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Six Concerns of the Affluent?

By John J. Checki Jr. and John J. (J. J.) Checki III

Hope your day is going well and we are both filled with passion and purpose. After many years of experience and research, I read a wonderful list done by CEG Worldwide and 4,000 financial advisors internationally that have continued the research. What you are about to read is based on that research. Enjoy and let us know how we did.

  1. Wealth Preservation

Fear of loss seems to be even more important than the desire for gain. Yes, that does sound fear based rather than goal oriented. The affluent are concerned about preserving and not losing their wealth. Despite their wealth, they are not immune to financial setbacks and the fear of loss. But wealth preservation is not only about not losing money—it’s about having enough money to fund their lifestyles, whether simple or extravagant. How fun having control of our schedule and having the money to enjoy the journey. Don’t we all enjoy this, yet we have limits as to what we will and won’t spend, whether it is a bottle of wine, or a plane ticket.

The goal of wealth preservation is to produce the best possible investment returns consistent with the client’s time frame and risk tolerance. This is the primary area of focus for most financial advisors. As a wealth manager, investment management will be only the foundation of the value we provide to affluent clients. This is the beginning of our services, we also address and help the affluent address their other five key financial concerns.

  1. Wealth Enhancement

What a great expression! Wealth Enhancement is about tax mitigation: minimizing the impact of taxes on client’s investment returns while ensuring the cash flow they need.

We have seen that minimizing income taxes is one of the major financial concerns of the great majority of affluent individuals and families. Mitigating estate taxes and capital gains taxes also ranks high on their list of concerns.

It’s no surprise that so many affluent share these tax-related concerns. Taxes can—and do—eat up a great deal of wealth. As a wealth manager, we help our clients enhance their wealth by minimizing this impact, while working with their CPA, attorney, and professional team of advisors.

  1. Health Care Costs

Yes, even people with one million dollars or more of investable assets have health care cost concerns. Really? Sure, they’re worried about the cost of a heart transplant or hospital stay, or the ultimate fear––long-term care––and how it will affect our cash flow and balance sheet. We have studied this and experienced it as well. My mom, who we call Nana, has been in a memory care unit for 25 months. The costs are $4,875 per month. The unknowns are growing even as we speak. How long will I be there, how much will it cost, what are the conditions, and how will this affect my family?

  1. Wealth Transfer

Effective wealth transfer is all about taking care of heirs: finding and facilitating the most tax-efficient way to pass assets to loved ones in ways that meet the client’s wishes with minimal difficulty and cost. It is Legacy Planning: making sure our hard work, and accumulation of assets, wisdom, and treasures are passed on to those we love.

Thanks to today’s tax environment, affluent families need to plan ahead with their wealth transfer planning efforts if they want their wealth to benefit their heirs to the fullest extent possible. As a wealth manager, we help our clients become aware and plan ahead. Again we work with their attorney and advisory team.

  1. Wealth Protection

Undue loss? This includes all concerns about protecting the client’s wealth against catastrophic loss, potential creditors, litigants, children’s spouses, and potential ex-spouses and identity thieves—in short, ensuring that their assets are not unjustly taken.

Many affluent individuals are worried about being sued—not surprising, given how litigious our culture has become. This means that as a wealth manager, we need to address controlling risks through business processes, employment agreements and buy-sell agreements, as well as restructuring various assets and considering legal forms of ownership—such as trusts and limited liability entities—that will help put our client’s wealth beyond the reach of creditors and other parties who endeavor to take it. Not to mention Legacy Planning, that protects their kids from their future ex-spouses.

  1. Charitable Giving

We write checks to our church, support missionaries and ministries, the arts, Chanel 13 KERA, and a couple of foundations. Many affluent individuals are looking outward beyond their own families. For these folks, making meaningful gifts to charity in the most impactful way possible is a key issue. Many of our clients support charities, the arts, and missions. Charitable giving comes with its own unique set of challenges—from selecting the appropriate means of giving (such as direct gifts, donor-advised funds or private family foundations) to selecting causes and specific organizations that will have the biggest impact. As a wealth manager, we help our charitably-minded clients to navigate the charitable planning process. Again, this is done in concert with professionals who have the heart, expertise, and skill to provide us the proper planning path.

Conclusion

Wealth preservation, wealth enhancement, health care costs, wealth transfer, wealth protection, and charitable giving––we are familiar with this list. Many of our clients have agreed and helped us learn even more about their concerns over the years.

Our passion is to effectively address each of these key financial concerns. It is the bedrock of our value promise to our affluent clients and prospective clients.

Securities are offered through Securities America Inc., member FINRA and SIPC, Advisor services offered through Securities America Advisors., an SEC Registered Investment Advisor. John Checki, Jr. Representative. This is not a CPA Firm.

John and his firm have been helping some of the nicest families in North Dallas, Richardson, Plano, and Frisco for about 30 years. We specialize in baby boomer wealth management and have a unique and complete wealth management process. You can read the rest of our story on my website. My proudest accomplishment is my family: children, grandchildren, and wife. We love to travel, scuba dive, take pictures, study, and attend family and church gatherings.





You, Me and LTC

 

By John J. Checki Jr., CPA, CFP®, CRC® and J.J. Checki III

One of the biggest concerns of people approaching Medicare age is health care costs, especially LTC (long-term care.) It’s scary at first glimpse, wouldn’t you agree? It’s right up there with being helpless, old, sick, broke and abandoned. It’s bad enough being older, well-seasoned, and having health and balance challenges without having to worry about: Who will take care of us? How on earth do we pay for it? And, how do we not run out of money while we are losing our health and perhaps some of our mental marbles?

How will health care and long-term care impact our long term next stage plan and flexibility? It depends on us, our plans, the preparation we have made in advance, our current and future health, our resources, our insurance, company plans and insurance, whether we are married or not, who survives whom, our pension, social security level, and cash flow. Other than those factors, there is always the “whoops!” that comes from surprise turns of health, balance, mental attitude and stability.

So, what are some of the anticipated costs? Again it depends. We have clients who are in their 80s and 90s who do not need care and we have other clients who did not live all the way through their 70s. A nice long look at our family (health and state of mind as they aged), our habits (both good and bad), where we live, how we live, and perhaps some research into our projected life span and thoughts on passing would be helpful and meaningful to our plan on health care and long-term care costs.

One group, which gives seminars on the subject, anticipates or projects that during the last 18 months of life, health care costs without long-term care to be around $250,000. Yet, one M.D. who is also a Certified Financial Planner discounted that projection based on a case-by-case basis, simply observing from a schooled, licensed set of eyes armed with experience and statistics that the costs vary. They vary based on how we use health care and treatments. Literally those who don’t go to the doctor much thanks to being blessed with good health, may or may not develop a chronic condition later in life. We may just simply complain of not feeling well while on a long airplane flight and pass away quietly that very day. A very healthy and fit friend of mine, who worked out regularly, worried a lot, worked to help his in-laws like no one I have ever seen, looked to his wife and said, “I think I am having a heart attack” and was gone. Another Bible study group member was out taking a walk along Greenville Avenue and he died along the way, at age 64. Come to think of it, the other fellow was only 64 years old as well. So, not everyone gets to live into their 70s, 80s, 90s and dementia stages.

How about people who have health challenges, or lead stressful lives, or have weight issues, addiction histories, or simple bad luck associated with families that just did not do well with genetics? That is more expensive if addressed. Some people do have great insurance and use it and others don’t. Meaning the others may or may not have great insurance, yet ignore the aches and pains and signs of misuse or abuse of one’s body, mind, and health. Their costs usually are in the emergency room, now commonly called ER, and from the stories we hear, ER is particularly busy on the weekend. Personally, ER looks like a scary place to receive treatment. I will leave the details of that thought to you.

The biggest problem with LTC and health care costs boils down to the caregiving healthy husband or wife, who suffers through the disease and can physically and mentally wear down during this cycle of life. This is a great time to have a support network close by (such as a caring family, an active church group, friends, associates, etc.). So, if we are young enough to get to work on that support network, and plan, let’s do it.

The Obstacles?

Obstacles usually start with the fear of knowing (the dollars and cents, probability, timing, availability). Not to mention, how on earth can we pay for this care long and short term? Medicare does cover some but not much of the LTC, and lots of health care, depending on what it is. Supplementing Medicare with the appropriate plan might be a fine idea. Planning ahead by analyzing our situation can be helpful and comforting when the numbers work out, and motivating when they do not. Plan ahead and take appropriate action.

Possible Solutions

Do a case study review of our personal situation such as our health history, insurance review, asset review, resource analysis. Analyze and run numbers with software designed to inform us. Summarize the results for review and possible actions to take to address the situation.

Illustrate the Issue

We like case studies and analysis of the individual situation and consult with a team of experts who specialize in Medicare and long-term care planning. Why? There’s nothing like talking to experts once we have identified the problem and the desire for a solution. One case study: 95-year-old client with an Advantage Plan (zero premiums and a health club membership card) generated a $135,000 medical bill. Her out of pocket expense? $1,350.

Summary

Some folks fear being old, sick and broke. Plan ahead and be informed of our situation and take action to address the possible and probable situations that come with being alive and not young. Having a plan is great, taking action is essential. Our family has gone through and still is going through the dementia care stages and it is a great time to show love and caring to my mom who is 94 and sneaking up on 95.

Securities are offered through Securities America Inc., member FINRA and SIPC, Advisor services offered through Securities America Advisors., an SEC Registered Investment Advisor. John Checki, Jr. Representative. This is not a CPA Firm.

John and his firm have been helping some of the nicest families in North Dallas, Richardson, Plano, and Frisco for about 30 years. We specialize in Baby Boomers Wealth Management and have a unique and complete Wealth Management Process. You can read the rest of our story on my website. My proudest accomplishment is my family: Children, Grandchildren and Wife. We love to travel, scuba dive, take pictures, study, and attend family and church gatherings



Strategies for Volatile Markets

 

It’s important to stay calm when the markets aren’t.

 

Market volatility, especially dramatic sell-offs, are unsettling to most of us. Here are a few reassuring facts to help you keep a positive perspective and some precautions that may reduce your risks.

 

Things to remember: Historically, stocks have gone down faster than they have gone up, but they also went up more frequently than they went down. Over the last 100 years, the stock market was up 60 to 65 years and down around 35 years. On average, the market declined one year in three. Over the past century, stocks averaged a 9 to 10 percent annualized gain, while bonds returned 6 to 7 percent, and interest-bearing bank accounts earned 1 – 3 percent.*

 

Things to do: To ride out the storm well, focus more on your goals than the current news. Try not to react emotionally; investors trying to time the market by jumping in and out of it run the risk of selling low and missing periods of exceptional returns. While past performance is not a guarantee of future results, most financial experts recommend adopting a long-term strategy when investing in the stock market.

 

Turbulent times are a good reminder, however, to review your plan regularly. Consider how well it fits your investment time frame, your need for growth and the level of risk you’re willing to take. Is your portfolio diversified adequately? Spreading investments over a variety of classes, assets and markets won’t guarantee you won’t incur losses, but it should limit them. You may want to make plans now to rebalance some of your holdings when the time is right, or you might view a downturn as an opportune time to purchase some investments at reduced levels.

 

If you’re still working, don’t let temporary setbacks discourage you from making regular contributions to your retirement plan. Continue to invest a fixed amount of money at regular periods over the years, and you’ll buy more shares of each asset when prices are low and fewer when they are high. Using this technique, your average purchase price should be lower than the average market price over the same period.

 

Finally, be patient. Although it may take some time, markets generally do rebound. In the meantime, please feel free to call our office and set up a time to review your portfolio to ensure it suits your long-term goals and includes a plan for future market volatility.

 

*stats from Motley Fool Podcast, “Coping With Market Volatility,” posted August 26, 2015

 

 

 

Whitepaper

7 Biggest Mistakes Boomers Make


By John Checki

Boomers! Wow, what a generation lives here and now. We are coming down the pike and changing everything in our path. Here are the 7 Biggest Mistakes, we Boomers make.

1.Longevity: My story: I went to Real Age.com, years ago, and discovered despite riding a motorcycle, driving a convertible MINI S, being an active Divemaster (Scuba Diver), and married to gorgeous blonde artist, I would live until age 94, no kidding. That was a shock. Even as a 51 year old widower. We have been asking family and friends “how long are you planning on plan on living?” I am asking you, have we gone to real age http://www.realage.com, http://www.sonnyradio.com/realage or www.boomerator.com, to see how long you may live? Factors to consider? Parents & family (how long do we live, what type of maladies we have), our activities, (how we work, play, exercise, and entertain). Stress level, happiness, health now, what we eat and drink, how often and how much and what food and drink. Output, that’s work, play, exercise, activity, and then see how long statistically speaking we might very well live? If not we probably will be surprised by how long that is from now. Do the math. Remember inflation? Might want to put in a little inflation.

2.Thinking we can always work and make money: This wonderful job, career, business will continue for as long as I need it to continue, right? Not necessarily. There is an economic cycle and we are all riding that bike together. We can earn and learn, save/invest, and live modestly or not. The or not, is the basic problem with all money situations. How about switching careers so we can maximize our income between now and later? Well, if it has been a passion our whole life and we would regret never doing it for money, maybe. Yet, why not do it part time just to see if we like doing it as much as we did dreaming about doing it. If we spend less than we make, great, if not, we will need to work until we die, plus two more weeks. We can only hope someone will hire us, or buy from us. Not always the case.

3.Assuming great health and ignoring the costs of health care. We have always been young strong and healthy won’t that last forever? How wonderful it is to have parents that lived long enough to age, so we can learn there is a beginning, middle and an end to life. Yes, we need to take measures to assure we are in great shape and leading a balanced life, yet, how is that working for us so far?

4.Money: What happened to it?: Now that we are older and can’t drink or eat or do as much as we used to, let’s go with the best stuff, not just the good or the better stuff. Problem with that philosophy is, unless we have a vision, passion, and are willing and able to pay the price and still pay the bills, good for us. Perhaps we are in the majority, and having the best is something we might consider renting first, just to see if we just must have it or can live without it.

5.Relationships: Marriage is an expensive hobby that comes with a lot more than just fringe benefits: children, in laws, moms and dads, uncles and aunts, cousins, and problems with: expectations, misunderstandings, baggage, loss of abilities, growth in opposite directions. We can go from hopeless to sublime, with a little training and application.

6.Not Planning: Some of us were born planners. Yet, everyone has a surprise or two along the way. Wouldn’t it be wise to plan ahead, then work that plan? Not planning leaves only valleys full of swamp and disappointment. Consulting with coaches, guides, and planners can equip us to anticipate the next turn in the path of life.

7.Education: It is an ongoing thing not just in school. This should be a life time experience and adventure. Education can equip us for new challenges, teach us perspective on our history, and prepare us for a bright shiny future. Ignorance and/or lack of education, pushes us into worry, fear and chaos, day in and day out. Blind allies and dead ends follow. Why not invest in ourselves and be ready and able to not only stand at the door, but hear it knock and be prepared to open it. Wouldn’t that be more fun than being shut in and left out? Of course it is that is why wise parents, friends, ministers, mentors, family, buds, and everyone with a lick of sense continues to learn and learn and learn. It is that E to E ratio: Education to Entertainment. The greater the ratio the greater the potential we have, at every age. So, one of the biggest challenges for Boomers is not getting our education in gear, on a continuous basis.

So, what should we do?

Find someone who specializes in helping Boomers like us. He understands us, our concerns and issues. He helps people just like us, has a successful track record, working with Boomers. He has a multiple disciplined approach so his orientation is to understand your unique situation and help you through it. He is an acknowledged all-star. Lastly he has lived through the experience as a Boomer himself. There is no school or substitute for this particular experience.