Retirement PlanningInsurance and AnnuitiesEstate PlanningBusiness OwnersLong Term CareSocial SecurityLegacy Planning

Retirement Planning

It’s not going to be your parents’ retirement – rewarded at 65 with a gold watch, a guaranteed pension, and health insurance for life. For many people, retiring in this new century is a mystery. Earlier generations of workers could rely on employer-provided pensions, but now many workers will need to rely on their own work-related and personal savings plus Social Security benefits. These savings have to last longer because people are living longer, often into their eighties and nineties.

You have goals for your future; probably more than one. They might be about the lifestyle you hope to lead in retirement. Or a child’s education. There might be a charitable cause you hope to support more fully, or a hobby you’ve yearned to pursue. Or perhaps you’re just not quite able to articulate your goal. But we bet you have one, nevertheless. Understanding what’s really important to you is at the heart of how we’ll begin to build the kind of relationship you expect. Step by step, in a way that is very personal, very open and very focused on your hopes and dreams and goals.

Retirement can be a time to explore new possibilities or to slow down and fully enjoy the life you spent your working years building—or it can be a bit of both. Regardless of your path, you want to ensure that this phase is as financially secure and satisfying as it can be—a process that ideally begins with your first job and continues even after retirement begins.

Insurance and Annuities

Annuities are financial tools that can be used for receiving potential guaranteed income in retirement. Various types of annuities let you choose which benefits matter most and how often you are paid. All are tax-friendly, meaning you don’t pay taxes on them until you receive your annuity or income payments, which are usually when you’re in retirement and could be taxed at a lower rate. GRW Strategies, LLC offers a variety of solutions from leading financial service providers, so you have many options when deciding what type of annuity is right for you.

How Annuities Work:

  • Learning more about annuities can help you understand what options are available to you.
  • Annuities give you the ability to earn gains based on market indexes without any possibility of losing your principal.
  • Lasting income: An annuity is a plan between you and an insurance company. They invest your money and provide a regular source of income that you can never outlive.
  • Tax advantages: Your earnings are not taxed until withdrawn. This means that when you typically start receiving your annuity or income payments, they could be taxed at a lower rate, making annuities an attractive savings option for retirement.
  • With some annuities, income can be extended to your spouse after you die.

Estate Planning

Many people believe they don’t need estate planning because they think they don’t have an estate. Or they think the value of their estate is not great enough to cause estate taxation, so what’s the point?

With few exceptions, everyone has an estate — even the young child with a custodial account in his name and the granddaughter who received a lovely piece of jewelry for her 16th birthday.

Bottom line: If you own something of value that you would pass on to someone else upon your death, you have an estate. Whether you know it or not, you also have an estate plan. The state has one for you free of charge (well, sort of) if you don’t get around to writing a will or designing a plan of your own.

Broadly speaking, an estate plan encompasses the accumulation, conservation and distribution of an estate. A good plan will enhance and maintain the financial security of individuals and their families.

When you’re developing a plan for your estate, it’s important to understand your entire financial picture. That’s where I come in. Working with your other advisors, I will help coordinate your investment strategies to help ensure that your plan reflects your wishes for your legacy.

Business Owners

Owning your own business is a dream for many. But managing your own business takes a lot more than hard work. You need a financial plan – one that addresses financial needs and products for every stage of your business life cycle and that takes into account your personal financial goals and dreams.

Managing taxes
As your goals and financial situation change, there may be new opportunities to reduce your taxable income. I’ll help you find them.

Business succession planning
How will you transfer your business when it’s time to move on? I’ll help you plan for a smooth transition.

Business protection
Protecting your business means being prepared for unexpected situations. Together we will create that plan.

Long Term Care

Long-term care involves a variety of services designed to meet a person’s health or personal care needs during a short or long period of time. These services help people live as independently and safely as possible when they can no longer perform everyday activities on their own.

Most Care Provided at Home

Long-term care is provided in different places by different caregivers, depending on a person’s needs. Most long-term care is provided at home by unpaid family members and friends. It can also be given in a facility such as a nursing home or in the community, for example, in an adult day care center.

The most common type of long-term care is personal care — help with everyday activities, also called “activities of daily living.” These activities include bathing, dressing, grooming, using the toilet, eating, and moving around — for example, getting out of bed and into a chair.

Long-term care also includes community services such as meals, adult day care, and transportation services. These services may be provided free or for a fee.

Long-term care insurance is a type of policy which is designed to provide for the financial welfare of an individual beyond a certain period. An example of this can be seen when a common disability package is replaced with its long-term counterpart. Such a plan is commonly seen with individuals who may have chronic illnesses (such as COPD or emphysema) and those who have become physically handicapped. This insurance policy exists in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. It can be known by its acronym LTCI or simply as LTI (Long-Term Insurance).

Social Security

Social Security benefits are one of the most important parts of any retirement portfolio. A poor claiming decision can cost tens-of-thousands of dollars, while making the right decision can contribute significantly to one’s financial security.

However, Social Security is a complex system. I provide the tools to help you make the best Social Security timing decisions. My reports presents little known social security strategies such as divorced spouse and deceased spouse claiming strategies. I can also provide insight into options such as delayed retirement credits, spousal benefits, and survivor benefits.

Prior to choosing a claiming strategy, individuals and couples owe it to themselves to become educated so as to make the most beneficial claiming decision for their particular situation. Many factors must be considered, and I am happy to assist with the analysis.

Legacy Planning

You are much more than a number on a bank statement. You have experience and insight that should be shared. You have causes, interests and obligations that you want to fulfill. Legacy planning is not just about passing assets along. Legacy Planning is about focusing on something greater: your wisdom. “It’s not what you own. It’s what you value,” beyond a catch phrase this is our philosophy.

Legacy planning forms the basic principles and a foundation of that philosophy. Unfortunately, the greatest transfer of wealth between generations in history bares the loss of wisdom from our fore fathers who created the wealth. The estate and legacy planning process go hand-in-hand. One supports the other. The process of Legacy Planning helps you better understand and communicate what is important to you – your life experiences and wisdom. It offers the opportunity to pass those values along to family and loved ones – to be remembered for what you believe and value.

Legacy planning is a journey that we are honored to guide our client’s along.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Exactly how much am I paying in fees on my current investments?

A. Upon detailed review of his clients’ current investment particulars, Gary can translate the disclosures and fine print into more understandable language and dollar amounts, thus allowing clients to see what they are actually paying.

Q. Are my Retirement Accounts “multigenerational”?

A. Gary can assist clients in determining, and potentially changing, their Retirement Accounts to be “Multigenerational”.  The ability to pass your retirement accounts on to multiple generations of family members can have a tremendous effect on the value of those accounts.

Q. Will I have enough money?

A. Gary works with his clients to help chart their financial needs while showing them how to protect some of their assets from market risk, reduce taxes and fees when possible, and maximize savings.

Q. How can I reduce risk if the market becomes even more volatile?

A. There are options available, and Gary offers a complimentary Financial Analysis to prospective clients.

Q. Are you a fiduciary?

A. Gary is, and has been, a Fiduciary throughout his career as CPA, as an Attorney, and as a Financial Advisor. That means he must always put his clients best interests first.

Q. Do I really need an Estate Plan?

A. Yes.  Everyone needs an Estate Plan.  And Gary encourages everyone to create their own estate plan,  or else the State of Illinois will create one for them.

Q. How can I maximize my social security benefits?

A. Gary can run a program for clients not currently receiving social security benefits.  Clients will learn details regarding the various beginning date options and the financial repercussions.  Gary provides much needed information for the important decision ahead.

Q. How can I reduce the taxes I will owe?

A. Through a discussion on the various investment tools available and the order of spending down the assets within them, Gary assists clients to minimize their tax burden.

Q. What are my options for Long Term Care?

A. There are options available to cover the expenses involved with Long Term Care.  Some are insurance related and others are not.  Through detailed analysis, Gary can help his clients find their most appropriate options.

Q. Is it really just a “Paper Loss”?

A. “Paper losses” on market investments are less detrimental to younger investors than to those approaching retirement.  Pre-retirees and those already retired have less years to recover from those losses.  Gary can show clients specific examples of how long it can really take to simply break even again after market adjustments and losses.

Possible Risks

Market risk, or “principal risk” is the chance that a downturn (or a bad investment) destroys the value of your money. It’s there for both stocks and bonds — when interest rates rise, bondholders will see the market value of their investments shrink.

Inflation or purchasing-power risk, this is the opposite end of the spectrum from market risk — the possibility that you are too conservative and your money can’t grow fast enough to keep pace with inflation.

I Will Help You to understand:

  • Retirement Financial Planning
  • Asset Protection
  • Options that are available for your unique situation such as: Trippler, Fixed Index Annuity, Life Insurance, Long Term Care, Legacy Planning
  • Multi-Generational Beneficiaries

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Let`s start maximizing your retirement future today



Actually, I’ll listen as you explain your needs, dreams, and fears. Then I’ll design a personalized plan that explains how we can help you reach your financial goals.



We work together to implement the plan. Then I keep you updated on where you stand and adapt the plan as life happens.



I`m here for you whenever you need. Call me anytime with your questions / concerns.

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