Darcy Bergen

Darcy Bergen Explains the Benefits of Life Insurance into Retirement

Darcy BergenFinancial planner, Darcy Bergen, recommends five reasons to keep your life insurance policy after retirement.

When retirement is approaching, many people wonder if they still need life insurance. It’s likely that the children are grown and the mortgage is mostly, if not fully paid off. Perhaps there is also a nice lump sum of savings that has been collected throughout your life. With all of these affairs in order, why would someone choose to keep their life insurance into retirement?

Darcy Bergen, Financial Planner and founder of Bergen Financial Group, explains valid reasons to maintain life insurance coverage throughout retirement as part of your financial plan.

1. Gifting Wealth to Heirs

Keeping life insurance is one of the easiest ways to pass on assets to future generations and establish a legacy. Darcy Bergen explains that if a life insurance policy is correctly set up, it can be free of income and estate taxes. This is also a great way to equalize estates among children, especially when illiquid assets are in play, such as a family business. With life insurance, it’s possible to have a cash amount equal to that of a business.

2. More Cash

If it’s determined that you no longer need the same high level of coverage, cash can be withdrawn from a permanent life insurance policy. Darcy Bergen explains that the money can then be added to the retirement fund. With this option, premiums are paid into the policy during the years of your career. However, it can turn into a source of retirement income along with other benefits like social security and a 401(k) plan.

3. Widow Support

Keeping a life insurance policy will provide a living spouse with support after one passes away. Financial planner Darcy Bergen notes that it can be used to pay for funeral arrangements or debt. Many people find that this provides ease of mind in retirement, knowing that life insurance benefits will help with any financial strain the family may encounter.

4. Illness

Depending on the life insurance contract, many policies allow people to access benefits before death. In the case of a chronic illness, such as Alzheimer’s, the policy may help cover additional expenses where the help of medical professionals is required part of the time. Darcy Bergen explains that people who are at higher risk of particular illness should look into maintaining their life insurance.

5. Philanthropy

For those who are passionate about charitable giving, life insurance can make for an excellent retirement strategy. Financial planner Darcy Bergen explains that in the event of death, the life insurance amount can be transferred to a charity. With this option, all other assets can still be passed down to heirs. Darcy Bergen notes that this option is called a “wealth replacement.”

It is always encouraged to weigh the pros and cons of maintaining life insurance. In retirement, the cost of keeping a life insurance policy is substantially more expensive due to increased age. In addition, underlying health issues may affect your eligibility.

Born in 1953 or Earlier and Retiring? Darcy Bergen Tells How You and Your Spouse Can Profit from a Social Security Law Ending This Year

If you were born before 1954, a little-known Social Security law could earn you and your spouse thousands of extra dollars in retirement. But according to financial planner Darcy Bergen of Peoria, Arizona, you must act soon, or you could miss the chance to benefit from this strategy.

Darcy Bergen is a fiduciary who has two decades of financial planning experience in the Phoenix area, with an office north of downtown in Peoria, Arizona.

Get Extra Social Security Benefits While You Can

It’s all perfectly legal. Although the government is phasing out the “Restricted Application” program at the end of 2019, most people with a spouse who reach the government’s full retirement age of 66 by Dec. 31 are eligible to apply for a Restricted Application before the end of the year. Once the calendar flips to 2020, it will be too late.

Once approved, a Restricted Application allows the applicant to collect half a spouse’s full retirement age Social Security benefit without actually opening his or her own Social Security record. It’s complicated, but an older spouse could earn an 8 percent delayed credit on his or her own full retirement age benefit up until age 70. At age 70, the applicant could begin taking his or her own benefit, while realizing a 32 percent increase over the four-year period, Darcy Bergen explains.

The Restricted Application was eliminated in a 2015 bipartisan budget act, so unless you act now, you will lose the opportunity to take advantage of this phased-out government program.

How to File a Restricted Application

If you were born in 1953 or earlier and are considering filing a Restricted Application, there are four additional items of importance to be aware of:

  1. Your spouse must have already opened his or her own record and started claiming Social Security benefits.
  2. You must be at full retirement age (born on or before Jan. 1, 1954)
  3. This strategy is also available if you are divorced. Your marriage must have lasted at least 10 years and you cannot have remarried.
  4. You should consider speaking to a fiduciary about maximizing your retirement benefits if you will be filing a Restricted Application – before you file your Restricted Application.

If you meet the age criteria, it is imperative that you obtain full knowledge about this lucrative opportunity and learn what your options are to make your retirement more comfortable. Darcy Bergen can tailor a plan specific to your needs and help you from missing out on your maximum retirement benefits.

Since 2003, Darcy Bergen and his staff at Bergen Financial in Peoria, Arizona have helped clients find additional income for their households by planning properly and knowing their options.

Contact Darcy Bergen at Bergen Financial by calling 602-652-2665 to set up an appointment.

Darcy Bergen Gives 6 Tips to Teach Kids Financial Responsibility

Parents are constantly working hard to make sure their child has everything they need before they move out or go off to college on their own. Countless hours are spent on studying and homework, playing sports, and learning lifelong lessons. While managing money is one of the most important aspects of our adult lives, many parents neglect teaching their children how to handle finances.

Learning financial responsibility at a young age can help children make wise decisions as a young adult, which in turn sets them up for a life of success. This can lead to a head start when planning for retirement and saving for large purchases like a home.

Darcy Bergen, founder of Bergen Financial Group, shares 6 tips for teaching children financial responsibility.

  1. Take your child grocery shopping. This is an opportunity to teach your kids how to balance a budget while shopping for your family’s weekly needs. Darcy Bergen suggests increasing their budget in increments to provide more opportunity for practice as they get older.
  2. Next, Darcy Bergen suggests giving them real money to manage. Start with small activities such as providing $5 to pick out a toy or snack. This not only helps them learn how to count change, but they will be more confident in the future. This will set them up to have a better idea of how far a dollar gets you.
  3. Teach the Save, Spend, Give model. For older kids, it is appropriate to do this in bank accounts and with budgets. With children, use three small jars with labels so the child can make decisions on how to allocate their money. Darcy Bergen recommends making them save for a goal that is far away to teach patience.
  4. Practice what you preach. If you lecture the importance of frugality and saving, but make purchases that are unnecessary and have very little savings, your children will more than likely not abide by what you preach. Children seek a role model and by showing them good financial habits, they will be more likely to pick up on those.
  5. Pay your children an appropriate rate for extra chores they do around the house. If your child offers to mow the lawn, pay them the amount that is fair for the job done. If the job was done poorly, teach them that unless the job is done correctly, they will not get paid. This increases the child’s exposure to how services should be performed in real life.
  6. For older kids, teach the importance of avoiding high interest debt. The average American has around $7,000 in credit card debt. The high interest debt takes a lot longer to get rid of and as a young adult, it is better to avoid it all together. Young adults do need to build credit, but they don’t need a high credit limit. Parents should help their children seek credit limits no higher than $500 and limit the number of cards to just one. Teaching good credit card practices is crucial for the young adult in this day and age.

Financial Advisor, Darcy Bergen, Shares Social Security Options for Couples

Darcy Bergen explains how proper planning can help married couples make the most of their Social Security benefits.

Most people start saving for retirement at a reasonably young age and count on the benefits promised through Social Security. However, there are many different ways to claim those benefits. Using the wrong claiming strategy can cost thousands of dollars, which is why Darcy Bergen shares his insight on Social Security options for married couples.

Get Estimates

To maximize Social Security benefits, Darcy Bergen suggests visiting the Social Security Administration (SSA) website. There, you can get an estimate of how much you’ll be able to start collecting at any age between 62 and 70. Click here to get your estimate now!

Identify the Higher Earner

It’s essential to compare the estimates between spouses very carefully. The individual with a higher income will be the one with the larger primary insurance amount (PIA). Darcy Bergen suggests having the lower earner collect first because the higher earner’s increases will be worth more!

In the instance where one spouse earns twice as much as the other, Darcy Bergen explains that it might be best for both to collect on the same spouse’s earning record. The longer the higher earner waits to collect, the higher the benefits will be for the couple. This will also reflect a higher survivor benefit, at the death of the first spouse.

Reduce Payments

Many factors can impact the payout of Social Security benefits. Darcy Bergen believes it’s important to have the help of a professional when navigating all the possibilities looking for the best strategy.

Many people don’t realize that working while collecting Social Security payments can reduce their benefits. In addition, government pensions, federal & state taxes, and Medicare premiums can decrease benefits.

62 by 2015?

An advanced Social Security claiming strategy may be available if you or your spouse became 62 years old by the end of 2015. Darcy Bergen explains how it works.

If one spouse is younger, and under the age of 62, they can claim benefits on their personal earnings record. The spouse who is 62 or older waits to reach full retirement age, and files an application intended only for spousal benefits. This allows the couple to temporarily claim benefits based on the younger spouses earning record. (*note, the younger spouse must have claimed their benefit, opened their record for the older spouse to be able to claim spousal benefits on their record).

Darcy Bergen notes that the real savings happen when the older spouse then turns 70. They can now claim benefits based on their earnings record, which will have increased by approximately 132% of what they would have been qualified for at FRA.

For more information on your retirement strategy, contact Darcy Bergen at Bergen Financial today!

Social Security Benefits Are Confusing, Darcy Bergen Explains the Ins and Outs

The Social Security benefits act was established in 1935. Back then a lump sum was allocated to recipients until the law was changed in 1940. A lot of things have changed over the last 84 years, and many individuals are not as up to date on the basics of Social Security as they might need to be.

Darcy Bergen, the owner of Bergen Financial Group, offers conservative retirement planning strategies and products designed to provide guaranteed income for life while protecting their client’s principal from the fluctuations of the stock market with fixed annuity options. Did you know that every month, 59 million people receive a Social Security Benefit? More often than not, Darcy Bergen sees some confusion from his clients when it comes to Social Security, and he sheds light on the basics of the plan and benefits.

The Social Security trust fund reserves are 2.9 trillion. Most workers are eligible for Social Security benefits, but not all. For example, until 1984, federal government employees were part of the Civil Service Retirement System and were not covered by Social Security.² For a retiree, at their full retirement age, the maximum yearly benefit is upwards of $33,000, which is around $2,780 per month, but this depends on how much you made and contributed over the years of your employment.

Benefits are based on an individual’s average earnings during a lifetime of work under the Social Security system. The calculation is based on the 35 highest years of earnings. If an individual has years of low earnings or no earnings, Social Security may count those years to bring the total years to 35.⁴ Eligibility is contingent upon your work length and history. If you were born after 1929, you’d need to have worked for at least ten years to be eligible.

There haven’t always been cost-of-living adjustments (COLA) in Social Security benefits. Before 1975, increasing benefits required an act of Congress; now increases happen automatically, based on the Consumer Price Index. There was a COLA increase of 2.0% in 2018, but there was only an increase of 0.3% in 2017.⁵

Darcy Bergen helps people plan for retirement. He also offers courses for seniors, which provides sound advice on maximizing social security, life insurance, and retirement planning comprehensively.

For more information, you can check your Social Security earnings and see an estimate of your benefits on the website, www.ssa.gov.

Social Security Administration Sources:
2-5, 7-9. Social Security Administration, 2018

Darcy Bergen, CRFA
AZ License #: 7714485
The Bergen Financial Group Headquarters
20542 N. Lake Pleasant Rd. Suite 111
Peoria, AZ 85382
602-652-2665
info@bergenfinancialgroup.com
bergenfinancialgroup.com

Fixed Index Annuities for Retirement: Financial Advisor, Darcy Bergen’s Approach

Darcy Bergen

In exchange for purchasing annuity contracts, the insurance company makes regular payments to the purchaser either immediately in a single lump-sum or on scheduled times during the future. Usually, deferred payments are made monthly, quarterly, annually.

Darcy Bergen owner of Bergen Financial Group offers conservative retirement planning strategies and products designed to provide guaranteed income for life while protecting their client from the fluctuations of the stock market with fixed annuity options. Darcy explained, “Annuity contract holders can opt to receive payments for the rest of their lives or over a set number of years.”

Darcy Bergen continued, “The money paid toward an annuity grows tax-deferred1. When the money is withdrawn, the amount paid into the annuity will not be taxed, but earnings will be taxed as regular income. Darcy explained further, “There are two main types of annuities, fixed and variable. Fixed annuities offer a guaranteed rate. Variable annuities offer the possibility to allocate premiums between various subaccounts. This gives annuity owners the ability to participate in the potentially higher returns these sub-accounts have to offer. It also means that the annuity account may fluctuate in value. Fixed Index Annuities operate in the same manner as fixed annuities except that the yearly interest is based in part on a stock market index as opposed to an interest rate.”

Managing Partner and Financial Advisor, Darcy Bergen started Bergen Financial Group in 2003 and has been recognized as one of the top 20 advisors in sales with Midland National Life Insurance Company annuity division year after year. In 2015, after many years of successful investment and financial development for his clients, Darcy Bergen became a fiduciary (Exam 65), offering even further reliance between trustees and beneficiaries.

Bergen Financial Group shows clients that there is a way to have guaranteed income for the rest of their lives with annuity-based products. Darcy Bergen’s team of advisors has over 100 years of experience assisting clients. There is no longer a need to guess; they will set up a customized plan and help you implement a personalized strategy depending on your specific needs.

Darcy Bergen, CRFA
AZ License #: 7714485
The Bergen Financial Group Headquarters
20542 N. Lake Pleasant Rd. Suite 111
Peoria, AZ 85382
602-652-2665
info@bergenfinancialgroup.com
bergenfinancialgroup.com

1. The tax-deferred feature of the annuity is not necessary for a tax-qualified plan. Before purchasing this product, you should obtain competent tax advice as to the tax treatment of the annuity and the suitability of the purchase. Under current law, annuities grow tax-deferred. Annuities may be subject to taxation during the income or withdrawal phase. There is no additional tax benefit to investing in a variable annuity within a tax-qualified account (such as an IRA).

Variable Annuities are designed for long-term investing, such as retirement investing and are subject to market risk including loss of principal.

Midland National variable products distributed by Sammons Financial Network® LLC, member FINRA. Midland National and Sammons Financial Network® LLC are not affiliated with Bergen Financial Group.

Fixed index annuities are not a direct investment in the stock market. They are long term insurance products with guarantees backed by the issuing company. They provide the potential for interest to be credited based in part on the performance of specific indices, without the risk of loss of premium due to market downturns or fluctuation. Although fixed index annuities guarantee no loss of premium due to market downturns, deductions from your accumulation value for additional optional benefit riders could under certain scenarios exceed interest credited to the accumulation value, which would result in loss of premium. They may not be appropriate for all clients. Interest credits to a fixed index annuity will not mirror the actual performance of the relevant index.

Insurance products issued by Midland National® Life Insurance Company, West Des Moines, Iowa. Product and features/options may not be available in all states or appropriate for all clients. See product materials for further details, specific features/options, and limitations by product and state.

Darcy Bergen - Long Term Investment Management Advice

Financial Advisor, Darcy Bergen’s Long Term Investment Management Advice

Darcy Bergen has over two decades of financial investing. On the heels of founding Clear Solutions for Seniors, LLC, Darcy Bergen started Bergen Financial Group in 2003, and was recognized as one of the top 20 advisors in sales with Midland National life annuity division year after year. In 2015, after many years of successful investment and financial development for his clients, Darcy Bergen became a fiduciary (exam 65), offering even further reliance between trustees and beneficiaries. Darcy shares his long term investing tips.

 

 Darcy Bergen continued, “Investing should be simple. We all know to buy low and sell high, but most of us have trouble following that advice. Some principles and strategies may enable you to put together an investment portfolio that reflects your risk tolerance, time horizon, and goals. Understanding these principles and strategies can help you avoid some of the pitfalls that snare some investors.”

 

Knowing how long to holding securities isn’t always so cut and dry. An investment strategy that advocates holding securities for the long term and ignoring short-term price fluctuations in the market is not always a leisurely feat to interpret or achieve. Knowing where the market is heading is not always easy to figure out, and it certainly takes an expert to know what’s next in line for the financial markets. 

 

He further explains, “Bergen Financial Group Strives To Help You Achieve Financial Peace Of Mind. In today’s uncertain economic conditions, you need financial advisors who strive to look beyond current paradigms for strategies that will help guide you toward your retirement dreams. Don’t retire alone and uncertain. With over 100 years of combined experience, our financial advisors can help you rest easy in the knowledge that we strive to keep your financial well-being safe. We are always working hard to help you with the future you desire.”

 

Bergen Financial Group offers conservative retirement planning strategies and products designed to provide guaranteed income for life while protecting their client’s principal from the fluctuations of the stock market with fixed annuity options. To find out more, contact them today.

 

Insurance and annuity products are not sold through Horter Investment Management, LLC (“Horter”). Horter does not endorse any annuity or insurance products nor does it guarantee their performance. Owners of these products are subject to the terms and conditions of the policies and contracts of the issuing companies. All product guarantees depend on the insurance company’s financial strength and claims-paying ability. : 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 *Insert Name*. Securities transactions for Horter Investment Management clients are placed through E*TRADE Advisor Services, TD Ameritrade and Nationwide Advisory Solutions.

 

###

 

Darcy Bergen, CRFA

AZ License #: 7714485

The Bergen Financial Group Headquarters

20542 N. Lake Pleasant Rd. Suite 111

Peoria, AZ 85382

602-652-2665

info@bergenfinancialgroup.com

bergenfinancialgroup.com

Darcy Bergen - Retirement Planning Classes

Financial Advisor, Darcy Bergen Holds Retirement Planning Classes

Financial advisor Darcy Bergen has more than two decades of experience in financial planning. Designed to provide conservative retirement planning strategies and products guarantee income for life, Darcy Bergen’s group protects their client’s principal from the fluctuations of the stock market with fixed annuity options. He explains how these methods are best put into action.

Darcy Bergen explains, “Our financial group shows clients that there is a way to save and live with guaranteed income for the rest of their lives with annuity-based products. Bergen Financial is made up of a team of advisors that have over 100 years of combined experience assisting clients. There is no longer a need to guess; we set up a customized plan and help you implement a personalized strategy depending on your specific needs.”

Darcy Bergen founded Bergen Financial Group based on a simple philosophy; to teach their clients how to employ strategies to help protect them from incurring losses on their savings. Losing money in the stock market is not the way to save or live in retirement. His group aims to provide education, advice, and consulting to retirees and those planning for retirement.

Darcy Bergen explains, “Personalized retirement planning is critical. There are no cookie-cutter plans when it comes to personal investing. Everyone’s needs are different; their financial situations vary and understanding how to implement the most optimal strategy to get someone the most money out of their investing is critical. We look at every individual’s position as a unique opportunity to offer our specialized services.”

At Bergen Financial Group, they build long-term client relationships that span generations. They understand that financial products are often complicated and confusing, and that’s why Darcy Bergen’s team only implements strategies that their clients fully understand. Since they are an independent firm, they can present several different approaches and not merely a one-size-fits-all approach. Bergen Financial Group can customize your plan based on your needs, not the needs of one company.

With headquarters located in Peoria, Arizona, as well as offices in Tucson, Mesa & Scottsdale, Arizona, their expertise is on a wide-ranging level. They offer educational seminars throughout the valley to help guide individuals through their financial journey and into a vibrant retirement.

If you’re interested in optimizing your retirement planning, contact Bergen Financial today.

Darcy Bergen - Social Security Advantage

Financial Advisor, Darcy Bergen Discusses a Social Security Advantage for Those 66 and Older

Darcy BergenDarcy Bergen owner of Bergen Financial Group offers conservative retirement planning strategies and products designed to provide guaranteed income for life while protecting their client’s principal investments.

Darcy Bergen wants investors to know, if between now and December 31st, 2019, you will be full retirement age, 66, there is a little-known caveat to your benefit. The strategy is called “Restricted Application” and allows you to collect half your spouse’s full retirement age Social Security benefit without actually opening your own record. This means you can still earn an 8% delayed credit on your own full retirement age benefit up until age 70. Once you turn 70, you can switch to your own benefit, having received a 32% increase over a four-year period.

This strategy was eliminated in the 2015 bipartisan budget act unless you were born on or before January 1st, 1954, but it is available again under the current administration.

There are THREE additional items of importance to be aware of:
1. Your spouse must have already opened his or her own record and started claiming Social Security benefits.
2. You must be at full retirement age.
3. This strategy is also available if you are divorced. Your marriage must have lasted at least 10 years, and you
cannot have remarried.

Darcy Bergen explained further, “Considering you meet the age criteria; it is imperative you have the knowledge and see what you could possibly be missing. We have helped clients find additional income to their household by planning properly and knowing their options. Again, It’s imperative to make sure you know your options before you file. Once you file, it may be too late to take advantage of this strategy.”

Managing Partner and Financial Advisor, Darcy Bergen started Bergen Financial Group in 2003 and has been recognized as one of the top 20 advisors in sales with Midland National life annuity division year after year. In 2015, after many years of successful investment and financial development for his clients, Darcy Bergen became a fiduciary (exam 65), offering even further reliance between trustees and beneficiaries.

Bergen Financial Group shows clients that there is a way to save and live with guaranteed income for the rest of their lives with annuity-based products. Darcy Bergen’s team of advisors has over 100 years of experience assisting clients. There is no longer a need to guess; they will set up a customized plan and help you implement a personalized strategy depending on your specific needs.

Darcy Bergen, CRFA
AZ License #: 7714485
The Bergen Financial Group Headquarters
20542 N. Lake Pleasant Rd. Suite 111
Peoria, AZ 85382
602-652-2665
info@bergenfinancialgroup.com
bergenfinancialgroup.com

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 Services. Securities transactions for Horter Investment Management clients are placed through E*TRADE Advisor Services, TD Ameritrade and Nationwide Advisory Solutions.

Caroline Hunter

Darcy Bergen - Roth Conversion Strategies

Financial Advisor, Darcy Bergen Discusses Roth Conversion Strategies Financial Advisor, Darcy Bergen Discusses Roth Conversion Strategies

Darcy BergenFinancial Advisor, Darcy Bergen holds more than two decades of experience in financial planning. On the heels of founding Clear Solutions for Seniors, LLC, he started Bergen Financial Group in 2003. In 2015, after many years of successful investment and financial development for his clients, Darcy Bergen became an Investment Advisor Representative with Horter Investment Management LLC, offering even further reliance between trustees and beneficiaries.

Darcy Bergen explains the details of Roth Conversions, “The new Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) that was signed into place in 2017, is a great reason to take advantage of the IRA investments and Roth Conversion. These tax cuts are scheduled to stay in place until 2025, but that absolutely depends on the political administration during the next few years.

“The advantages of converting a traditional IRA into a Roth IRA Conversion are that it is essentially the shrewdest way to get the most substantial amount of funds into the account. The distribution of traditional IRA funds is treated as taxable but making the conversion before the end of the tax year will be the best way to take advantage of the federal and state income status.”

Between now and April 15, 2020, you can make the Roth conversion or contributions, but the sooner, the better, since the five year tax-free withdraw is effective only with Roth IRAs that were implemented five years prior. With Traditional IRAs, federal and state tax deductions can be made. When an individual is retired, withdrawals are taxed at ordinary rates.

“Other benefits of Roth conversions are stretching a Roth IRA. This follows similar rules to a traditional IRA but does not necessitate any Required Minimum Distributions. Stretching exists if you named another beneficiary to pass the IRA on to. All Roth IRA distributions are tax-free. Some advantages of stretching Roth IRAs include avoiding sizable tax brackets, paying taxes on a deferred basis, and that the preliminary decisions can be altered if needed.” Darcy Bergen added.

Traditional IRA withdrawals before the age of 59½ may incur a 10% penalty on top of federal and state taxes. At age 59½, you can withdraw funds from an IRA without penalty. Generally, once you reach age 70½, you must begin taking required minimum distributions. A tax professional can help assess your specific situation. Tax-free and penalty-free withdrawal also can be taken under certain other circumstances, such as a result of the owner’s death. The original Roth IRA owner is not required to make minimum annual withdrawals.