Member Classes

Free - 3 Financial Planning Courses With Mark Rael, Certified Financial Planner ™

Free for State ECU members. Mark Rael has been a financial advisor for 20 year and is excited to share more about these topics with you.

#1 About That New Tax Law

Wed, February 13, 9:30-11:30

We will discuss how the largest and most anticipated tax reform act passed by Congress since 1986 will affect taxpayers. There is lots packed into the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

We think tax education is important because paying taxes for government services is a core organizing principle of our society. It doesn’t need to be shrouded in mystery. Over the years we’ve seen people and families make poor decisions about their taxes, investments, and financial planning. Those poor decisions make the job of any financial advisor, tougher because we have to find ways to make people’s savings, investments, and financial plans work harder to overcome the consequences of those decisions.

So our goal is to inform people about the wide range of changes to the tax code, so they have enough information to start the process of seeking out assistance on what all these changes mean to their tax strategy. Our other goal is education. Taxes can seem complex and jargon-filled, even though the underlying concepts are fairly straight forward.

The presentation is organized into four Keys Each Key has between two and seven specific tax rule changes to explore. Sometimes I’ll give a broad headline about the new rule before we look at the specifics of the tax changes. Where needed, we’ll look more deeply at the details and offer some “insights” regarding the implications of any new rule.

Everyone’s tax situation is different. Please make time to discuss your taxes and portfolio with your financial advisor and accountant.

#2 Social Security Planning

Wed, March 13, 9:30-11:30

Retirees and near-retirees want to know: Will Social Security be there for me?

We‘ve been told for years that the system is "going broke." But now that it's almost your turn to collect, is that really true?

You also want to know how much you can expect to receive. Before you can retire, you've got to know how you are going to support yourself. That means doing a budget, lining up all your income sources and knowing how much you can expect to receive from each. Social Security, because it is a relatively known quantity, represents the foundation of that plan.

You're also probably asking when you should apply for Social Security. You may have heard that if you apply early your benefit will be lower than if you apply later. But is it worth missing out on all those extra checks to have a higher benefit later on? These are important topics we will discuss.

Something our parents probably never asked is how it is possible to maximize benefits. There is absolutely nothing wrong with using the Social Security rules to your advantage. We'll talk about five ways to maximize Social Security benefits simply by knowing the rules and making smart decisions.

And finally, you're wondering if Social Security will be enough to live on in retirement. You probably already know the answer to this. Social Security represents about 40 percent of the average retiree's total income. But by coordinating Social Security with the rest of your retirement income plan, you can pursue the universal dream of a comfortable, worry-free retirement.

#3 Managing Health Care Expenses in Retirement

Wed, April 17, 9:30-11:30

We're going to talk about some of the things you need to know about health care when planning for retirement. The first key point is that if you do not enroll in Medicare on time, you will pay a monthly penalty. A lot of baby boomers don't know if or when they are supposed to enroll in Medicare. But there are very clear rules about when you have to sign up. If you don't sign up within a specified window, you will be assessed a monthly penalty that you'll have to pay for the rest of your life.

The second key point is that if you do not get the right private insurance to go with Medicare, you may pay too much in premiums and out-of-pocket costs. Now, the fact that you even need private insurance to go with Medicare is a surprise to many people. Some people think Medicare covers everything. But no. In order to have prescription drug coverage and coverage for other out-of-pocket expenses, you need to have private insurance. We'll show how that works.

The third key point is that if you do not plan for higher health care costs in retirement, you could run out of money or not be able to get the care you need. People are usually happy to go onto Medicare when they turn 65 because it provides some relief against high health insurance premiums. But you must be prepared to factor higher future health care costs into your retirement budget. And the best time to do this is now. 

RSVP Space is Limited
Mark Rael 505.954.3436
Hosted @ State ECU
811 Saint Michael’s Dr.
Santa Fe, NM 87508

Disclosure: Investment advice offered through Financial Partners, LLC, a Registered Investment Advisor. State ECU is not a registered broker-dealer and is not affiliated with LPL Financial. The Investment products sold through LPL Financial are not insured State ECU deposits and are not NCUA insured. These products are not obligations of the State ECU and are not endorsed, recommended or guaranteed by State ECU or any government agency. The value of the investment may fluctuate, the return on the investment is not guaranteed, and loss of principal is possible.