For many, self-employment is a dream come true. You get to set your own schedule and make your own rules, and you may even get to do something you love for a living. If you’re like most entrepreneurs, your self-employment is the result of years of hard work and planning.
While self-employment may be fulfilling, it can also create unique challenges, especially when it comes to retirement planning. You don’t get the benefit of an employer 401(k) or pension. You may face tough decisions about whether to save for retirement or reinvest in your business. You may face cash flow challenges that make it difficult to save.
The good news is, as a self-employed individual, you have options that aren’t available for traditional employees. In fact, you may be able to put large sums away on a tax-advantaged basis each year. Below are a few popular vehicles you can use to save for retirement:
Are you a small-business owner? Do you have a succession plan? If the answer is no, you’re not alone. A recent study from Nationwide found that 60 percent of small-business owners don’t have a succession plan. Among those without one, nearly half said they don’t have a plan because they believe such a plan isn’t necessary.1
While a succession plan may not seem necessary, the truth is that you could be exposing your business, employees and family to significant risk if you don’t have one. A business succession plan is a document that creates an orderly transition between you and the next owner.
A succession plan protects your business, employees and family. It also helps you realize maximum value for your business and even retain some form of control or financial involvement. The plan can help you identify the right successor and transition the business without disrupting operations or cash flow.
Are you starting to think about your legacy and how you’ll pass it on to the next generation? It’s never fun to think about your own death. However, it’s too important to ignore. You may have a substantial amount of assets that you want to distribute to loved ones. You may have a spouse, children or other family members who are dependent on you for support. You might even own a business that could face hardship after your death.
All these issues require some level of estate planning. If you fail to develop a robust estate plan, you could leave your loved ones, business partners and others in a difficult financial situation.
You’ve worked hard to grow a family, build your career, and establish a legacy. Now it’s time to think about how you can pass those assets on to your loved ones after you pass away. While it may not be pleasant to think about your own death, estate planning is critical to protecting your family and your legacy.
Without an effective estate plan in place, there are any number of issues that can erode your estate and negatively impact your legacy. One of those issues is probate, which is the legal process for settling an estate. It usually involves tasks like filing a tax return, paying debts, liquidating assets, and identifying heirs. It can generate a substantial amount of legal and administrative costs paid directly from your estate.
You probably have unique goals for your legacy and estate. Perhaps you want to help your kids or grandchildren fund their own goals, such as retirement or college. Maybe you want to leave assets to a favorite charity or cause. Or maybe you simply want to provide a safety net and financial security for those who are most important to you.
Most people start their estate planning with the creation of a will. It’s the most basic and fundamental estate planning tool. Your will can provide instructions to your executor and the local court about who should receive your assets after you pass away.
A will can’t do everything, though. Even with a will in place, your estate will still go through probate, which is the legal process for settling one’s estate. During probate, your executor and the local probate court pay all outstanding debts, file a final tax return on your behalf, liquidate assets, notify heirs and much more.
Every business owner has to make an exit at some point. Some owners leave on their own terms, either through retirement or with the sale of the company. Others, though, exit before they’re ready via disability, health issues or even death. While it may not be pleasant to think about the latter category of exits, it’s important to consider what may happen to your business and your family if you pass away.
Estate planning can sometimes be a complicated process, but it can be even more complex if you are a business owner. You have to consider how to compensate your family for your years of investment and hard work. You also may have business partners to think about. And you probably want to create a smooth transition for your employees, customers and other interested parties.
Are you thinking about your legacy and how you will pass your assets on to your loved ones? That’s a common concern for retirees and those entering the later stages of life. You may want to help your grandchildren with their education or perhaps pass assets with sentimental value to your children.
A written estate plan can help you achieve these goals. Your estate plan should prioritize your objectives and offer a strategy, as well as identify risks and challenges. Some potential roadblocks include taxes, end-of-life costs and even probate expenses.
Retirement is a time for married couples to enjoy their newfound freedom and live life on their terms. It’s a time to travel, pursue favorite hobbies and passions, and enjoy connecting with each other and family.
While retirement should be a celebratory event, it can also bring unique challenges. Some of those challenges may be difficult to think about or discuss. If you don’t acknowledge these challenges, though, you could put yourself and your spouse in a risky financial position.
Perhaps one of the most difficult conversations to have as a married couple is a discussion about end-of-life issues. While you may not want to talk about it, it’s likely that one of you may live for years or even decades after the first spouse passes away.
Watching your parents age is never easy. While you may prefer to remember them as the healthy, strong and vibrant individuals they were for most of their life, you may end up watching in real time as their strength, stamina or even cognitive ability begins to fade.
Very often, it’s clear when an elderly parent is transitioning into the final years of their life. They may have a diagnosis from a doctor that says they only have a certain amount of time left. Or their physical or mental capabilities may be on a steady decline.
4 Ways to Reduce Estate Settlement Costs
You’ve spent much of your adult life building an estate and a legacy of which you should be proud. Now you may be thinking of how you can best transfer that estate to your loved ones after you pass away. Whether you’re transferring your estate to your children, grandchildren, other family members or even a favorite charity, you probably want them to receive as much of the assets as possible.
Unfortunately, there are a number of items and expenses that can erode your estate during the transfer process. One of the biggest is probate, which is the legal process for settling an estate. During probate, all debts are paid, heirs are identified, assets may be liquidated and assets are eventually disbursed.
Carstens Financial Group focuses on providing comprehensive asset management, estate planning and life insurance solutions. Allow us to help you secure your financial future.