A Certified Retirement Financial Advisor, Darcy Bergen serves as a managing partner and president of Bergen Financial Group, an Arizona practice known for creating financial strategies for seniors and retirees. Leveraging his knowledge and expertise, Darcy Bergen offers financial advice to clients, especially in retirement planning, risk management, social security planning, wealth transfer strategies, wills and trusts, and estate planning.
Estate planning is making prior arrangements, through the assistance of an attorney knowledgeable in estate law, to determine how a person’s assets or “estate” will be preserved, managed, and distributed in the event of that person’s death. Estate planning also includes the settlement of estate tax, which happens before bequests are made to the heirs. The basis of the estate tax is the value of the decedent’s estate. Here’s how the estate is valued.
First, the estate's value is computed as of a specific date. The date can either be one of two options: the date of the decedent’s death or the alternate valuation date, which is six months after the decedent’s death. If the latter is chosen, all assets sold or distributed within the six months after the decedent’s death are valued as of the date the assets were sold or distributed.
Second, a list containing all assets that the decedent owned, including those they have an interest in, is prepared. This list may include cash, bank accounts, real properties, vehicles, furniture, jewelry, investments, insurance, and anything else that has value.
Third, actual valuation is made. If the decedent owned an asset in its entirety, the entire value of that asset is included in the estate. If the decedent owned an asset jointly with their spouse, only 50 percent of the value of that asset is added to the estate.
Fourth, all claims against the estate are deducted, including all regular bills that have accrued, outstanding mortgages, tax obligations, and charitable gifts.
Based in Phoenix, Arizona, experienced investment advisor representative Darcy Bergen has led Bergen Financial Group as president since 2003. Beyond his work in areas such as risk management and Social Security planning, Darcy Bergen engages in philanthropic activities as treasurer of the Bergen’s Mission charity.
The Bergen’s Mission charity was established by John and Eloise Bergen, a Canadian couple who fell victim to a serious assault while serving as missionaries in Kenya. In 2008, the pair were attacked during a home invasion that left both in critical condition, far from medical support, in the middle of the night. Their injuries ranged from multiple skull fractures to numerous machete wounds.
The book “Forgiveness in the Face of Terror” tells the story of the Bergen’s remarkable journey to safety, healing, and ultimately forgiveness, all in their own words. Today, the missionaries speak at churches and gatherings throughout North America, with an emphasis on the spiritual evolution that took place over the course of the experience, as well as the unlikely joy the two found through the healing process.
To learn more about the remarkable story of John and Eloise, or to support the Bergen’s mission, please visit www.bergensmission.com.
Investment advisory and financial planning services offered through Simplicity Wealth, LLC, a Registered Investment Advisor. Sub-advisory services are provided by Advisory Alpha, LLC, a Registered Investment Advisor. Insurance, Consulting and Education services offered through Bergen Financial Group. Bergen Financial Group is a separate and unaffiliated entity from Simplicity Wealth and Advisory Alpha.
Darcy Bergen leverages over two decades of experience in the financial services industry to inform his role as the president and managing partner of Bergen Financial Group in Arizona. In this role, Darcy Bergen oversees the firm’s services to help clients navigate on matters related to insurance, wealth management, investments, and retirement.
Whether you have already built up a nest egg or are just starting to save, it is crucial to avoid the common mistakes that can sabotage your retirement journey. Below are three mistakes to avoid when planning for retirement:
1. Not paying off debt - Having too much debt can set you up to fall short in retirement or delay retirement altogether. Paying off debt in retirement also makes your financial choices limited. If you work to pay off as much as you can before retirement, the more disposable income you will have for preferred retirement activities.
2. Underestimating healthcare costs - When planning for retirement, it is important to take into account the increase in health insurance premiums and out-of-pocket costs that come with aging. Long-term care is another healthcare expense that is often ignored, but can be expensive in retirement. Plan ahead and set aside funds or secure insurance for your preferred type of extended care services such as assisted living and nursing home stays.
3. Failing to choose an investment strategy - The investment strategy must reflect your current and long term goals and not be based solely on market conditions. In this case, it is best to choose a diversified asset allocation strategy that considers how much risk you can tolerate in growing your investments to ensure your desired retirement income.
Investment advisory services offered through Horter Investment Management, LLC, a SEC-Registered Investment Advisor. Horter Investment Management does not provide legal or tax advice. Investment Advisor Representatives of Horter Investment Management may only conduct business with residents of the states and jurisdictions in which they are properly registered or exempt from registration requirements. Insurance and annuity products are sold separately through Bergen Financial Group. Securities transactions for Horter Investment Management clients are placed through E*TRADE Advisor Services, TD Ameritrade and Nationwide Advisory Solutions.
Leveraging more than two decades of experience in the finance industry, Darcy Bergen advises the public on how to make sound financial decisions through his educational workshops. Darcy Bergen specializes in strategies that maximize income while reducing tax burdens, including social security planning and collection strategies for individuals and couples.
Married couples and unmarried ex-spouses who were together for at least 10 years can qualify for Social Security spousal benefits. Spousal benefits are equivalent to half of the spouse’s benefit as of full retirement age.
After one partner turns 62, a qualifying ex-spouse can file for benefits. Currently, married couples must wait until one partner files for their own Social Security benefit before being eligible to receive spousal benefits.
While the recipient of the spousal benefit will have a lower total amount of Social Security paid out, filing for a spousal benefit doesn’t impact the amount of Social Security the retired spouse receives. However, waiting until 70 to collect Social Security can boost spousal death benefits by 32 percent.
An accomplished financial advisor, Darcy Bergen is the founder and president of Bergen Financial Group. Darcy Bergen also serves as the treasurer of Bergen’s Mission, a nonprofit organization that partners with Hope for the Nations (HOPE) to provide emergency assistance, education, and housing to individuals and families in underserved communities around the world.
As HOPE celebrates 25 years of dedicated service, the organization is now active in seven regions: East Africa, Europe, North Asia, South Asia, The Americas, West Africa, and West Asia. In addition to its work in improving access to education, healthcare, and income, HOPE also aims to enrich the lives of people who are victims of natural disasters, conflicts, and wars.
HOPE has established the Ambassadors program to encourage long-term volunteers and fundraisers to sponsor a child or community and create projects that benefit children at risk.
Investment advisory services offered through Horter Investment Management, LLC, an SEC-Registered Investment Advisor. Horter Investment Management does not provide legal or tax advice. Investment Advisor Representatives of Horter Investment Management may only conduct business with residents of the states and jurisdictions in which they are properly registered or exempt from registration requirements. Insurance and annuity products are sold separately through Darcy Bergen. Securities transactions for Horter Investment Management clients are placed through E*TRADE Advisor Services, TD Ameritrade, and Nationwide Advisory Solutions.