the financial services world, talking with hundreds of people, it’s generally not the mortgage or the car payment, but rather just everyday life that really gets us. It all adds up. $5 here, $50 there, $250 here – it all adds up to real money each month. It’s financial leakage. We all have it, yet, some of us are better than others at controlling it.

Financial leakage

It all adds up. $5 here, $50 there, $250 here

Understanding Your Financial Goals, Objectives & Position require Financial Planning

I suspect most families don’t track their spending on a daily or monthly basis. St. Croix Advisors clients have access to iAdvise– the most advanced financial planning software. It allows us to track their spending and help establish a monthly budget.

“I know and can prove that if you pay attention to your money, you actually have more money than you think. ”

This leads to living the lifestyle you want and making the impacts you’d like to make along the way. If you’d like to discuss over a cup of coffee how St. Croix Advisors can help, drop me a note.

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