There are many different types of trusts, and they can be complex to set up and execute. However, a trust can be a very flexible and advantageous means to transfer your assets in the future. Most trusts can also provide current benefits, such as tax deferral and deductions. Unlike a will, a trust may help avoid probate upon your death. To learn more about trusts and how they may benefit you, we will be happy to help you consult a qualified estate planning attorney who can assist you with these issues.
Life insurance isn’t for those who have died — it’s for those who are left behind. When shopping for life insurance, consider needs such as replacing income so your family can maintain its standard of living, as well as paying for your funeral and estate costs. A general rule is that you may want to seek coverage between five and seven times your gross annual income. As far as the various types of policies go, they can generally be placed into one of two categories: term and permanent.
Term insurance generally provides coverage for a specified period of time and pays out a specified amount of coverage to your beneficiaries only if you die within that time period. In a level premium term policy, you pay the same amount of premium from the first day of the policy until the term ends. A permanent insurance policy, on the other hand, will stay permanently in effect for the rest of your life, as long as premiums continue to be paid.
Today, the majority of the burden for retirement income seems to have shifted to the individual. For this reason, you may want to consider a guaranteed* fixed income component to your retirement strategy. In short, adding an annuity may be an opportunity to help ensure a portion of your retirement income will be guaranteed.* An annuity is a contract you purchase from an insurance company. For the premium you pay, you receive certain fixed and/or variable interest crediting options able to compound tax deferred until withdrawn. When you are ready to receive income distributions, this vehicle offers a variety of guaranteed* payout options. Most annuities have provisions that allow you to withdraw a percentage of the value of the contract each year up to a certain limit. However, withdrawals will reduce the contract value and the value of any protected benefits. Excess withdrawals above the restricted limit typically incur “surrender charges” within the first five to 15 years of the contract. Because they are designed as a long-term retirement income vehicle, annuity withdrawals made before age 59½ are subject to a 10 percent penalty fee, and all withdrawals may be subject to income taxes.
*Annuity guarantees rely on the financial strength and claims-paying ability of the issuing insurance company. Annuities are insurance products that may be subject to fees, surrender charges and holding periods which vary by carrier. Annuities are not FDIC insured.