Financial literacy is the key to time and
Bridging the Gap of Your Financial Literacy
If we understand the history of US taxes, between the 1930s to 1980s, marginal taxes were at historical highs. The current tax rates are at a historical low for the past 40 years. We were taught to defer our taxes (pay taxes later) using Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs), 401k, Simplified Employee Pension Plan (SEP), 403B, etc. when taxes were expected to decrease. Based on the current economic conditions, if we ask anyone right now, “Do they expect taxes to increase or decrease?”, 99.9% of people will say taxes will definitely increase.
Numbers do not lie, check out the US Debt Clock, www.usdebtclock.org !! As of December 10, 2021, the US Unfunded Total Debt was at an all-time high of $85.2 Trillion. What’s even more concerning is that in 2000, the US Federal Debt to GDP Ratio was 55.30% and now it’s at 125.92%.
What this represents is the ability for a country to be able to meet its debt obligations based on the country’s output; the higher the number, the higher the risk of not meeting the obligations. (According to Google’s definition: “an excessive debt to GDP ratio tells us that the country isn’t generating enough output to be able to repay its debt”).
The 2020 Pandemic has created instability in our economy, people, and businesses; we don’t know what we don’t know about where the economy will be and the full impact yet. The government continues to print money, providing stimulus checks to families and businesses to avoid a complete shut-down of the US economy. How can we expect taxes NOT to increase? And who will be paying for the debt that keeps growing?
The strategy of deferring taxes to pay later, and how we’re taught to save, is wrong. If we expect taxes to increase, we must consider a different strategy to mitigate the higher taxes later and pay taxes NOW when it is at an all time low. A few options to consider paying taxes now are ROTH, 401k ROTH, or cash value life insurance policy. There are limitations to ROTH and 401k ROTH compared to a cash value life insurance policy, consult with your Certified Public Accountant and a Life Insurance Agent to understand the Pros and Cons, based on your particular situation
emergency fund / medical issues t
Today, if someone was to tell me to put all my money into Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs), 401k, Simplified Employee Pension Plan (SEP), 403B, etc., or trust the Bank and leave my money in a Savings account, I would tell them to go “Take a Hike!”. Like most people, I used to not pay attention to my money and left them in IRA, 401k, and my Savings accounts. In 2008, when the market crashed, I lost 30% in my IRAs and 401k; it took 5 years for my account to regain its original value (I lost 5 years of $0 gain).
Imagine how devastating this would be if you were ready to retire? Do you have the time for your retirement money to regain its value if your money were in the stock market? This was what happened to many Baby Boomers, and they were left scrambling to go back to the work force, so they didn’t run out of money. Others had to delay their retirement plans and continue working.
Retirement planning requires conscious planning, so we are not caught by surprise. How do we plan for the unplanned and create certainties out of life’s uncertainties pertaining to our money? Most people don’t have a financial background. Even if you do have a financial background, if you are not taught, or someone doesn't share the secrets of retirement, or you didn’t seek out self-knowledge to actively think about retirement planning, you don’t know all the strategies available to you.
Depending on the stages of your life, retirement planning includes a combination of strategies with the end in mind of your lifestyle goals. How much would you need to retire comfortably and live the life you want to live? Work backwards, strategize to protect your money, and plan ahead so you don’t lose everything you’ve worked so hard to save. Most importantly, get yourself educated by talking to people who specialize in life insurance with accumulated cash value policies (e.g., Indexed Universal Life, Annuities, etc.) that may have no future tax implications, stable growth, guaranteed streams of income, and protection against market volatility.
tax implications / losing purchasing
If the COVID-19 Pandemic in March 2020 was not a wake-up call for people to look at their life differently, I don’t know what else would. The world was shut down, businesses and lives were impacted; people couldn’t work; many people lost their jobs as businesses were not allowed to stay open. The hardest hit industries were retail, restaurants, and service industries. Government mandated businesses to close unless they were serving basic needs and emergencies (e.g., grocery stores, gas stations, automobile industry, police, hospitals, etc.), landlords could not evict their tenants for not paying rent, and the medical industry was trying to keep up with people admitted to the hospitals. People who worked in an office environment were able to adapt and went virtual; however, the businesses that depended on them to spend money for lunches, dinners, entertainment, and events couldn’t weather this Pandemic Tsunami that had no predictable end in sight.
The world was not prepared and struggled to mitigate the economic impact. Imagine if you were in an industry or a business that was forced to stay closed (or maybe you were!), and that was your only source of income, what would you do to pivot when the whole world was shut down?
What is your back plan of your back up plan?
I was one of the fortunate ones that worked in an office environment. For me, it was a blessing in disguise; I pivoted by using the extra hours not commuting to my corporate job and learned new skillsets. My new skillsets shifted my mindset, and I joined the “Great Resignation” movement in June 2021. I resigned from my 23+ years in corporate America to pursue my dreams and passion of serial entrepreneurship. I am proud to share that I was able to create multiple streams of residual income and help others make money, save money, protect their money, and eliminate debt.
When we work in a job, we trade our time for money. Even as small business owners, we continue to trade our time for money unless we implement a system that allows our money to grow while we are not working, by creating other streams of income as a backup plan. This was the hardest lesson learned for many people and a wake up for those who chose to awaken.
tax implications / losing purchasing
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