The National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) hosts conferences bi-annually. In May, Alyssa and Clarissa had the opportunity to attend the conference in Austin, TX. They enjoyed keynote speakers, networking opportunities, and a wide variety of educational programs. Some key takeaways from the conference are outlined below:
LIFE CHANGING EVENTS
There were various workshops that focused on helping clients navigate life changing events such as marriage, new family members, retirement, and divorce. These transitions are often unchartered territory for many clients and we are here to listen and to offer guidance.
ESTATE, TAX, AND RETIREMENT PLANNING
Alyssa and Clarissa attended an estate planning workshop led by Natalie Choate, a leader and expert among estate planning professionals. Natalie covered retirement benefit planning, Roth planning, and charitable giving. She linked each of these topics and various techniques to estate planning, taxes, and retirement planning.
When it comes to retirement accounts, naming appropriate beneficiaries is crucial. Retirement accounts will be distributed according to your beneficiary designations, regardless of what your will or trust says. When life events happen, you should review your beneficiary designations to ensure they are still accurate. The Roth IRA can be a very beneficial asset. Roth IRAs allow for tax-free investment earnings and tax-free qualified distributions.
Since the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act doubled the standard deduction, many taxpayers may find themselves no longer itemizing their deductions. This means that they may no longer be able to deduct their charitable contributions. However, if the taxpayer is over 70½, he or she may be able to make a Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD) of up to $100,000. A QCD is a charitable contribution that is paid directly from an IRA. The amount of the QCD can offset your Required Minimum Distribution for the year and is therefore an “above the line deduction” that can help reduce your adjusted gross income.
At Schultz Financial Group, we emphasize the importance of the Four Capitals: financial, intellectual, physical, and psychological. At the NAPFA Conference, there was a focus on intellectual capital and brain health. A few tips from Dr. Marc Milstein1 to keep an aging brain young include get adequate sleep, constantly learn new things, address and treat any hearing loss, stay socially engaged, exercise, and eat good food. As medical technology continues to improve, doctors and researchers are able to learn more about the brain and ways to keep it healthy.
RETIREMENT AND SOCIAL SECURITY
Alyssa and Clarissa also attended a session on Social Security planning. Social Security is a big part of planning for retirement and it can be complicated. Planning for Social Security income is becoming increasingly important as more people are living longer. Social Security expert Elaine Simmons shared strategies to help maximize benefits for married couples, widows, and divorcing spouses. Everyone’s situation is has a unique situation and online calculators should be used with caution and verified with a professional.