How to Invest in 2009: Age-Based Tips from 360 Wealth Management

Today’s installment of age-based investment tips for 2009 from advisers at 360 Wealth Management Group of Raymond James & Associates.

Greg Ghodsi, senior vice president of investments in Tampa and North Carolina says these are the main points he reviews with clients ages 35-55 years:

-Make sure you have a good disability policy; greater chance of this than death. See if it is portable if you change jobs

-Term insurance is good to protect your family from death; proceeds can replace the income lost by the earner. Both spouses should have this.

-Fund 529 plans or state pre-pay programs for kids’ higher education

-Get an umbrella liability policy

-Fully fund your 401(k) so you can also get the company match, if available

-After all of these items are funded, you should first invest in CD’s or high rated bonds to build a base of your portfolio

-After you create this base then you have the ability to afford the risk of the equity markets

Jeff Sellers, Vice President of investments in Palm Beach, Fla., recommends that investors ages 55-75 years follow these tips:

-By now you should have a good idea of what income you want in order to be able maintain a desired retirement lifestyle. If you don’t know yet, sit down with your financial adviser and start planning.

- Review all your succession plans; possibly with your family or trusted professional adviser(s). Make sure your IRA, life insurance beneficiaries are updated.

- If you have 10 or less years until retirement, make sure you have a risk management plan in place to protect your nest egg against large market losses. 2009 could be a continuation of 2008 with volatile markets and little to no growth of your portfolio.

- Be prepared for higher taxes somewhere in your portfolio. Perhaps realize capital losses before year end to use in the future against income and or capital gains.

- Explore LTC while you are young and healthy enough to afford it.

- If not retired yet, introduce your financial adviser to your tax preparer on how to best align your current strategy to one that makes the best use of the changing tax laws. Pre- and post-retirement planning between you and your trusted financial advisers is important.

Ginger Snyder, who is based in Tampa, offers this advice for investors who are 75 and older:

- Make sure your income needs are met

- Make sure your assets are titled correctly - take advantage of current estate tax laws; review legal documents, especially if residence has changed

- Have an umbrella liability policy

- Get a long-term care plan while you are able to make decisions. Don't wait and let someone else make these decisions for you.

- If philanthropy is important, consider a charitable remainder trust if you have concentrated positions of a low-cost basis stock. You will get a deduction on your taxes and you can increase your income while you are alive

- Consider a Pet Trust for your estate planning so you can plan for the care of your pet should you become incapacitated or pass away

- Education planning for grandchildren or great-grandchildren

- Distribution planning

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