Retirement is a big step in life but you don't have to plan alone. Wealth Planners will help you get information you need to chart your best course.

Frequently Asked Questions

Have questions? Please review the answers to many of the commonly asked questions we get.

Retirement Information

When is the appropriate time to retire?

The appropriate time to retire is when you have put together a sound plan and can afford to live comfortably off of your retirement savings. Typically, this is around your 50’s or 60’s.

I have a Will. Why should I consider a Revocable Living Trust?

Contrary to what you’ve probably heard, a Will may not be the best plan for you and your family-primarily because a Will does not avoid probate when you die. A Will must be verified by the probate court before it can be enforced.


Also, because a Will can only go into effect after you die, it provides no protection if you become physically or mentally incapacitated. So, the court could easily take control of your assets before you die-a concern of millions of older Americans and their families.

Fortunately, there is a simple and proven alternative to a Will-the Revocable Living Trust. It avoids probate and lets you keep control of your assets while you are living-even if you become incapacitated-and after you die.

When is the appropriate time to draw social security?

The earliest age you can draw is 59.5 and your social security will stop growing at age 70. There are many different factors that can impact this choice. A few are listed below:

  • Will you continue to work after drawing benefits?
  • What is your current health status?
  • Are you married? If so, what is your spouse’s income and health?

There are many more questions to take into account, so it’s important to meet with a professional who can help you plan effectively.

What types of solutions do you offer?

At Wealth Planners of America, we offer an extensive variety of solutions. Depending on your wants, needs, and risk factors, we can develop a plan that will give you the peace of mind you deserve throughout retirement.

Does Wealth Planners of America charge a fee for a consultation?

No. Wealth Planners of America will not charge any fee for consultation or for designing a retirement plan. If you choose, depending on the solution, there may be fees or commissions paid to our advisors.

About Probate

What is probate?

Probate is the legal process through which the court sees that, when you die, your debts are paid and your assets are distributed according to your Will. If you don’t have a valid Will, your assets are distributed according to state law.

What's so bad about probate?

  • It can be Legal/executor fees and other costs must be paid before your assets can be fully distributed to your heirs. Costs vary in each state, but are usually estimated at 2-8% of an estate’s value. If you own property in other states, your family could face multiple probates, each one according to the laws in that state.
  • It takes time. Usually 9 months to 2 years. During part of this time, assets are usually frozen so an accurate inventory can be taken. Nothing can be distributed or sold without court and/or executor approval. If your family needs money to live on, they must request a living allowance, which may be denied.
  • Your family has no Probate is a public process, so any “interested party” can see what you owned and who you owed. The process “invites” disgruntled heirs to contest your Will and can expose your family to unscrupulous solicitors.
  • Your family has no control during The probate process determines how much it will cost, how long it will take and what information is made public.

Why would the court get involved at incapacity?

If you can’t conduct business due to mental or physical incapacity (Alzheimer’s, stroke, heart attack, etc.), only a court appointee can sign for you-even if you have a Will. (Remember, a Will only goes into effect after you die).


Once the court gets involved, it usually stays involved until you recover or die. The court, not your family, controls how your assets are used to care for you. This public process can be expensive, embarrassing, time consuming and difficult to end if you recover. And, it does not replace probate at death-your family could have to go through the court system twice!

What is a Revocable Living Trust?

A Revocable Living Trust is a legal document that, just like a Will, contains your instructions for what you want to happen to your assets when you die. But, unlike a Will, a Revocable Living Trust avoids probate at death, can control all of your assets and prevents the court from controlling your assets at incapacity.

How does a Revocable Living Trust avoid probate and prevent court control of assets at incapacity?

When you set up a Revocable Living Trust, you transfer assets from your name to the name of your Trust, which you control.


For example, from “Bob & Sue Smith, husband and wife” -to- ‘The Bob & Sue Smith Family Trust” dated 1/1/20.

You and your spouse are named as the “trustees” of all assets within the Trust.

Revocable Living Trust

Do I lose control of the assets in my Revocable Living Trust?

Absolutely not. You keep full control. As trustee of Trust, you can do anything you could do before-buy/sell assets, change or even cancel your Trust (that’s why it’s called a Revocable Living Trust). You even file the same tax returns. Nothing changes in your life except, the names on the titles.

How can a Revocable Living Trust save on estate taxes?

Federal estate taxes are calculated based on the net value of your estate. Depending on the year that you die, estate taxes will be paid on the sum greater than the “exemption” amount, and, at the percentage rate for that year, as set by the U.S. government. If married, your Trust can include a provision that may allow you and your spouse to utilize two “exemptions” that result in doubling the tax-free amount.

Should I have an attorney do my Trust?

Yes, but you need the right one. An attorney with considerable experience in Revocable Living Trusts can provide valuable guidance and peace of mind that yours is prepared properly.

Who should have a Revocable Living Trust?

Age, marital status and wealth doesn’t really matter. If you own titled assets and want your loved ones (spouse, children or parents) to avoid court interference at your death or incapacity, consider a Revocable Living Trust. You may also want to encourage other family members to have one so you won’t have to deal with the courts at their incapacities or deaths.


What is an Annuity?

Annuities are contracts between you and a life insurance company where your money earns interest and can be used as a safe place for your retirement funds. Annuities can also be set up to provide you with guaranteed lifetime payments for the future.

Are there different types of Annuities?

Yes. There are three basic types of annuities. Fixed annuities, variable annuities and fixed- indexed annuities.


Fixed annuities protect your principal and have a guaranteed rate of return for a specified amount of time. If needed, they can be annuitized, immediately or in the future, to pay you an income for the rest of your life. Generally, you cannot take money out of these contracts before the term ends or there is a surrender fee. There are typically no other fees associated with these contracts.


Variable annuities primarily use mutual funds as an investment tool. The principal and interest earned are subject to market loss and there are numerous fees associated with these contracts. A guaranteed lifetime income rider can be added to the contract but there is usually an additional fee for this option. You may take up to 10% annually from most variable contracts without a fee but any additional withdrawals exceeding 10% may incur a surrender penalty charge. There may be risk to your money in these types of contracts.


Fixed-indexed annuities are a hybrid contract that completely protects the original principal and any earned interest during the contract period. Funds can be put into different strategies for the contract to earn interest, i.e., S&P 500, Dow Jones, Nasdaq. Interest may be earned annually during market increases using these strategies. There are usually caps on the earnings but there are never any losses associated with market down-turns, unlike variable annuities. You have the ability to take withdrawals, usually 10% annually during the surrender period, without any fees.


Most contracts have no administration fees associated with these contracts unless you add a guaranteed lifetime income option. Some companies may charge for this benefit.


There companies that even offer initial premium bonuses whenever you set up an account. This is a good way to kick-start your annuity and earn additional interest.

What type of funds can I put into an Annuity?

The contract may be set up using both types of funds, qualified or non-qualified. The annuity can be set up using pre-tax or after-tax money. Funds can be transferred from a 401k, Traditional IRA, ROTH IRA, Brokerage Account, Certificate Of Deposit, Bank/Savings Account. The money will have the same tax designation whenever it is put into an annuity contract as it did from where it originated.

What are the tax consequences if I should put my money into an Annuity?

Annuity contracts are typically tax-deferred. You do not incur any taxes during the accumulation period while the annuity is earning interest. Any taxes will be assessed if you make a withdrawal from the annuity. If the funds are transferred from another type of account, such as another annuity or brokerage account, there are no tax implications. If it is a rollover from another qualified investment, such as a 401k or IRA then there a no taxes that are assessed for the transaction.

Can I have more than one Annuity?

Of course. Depending on what your goals are for your money, and the type of funds that are being used, you may have one or several accounts set up to protect your financial future.

Are there any other benefits by putting my money into an Annuity?

Yes. Not only may your principal and earnings be protected from market losses, there are other protections that annuities provide for your money. Once your money is put into an annuity contract, it is now protected from:

  • Bankruptcy
  • Lawsuits
  • Probate

If you should pass away, the money in the annuity can be passed directly to your spouse, heirs or any beneficiary that you designate, without going through the courts.