How to Find Hidden Assets in Your Strategy
Remember hunting for Easter eggs as a child? There were few thrills more exciting than racing around the yard or a park to find as many eggs as possible. Your eggs may have contained candy, money or other prizes.
As an adult, you may be too old to participate in a traditional Easter egg hunt. However, there may be another egg hunt that could be far more lucrative. It’s a hunt for hidden retirement assets. Many people fail to inventory their available retirement assets. In doing so, they fail to identify assets that could play an important role in their retirement strategy.
Below are four often-overlooked retirement assets. Some of these eggs may be hiding in plain sight. If you haven’t created an inventory of your retirement assets, now may be the time to do so. You could have some valuable eggs waiting to be found.
Old 401(k) Plans
There was a time when workers stayed with one company for most of their career. Those days are long gone. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, wage and salaried workers have been with their current employer for a median of only 4.6 years. In fact, the average worker changes jobs 11 times from age 18 to 48.1
When you leave a job, you also may leave behind a 401(k) balance. It’s possible that you still have balances held in former employers’ plans. Make a list of old employers and identify the ones where you may have participated in a 401(k) plan, profit-sharing plan or other qualified retirement plan. If you have an old balance, you could roll it over into an IRA and invest it according to your strategy.
Life Insurance Cash Value
Do you own permanent life insurance policies? If so, those policies may have a cash value that you can use in retirement. Permanent life insurance policies have a death benefit, but they also have what’s called a cash value account. When you make a premium payment, a portion of that payment is allocated toward the cash value.
Your cash value account grows on a tax-deferred basis. The method of potential growth depends on the type of policy. Whole life insurance pays dividends, while universal life policies pay interest. Variable universal life policies allow you to invest in the financial markets. Depending on your type of policy and how long you’ve owned the insurance, you could have a significant amount of cash value.
You can use that cash value to provide supplemental income in retirement. For instance, you can withdraw your premiums tax-free. You can also take tax-free loans from the policy, though the loans do have to be repaid. Review your life insurance policies and see whether you’ve accumulated cash value that you can use in retirement.
Thinking of downsizing in retirement? That could be a smart move. When you downsize to a smaller home, you may be able to reduce your costs for housing, taxes, maintenance, insurance and more.
If you have substantial equity in your home, you could also give your retirement savings a nice boost. For example, you could pocket the equity from the sale of your home and add it to your retirement assets.
Delaying Social Security
Technically, this strategy doesn’t represent an asset, but it is a simple way to increase your retirement income. You can file for full Social Security benefits once you reach full retirement age (FRA). Most people’s FRA lands between their 66th and 67th birthdays.2
However, you don’t have to file at your FRA. If you choose to delay your filing, Social Security will increase your benefit by 8 percent for each year that you wait up to age 70. That 8 percent increase is a permanent credit, so it could represent a significant pay raise, especially if you delay your benefit filing for several years.3
Ready to find the hidden eggs in your retirement strategy? Let’s talk about it. Contact us today at Ambrose Financial and Insurance Services. We can help you analyze your needs and implement a plan. Let’s connect soon and start the conversation.
Licensed Insurance Professional. This information is designed to provide a general overview with regard to the subject matter covered and is not state specific. The authors, publisher and host are not providing legal, accounting or specific advice for your situation. By providing your information, you give consent to be contacted about the possible sale of an insurance or annuity product. This information has been provided by a Licensed Insurance Professional and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting insurance professional. The statements and opinions expressed are those of the author and are subject to change at any time. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however, presenting insurance professional makes no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. This material has been prepared for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide, and should not be relied upon for, accounting, legal, tax or investment advice. This information has been provided by a Licensed Insurance Professional and is not sponsored or endorsed by the Social Security Administration or any government agency.
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