Michael J. Fitzgerald, CPA/PFS, CFP®,
MST is one of the worlds authoritative leaders on tax and investment
planning for real estate retirement services. He is known as the "Real
Estate Advisor", Pre-retirees will walk away from his presentations
energized with the newfound knowledge of how to customize and execute
their own Wealth By Design Retirement Plan to effectively meet their
retirement goals and Transition into a well earned retirement.
Why Do I Need A "Wealth By Design
to Help Me Plan For Retirement?
successful individual needs to follow a long-term financial game plan.
Your Wealth By Design Retirement Plan will outline and evaluate the
most important aspects of your retirement planning opportunities and
will then provide you with a specific roadmap on how to achieve your
long-term retirement goals, by replacing 100% of your income within
a 5 year period.
A good Wealth By Design Retirement Plan starts with your most important
"Life Goals", for example, "Can I really retire within
5 years, replace 100% of my income, help send my grandkids to college,
give back to the organizations that I love, provide for my wife, and
leave a tax free estate to my kids and grandkids?" Yes! Through
our program, we focus on the goals and then identify the tools necessary
to help you make sure that the Yes stays a Yes, or to help you identify
which goals may need to be adjusted. The great thing about our program
is you get to decide which goals are the most important to you. Once
we know what you want to accomplish, we can design a degree program
that will guide you through the next 5 years to retirement.
If you remember, way back when, when you showed up to college, you
were new to the whole higher education universe. Back then the
whole process seemed overwhelming, how were you ever going to be able
to get done and get that first job? One of the first things that the
university did after you were accepted, was to have you sit down with
your academic advisor, who was there to help you focus on the end
result, which was graduating with a degree by breaking the entire
process into bite size chunks. This was an end focused goal, set to
take less than 5 years to transition you from straight out of high
school into a productive member of society. The people that created
the higher education system understood that you needed to break the
program down into bite size bits of learning, otherwise if they tried
to teach you upper level courses as a Freshman, you would have been
totally lost, because you did not have the basic foundation in whatever
field that you were planning to study. So they started with the end
in mind, (that being graduating with a degree in….), and to
help you focus on your short-term goals, they broke the academic year
into 4 years, (Senior, Junior, Sophomore, Freshman), each year was
then broken down into two semesters and the semesters were broken
down into two parts and the two parts were broken down into the core
individual classes and the individual classes were broken down into
sections and the sections were broken down into chapters. By
employing this strategy they were able to train you and expose you
to new information at a rate that you could understand and retain,
as well as build upon. This is the same methodology that is
going to be needed to get you ready for retirement.
Through the use of the end goal, which was graduating in 4 years,
a plan could be developed to train you for the next phase of your
life. That plan was called a degree plan, it laid out the foundations
of your goals and dreams by saying in 4 years, I will graduate with
a degree in ………………………………!
You fill in the blank. Once you selected your degree plan, you had
to take the foundation courses necessary to prepare you for the more
complex topics in the upper levels. As this process was going along,
you signed up for certain classes in certain order, you could not
move onto the next class level unless, you could demonstrate that
you had gained at least the minimum requirements. If you struggled,
you retook the class. You did not give up; otherwise you would not
be where you are today. I have multiple degrees and they did not teach
this information in any of the classes that I took while in school.
Talking to most people they did not have any classes that showed them
how to organize their finances and plan for retirement. What they
learned was through trial and error or they were taught by someone
that did possess the necessary skills, or the wealthy one found advisors
to do it for them. Think about what you do for a living, it
took you years to acquire the skills necessary to do what you do at
the higher level. If I tried to do what you do, I would struggle,
until I either obtained the skills or experience necessary to perform
your job at such high level.
What I want to show you is that trying to project out over the yield
curve is very difficult. Figure, if countries and investment
banks can not do it, how should you expect that you would have the
skills or access to the information necessary to make those decisions?
Can you tell me with any degree of certainty that you will know what
the economic landscape will look like in 30+ years? No one can, that
is why most multi-national companies only use a 5 year business plan.
Now they do have underlying core long-term goals for their companies,
but having the flexibility to adjust your plan as the circumstance
change gives you a lot more confidence, then being committed to a
30+ year “Buy & Hold” program. How are you going to
determine the necessary assumptions needed to project out a 30+ year
retirement, with the underpinning of the core inflation rate to make
it look like more in line with expectations, when in fact the four
most appreciated items have been taken out of the core basket, (Energy,
Housing, Higher Education and Medical Care). So, if inflation is hire
than you are projecting, it means that the value of your portfolio
will decrease at the same rate as the increase in any unexpected inflation.
At a 3% inflation rate a portfolio will loose 50% of its value
in less than 24 years, at a 3.5%, a portfolio will decrease by have
in less than 20 years. The more realistic value of inflation
in today’s dollars is currently around 5.5%, or 2.5% higher
than what you are using to plan your retirement with, under these
conditions, your portfolio will be reduced in half ever 13 years.
A Million dollar portfolio will be worth only $500,000 in today’s
dollars in 13 years. So in less than 30 years your Million dollar
portfolio will be worth $250,000 in today’s prices. Assuming
that you fully annuitized your portfolio, the most that you would
be able to generate is a 5.5% return for life before any fees, taxes
and “Rule Of Thumb” inflation so your real economic return
is equal to negative -4%. Let’s calculate how long your purchasing
power will last including these additional costs.
$1,000,0000 = For every $100,000, you will earn a 5.5% return before
fees, taxes and inflation if annuities are purchased. So your retirement
paycheck will be $55,000 gross. Now assuming that you are in the 25%
marginal tax bracket, you would have taxes due of $13,750. Then we
would have to assess the internal and external costs of the annuity
in the form of fees, so you would spend another 2% or another $1,100
in management fees related to the commission products inside the annuity.
Then when you adjust your paycheck for inflation and cost of living
each year, you would loose another $3,025 in purchasing power each
year. Your true take home pay in year 2 would be equal to $37,125.
So in thirteen years your retirement paycheck would be worth $18,563
in today dollars, in another thirteen years your retirement paycheck
would be worth $9,281. Can you imagine being only 91 year’s
old living on less than $10,000 a year? When you started retirement,
you were a Millionaire.
Now let’s look at that same example, but this time instead of
putting your money into an annuity. Let’s assume that we invest
100% of your portfolio into a normal 80/20 Bond/Stock split that most
people think that they need to do in retirement. We will assume that
80% of your portfolio is in bonds and 20% of your portfolio is invested
in stocks. This portfolio should give us an 8% annualized return over
a 30 year period. Now calculating the return, on an original $1,000,000
portfolio starting at age 65 in retirement, that would generate 20%
of its return from the stock market and 80% of its return from the
bond market. Assuming that the stock market gives you the normalized
10% return over the next 30 year period. The portfolio would generate
$20,000 a year in dividends and capital gains related to the 20% stock
portfolio, assuming that the portfolio was re balanced and all dividends
were distributed. The bond portfolio would generate approximately
$40,000 in interest income each year. This would give you a gross
retirement pay check of $60,000 a year. Then we would apply the internal
and external costs needed to generate this return, so you would have
to spend an additional 25% in taxes or $15,000 a year. If mutual funds
are used you would have about a 3% management and marketing fee or
$6,000 in either reduction of principle or this amount would come
out of your current distributions. If an advisor is used you would
pay anywhere from .5% and 2% for management of your portfolio. Let’s
assume that your advisor only charges you 1% of the $1,000,000 portfolio
or $10,000 a year. You can either pay this out of your portfolio principle
or out of your current retirement distributions. Now we have to apply
the dreaded inflation rate of 5.5% or $3,300 loss of purchasing power
each year. Let’s calculate you year 2 take home retirement paycheck.
You real take home would be $25,700. Assuming that you can maintain
your current $1,000,000 balance and do not dip into more of your portfolio,
than the current income generated from it, you would be able to take
home $25,000 a year. If you tap into the $1,000,000 principle, this
amount will go down faster than the return will go up. When they cross
you are out of money and on the streets.
As you can see there is a break even hurdle that you must overcome
and using only two asset classes will not give you the required rate
of return necessary to generate a very positive retirement outcome.
Your two biggest concerns in building modern retirement income is:
When you work, your salary is adjusted for cost of living each year,
through yearly raises, otherwise you would quit and go find a better
paying job. While in retirement, you are having to convert your assets
into streams of income, without running out of money in the process.
Figure for every year that your portfolio losses money, but you still
keep removing the same or even higher amounts, your start to deplete
the principle. The portfolio either needs to take on more risk (spend
more of your risk budget) to generate even higher real returns, or
you need to adjust your withdrawal rate. Most people live at 110%
of their current income lifestyle, which is why so many Americans
are carrying such large amounts of revolving credit card debt. You
are spending more than you make, eventually you need to pay it back,
either buy tapping into savings, using the equity in your home or
being forced into financial ruin.
As you transition into retirement, you will try and follow an older
more outdated retirement model – “The 3 Legged Stool”.
Under this retirement model there were three necessary parts:
1. Company or Government Provided Pension & Post Retirement Health
2. Social Security & Medicare
3. Personal Savings or Investments
And if that was not enough, children picked up the slack either by
sharing some of the costs, or allowing them to live with them to save
Throw in a rather limited life expectancy and you could eek your way
through a low fixed income retirement. You knew that you always had
checks coming in the mail from your pension and from the government.
You could always dip into your personal savings for trips and gifts.
Because you stayed at the same company for 30 years, they were going
to let you stay in their health care system and you would only have
to pay the co-pay. This is a benefit that many Pre-Retirees
today do not have, therefore they have to account for these costs
out of their fixed income.
Does this sound like your retirement plan?
Does your company give you a pension?
Do you have post retirement health care benefits?
Is Social Security enough for you to live on?
You must have lots of money saved for your retirement to be able to
replace these great benefits?
You do have a lot of money saved, don’t you?
Assuming you have a husband and wife each making $50,000 a year before
taxes, they would need to have at least a portfolio $1,250,000 stashed
away to be able to replace the $100,000 needed to maintain their current
standard of living. Assuming that they maintained an 80/20 split and
got an 8% return during retirement and did not increase the $100,000
retirement paycheck or dip into principle.
So by scrimping and savings for 30 years assuming you started right
now you would have saved before any market returns $450,000 in your
401(k) plan, assuming you started today and max ed out your plan.
Now let’s also assume that you qualify to make any contribution
to your IRA, after thirty years you would have $120,000. That would
give you a total of $570,000. If adjusted in today’s dollars
it would be worth $143,000. Assuming that you only earned the rate
of inflation. Any Fees or taxes would have ripped through your
Let’s look at your break even point = To maintain the required
$100,000 year distributions, adjusted for inflation each year by 5.5%,
plus 2% for taxes and 2% for management fees. You would need to make
9.5% just to break even. You need to make another 8% to be able to
withdraw the $100,000 retirement income. That means that your real
required rate of return is 17.5%, as you can see a 5.5% annuity or
an 8% 80/20 portfolio will not give you the required return necessary
to replace 100% of your income. Even if you went to a 100% stock portfolio
and invested in the riskiest asset class over a 10 year period the
most you would expect to receive would be around 15%. That is assuming
that you can handle loosing 20% - 30% of your portfolio ever 3 years.
As you can see both of these do not seem like sound retirement principles
and because the system is skewed to favor the educated. Because the
salesman that sold you on these products will be long gone before
you run out of money, or you will quit them and move on to be someone
else’s problem. Figure they got paid regardless if you made
money or lost money. Because you paid them a commission, and they
will most likely push you into the flavor of the month (A Product)
that pays the highest commission or offers them a free trip. Does
this sound like the best place to get your retirement advice from?
Now let’s look at other advisors that want to accumulate but
do not want to distribute. Figure they make money by having you save
money. When it comes time to withdraw those funds, every year their
fees go down. Do you think that they are going want to do the same
amount of work, or more, if every year their pay check goes down?
If you advisor is over 50 years or older ask them if they ever want
to retire? Most will tell you that they do not see themselves retiring
anytime soon. That is until, you start wanting to take from their
check to fund your retirement. Let’s assume that the relationship
goes on for only another 20+ years. That means that if your advisor
is 50 years old right now and eventually dies or retires at age 70
1/2, you would be 65 entering retirement and now 85 years old looking
for a new trusted advisor, twenty years later. Are you really ready
to have to go out there and find a new advisor, how will your spouse
be able to find someone that can make sure they are not out on the
streets? What if it is your spouse, do you think that they are going
to be able to search through the group, when she is 85 years old?
I know I would not want my wife to have to deal with that stress.
Another problem that you will have is the population distribution,
there will not be as many advisors around in 20 years. Figure there
are 77 Million Baby Boomers, of that how many of them are 50+ years
in age that could potential be your advisor. Now as they either die
off or retire there will be a huge shortage of qualified advisors
when you need them the most, during your retirement distribution phase.
There are only 26 Million Generation X, what percentage of those will
be qualified advisors 20 years from now? You do the math. Accumulation
is easy and that is why anyone can become a stock broker and sell
annuities, it is retirement income replacement that is hard.
Is The Solution?
It is not about how much you make, it is about how much you take home.
The Wealth By Design Retirement Plan will then guide you through the
process of examining the key aspects of minimizing your taxes and
investing the savings to supercharge your retirement income and retire
in 5 years or less.
The importance of Wealth By Design Retirement Plans cannot be emphasized
enough. Pre-Retirees age 45 – 65, who meet certain income and
net worth requirements, who would like to read more about the value
of having a business plan for your retirement may download a free
Report, “13 WAYS TO CUT YOUR TAXES ON YOUR 2008 INCOME TAX RETURN”
or if you register for one of our Free Webinars, you will also receive
our valuable white paper, “How to Finance Your Way To Retirement.”
Retirement Planning Options
Fitzgerald Financial Partners, and their Wealth By Design Retirement
Plan is the leading real estate retirement services company in the
U.S., employing, tax minimization planning systems for owners, brokers,
managers and real estate investors who what to do 1 simple thing,
replace 100% of their income within a 5 year period and transition
Do not confuse wealth planning with goal setting. Anyone can set goals,
but professional owners, brokers, managers and real estate investors
build real wealth, through multiple facet plans. Wealth and retirement
planning is the road map that calculates how to reduce your taxes
and invest the tax savings to supercharge your retirement accounts.
Most pre-retirees are recognizing that working as an investor is a
tough business, and should not be treated as a hobby. They must deal
with the pressure of making sure not to loose all of their hard earned
money, but at the same time take on enough risk to outperform inflation
and reach their required rate of return. I can not believe that some
pre-retirees try and do this on their own. But few have ever worked
with a CPA/PFS, CFP®, MST who designs custom wealth & retirement
creation plans designed with the most important aspect of retirement,
100% income replacement.
Even Pre-Retiree, who value setting goals and defining specific objectives
for their businesses, often lack the time and expertise to develop
a comprehensive wealth & retirement distribution and tax minimization
plan. The current plans available, only deal with some of the asset
classes that are available, stocks, bonds and cash. These asset classes
are great to help diversify your portfolio risk, but do not generate
the returns necessary to follow Pareto’s Principle, which states,
“20% of what you do generates 80% of your income.” Does
20% of your plan generate these kinds of returns? Maybe it is time
for a new plan!
What Plan is right for Your Retirement
There are three different levels of the Wealth By Design Retirement
Planning Service: Silver, Gold and Platinum. Each version of our planning
platform, is designed to solve specific needs related to our Pre-Retirement
clients, based on their own individual psychological profiles and
focused retirement and life goals. Fitzgerald Financial Partners believes
that everyone’s dreams and goals are unique, and therefore so
should the plan that is right for them at the right time.
Silver Fitz Tax Plan is designed specifically for Pre-Retirees who
want the plan, but want to do it themselves. Wealth By Design Retirement
Plan Silver will focus you on your goals and the needed return necessary
to reach those goals. You will be able to identify if what you currently
have will be enough to reach retirement. Pre-Retirees quickly and
easily make a Wealth By Design Retirement Plan and follow the quarterly
reminders to achieve their long-term wealth accumulation planning
goals. This is the basic building block on all of the Wealth
By Design Plans and involves either a piece meal approach or you can
utilize the full 3 phase process.
The Gold Wealth By Design Retirement Plan is designed for Pre-Retirees
who want someone else to handle their daily investments, and provide
quarterly progress reports and access to our training library.
This process is similar to working with a “Fee-Only” Registered
The Platinum Wealth By Design Retirement Plan is the latest version
in the Fitzgerald Financial Partners, planning suite and is focused
on designing retirement income replacement services, while employing
strategic tax minimization plans for achieving maximum wealth accumulation
in a relative short period of time. This service is designed for clients
that want someone to do it for them, as well as educate them and guide
them to retirement. Additionally, Platinum has powerful built-in what
-if scenarios, to see the effects changing markets might have on your
long-term goals and portfolios. This program is by invitation
only, based on success factors within the two other levels.
After your evaluation period in the Gold level, you will be notified
if your application to the Platinum level has been accepted. This
program is limited to only a certain number of Pre-Retirees that have
made it through the process and have shown that they want to retire,
and they will do whatever it takes to get there. Just like in
Developing a Good Quality Wealth By
Design Retirement Plan
The Silver Wealth By Design Retirement Plan is a simple advisory appointment
designed to develop and test your goals to your plan.
• The Wealth By Design Retirement Plans provide a goal tested
plan, instead of trying to determine a number, you will determine
the required rate of return necessary to not outlive your assets during
retirement. You will also see what your financial grade point
ratio will look like based on the progress in your plan.
Our program will walk you through a simple application process to
guide you through the preparation of your 1 time plan. This
is not a typical 70+ page application, making you detail out all of
your assets and budget, but instead only has 5 pages and can be done
faster and more effective by focusing on the most aspects of any plan.
The Platinum Wealth By Design Retirement Plan allows you to experiment
with different, what-if scenarios. This programs, main focus
is on getting you over the 100% income replacement threshold, within
The Wealth By Design Retirement Plan enables you to make intelligent
and informed business decisions about your retirement outlook, and
how to test your plan to see if there is a probability of outliving
In association with any plan selection, we offer a 10 minute online
Isn't it time you maximized the return on your investment of time,
money and energy in your retirement planning process, and with our
100% Money-back Guarantee on the Silver Wealth By Design Retirement
Plan, what do you have to lose.
you are interested in applying for this unique program, please register
for our upcoming webinar;
"Do You Have The Desire To Retire?"
" Financing Your Way to Retirement !”
Just For Attending This Free Webinar We Will Send You
are Free Informative White Paper
"Financing Your Way To Retirement
Click Here Now to Register... It Will Change the Way You Live Your