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CHAPTER 1

ments so that the clients can concentrate more on their lives, rather than worrying about the market’s performance.

Tax Planning Proper tax planning can be a powerful element in protecting and building your wealth. There are certain tax breaks that usually only the wealthy employ, and then there are the tax breaks that aren’t tax breaks and are actually illegal. Financial planning can help identify the impact that taxes will have on you in the future. While we can’t predict tax increases or decreases, we will have a good idea of how to minimize the taxes you pay, both now and in the future.

There are a number of different tax-exempt and tax-deferred investments you can buy that will help reduce your tax burden. Vir- tually all tax-exempt investments are free from federal income tax, and many are exempt from state and local income taxes when pur- chased by residents of those states.

The income paid on investments in certain tax-deferred products, like deferred annuities and universal life insurance, is not immedi- ately taxable. Unlike tax-exempt income, tax deferment simply post- pones the payment of taxes until receipt of this income at a later date. This helps reduce your tax bill in that by the time you receive the income from these investments, you may possibly be in a lower tax bracket, thus reducing the tax due. I explain all of this more in a later chapter.

Retirement Planning It’s never too late to start planning and saving for your retirement. If you have already begun, it will be helpful to review what you have achieved so far and what you need to do to get you to your retirement goal. If you have already retired, you will want to look at allocating your resources so that they may provide income for your entire retirement.

Initially, you and your advisor should consider how much money you think you will need to live the kind of retirement you want. Into that equation, you will need to factor in any Social Security or pen- sion benefits you are planning to receive.

Your financial plan will tell you if there is an additional need for income, and at what age you should be able to retire. From this plan,

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