Cory Boyas

Personal & Business Development

Retirement Planning for Single People

If you aren’t married, you should consider these potential expenses & needs.

How does retirement planning differ for single people? At a glance, there would seem to be no difference in the retirement saving effort of an individual versus the retirement saving effort of a couple: start early, save consistently, and use vehicles that allow tax-advantaged growth and compounding of invested assets.

On closer inspection, differences do appear – factors that single adults should pay attention to while planning for the future.

Retirement savings must be built off one income. Unmarried adults should save for retirement early and avidly. Most couples have the luxury of creating retirement nest eggs from either or both of two incomes. They can plan to build wealth with a degree of flexibility and synchronization that is unavailable to a single saver. So when it comes to building retirement assets, a single adult has to start early, save big and never let up, as there is no spouse around to help in the effort and only one income from which savings can emerge.

The Social Security claiming decision takes on more importance. An unmarried person’s Social Security benefits are calculated off his or her lifetime earnings record. Simple, cut and dried.

Married people, however, have an option that the unmarried lack. Once their spouses begin to collect Social Security, they have a chance to claim a spousal benefit as early as age 62 rather than wait for benefits based solely on their own earnings. In fact, they may be able to claim this spousal benefit at age 62 even if they are widowed or divorced. If they are caring for a son or daughter from that marriage who is also receiving some form of Social Security benefits, they may be eligible for a spousal benefit before age 62.

All this means that a couple can potentially rely on two Social Security incomes before both spouses reach what the program deems full retirement age. An unmarried person cannot exploit that opportunity, so the decision to claim Social Security early at reduced monthly benefits or postpone claiming to receive greater benefits becomes critical.

An unmarried person may someday have a huge need for long term care insurance. If there are no adult children or spouse around to serve as caretakers in the event of a debilitating mental or physical breakdown, an unmarried individual may eventually become destitute from costs linked to that sad consequence. LTC coverage is growing more expensive and fewer carriers are offering it these days, so many married baby boomers are wondering if it is really worth the expense; in the case of a single, unmarried baby boomer retiring solo, it may be.

Housing is often the largest expense for the unmarried. In an ideal world, a single adult could pay half of the monthly housing expense of a married couple. That seldom happens. Relatively speaking, housing costs usually consume much more of a sole individual’s income than the income of a couple. This is true even early in life: according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data, married folks in their late twenties spend $7,200 per person less on housing expenses annually. So a single person would do well to find ways to cut down housing expenses, as this frees up more money that can be potentially assigned to retirement saving.

Saving when single presents distinct challenges. In fact, saving for retirement (or any other financial goal) as a single, unmarried person is often more challenging than it is for a married couple – especially in light of the fact that spouses are given some distinct federal tax advantages. Still, the effort must be made. Start as early as you can, and save consistently.

For a FREE, no obligation 30-minute strategy session with a financial professional, CLICK HERE.

Preparing For Retirement

Two-thirds of us have no financial plan.

Only 48% of Americans believe they are saving sufficiently. And 30% feel that they are not even slightly confident about the amount they are saving for retirement. That finding comes from a recent Consumer Financial Literacy Survey conducted by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (the survey collected data from 2,017 U.S. adults.)

Only 40% of us keep a regular budget. If you are one of those two out of five Americans, you’re on the right track. While this percentage is on par with findings dating back to 2007, the study also finds that only 29% of Americans are saving any part of their annual income towards retirement.

Relatively few seek the help of a financial professional. When asked “Considering what I already know about personal finance, I could still benefit from some advice and answers to everyday financial questions from a professional,” 75% of respondents agreed with the statement. Yet only 12% indicated that they would seek out the help of some sort of financial professional if they had “financial problems related to debt.” 

While it isn’t surprising to think that 25% of respondents would turn to friends and family, it may be alarming to learn that 18% would choose to turn to no one at all.

Why don’t more people seek help? After all, Americans of all incomes and savings levels certainly are free to set financial goals. They may feel embarrassed about speaking to a stranger about personal financial issues. It may also be the case that they feel that they don’t make enough money to speak to a professional, that a financial professional is something that millionaires and billionaires have, not the average American worker. 

Another possibility is that they feel that they have a good handle on their financial future; they have a budget and stick to it, they save in an IRA (like a quarter of Americans), or a 401(k) (nearly three out of ten Americans), and many use other investments (30%, according to the survey). But that 75% admission above indicates that a vast majority of Americans are not as confident.

Defined goals lead to definite plans. If you set financial objectives and plan for them, you vault ahead of most Americans – at least according to these findings. 

A written financial plan does not imply or guarantee wealth, of course; nor does it ensure that you will reach your goals. Yet that financial plan does give you an understanding of the distance between your current financial situation (where you are) and where you want to be.

How much planning have you done? Retiring without a financial plan is an enormous risk; retiring with a financial plan that hasn’t been reviewed in several years is equally questionable. A relationship with a financial advisor can help to bring you up to date about what you need to do, and provide you with more clarity and confidence when it comes to your financial future.

To schedule a complimentary, no-obligation session with a finance coach, CLICK HERE. Use code 520 in the comments section.

Should You Take A Lump Sum Or Monthly Payout With Your Pension?


A new phrase has made its way into the contemporary financial jargon: derisking. Anyone who holds assets in a traditional pension plan should know the meaning of this phrase.

The derisking trend began in 2012. In 2012, Ford Motor Co. made a controversial offer to its retirees and ex-employees: it asked them if they wanted to take their pensions as lump sums rather than monthly payments. Essentially, Ford realized it could potentially owe their former employees more than their pension plan could pay out. The move was clearly motivated by preserving the bottom line, and other corporations quickly imitated it.

If you work for a major employer that sponsors a pension plan, you may soon face this choice if you haven’t already. By handing over longstanding pension liabilities to a third party (i.e., a major insurance company), the pension plan sponsor unloads a risky financial obligation.

In theory, retired employees tended this kind of offer gain added flexibility when it comes to their pension: a lot of money now, or monthly payments from the insurer for years to come. Does the lump sum constitute a sweet deal for the retiree? Not necessarily.

If you are offered a lump sum pension payment, should you accept it? Making this kind of pension decision is akin to deciding when to claim Social Security – you’ve got to look at many variables beforehand. Which choice you make today will likely be irrevocable.

What’s the case for rejecting a lump sum offer? You can express it in three words: lifetime income stream. Do you really want to forego decades of scheduled pension payments to take (potentially) less money now? You could possibly create an income stream off of the lump sum, of course – but why jump through all of those hoops if you’re planning to receive monthly payouts to begin with?

As American longevity is increasing, you may spend 20, 30, or even 40 years in retirement. If you are risk-averse and healthy, turning down decades of consistent income may have little appeal. Furthermore, if you are female you statistically have a good chance of living well into your nineties – and an income stream intended to last as long as you do sounds pretty nice, right? If you are single or your spouse has very little in the way of assets, this also reinforces the argument for maintaining a lifelong payment stream.

Also, perhaps you just like the way things are going. If you don’t want the responsibility that goes with reinvesting a huge sum of money, you aren’t alone.

What’s the argument for taking a lump sum? Sometimes a salaried retiree is in poor health or facing money problems. If this is your situation, then it may make sense to claim more of your pension dollars now.

On the other hand, you may elect to take the lump sum out of opportunity. You may base your choice on timing rather than time.

If you want to build more retirement savings, taking the lump sum might be essential. Pension payments are rarely inflation-adjusted; maybe you would like to invest your pension money so it can potentially grow and compound for more years before being withdrawn. Maybe your spouse gets significant pension income, or you are so affluent that the pension income you get is nice but not necessary; if so, perhaps you want to redirect that lump sum toward some other financial objective. Maybe you don’t want regular income payments this year or next because that money would put you into a higher tax bracket.

The key is to avoid taking possession of the lump sum yourself. If you do that, your former employer has to withhold 20% of the lump sum (per IRS regulations) and you risk creating a taxable event. Instead, you may want to arrange a direct rollover, or trustee-to-trustee transfer, of the assets to avoid withholding and a giant tax bill. Through this move, the funds can be transferred to an IRA for reinvestment. In most cases, it is required to leave your job (i.e., retire) before you can begin to roll money out of your pension plan.

Consult a financial professional about your options. If you do feel you should take the lump sum, talk to someone before you make your move. If the move makes sense, that professional may offer to help you invest the money in a way that makes sense for your near-term and long-term objectives, your risk tolerance, your estate and your income taxes. If you feel monthly payments from the usual joint-and-survivor pension might be the better choice, ask if some model scenarios might be presented for you.  I’m happy to offer guidance to help you make informed decisions regarding your situation. Contact my office today to setup a complimentary 30-minute financial strategy session so you can truly understand the value of my services before making any decisions. Click here or call 941-284-0097 for more information.

How Finance Coaching Gets Results

A common myth is that financial coaching is only for people looking to make boatloads of money. Not everyone wants to be a billionaire, and that’s okay. Financial coaching isn’t just for those looking to make a fortune, it’s also for those looking to streamline the inefficiencies in their financial planning to live their life more comfortably and sustainably.

Financial coaching provides four essential keys to achieving your money goals in one convenient package:

  1. Access to the resources you need without falling into an information overload.
  2. A personalized financial plan based on your unique talents, skills and resources to guide your objectives and goals.
  3. An efficient support system to hold you accountable and allow you to implement your financial plan consistently to fruition.
  4. Achieving personal growth to overcome the obstacles which inhibit you from achieving your financial goals.

Financial coaching is like a four-legged table. When all four legs are securely in place, your financial table is strong and stable.

Unfortunately, most people live with short, loose or missing table legs.

This results in a lackluster, second-rate, make-it-up-as-I-go-along plan, as proven by the statistics showing how few people actually achieve their financial goals.

If you want a different result, then financial coaching can help by strengthening each leg under your table so that you have a stable foundation for building wealth, regardless of your desired amount. It’s just that simple.

What Is Your Business Worth?


What is the value of your business, and – if you’re not planning to sell in the near future – why do you need to know?

Business advisors say there are a number of very sound reasons to have this information. To name a few:

  • Planning for adequate funds for retirement
  • Ensuring that you have sufficient insurance
  • Helping to make a case when raising capital
  • Forming the basis for a buy-sell agreement, in which the value of an owner or partner’s share is determined in the event circumstances require a future sale
  • Aiding in tax strategy and wealth preservation in estate planning
  • Informing strategic business decisions and exit strategy

Fair warning: Business valuation is part art and part science, and can be heavily dependent on chance and market conditions. That said, there’s no shortage of businesses willing to provide guidance, for a fee. A trusted advisor will guide you through the steps needed to arrive at a fair value. Options include an online tool, such as the one offered by; hiring a valuation expert (your state’s Certified Public Accountants association can help, as can the National Association of Certified Valuation Analysts); and hiring a professional advisor with experience in small businesses.

As a starting point, consider using the formula below. Though it is only a guideline, it can get you in the neighborhood of the right number, and help you start to wrap your mind around the issues involved in a business valuation.

Owner Benefit Calculation

This is a method of calculating what the business is worth to you as the owner and would therefore be worth to the next owner. Richard Parker, CEO of Diomo Corp., which publishes the How to Buy a Good Business at a Great Price series, explains how it works:

  • Pre-tax income (as on your company’s tax return), plus
  • Owner’s salary and perks (e.g., medical benefits, car), plus
  • Depreciation (the amount of equipment depreciation you are permitted to claim on your company’s income tax return), plus
  • Interest you are paying on business loans (since the new owner would not have this expense), minus
  • Capital expenditures allocation for necessary replacement equipment that the new owner would have to purchase

Do this calculation for the past three years (at minimum) and average the totals to arrive at an Owner Benefit calculation.* (Be sure to take into account extraordinary circumstances such as a big contract that’s going to expire, or a significant one-time legal bill.)

Typically, a small business will sell in a one to three times multiple of the Owner Benefit figure, Parker says. The key factor here is a business’s chances of transitioning successfully to a new owner.

If when the owner leaves, the main asset walks out the door – as in the case of sole practitioners – the risk of losing patients or clients is high, so the sale is likely to be at a multiple of one times Owner Benefit. If, on the other hand, a business has been around for many years with stable profit, it is more likely to sell in the three times multiple range.

For more information:
National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts,

* This is a starting point when calculating the value of your business and is not meant to be the only determining factor. You should work with your legal advisor and ensure all relevant factors are included when determining your business valuation.

This is for informational purposes only. Cory Boyas does not provide tax or legal advice. You should speak to your tax and legal advisor before making any financial decisions. This article contains additional sources of information for your reference. Cory Boyas does not endorse, warrant or approve the content, correctness or accuracy of those third party sites.

The Basics of Retirement Planning for Small Business Owners

If you’re self-employed or own a small business and you haven’t established a retirement savings plan, it’s time to get started. By establishing a plan, you help yourself – and your employees – get started saving for retirement. Different plan designs offer different options. It’s important to understand these options so that you can select the plan most appropriate for you.

Some retirement plans are IRA-based like Simplified Employee Pensions (SEP) and SIMPLE IRAs. The deposits made to these plans are held in individual retirement accounts. True qualified plans, like 401(k)s, profit-sharing plans and defined-benefit plans, are subject to ERISA* rules and held in a trust account by an administrator.

Qualified plans are generally more complicated and expensive to maintain than IRA-based plans because of the ERISA laws. With an IRA-based plan, your employees own their contributions immediately. However, with qualified plans, you can require that your employees work a certain number of years before they are able to remove the employers’ contributions.

Each plan type has unique advantages and disadvantages, so you’ll need to clearly define your goals before selecting a plan. For example, do you want to maximize the amount you can save for your own retirement? Do you want to establish a plan funded by employer contributions, employee contributions or both? How about the flexibility to skip employer contributions in some years? Or what about finding a plan with the lowest costs or easiest administration?

The answers to these questions can help guide you and your retirement professional to the plan or combination of plans most appropriate for you.

Do You Need a Key-Employee Retention Program?

When is ignorance bliss?

Whether you are running a small business or a large corporation, chances are that the longevity of your business and your company’s financial success is dependent on one or more key employees. And when you have select employees that are so vital to your business, you are not taking necessary precautions if you are not taking steps to ensure that those employees will stay with your company and continue to be a positive force for your business.

Consider each of your executives and staff individually, and think in these terms – if they left the firm, would there be a negative impact because:

  • The employee has the ability to take clients when exiting?
  • The employee has an essential skill/license/credential that would shut off an income flow when exiting?
  • The employee has no non-compete agreement, and might not sign one if asked?
  • The employee has a vulnerable financial status (which could be improved with an appropriate plan in place)?
  • The employee has asked for a promotion, and was rejected?
  • There are one or two employees who have the essential skills necessary to run the business and are not replaceable?
  • A segment of the business has no trainees to replace key members, and the job market has no available replacements?
  • Your business does not have a cross-training program, and one or more employees are essential to its survival?

If you see a potential hazard to your company’s longevity, you should consider establishing an affordable retention program for your company. Along with providing incentives for your key employees to increase their loyalty, you also should give consideration to an appropriate benefits package that provides consistent, uniform benefits to help your employee retention efforts.

Be sure to look at all the options available to you as a business owner.

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