"He who fails to plan is planning to fail" —Winston Churchill
Many of us have heard this adage from Winston Churchill but few average Americans follow it especially about their money and their estate. An astounding 60% of Americans do not have a will and more than half won’t be ready for retirement.
This year, the nonpartisan organization Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) in Washington DC reported that nearly half of Americans between the ages of 36 and 62 will not have enough retirement income to cover basic retirement expenses, including uninsured medical costs. How do you know what the right retirement vehicle will be for you? One person may say that real estate is a terrible retirement investment, citing personal experiences with tenants from hell, while another person has bought property for 50 cents on the dollar as a retirement vehicle, living in one unit and renting the other two to cover the entire mortgage. Who’s right? The truth is that neither is correct and neither is incorrect. When we understand how to plant seeds and cultivate them properly then the right investment vehicle works. Equitas Group helps clients determine what will work best for them.
FinAid.org, which helps students and their families prepare for future college costs, reports that college tuition doubles every 9 years. A five year old child who will attend a private university in 13 years can expect to pay $110,000 annually for four years. The same child who will go to UMass Amherst in 13 years can expect to pay tuition and room and board fees of $43,700 annually. Parents who set aside $1000 per year for their child’s college costs, growing for 13 years at 4% will accumulate $16,627, or just under 40% of what will be needed for just one year of costs at the state university. Equitas Group can help clients develop financial strategies to plan for these skyrocketing educational costs.
Think of the many different types of taxes we pay: income, property, sales, estate, gas, interest and dividend, and capital gain, just to name some. We’re constantly paying taxes. Many people come to see is a weapon levied against them; however, tax planning can be used as a powerful tool and Equitas Group can show you how.
Twenty-two percent of the average Massachusetts family’s income is spent on credit card debt. 22%! This is nearly equivalent to the percentage that homeowners should pay for their monthly mortgage. A cash flow plan, based on current spending and projected into the future, can help clients change strongly ingrained habits so that they can live comfortably and even fearlessly about their finances.
Family wealth planning is based on the principle that prosperity is created through generosity because being munificent always plants the seeds for us to reach our own financial security. When we teach this to children and grandchildren, their financial future can become secure. Clients have asked us if they can use the Equitas Group Cash Flow Tool to show their children how to manage money. Our answer is always a resounding “Of course.” What better legacy could there be to pass on than the wisdom of how financial futures become secure?