Why SWA?

Put the SWA advantage to work for you.

Learn More


Concerned about market volatility?

Watch Now

Contact Us

Send us an email or call us today.

Email Us

C.H. Robinson

We specialize in working with C.H. Robinson employees across the U.S.

Learn More


10 Best Cities for Retirement

Written by Summit Wealth on .

The personal finance website WalletHub has analyzed 150 of the largest US cities and have come up with their most "wallet-friendly" locations for retirees to spend their retirement years. Using 25 unique factors, ranging from recreational activities, cost of living and job prospects for workers + age 65, the site chose the following cities as its top 10:

  • Number 10: Peoria, Arizona
  • Number 9: Plano, Texas
  • Number 8: Cape Coral, Florida
  • Number 7: Port St. Lucie, Florida
  • Number 6: Overland Park, Kansas
  • Number 5: Scottsdale, Arizona
  • Number 4: St. Petersburg, Florida
  • Number 3: Orlando, Florida
  • Number 2: Grand Prairie, Texas
  • Number 1: Tampa, Florida

Funny how no Minnesota cities made the top 10. I wonder why??

Please contact us so we can help you plan your ideal retirement in the city of your dreams.


Why Multi-Generational Financial Planning is Important

Written by Summit Wealth on .

We work with a number of clients that have engaged us in planning across the generations. Here are a few examples of why we are convinced that this type of planning makes sense:

  • An SWA client owns a small business and has teenage children. We counseled the client to have her children perform some basic, administrative tasks (filing, shredding, cleaning, etc.) and to pay them through her company. She is able to pay her kids through her business (income shifting) and her kids pay no tax on that income (versus the client paying 35% federal tax and another 8% Minnesota tax). She then uses that income to fund Roth IRA accounts for each child (growing income tax free). The principal contributions of Roth IRA accounts can be used for college costs, to purchase a child's first home, or they can be left in the Roth IRA accounts to grow, income tax free, until each child needs them in retirement.
  • An SWA client has an elderly parent who is in the zero percent federal and Minnesota income tax brackets and owns a modest Traditional IRA account that they will not likely need to tap for their own lifestyle needs. We prepare a tax projection for that parent each year and counsel the client as to how much of that Traditional IRA could be converted to a Roth IRA (income tax free) each year. The converted Roth IRA assets grow income tax free and, if / when that client eventually inherits that Roth IRA at some point in the future, they will receive those funds free from income tax.
  • The parents of an SWA client have a significant net worth that will likely result in a federal and Minnesota estate tax bill at their death. The client's parents will not likely need all of their wealth to live out the balance of their lives comfortably. We counseled that client to work with their parents to begin gifting assets to them and their children annually, so they reduce their taxable estate and potentially save 40% or more federal estate tax plus 10% or more Minnesota estate tax at their deaths.

There are many more examples we could provide of the multi-generational planning we do, but we certainly don't have the space to do so here. Please contact us if we can help your family plan across multiple generations. It could amount to a considerable amount of money staying in your family's pockets instead of going to Uncle Sam.


How Long Before You Anticipate Retiring?

Written by Summit Wealth on .

According to a Retirement Confidence Survey conducted by the Employee Benefit Research Institute, about 49% of Americans find themselves retiring unexpectedly. The reasons include:

  • Health problems
  • Disability
  • Downsizing and spousal care demands

When this happens, there can typically be a lot of emotions involved. Clients may feel like they haven't accumulated enough assets to retire. So what can you do to be prepared if an unexpected, forced retirement situation does happen to you? We have several ideas for you to consider:

  • First, don't aggressively pay down / off your mortgage with extra principal payments. Instead, invest those extra payments in a taxable account via a globally diversified, balanced asset allocation. This way, if you need to tap that account due to an unforeseen event, you can do so. If you pay down / off your home and attempt to refinance after a disability, the bank may not allow for it.
  • Second, maintain a great disability policy that will continue to pay you a benefit until you reach full retirement age. Pay for this policy with after-tax dollars so any benefit you receive is tax-free to you.
  • Third, as you approach retirement, consider transitioning from long-term disability coverage to long-term care coverage.

These are just a few ideas that you can employ to protect yourself in the event of an unplanned, early retirement. If you have concerns about your specific situation, please reach out to us as we are happy to assist you.


Keeping 401(k)s Reaped Big Rewards After Market Crash

Written by Summit Wealth on .

A study conducted by the Employee Benefit Research Institute and the Investment Company Institute indicated that adults who hung onto their 401(k) s fared much better than those co-workers that abandoned them following the financial crisis of 2008. The study indicated that those workers that maintained their asset allocation and continued to contribute to their accounts had a 67% higher average account balance at the end of 2012 than those that quit contributing.

The study also found that older 401(k) participants shied away from equities more than younger workers did. The share of 50- and 60-year olds with more than 80% of their 401(k)s in equities declined from 32.6% in 2007 to 23.5% in 2012, while the number of younger stock lovers dropped much less, only from 60.2% to 57.8%.

What this study tells us is that sticking to a good asset allocation plan and continuing to dollar cost average into your portfolio really works. It also tells us that making emotional decisions regarding your investing habits (and attempting to time the markets) doesn't.


Long-Term Care – When Your Spouse is the Caregiver

Written by Summit Wealth on .

Taking care of an ill spouse can be very demanding and hard on the caregiver both mentally and physically. It can also add a lot of stress and be an emotionally draining time. In a perfect world, we would all be prepared for this situation by having excess financial reserves set aside to pay for assistance to come into the home or, better yet, have a long-term care policy in place to help defray some of the cost of getting medical assistance. However, we don't all live in a perfect world and serious illnesses can happen at any time.

It's important that the caregiving spouse have a "care team" in place to provide them with breaks so they can take time for themselves and to get away once in awhile. Whether its medical professionals, family, or friends that can provide such breaks, the caregiving spouse needs time away to take care of their own well-being.

It's also important that a couple is financially prepared for the costs involved in caring for themselves. This cost can cause considerable financial harm to the couple's finances, to the point where the surviving spouse may have to make considerable lifestyle changes after their husband or wife passes away.

If you or someone you know is in this situation, please let us know as we are experienced in helping families prepare for this stage of life and can offer some assistance.

North Metro: 763.355.5873
227 East River Parkway
Champlin, MN 55316-5873

South Metro: 612.987.9112
5871 Crossandra Street SE
Prior Lake, MN 55372-3337

West Metro: 763.639.3425
322 Greenhill Lane
Long Lake, MN 55356

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.