Featured entries from our Journal

Details Are Part of Our Difference

Podcast Episode – Meir Statman

With the Recent Events in Ukraine, Should I Make Changes to My Portfolio?

Embracing the Evidence at Anheuser-Busch – Mid 1980s

529 Best Practices

Category: Planning

Social Security Benefits are Worth More Now

Imagine owning an asset that has increased by 25% during the recent coronavirus pandemic. Now let me tell you a little secret: you probably already own it! I’m talking about Social Security benefits.

At Hill Investment Group, we help clients with all kinds of important decisions to optimize their portfolios. One of these decisions is when to collect Social Security benefits. The question is much more complicated than you might think. Some clients have seen six-figure differences in options after we run our analysis. Timing when to collect on Social Security is even more important today with interest rates near zero. If you are curious about how we do this analysis and are interested in what the answer might be for you, schedule a call here.

Recently, New York Times financial columnist, Jeff Sommer, wrote a piece arguing we should think of our social security as an annuity. Sommer argues it’s an annuity we all own that has skyrocketed in value – to the tune of $1 million for some. As many of you know, we generally advise AGAINST owning annuities of any type and better explain why this is different.

The key points:

  • Social Security can be compared to annuities because similar to an annuity, Social Security provides a monthly guaranteed income for a specified period of time. 
  • With low-interest rates, the income-producing power of other investments has dropped while the value of Social Security has held strong.
  • Because of this, coupled with Social Security payments increasing with inflation, the effective value of the Social Security income stream has soared.
  • As an added benefit over annuities, the US Government guarantees the payments, so it’s virtually risk-free, unlike a stock portfolio. 
  • If you tried to purchase an annuity on the market with similar features, it would be an expensive annuity indeed. Example: for a high-income earner who delays claiming Social Security benefits until age 70, Sommer suggests an annuity providing comparable benefits might cost about $1 million today, an increase in the cost of about 25% from prior years.

 Be sure to check out his article here.

Planning is Our Central Focus

 

We have a lot of planning-obsessed people on staff at HIG and hope it gives you comfort knowing that we are thinking about things on your behalf – even when you aren’t. It’s a huge part of what makes Hill Investment Group different. Don’t be surprised if you hear us talking a lot more in the coming year about the value our planning process adds to our investment management approach. We normally don’t share our client quarterly letters with everyone, but enjoy an exclusive peak this time!

Enjoy our client quarterly report letter.

Give it Now – Simple Example of the Power of Giving

Need a push to give to the next generation sooner rather than later? In many cases it makes sense to give your loved ones part of their inheritance when they may value it the most – while you are still here to give it to them. Giving the annual exclusion can move significant amounts of money from inside your estate to your beneficiaries outside your estate. Below is a crude example showing the power of this simple planning idea: 

John & Jane have 3 married children and 9 grandchildren:

Gifts to children/spouses per year: $180,000 ($15,000/person * 2 (John & Jane) * 2 (child and spouse) * 3 sets of children)

Gifts to grandchildren: $270,000 ($15,000/person * 2 (John & Jane)

Over 20 years, assuming no change in the annual exclusion amounts, this moves $9,000,000 from inside John & Jane’s estate to outside their estate. Assuming estate taxes are 40%, this saves $3,600,000 in taxes. It also gives children/grandchildren funds much earlier, allowing the gifts to be acknowledged, discussed, and put to use during one’s lifetime.

For more information on gift taxes, visit the IRS page here or connect with a member of our Hill Investment Group team to discuss.

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Featured entries from our Journal

Details Are Part of Our Difference

Podcast Episode – Meir Statman

With the Recent Events in Ukraine, Should I Make Changes to My Portfolio?

Embracing the Evidence at Anheuser-Busch – Mid 1980s

529 Best Practices

Hill Investment Group