Cornerstone Wealth Management November 2017

www.CornerstoneWealthGroup.com | 866-485-8505

November 2017

We’re more focused and deliberate because we recognize the unique needs of every client and business we work with. Force, I’d go to my grandmother’s house for Thanksgiving. She had a small home that was maybe 1,200 square feet. Now, imagine a 1,200-square-foot home full of 30–40 people. Dozens of us would be packed around the kitchen and dining room, eagerly awaiting Thanksgiving dinner. This tradition of “packing them in” continued with my mom. These days, there’s a little more space, but now we’re talking 40, 50, or sometimes 60 people sitting down to Thanksgiving dinner. That’s a lot of family and friends to catch up with, and I love every minute of it! Every year we also hold a big shuffleboard tournament. We’ll pick teams, everyone will contribute a few bucks, and the winner will have their picture put on the wall. I’m thankful for all the memories we’ve made over the years, and I’m also thankful for our clients. I don’t take the trust they put in us lightly. We’re always working hard to deliver the value they deserve and to give them the future they’ve envisioned for themselves, their businesses, and their families.

FOCUSED AND DELIBERATE

John Saunders on Recognizing the Unique Needs of Clients

Ever since my younger days, I’ve had

Working at Cornerstone affords me a measure of flexibility not often found in the financial industry. We’re not here to push sales, and there aren’t crazy incentives to bring in more clients. We’re more focused and deliberate because we recognize the unique needs of every client and business we work with. I enjoy this type of environment because it puts me in the trenches with clients. I see what they see, and it lets me get up close and personal with the issues they face. In turn, I can take that insight to the rest of the team at Cornerstone. We openly discuss these issues and strive to exceed the needs and expectations of our clients. One benefit of being a wealth advisor is that I can impart my knowledge to my two sons. One son is a senior in college and the other is a freshman. The older of the two is a computer science major, and he’s quite the entrepreneur. He loves to pick my brain when it comes to finances and taxes. He recently started a business with a few other guys, so it’s advice that he’s taking to heart. My younger son is studying occupational therapy and playing college baseball. I just love watching him play! At the moment, I’m looking forward to Thanksgiving, which is my favorite holiday. Back before I joined the Air

did a lot of investing on my own and learned the ins and outs of the business. In the early 1990s, I was working with taxes and helping clients who weren’t getting the best advice from their wealth managers. A lot of the time, my tax clients would come in and talk to me about a suggestion their wealth manager or advisor had made. Unfortunately, it often had a negative tax consequence and sometimes would even jeopardize the client’s long-term financial plan. Seeing this kind of thing is partly what inspired me to move out of tax preparation and into advising. I thought I would be able to do more for clients, and that turned out to be true. I’ve had the opportunity to work with Scott Ford and the Cornerstone Wealth Management Group for a number of years, and it’s been an incredible experience. As a wealth advisor, I put together strategies and plans to help my clients pursue their goals with financial confidence. This may include putting together a cash flow analysis, planning the future of an estate, or — going back to my roots — tax planning.

– John Saunders

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YOUR LEGACY BEGINS WITH A SUCCESSION PLAN

accounts, who are not well-diversified or don’t have the time to wait out a market recovery. Market volatility can be especially damaging in the early stages of retirement, due to the long-range impact it can have on your income-producing assets. 2. Spending Behavior. The spending strategy that is right for you depends on your personal expenses, anticipated lifespan, and income sources. Understanding how to modify your spending when faced with unforeseen expenses or a prolonged downturn in the financial markets — especially in the early stages of your retirement — is essential to preserving your income stream. 3. Taxes and Inflation. The longer your time spent in retirement, the The normal evolution of a business begins when you’ve started or bought your company. You build and design it, you work to create something special and successful, and then you begin planning an exit strategy or succession plan. Whether that plan means selling your business and transitioning to a new CEO or handing your business to one of your children, there comes a time when a business owner asks themselves what kind of legacy they wish to leave behind — and what kind of retirement they want for themselves. Succession plans must be treated like business plans, which means you must have a clear vision of what you want for yourself and the company in the next five years. Where do you want to be? How do you want to be involved? What do you want out of the company you created? What is your exit strategy? If you decide you want to sell your business in the next five years, start the process by identifying potential buyers and determining how they make purchases. Find out how these organizations valued other companies

and how they’ve integrated or purchased those companies. If you’ve done your job well and made many personal connections, there is a chance that buyers will have already approached you. If you want to give control of the business to a family member, you need to look at the procedures and steps that will ensure a secured transfer. This means training, education, and practice — grooming, if you will — for the person who will ultimately lead your business. Succession planning is just as important as company growth. Without careful preparation, your business could falter under the weight of an inexperienced leader or a company with opposing values. Carefully plan your exit strategy, so you can enjoy your retirement and your company’s success from the sidelines.

A s an entrepreneur, your main goal throughout your career is likely to grow your business to be as successful as possible. However, you may not think about what happens to your business after you retire. While growth is certainly important in business, careful succession planning can ensure your company’s success after it leaves your hands.

The Top 4 Challenges to Your Income in Retirement

No matter how prepared you may feel for life in retirement, no one is immune to the challenges presented by market volatility, rising taxes and inflation, and longevity. If you’re not generating enough income to outpace rising taxes, inflation, and health care costs, it’s only a matter of time before your expenses may begin to exceed your income, creating a shortfall. The good news is that, with proper planning, you can develop strategies to minimize the following risk factors that threaten to erode your income in retirement. 1. Market Volatility. A sudden market downturn can have a significant impact on investors receiving regular distributions from retirement plans or investment

greater the potential that taxes and

inflation may erode the purchasing power of your savings and impact your lifestyle. Protecting your assets from inflation, as you move forward in retirement, is critical to ensuring that the income you rely on will be available for as long as you need it. 4. Longevity. Modern advances in medicine and health care mean that Americans are not only living longer, but enjoying more active and productive lives. However, coupled with rising health care costs, longevity represents the single greatest threat to retirement security: outliving one’s income in retirement.

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DO YOU HAVE A PLAN FOR RETIREMENT? HIGHLIGHTS FROM WEALTH FROM WISDOM RADIO

7 Simple Strategies to Simplify Planning for Retirement

way you can create a diversified income plan? Consider how you optimize your Social Security benefits. There are so many options at your disposal — options you may not have realized existed. After all, around $10 billion goes unclaimed every year because people don’t optimize and strategize! When you don’t strategize, you stand to lose tens of thousands of dollars, if not more — and this is just from Social Security. Want to learn more about planning for retirement and overcoming these shortfalls? Be sure to listen to the podcast at wealthfromwisdomradio.com. This is one episode you shouldn’t miss.

When you don’t have a plan, you risk disaster — running out of money. One of your goals should be intentionality when it comes to planning. This leaves you in the best possible position for financial security. You’ve heard the expression “money doesn’t buy happiness,” but that might not be true. Money gives you options when it comes to retirement. But beyond that, research out of Harvard suggests that, to a degree, money can buy happiness. It’s all about taking away financial pressure and living life on your terms.

If you have ever thought planning for retirement was complicated or

overwhelming, this episode of Wealth From Wisdom Radio is for you. In this podcast, dated June 24, 2017, Ron Carson and Paul West talk about simplifying retirement plans. This is a critical insight for anyone who has struggled, or is currently struggling, with the planning process. Throughout their working years, most people know they need help and that they need to develop a financial game plan. It’s a major process, and people are often left asking, “Where do I begin?”

That is what a plan gives you. It’s living your retirement on your terms. What’s one

BRUSSELS SPROUTS WITH SAUSAGE

Sudoku

It’s a great time of year to warm up with a cup of soup, and this comforting, guilt-free dish comes together in a flash.

INGREDIENTS •

• • •

1 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 cup water

3 1/3 ounces fresh, hot Italian sausage

Salt and pepper

INSTRUCTIONS 1. Trim sprouts and cut in half. 2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add sausage and cook, stirring occasionally, 3–5 minutes. 3. Add sprouts to skillet. Add 1/2 cup water. Add salt and pepper. Cover and cook 10 minutes or until just tender. Check them periodically and add a bit more water, if necessary. 4. When sprouts are just about done, remove cover and raise heat to medium-high. Cook, stirring just once or twice, for a couple more minutes. The liquid should evaporate, and the sprouts should start to brown. 5. Add more salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot or warm.

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Recipe courtesy of InTheKitchenWithKath.com.

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INSIDE

• John Saunders and the Unique Needs of Clients PAGE 1

• Do You Have a Succession Plan? PAGE 2

• The Biggest Threats to Your Retirement Income PAGE 2

• Do You Have a Plan for Retirement? PAGE 3

• Brussels Sprouts With Sausage PAGE 3

• Thanksgiving at America’s Resort PAGE 4

Thanksgiving at AMERICA’S RESORT

This Thanksgiving, many Americans plan to go over the river and through the woods to sleep on the air mattress at grandmother’s house. But your family Thanksgiving doesn’t have to be crowded and uncomfortable. For generations, The Greenbrier Resort in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, has brought families together for a weekend of true American elegance. The local hot springs have been popular with travelers since 1778, but The Greenbrier didn’t come to life until 1913. The sprawling 710-room national landmark sits on 11,000 acres of rolling

hills and has been described as “‘Monte Carlo’ meets ‘Gone With the Wind.’” The blend of Colonial decor and Hollywood Regency flourishes make guests feel as if they have stepped back in time, while still offering all the modern amenities. Mom and Grandma relax in the spa, Grandpa enjoys a round of golf, the siblings all go off-roading in a Jeep, and later, the whole family will face off in a game of laser tag. With 55 leisure activities offered at the resort, make every day as busy or as relaxing as you want before enjoying a gourmet dinner at one of the resort’s six full-time restaurants.

The Greenbrier is a dream getaway anytime of the year, but America’s resort really goes all-out for the traditional American holiday, Thanksgiving. Family members from every generation can find something fun to do before the family gathers together for the massive Thanksgiving brunch in The Greenbrier’s Colonial Hall. The award-winning culinary brigade serves up Thanksgiving classics, like soft rolls and roasted turkey, alongside marinated mussels and ricotta tortellini. Make time for the horse-drawn carriage ride and evening gala, and you have the perfect Thanksgiving.

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