@wreckon95 - After having a properly drafted special needs trust, the next thing I'd be thinking about is your own estate plans. Having your assets properly titled and having correct beneficiary designations goes a long way when (30 years from now) you are not in the picture.
@wreckon95: Great job getting the special needs trust in place! Some thoughts that come to my mind although I am not a specialist at special needs planning are: Do you have appropriate legal docs in place regarding who will be her back-up guardian(s) if you (and your spouse, if applicable) become incapacitated or pass away? Is the trust funded? Do you have adequate provisions for back-up trustees? Is the whole family aware and onboard with whatever is in the will (thereby, hopefully, avoiding any challenges to the will)?
Not enough cash...how much you pay will depend on several things: what market you are in (an advisor typically has lower costs in a smaller community), what the advisor's experience is, what their overhead is (many advisors work virtually now so they don't have to have a fancy office with leather chairs). I would like the other advisors to comment but I would say typical costs would be $150-350/hour with some fringe on either end. Some advisors offer something like a quick start plan for a fixed fee....maybe 600-900. You would be surprised at how much you can get done in a short period of time, especially if you do a good job of providing information to the advisor in an organized way.
@NOT ENOUGH CASH FLOW - I'll jump in here - costs will vary greatly by advisor and geography. I'd recommend checking out some of the networks mentioned, find a couple of names in your area and send some emails or make some calls. Finding someone that is a good match for your personality is very important.
The cost of fee-only advisors.....many people might balk at paying several hundred dollars an hour. But remember, for that you will get unbiased advice based on what is best for you. For instance, you might be able to go to an advisor to get investment recommendations and the cost might be well below $2000 with low ongoing fees on the recommended investments. Compare that with someone who sells a commissioned product. They may either have high front end loads/sale's charges (for instance 5.75% on A shares which would cost you $5750 on $100000 right off the bat) AND/OR high ongoing fees (higher for B or C shares) and possibly a deferred sales charge if you sell before a certain time limit (B Shares). You are looking for value and transparency.
Alexa, I think maximizingyoursocialsecurity.com will allow you to enter your actual projected income stream to calculate benefits. You might check it out.
@AlexaH - It's not often I direct someone to a government website, but SSA.gov has a couple of calculators that you can use (for free) to help answer your question. You are wise to realize that the SS statement makes assumptions that do not fit every situation.
Hey Mark, can you find us a link on that calculator? I've looked but, alas, with no success.
@ not enough cash flow....Mark is right. A "good fit" with your advisor is VERY important as you usually need to tell them things you have never told anyone else. You want to feel very comfortable in the engagement.
Dave B, I think your wife has to be full retirement age before she can collect a spousal benefit (I am looking but cannot find a definitive answer) Also, as her benefit is going to be higher, you might consider using other assets to fund your needs until she is age 70 when her benefit will be much larger.
DAVE B CAUTION - You can draw a spousal benefit early but it may have big consequences on her ability to file for her own benefit. You really need to check with a planner on the specifics of your situation.
@DaveB: If your wife goes in and claims Social Security Benefits before her Full Retirement Age (FRA) (probably age 66+/-), SSA will look at the spousal vs her own benefit and give the higher one and that will be that. She cannot change later.
If she waits until she reaches FRA, she can tell SSA that she voluntarily wants to claim ONLY her lower spousal benefit for now. She could then bump up to her own maximum benefit at age 70
Timothy thanks so much for the social security clarification. I knew there was something about she would be "deemed" to have filed for both if she did it early.
SMD, both Fidelity and Vanguard are great companies so either one would be a good choice.
@Bobbie- Yes, there are several layers of weird technical details behind how SS actually thinks about what they are doing but the end result is that if she does it before FRA, she gets whichever the $ amount of whichever benefit is higher that time and is considered to have claimed/be claiming both benefits.
Julie, you will be taxed on a conversion per a pro rata portion of your account value vs. your non-deductible contributions. For instance, let's say you put $50K in deductible contributions in an IRA. Then you put $10K in non-deductible contributions in an IRA (does NOT matter if it is a separate IRA as you have to consider all IRAs when making this calculation). The IRA is now worth 75K. You want to convert $5K. Of that 10/75 X 5K or 666 will not be taxed but the rest will.
@ Julie C - Only the taxable amount (amount above your non-deductible contributions) will be subject to tax. Be aware that Roth conversions look at ALL IRAs as one when determining taxable/non-taxable amounts. Converting one IRA and only considering that IRA's "basis" is incorrect and might lead to a tax surprise.
Early30s.....with -0- taxable income there is no reason to go to a traditional IRA for tax deferral. I say go with the ROTH while you are in this situation.
Early 30s, do be sure you use a workplace retirement plan to capture any matching funds.
@SMD: I'd consolidate. Assuming that you are invested in a diversified portfolio of mutual funds, I'm not sure that the company risk at the mutual find company level is a terribly significant. Your assets are primarily invested in the underlying stocks, bonds, etc. with very little of their value has much to do with Fidelity or Vanguard. Others have mentioned SIPC insurance which in simple terms protects up to $500k against the possibility that Vanguard or Fidelity might inappropriately take your underlying stocks, bonds, etc. form your account.
@early30s - Zero taxes = Roth. At your age, I'd even argue that the Roth makes sense if you are hitting the 10% or 15% brackets.
You're actually up nest Beststrategy!
@Beststrategy - Lots of questions here... (A)/(B) Given your income levels I would not expect you will be able to make a deductible IRA contribution for yourself since you are participating in your 401(k). Your wife can make a deductible contribution though and that is probably the best plan given your current income level (vs a Roth).
@Beststrategy - (C) I really like (and use personally) 529s as college savings tools. Given the flexibility of the 529 plans, I would use them instead of a Roth. Your kids cannot have Roth IRAs until they have their own working income.
@wreckon95: The trust is sort of like an imaginary person who will own and (through a trustee) manage the $ for your daughter. You have created the trust, does it have any $? Are there any accounts or assets that are currently owned in the name of the trust? Or will it get all its assets upon your death from life insurance, from a beneficiary designations, or from your probate estate ( i.e. your Will -- BTW, the $ amount will generally be public info if it goes via this route)? Often these types of trusts are funding essentially at death one way or another. But if that is so, then a contested will or life insurance premiums someone forgot to pay can cause big problems. So I tend to encourage people to think about making those plans as bulletproof as they can (perhaps while still leaving an out if something changes). Does that help answer your question? I know that it's almost an abstraction of an abstraction, which gets confusing.