At some point, we all confront situations that put or financial well-being at risk. Fortunately, there is a financial strategy that can help us get out of these statistics. 

Let’s talk about a reality that many of us live: 

If you are in one or more of these statistics, let me ask you: What are you going to do when an emergency comes up? If you have to go to the hospital, of your car breaks down, if your washing machine breaks, how are you going to pay for it? Would you have to go into debt? Ask your family for money? What if something major happens like a critical or chronic injury, you lose your job, a loved one passes away… are you financially prepared? 

Thinking about the future, how prepared are you for retirement? Any money you set aside for the future helps, but have you done the math on how much you will have when it is time to retire? Or are you expecting government help? It is projected that social security will run out by 2035 (and this doesn’t take into account the effects of the pandemic). My name is Luis Ramos and I am a licensed financial professional. My job is to help you in your finances and recommend financial strategies that will help you reach your financial goals, whether that is saving money for an emergency fund, for retirement or to prepare for unexpected situations. 

Do you have a 401k? You might not have as much money for retirement as you think. Read up on all the dangers of the 401k

A financial strategy for all your financial goals

Whatever your financial goal is, there is a financial strategy that can help you achieve them. I recommend an Index Universal Life (IUL). 

Index = Your money is tied to an index that imitates the stock market behavior (but isn’t in the stock market). 

Universal = Although this used to be known as a strategy for the rich, nowadays modern IULs are for everyone. They adapt to the needs and goals of each person. 

Life = It’s a life insurance contract for life (until 121 years). 

An IUL is an insurance policy that accumulates cash value. It serves as a tool to save money. It’s tied to an index that imitates the behavior of the stock market, but your money is not exposed to the stock market, so you never lose money when the stock market plummets, thanks to the 0% floor. You accumulate an average of 6% to 10%, helping you to double your money every 8 to 10 years. 

You might ask yourself, why should I invest in an IUL instead of a retirement account like a 401K? First, because of what we said that your money is not exposed to the stock market. And second, because your money grows TAX-FREE and you can access your money tax-free. 

An IUL also has the following benefits: 

  • Life insurance that transfers to your beneficiaries tax-free
  • Insurance that protects you in case of critical or chronic conditions such as work accidents that make it difficult to care for yourself, and chronic conditions such as cancer. 

 

With an IUL: 

  • Your money grows tax-free on an average of 6% to 10%
  • Has a 0% floor (you never lose) and a max of 13% to 15%
  • Life insurance that transfers tax-free to your beneficiaries
  • Cash advance for critical or chronic conditions

How does an IUL help you? 

Cash Value

If an IUL is well structured, it can accumulate cash value, but it has to be structured correctly (by a financial professional such as myself). To grow your savings, it’s up to you to be very aggressive with your contributions so you maximize your investment potential. 

Depending on what you save each month, your IUL could accumulate around $20,000 the first five years. How would you feel if you could save that money for your future? I see it as a hobby. My work, asides from being a financial professional of course, is to invest in my policy. 

What can you do with your IUL? 

  • Emergency fund  – If you don’t have one yet, you would have a solid emergency fund, taking you out of the 78% of people that live paycheck to paycheck and the 70% of those that have less than $1,000 in a savings account. 
  • Investor – From year 10 and thereafter, the value of the IUL policy goes through the roof, putting you in an excellent position as an investor. If a good-priced property comes up, business opportunities with high-income potential, you have the funds to invest. You can be your own bank because your IUL policy has liquidity (easy access to your money). You don’t have to turn to credit. 
  • Retirement – You arrived at your retirement with your house and car paid for. The only things you have to pay are expenses like utilities, food, clothes and the occasional splurge. What if I told you that your IUL could have at least half a million dollars, how would you feel regarding your retirement? You would feel much more in peace, right? 

Protection in Life

As much as we don’t like to think about it, we have to protect ourselves for medical situations that can seriously affect our quality of life. On top of having to deal with an illness, you also have to take into account how it will affect your finances. Here are some ways and IUL financial strategy will help: 

  • Terminal  Conditions – Your coverage can advance a percentage of the value of your policy to support you in these difficult times. 
  • Critical – an organ transplant, a heart attack, loss of vision, it advances a percentage of your coverage. This way, you only have to worry about getting better. 
  • Chronic – If you find yourself in a situation that you need help to bathe yourself, to eat, to dress, to take care of yourself for more than three months, it also advances a percentage of your coverage. You don’t have to rely on asking for money from a family member, donations or government help. 

Life Insurance

Our life will eventually end. The best thing we can do is to leave our family in a good financial position. With an IUL financial strategy, the life insurance amount grows with the years, so the more time you have with the policy, the more money you will leave to your beneficiaries. The value of your policy, plus what you have accumulated in cash value, transfer to your family tax-free and cannot be touched by creditors. 

 

Now that you know the main benefits of an IUL, what are you waiting for? Get in touch with me today to discuss your situation and see how we can support you to prepare your finances for the future.

En algún momento, todos nos enfrentamos a situaciones que ponen en riesgo nuestra situación financiera. Afortunadamente, hay una estrategia financiera que nos pueden ayudar a salirnos de estas estadísticas. 

Hablemos de la realidad que muchos de nosotros vivimos: 

Si estas dentro de una o mas de estas estadísticas, te pregunto: ¿Qué harás cuando surge una emergencia? Si caes en el hospital, si se te daña el carro, si se te rompe la lavadora, ¿cómo lo pagarías? ¿Tendrías que acudir a endeudarte para resolver cualquier percance? ¿pedirle dinero prestado a un familiar? Y, ¿qué pasaría si surge una emergencia mayor? Una enfermedad crítica o crónica, una pérdida de trabajo, una muerte familiar ¿tienes como resolver financieramente?

Pensando en el futuro, ¿cuán preparado/a estás para el retiro? Cualquier dinero que saques aparte para el retiro ayuda, pero… ¿has hecho la matemática de como eso va a sumar cuando llegue el momento de retirarte? ¿o crees que el gobierno te va a ayudar? Se proyecta que el seguro social se quedará sin fondos en el 2035 (y esto sin tener en cuenta los efectos del coronavirus). 

Mi nombre es Luis Ramos y soy un profesional de las finanzas licenciado. Mi trabajo es ayudarte en tus finanzas y recomendarte estrategias financieras que te ayuden a llegar a tus metas financieras, ya sea ahorrar dinero para un fondo de emergencias, para el retiro o prepararte para situaciones inesperadas. 

Una Estrategia Financiera para Todas tus Metas Financieras

 

Cualquiera que sea tu meta de ahorro, existen una estrategia financiera que te pueden ayudar. Yo recomiendo una Index Universal Life (IUL). 

  • Index = Tu dinero está atado a un índice que imita el comportamiento del mercado (pero no está en el mercado)
  • Universal = Antes conocida como una estrategia para los ricos, hoy día las IULs modernas son para todos. Se adaptan a las necesidades y metas de cada persona.
  • Life = Contrato de seguro de vida de por vida (hasta los 121 años). 

Una IUL es una póliza de seguro de vida que acumula cash value. Osea, sirve como herramienta de ahorro en vida. Esta atado a un índice que imita el comportamiento de la bolsa de valores, pero no está expuesto al mercado, así que nunca pierdes cuando cae el mercado, gracias a la garantía del 0% piso. Acumula en promedio entre 6% a 10%, ayudándote a multiplicar tu dinero cada 8 a 10 años. 

Te preguntarás ¿porqué debo invertir en una IUL en vez de una cuenta de retiro como un 401K? Primero, por lo que dijimos que tu dinero no está expuesto al mercado. Y segundo, porque tu dinero crece libre de impuestos y puedes tener acceso a tu dinero libre de impuestos.

Además tiene los siguientes beneficios: Seguro de vida que transfiere a tus beneficiarios libre de impuestos, seguro que te protege financieramente en situaciones de condiciones críticas y crónicas como accidentes de trabajo que te impidan cuidarte por ti mismo, y condiciones crónicas como cancer y otras. 

Con una IUL: 

  • Tu dinero crece en promedio entre 6% a 10% libre de impuesto
  • Tiene un piso de 0% (nunca pierdes) y un máximo entre 13% y 15%
  • Seguro de vida transfiere a tus herederos libre de impuestos
  • Desembolso de dinero por condiciones de salud críticas y crónicas 

Estrategia financiera: ¿Cómo te ayuda una IUL? 

Cash Value

Si una IUL está bien estructurada, puede acumular cash value, pero hay que saber como estructurarla bien. Para que tus ahorros hagan dinero, queda en ti ser bien agresivo/a con tus ahorros maximizando tu potencial de inversión. 

Dependiendo de cuanto ahorres cada mes, tu IUL puede acumular alrededor de $20,000 los primeros 5 años. ¿Cómo te sentirias si pudieses ahorrar ese dinero para tu futuro? Yo lo veo como un hobby. Mi trabajo, además de ser profesional de las finanzas claro, es invertir en mi póliza. 

¿Qué te permite esto? 

  • Fondo de emergencia – Si aun no lo tienes, tendrías un buen fondo de emergencia, sacándote del 78% de las personas que viven cheque a cheque, y del 70% de las personas que tienen menos de $1,000 en una cuenta de ahorro. 
  • Inversionista – Del año 10 en adelante, el valor de la póliza se dispara poniéndote en excelente posición de inversionista. Si surgen oportunidades de propiedades a buen precio, negocios con posibilidades de altos ingresos, tienes el capital para invertir. Puedes ser tu propio banco ya que tu póliza tiene liquidez (fácil acceso al dinero). No tienes q acudir a crédito. 
  • Retiro – Llegaste a la edad de retiro con casa salda y carro saldo. Lo único que tienes que pagar son tus gastos como utilidades, comida, ropa, el lujito de vez en cuando. Y si te digo que tu IUL puede tener al menos alrededor de medio millon de dolares, ¿cómo te sentirías con respecto a tu retiro? Te sentirías mucho más en paz, ¿verdad? 

Protecciones en Vida

Por más que no nos guste pensarlo, hay que protegerse para situaciones médicas que pueden afectar nuestra calidad de vida seriamente. Encima de tener que lidear con la enfermedad, también tienes que tomar en cuenta como esta situación afectará a tus finanzas. 

  • Terminal – tu cobertura te puede adelantar un por ciento del valor de tu póliza en vida para apoyarte en este momento tan difícil. 
  • Crítico – un transplante de órganos, un ataque al corazón, pierdes la visión, te adelanta en vida un por ciento de tu cobertura. Así, por lo único que te tienes que preocupar es por mejorarte. 
  • Crónico – Si te encuentras en una situación en la que necesitas ayuda para bañarte, para comer, para vestirte, para cuidarte a ti mismo por más de tres meses, también te adelanta en vida un por ciento de tu cobertura. No tienes que recurrir a pedir dinero prestado, a donaciones, a ayudas del gobierno. 

Seguro de Vida

A todos nos va a llegar nuestro día. Lo mejor que podemos hacer es dejar a nuestra familia en buena posición financiera. Con una IUL, la cobertura de seguro de vida crece con los años, así que mientras más tiempo lleves con la póliza, más dinero le dejarás a tus herederos. El valor de tu póliza, más lo que hayas acumulado en cash value, pasa a tu familia libre de impuestos y no puede ser tocado por acreedores. 

 

Ahora que conoces los beneficios principales de una estrategia financiera como una IUL, ¿qué esperas? Ponte en contacto conmigo para discutir tu situación particular y ver como te podemos apoyar para preparar tus finanzas para el futuro.

Do you know how much money you’ll need to retire comfortably? Let’s do the math. Say that you want to retire at 65 and you want $5,000 monthly for the rest of your life. Your house and car are paid off, you don’t have a lot of debt, so the $5,000 goes towards utilities, food and the occasional indulgence. $5,000 is not a ton, but it’s enough to be comfortable. So let’s do the math: Let’s say you’ll live in retirement for 20 years. 

$5,000 x 12 = $60,000 per year x 20 years = $1,200,000. 

You’ll need $1,200,000 to retire comfortably. How much do you have now? Are you even saving? 

If you are saving, in any way, that’s good news. But, did you know that there are different financial vehicles you can use to save money for retirement? They all have their advantages and disadvantages. And some, of course, are better than others. 

One of the most popular retirement vehicles is the 401(k), an employer-sponsored retirement plan that helps you save for retirement. The money is deducted from your paycheck pre-tax and deposited into your investment account in the stock market. According to SmartAssets.com, “the typical 401(k) portfolio generates an average annual return of 5% to 8% based on market conditions.”

What’s not to love, right? Well, a few things… 

Dangers of Investing in a 401(k)

You’ll Pay Taxes When you Take Out the Money

For starters, a 401(k) is a tax-deferred plan. This means that you will pay taxes when you TAKE OUT THE MONEY. So, you won’t be paying today’s tax rates, you’ll be paying whatever the tax rate is in the future. 

Let me ask you a question: Do you think taxes are going to go down, stay the same, or go up in the future? They’re probably going to go up. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather pay taxes NOW than in the future. 

You’re Exposed to Market Volatility

In a 401(k), your money is invested in the stock market. And we all know how that can go… only on the first quarter of 2020, the stock market fell by 23.2%, making it the worst first quarter EVER.

Expert investors such as Warren Buffett and Tony Robbins have said it numerous times: Nobody beats the market. Why should you expose yourself to it? 

Check this out: Years of magnificent growth are often preceded by years of immense losses. Let’s take the years 2000-2003 as an example. In 2000, the market fell by 12.2%, in 2001 by 13.4% and in 2002 by a whooping 24.1%. 2003 was a great year, the market grew by 26.3%!! So, if you had a million dollars invested in the market in 2000, how much did you end up with after the magnificent year that was 2003? $728,000. You actually LOST over a quarter of a million dollars. Let’s say that again: YOU LOST $272,000. 

Original Investment $1,000,000

YearPerformanceYour Money
2000-12.2%$878,000
2001-13.4%$760,000
2002-24.1%$577,000
2003+26.3%$728,000
TOTAL LOSS– $272,000

The market continued to grow in the next few years, yes, but then it plummeted again in 2008. How much money do you think you would have lost then? They say the market always bounces back, but how long would it have taken you to recuperate that money? This is time you could be making money, not trying to get back to your original investment. 

Your Money Isn’t Easily Accessible Until You Are 59 ½ 

A retirement plan should be for retirement, of course, but sometimes life happens. You can spend 10 years at a company and lose your job all of a sudden. You can fall sick (we all know medical insurance won’t cover all your expenses). Your house might need significant repairs. You never know what life might throw at you. And while you’re scrambling to figure things out, your money is imprisoned in a 401(k) plan in which you have to pay a hefty penalty (10%) to access before you are 59 ½. There’s no liquidity. 

Fees

How much are you paying for your 401(k)? Do you know? There are three types of fees in your 401 (k). These are investment fees, plan administration fees and individual service fees. These fees average about 2.22% of your assets (but these can go up to 5%!!). That might not seem like a lot, but let’s put that into perspective. With the same $1,000,000 investment, that means that you’ll pay $22,000 in fees. And then you’ll pay taxes on top of that. 

So, if you started out with $1,000,000 

– $22,000 in fees = $978,000

Let’s say you’re going to take out those $5,000 we talked about in the beginning, $60,000 a year. But, you see, you’re not going to get $60,000 a year. With the current tax rate of 22% (that will most likely go up, right?) that would be $46,800 or $3,900 a month. 

If we add it up, that means that Uncle Sam will have taken $215,160 out of your million dollars! That leaves you (after taxes and fees) with $762,840. You’ll have lost nearly a quarter of a million dollars… That is, if you don’t lose much of your investment in the market before you even touch it. 

Do you think that’s good business? Why should you lose so much of your hard-earned retirement savings? There are better ways to save for retirement.

Invest in a Money-Making Machine

Now that you know about the dangers of keeping your hard-earned money in a 401(k), you might be thinking: What am I going to do about this? Get in touch with me right away, that’s the first move. Here’s why: 

What if I told you there was a way that you could make your money grow TAX FREE with an average annual return of 8% without EVER losing money? 

Let’s break that down: 

  • Tax free – You invest money you’ve already paid taxes on (at today’s rate) and you don’t have to pay taxes when you take it out. Nothing. Nada. If you have $1,000,000 in your account, you’ll get $1,000,000. 
  • You don’t lose money, EVER – Your money isn’t directly invested in the stock market. It is in an index fund that mimics the performance of the stock market, with one important difference: When the stock market goes down, you get a 0% (up to a .75%) return. You don’t earn much, but you don’t lose. 
  • Up to 15% annual return – Because you don’t lose, you also have a cap on how much you can earn. 

Let’s illustrate this with the same example we used previously. 

Original Investment $1,000,000

401 (k)Money Making Machine 
YearPerformance Your MoneyPerformance Your Money
2000-12.2%$878,0000%*$1,000,000
2001-13.4%$760,0000%*$1,000,000
2002-24.1%$577,0000%*$1,000,000
2003+26.3%$728,000+15%$1,150,000
* Different products have different floors (from 0% to .75%)

Instead of ending up with $728,000 that will STILL BE TAXED when you take it out, you’ll have $1,150,000 TAX-FREE money. 

This is all possible, you just have to know where to invest. Want more info? Contact me today. 

Surprised about all this information on 401(k)? Don’t take our word for it. Check out these articles on how a 401(k) works:  

You started the year off with a bang! Resolutions in place, you swore that THIS was the year in which it would all change. Sooooo, it’s been a month… how are you doing with those resolutions? 

It’s easy to write your yearly resolutions down on paper. It’s much harder to carry them out. This is why, one month in, we’re checking in with you and offering a few tips to help you keep your resolutions on track. 

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The other day, talking to a friend, we started talking about where we see each other in 2-5 years. I told him that I see myself having an automated business that I can work on my cell phone from anywhere in the world. He told me that he wanted to start a business but didn’t have any money, which got me thinking… is money the first thing you need to start a business? I think not. 

While capital is necessary for most types of businesses, there are many others that can be started without much initial investment. What you do need, however, is to consider four key points that will help you set up your business. 

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Working from home is pretty darn great. You have the flexibility to control your hours, you can prepare a home-cooked lunch every single day, and you can even sneak in a load of laundry once in a while. The dress code is chill, the music is always your choice, and there aren’t any chatting co-workers interrupting you when you are in the zone. I’ve found I’m a lot more productive since I’ve been working from home. 

Nevertheless, working from home also has its downfalls. It can be extremely lonely, difficult to stay motivated and hard to stick to if you don’t have the discipline and right tools to be successful. As I’ve been working from home for almost 3 years now, here are my top recommendations for working remotely successfully. 

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I use the word balance a lot. Actually, balance should be key in life; a balance between family and work, balance of personal time and social time, a balance between exercise and going and eating that thing that you enjoy but know it’s not to healthy. But when I use the phrase “There is time but don’t waste time”, it’s the balance between rushing into things and procrastination. 

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In a meeting last week, a client leaned in and confided: “Charlene, I can stand in front of hundreds of people and give a speech, that’s my thing, but when it comes to marketing I don’t know where to start.” Does this sound familiar? To some business owners, marketing can seem like a daunting task, even social media. There are so many things one can do! But how? When you get to it, you will realize that you need one thing to do another and before you know it you might be spiraling down a rabbit hole you don’t quite understand. On top of that, marketers LOVE their acronyms, so even when you start figuring things out, you might find yourself googling what the heck is SEO and how it’s different from SEM. 

Another common symptom I’ve seen is choice paralysis, when you’re so afraid of making a mistake that you stop yourself from even starting. After all, you’re putting your brand out there for the whole world to see. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with all the choices, platforms and marketing speak. 

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