The Kentucky Derby is the longest continually held sporting event in America, with the first race taking place in 1875. Over the previous 142 races, rain has fallen on race day 66 times. The conditions of the track are crucial to a race. And in 2017, poor weather conditions caused mayhem for the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs. The day before the race, it rained for five (5) straight hours. For all the hype surrounding the 143rd edition of the Derby, it wasn’t as a close as most people thought it was going to be. Irish War Cry was keeping pace with Always Dreaming for the majority of the race, but eventually fell by the wayside as Always Dreaming took over and left the rest of the field stuck in the mud. We had so much rainfall that the horses that were expected to win did not.
Using racing terms, the Fast Track is described as footing at best, dry fast, and even. Webster’s dictionary describes “fast track” as “a process or way of proceeding that produces a desired result quickly.” And so at Casey Wealth Consultants, our mission, our goal, the purpose of this book is to give people the core concepts, the strategies of planning, so that we can empower folks to rapid advancement towards their retirement goals.
The accumulation phase starts with consultation and a planning process for retirement and in our company it is called “The Fast Track.” Similar to a horse race, our Fast Track retirement system helps set you in the best conditions for winning in retirement. Typically, when you start out, things look really good. On the track and the further you progress toward retirement, sometimes, you’ll have bumps in the road, or unexpected challenges that pop up.
In our firm, we try to help our clients be prepared in key areas to experience the fast track to retirement, and come out a winner. There will be times when the sun’s shining and the track is fast, and there will be times when it is muddy and painful, and you just have to get through it.
Retirement is short in perspective to a person’s life. If I was to take a tape measure and ask you to place your left thumb on the inch that represents your age, it might read: 60” or, maybe 65”, and then take your right thumb and place on the inch that represents that age of expectancy you wish for your life, and it might read: 80”, or 85”—with hopes for a best-case scenario. Now, if I stood on the opposite end of the tape measure, at the one (1) inch mark, there’s a big difference! Usually, five (5) feet between me and your left thumb. The distance between the one (1) inch marker and the 65” marker represents the accumulation phase of a person’s life. This is when they’re accumulating their assets, saving money, working hard, putting their kids through college, pursuing career, and so forth. Now, the distance between 65 and 85, we refer to as the preservation and distribution phase. (We will talk more about this later.)
The Fast Track System
A person’s life is pretty short, much less the 20 years than they’re in retirement. That’s why the Fast Track system is so important. It can get someone off to the right start, right from day one, so they can enjoy their retirement, enjoy their family, doing the things they want to do, going places they want to go, traveling and fulfilling some of their greatest dreams and desires during that period of time.
The Fast Track to Retirement covers seven (7) stages:
- Consultation Process
- Income Planning Strategy
- Investment Planning Strategy
- Tax Planning Strategy
- Health Care Planning Strategy
- Legacy Planning Strategy
- Written Retirement Plan
The first step in the Fast Track system is the consultation process. This is where we go through a series of questions and analysis to begin mapping out a strategy. In two to three meetings (depending upon various factors), we can discover a person’s goals, what tools they’ve been currently working with, what type of strategies they need to implement, so that they have income that will outlast them, that way they never have to fear worrying and stressing about running out of money.
No matter what your situation, one of the first steps is to assemble the key pieces of information needed in creating a sustainable Retirement Income Plan.
Included in that inventory are such things as:
• 401(k), 403(b) or 457 plan • IRAs / Retirement Plans
• Insurance / Annuities • Stocks / Bonds
• Mutual Funds • CDs / MM Funds
• Real Estate / REITs • Checking / Savings
• Investment property • Options / Commodities
• Managed Accounts • Safe Deposit Box
• Personal Property • Business Interests
• Debt Owed To You • Employer-Sponsored Plans
Some expenses may increase in retirement, while others may decrease. There are many questions about your retirement that need to be answered to get a handle on what your expenses will be in retirement. When you plan to retire, where you plan to live, and how you plan to spend your time all will have an impact on how much you’ll need to save to fund the retirement you envision. You will need to focus on:
• Housing • Food
• Transportation • Clothing / Personal Items
• Healthcare • Entertainment
• Travel • Miscellaneous Expenses
Income Planning Strategy
We develop an income plan and then with whatever is left over from the income plan, we implement a wealth strategy designed to grow that money, whether that money is to be earmarked to be used later down the road, or that money is earmarked to be donated to charity or passed to their beneficiaries.
We will work to ensure your monthly expenses can be paid with reliability and predictability for the rest of your life. This includes:
- Social Security Optimization
- Income & Expense Analysis
- Inflation Plan
- Spousal Income Replacement Plan
- Longevity Protection
Most working Americans have only one source of steady income: their job. In retirement you are likely to have a patchwork quilt of several income streams. In creating your Retirement Income Analysis, we will look at all sources of income in retirement including:
• Social Security • Employer-Sponsored Retirement Accounts
• Roth IRA Accounts • Pension
• Stocks • Mutual Funds
• Bonds & Bond Funds • Savings Accounts
• Money Market Funds • CDs
• Full & Part Time Work • Rent & Royalties
• Inheritance • Annuities
• Insurance • Home Equity
Investment Planning Strategy
Once your income plan is established, we will create an investment plan for the remaining assets that you do not need to draw from for your monthly expenses. This includes:
- Assessing Risk Tolerance
- Adjusting Portfolio to reduce fees
- Low Volatility Investment strategy
- Institutional Money Management
Tax Planning Strategy
Now what many don’t recognize is that they’ve got tax implications—all wrapped up in their investments. So, our goal is to understand the taxable nature of their holdings and see what type of tax savings strategies that we can implement now, while they’re living and throughout the retirement, and also implement after they’ve passed.
Any comprehensive retirement plan will include a strategy for decreasing tax liabilities. This includes:
- Assessing the taxable nature of current holdings
- Tax-deferred / Tax Advantage Strategies
- Stretch IRA Planning
- Create Tax-free dollars to beneficiaries
Health Care Strategy
Health care planning is a big issue—and, unfortunately, a lot people are just ill-prepared. In our experience, the number one concern people have is income planning. They’re afraid to run out of money—that’s their biggest fear. The second is they’re afraid that they’re going to get sick and burn through all their money, and then, pass away, leaving the spouse impoverished. With our health care planning strategies, we help get the most benefits possible out of Medicare, setting up a plan for long term care and alleviate a disaster, whether it’s catastrophic or just minor. We will create a plan to help you protect yourself against rising healthcare costs with a minimum of expense, including:
- Medicare Review: Parts A, B, D and Supplemental Coverage
- Analyzing Long-Term Care options
- Nursing Home Spend Down Protection
Legacy Planning Strategy
And then, finally, the Legacy Planning is basically where we help people transition assets to the next generation, in the most tax efficient way. Now, the set up piece of this is the written retirement plan. The Fast Track system is a consulting process addressing: income planning, wealth planning, tax planning, healthcare planning, and legacy planning resulting in a written retirement plan. It is important to ensure your hard-earned assets go to your beneficiaries in the most tax efficient manner. We will help you with:
- Maximizing estate and income TAX planning opportunities
- Probate Avoidance Strategies
- Properly transitioning assets to the next generation
- Referral to legal team: Wills, Living Will, POA’s, and Trust
Written Retirement Plan
Having this written retirement plan is a must. It’s a must to have a successful plan for a successful retirement. If you aim at nothing you’ll hit nothing and that’s what a lot of people do when they retire, they just think maybe having a couple of leveraged accounts, they have this thing called Social Security, they’ve got their Medicare insurance and they’re good to go.
Do You Have a Strategy?
With a strategy in the accumulation phase, you can start saving and investing of money. It is a time when you are healthy and working full-time, but when you get to retirement, will you have the finances to pay your monthly expenses? Do you have a strategy so when you enter the legacy phase you have set aside and prepared for health issues? Have you made arrangements for your passing, so that you can spare your family unnecessary stress with probate?
The suicide rate among the elderly is astronomical compared to what it used to be. It’s huge. The Bible says, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick,” (Prov. 13:12a). Well, you’ve worked all your life with this thought of retiring. Then, before you know it—it happens. If things go sideways, you’ll lose significant amounts of money in the market, pay unnecessary taxes—next thing you know, the budget has inflated, and you’re just pinching pennies every month. So, are you ready for us to help you with this type of planning, so you can enjoy your retirement and do the things you really want to do?