An accomplished financial advisor, Darcy Bergen is founder and president of Bergen Financial Group in Peoria, Arizona. Darcy Bergen and his associates offer advice on effective investment strategies, wealth management, and retirement planning.
People who reach the age of 55 gain full access to their Social Security retirement benefits. The Social Security benefit is calculated based on an individual’s average lifetime earnings, multiplied by an index factor that represents changes to actual earnings per year. The resulting amount also may change if an individual decides to advance the benefits before retirement age or delay them after, if they receive a pension from government work and didn’t pay Social Security taxes on income, or if they are eligible for a cost-of-living adjustment.
The surge in the new cost of living adjustment (COLA) has also resulted in an increase in the average Social Security retirement benefit by 2.8 percent, which will take effect at the beginning of 2019. This increase will help more than 62 million beneficiaries. Starting in December 2018, those entitled to their Social Security retirement benefit will be notified by mail about the new amount they will receive in January 2019.
Certified Retirement Financial Advisor Darcy Bergen draws from more than 20 years of financial services experience to guide clients in managing their wealth. Darcy Bergen founded Bergen Financial Group, a private advisory firm specializing in retirement, tax strategies, wealth management, estate planning, life insurance, and income strategies.
An annuity is a contract with an insurance company that provides an individual with a minimum income stream during retirement following a set fund contribution, which can come in one lump sum or through regular contributions. Annuities can be either fixed or variable.
A fixed annuity generates a fixed amount of income each year based on a given number of purchase payments. Insurance companies pool the purchase payments from different account holders and invest them in high-quality corporate debt and government bonds. The insurance companies assume the risk and continue to pay the set amount even if the investments perform poorly.
A variable annuity does not guarantee regular income payments to the investor but provides an opportunity to generate greater payouts based on the performance of the underlying assets. The annuitant directs the insurance company to invest the pooled purchase payments into certain mutual funds. While there is a potential of earning more on variable annuities, investors also assume the risks of any potential loss due to a stock crash or other market uncertainties.
A managing partner of Bergen Financial Group, Darcy Bergen is skilled in explaining highly technical investment and wealth planning strategies to his clients. Advising clients on everything from IRA/Roth conversions to establishing a trust, Darcy Bergen is currently accepting new clients who have a minimum of $500,000 in investment assets.
Other than retirement and end-of-life, there are many other reasons as to why you may need the assistance of an experienced financial investment adviser. For instance, welcoming a new baby into your family is a perfect time for you to review your life insurance benefits and to start a college savings fund. Another time you should consider consulting with an investment professional is when you are about to get married, and are looking to combine assets or to keep them separate through a prenuptial agreement.
Of course, if you inherit money, you should seek investment advice from a wealth management professional, so that you can better understand the tax ramifications and how to manage this new wealth. Additionally, people who are buying or selling a business can benefit from professional advice on financing their business and protecting their assets.
The founder and a managing partner of Bergen Financial Group, Darcy Bergen is a fiduciary with a Series 65 license. Experienced in risk management, income planning, and social security planning, Darcy Bergen assists people nearing retirement age with their financial planning needs.
As you prepare for retirement, you will need to consider your healthcare needs and associated costs. Those who have not yet reached Medicare eligibility don’t always realize that, currently, beneficiaries must pay a monthly premium for Medicare, which is typically deducted from your Social Security benefits payment.
In addition to premiums, many Medicare plans also have other out-of-pocket costs, such as deductibles and coinsurance amounts, as well as prescription drug co-pays. Each year, the amount you pay and the benefits you receive depend on the plan you select during the Medicare Open Enrollment period, which runs from October 15 through December 7, for plans that will be effective the following year.
Remember to review drug costs for each plan to see if any name-brand pharmaceuticals you rely on may have recently dropped in price due to recent legislation requiring certain drug manufacturers to lower costs for enrollees who fall into the drug coverage gap.
With more than two decades of experience in the financial services industry, Darcy Bergen is the founder and president of Bergen Financial Group in Peoria, Arizona. A certified retirement financial advisor, Darcy Bergen frequently shares his financial planning knowledge as the host of the live radio show Smart Money, as well as the television show The Money Doctors.
A recent development that may impact your financial planning is the Social Security Administration’s 2019 cost of living adjustment (COLA), which will increase by 2.8 percent. Many retirees may be pleased to hear that this is the largest COLA since 2012. However, it's important to keep in mind that increased earnings may lead to an increase in your income taxes depending how much you earn.
Once you pass retirement age, you can continue to work and still draw Social Security benefits.
When determining your tax rate, your income is counted as one half of your Social Security benefits plus your other earnings. If you earn a combined $44,000 or less filing jointly, you may pay taxes on 50 percent of your benefits. If you earn more than $44,000 filing jointly, the tax rate on your benefits can rise up to 85 percent. These rates can influence how much you would like to work once you reach retirement age.