Balanced Financial Inc.
3711 JFK Parkwy, #230
Fort Collins, CO 80525


Answers to Big Social Security Questions

What is the color of your​ money?

Double check your current planning efforts, see how your investments/savings/insurance holdings compare to your goals.  Take this risk analysis called "Color of Money."  The Color of Money Risk Analysis assesses your financial picture and provides a road map to your overall risk preferences. The output will be a proprietary Color of Money score. This short, interactive analysis is the first step on the road to retirement. Click the button to get started!

Capture the Gain with Indexing

     By “indexing” to the market instead of “owning” the market you can link to indices safely on autopilot and lock in your gains without creating a taxable event. According to a recent study by the Wharton School of Finance, because of its ability to lock in credited interest in up years and not experience losses in the down years, this new technology can help your nest egg out perform the typical stock bond portfolios (see Wharton study for details) with no market risk. While not specifically designed to compete with the market, some indexed products outperformed the broad market over the last 15 years,  all without management fees, re-balancing, and sleep loss.

Indexing Products

     Some will think this news sounds too good to be true. It is hard to believe that there are strategies available that could have protected you from the devastating downturns of the past. Most of us know how to keep our money safe: banks and insurance companies have been protecting our money for over a century in vehicles like Certificates of Deposit, Annuities, Bank Notes, and Life Insurance. Innovative enhancements to these same safe vehicles allow you to experience powerful growth in certain kinds of Certificates of Deposit, Annuities, and Life Insurance.

     Starting in 1987 with Chase Manhattan’s first Market-Linked CD, banks have been able to protect principal while indexing returns to the market. In addition, CDs offer the powerful protection of the FDIC. The catch? Most indexed products are designed for long-term or nest egg money. Dollars that need to be spent in the near term are best placed elsewhere. For those who have the luxury of time, indexed vehicles like Market-Linked CDs, Indexed Annuities, and Indexed Universal Life Insurance have the ability to outperform the market over time without subjecting principal to market risk and market volatility. While Market-Linked CDs are backed by the FDIC, Indexed Annuities and Indexed Universal Life Insurance are regulated by other governmental agencies. These well-designed vehicles have many positives and two potential negatives. The first negative is that they don’t capture all the up of the market and the second is that they are not 100% liquid.
Key Points:

  • With traditional investing you can have the asset OR the gain - but not both.

  • You don't "own" the gain until you sell the asset.

  • If you choose to capture the gain, you must sell the tool responsible for the gain.

  • The fact is, you can’t know where the value is going.

  • Psychologists have established that the "realization utility" explains why many investors behave foolishly when investments start to fall in value (ask us for a report on this).

Do I pay income tax on SS payments?

     You will have to pay federal taxes on your Social Security benefits if you file a federal tax return as an individual and your total income is more than $25,000. If you file a joint return, you will have to pay taxes if you and your spouse have a total income of more than $32,000.

How much can I earn in retirement?


     The amount you can earn while receiving Social Security depends on your age. Your earnings in (and after) the month you reach full retirement age will not affect your Social Security benefits. However, your benefit is reduced if your earnings exceed certain limits for the months before you reach your full retirement age.

If you are under full retirement age for the entire year:

  • You can earn $14,640 gross wages or net self-employment a year and not lose any                      benefits in 2015.
  •  We will deduct $1 in benefits for every $2 earned above $14,640.

In the year you reach full retirement age:

  • You can earn $41,700 gross wages or net self-employment prior to the month you reach full retirement age and not lose any benefits in 2015.​
  • We will deduct $1 in benefits for every $3 earned above $41,700.

 The same earnings limits apply to a spouse or child who works and receives benefits on your record. You should report earnings to us for any months and years prior to full retirement age.

Retirement Earnings Test Calculator to get an estimate of the effect of your earnings on your benefits.
If you work outside the United States, refer to
 Your Payments While Outside The United States.

Do tax free municipal bonds affect my social security?

  •  Contact us to learn more.

Helping Others Reach Their Financial Goals for Over 25 Years!

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  • How to protect your nest egg.

     There are two primary risks that need to be addressed. First, there is the risk of loss to market fluctuation or poor investment choices. The second risk is inflation or longevity; this is simply the risk of a nest egg failing to last throughout retirement years. To address the first risk, a person nearing or recently in retirement must be careful to understand the difference between the ACCUMULATION PHASE and the DISTRIBUTION PHASE (contact us for a simple work sheet that helps demonstrate this). The second risk is very tricky to fully describe; traditional "Wall Street" oriented thinking will refer one to the 4% rule (harvesting 4% per year from a nest egg during retirement).

     Several recent studies have shown the typical 4% to work less than half of the time using statistics and back testing. We prefer solutions that are much more guaranteed with few moving parts and much higher reliability.

  • What is indexing?

“Indexing” are techniques that generally involve zero risk to principal, but have uncertain yields or crediting from year to year. Indexing can be used with FDIC insured certificates of deposit as well as with sophisticated annuity products. Generally the concept employs sacrificing known interest or returns, for unknown interest or credits from year to year. But

          a. never risk principal

          b. can never have a negative return or loss

          c. can have upsides into the low teens

Contact us for examples of CD’s where our clients have averaged 4.13% average annual over the last four years (remember that has the security of FDIC insurance up to $250,000 per account), and annuities that have a five year average of 13.2% average annual return while never risking principal.

  • What is an “index certificate of deposit?”

     These are CD’s offered by U.S. chartered banks with full FDIC backing that generally have terms of four to seven years. The yields or interest paid is unknown from year to year and will be linked to an index of; commodities, equities, or other. There is never a risked principal; likewise there is never a guarantee of a specific positive return. The details of these products vary greatly one from another. Contact us for current offerings.


  • What is an Indexed Annuity?

     A Fixed Indexed Annuity (FIA) is a fixed annuity that provides a guaranteed lifetime income and interest rate while preserving and protecting your investment premium. You do not pay taxes on interest until you take withdrawals or receive income. Unlike traditional fixed annuities, additional interest may be earned based on positive changes in commonly used financial indices such as the S&P 500 or the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Because the annuity purchase is indexed, your premium and credited interest can never be lost due to an economic downturn.

  • Is a FIA right for me?​

     As Greg emphasizes at his seminars, there isn’t a perfect investment tool. It is our belief that investors should be safer with their money as they grow older. Our average client is at or nearing the age of retirement and wants to preserve and protect their assets. If you want unlimited growth potential and are willing to assume the risk of unlimited loss, then a fixed indexed annuity is probably not the right choice for you. If you are concerned about protecting your principal and enjoying a reasonable rate of return on your investments, then we feel you should join our Balanced Financial Family.

Set up an appointment to learn more about this new technology called Indexing.

Earn Gains From the Market, Keep Your Investment Safe from Loss

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How to be a Hero for Your Nest Egg