Topel & DiStasi Wealth Management
Jarrett Topel is a financial advisor located in Berkeley, CA with over 20 years of experience in financial services. He brings a vast wealth of knowledge and expertise in delivering personalized financial planning and investment strategies to clients.
In his work as a financial advisor, Jarrett strives to help clients more fully enjoy the lives they have worked hard to build, by providing a partner in their journey towards financial independence.
Prior to co-founding Topel & DiStasi Wealth Management, Jarrett worked in various capacities in the financial services industry, giving him a broad perspective of the complex issues clients face today. He began his professional career at Smith Barney in 1994, then moved on to tax consulting and tax preparation work for a small boutique firm, ConsulTax, in Oakland, CA. Jarrett joined American Express Financial Advisors in 1999, and started his own firm as a franchisee of American Express Financial Advisors in 2003. Later that year, Jarrett earned his CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ designation (CFP®) and, since then, has continued to expand his knowledge base and skills set through continuing education and the attainment of advanced degrees and professional designations.
Jarrett holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration/Finance from San Francisco State University, a Certificate in Personal Financial Planning from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Masters of Science in Financial Planning from Golden Gate University.
A lifelong Bay Area resident, Jarrett currently lives in Oakland, CA with his wife and two children.
BS, Business Administration, San Francisco State University
MS, Financial Planning, Golden Gate University
Assets Under Management:
For advisory services and disclosure information, please visit our website www.td-wm.com
First, make sure you keep cash reserves (in the bank) of 3 - 6 months worth of living expenses (net of taxes and savings). Second, pay-down/off any debt that is costing you five percent or more, starting with the highest interest rate loan(s). Finally, if there is still money left over, or when money become available in the future, that you don't need for cash reserves and don't need for the next 5 years (and hopefully longer), invest and stay invested no matter what happens in the markets.
Yes, there is a potential substantial benefit for waiting. The benefit is a guaranteed 7%-8% annual increase in your social security benefits for each year you wait, until age 70. So, unless you have your money invested in something that guarantees you will earn 7%-8% compound each year (which does not exist), or you don’t believe it is likely you will live until your Social Security Administration assumed life expectancy, then you would be better served living off your cash/investments, while waiting for your social security benefits to increase.
However, please note, that depending on how much you and your wife will earn from social security respectively, it might make sense for one of you to claim sooner, have the other spouse receive only a spousal benefit, and then for the spousal benefit individual to switch to his/her own benefits at age 70. There are many factors that go into this type of claiming strategy, and it is something you should discuss/confirm with a qualified tax-advisor and/or financial planner.
Just because you are nearing retirement doesn’t necessarily mean you should be more conservative with your investment portfolio. This decision should be based on what you are spending, what income sources you will have in retirement (i.e. social security, pensions, rental income, etc.), and how long you think you will realistically live. The key here is to do more in-depth planning (hopefully with a qualified advisor) to find out how much you will need to pull from your investments each year, accounting for inflation, to meet your retiment goals. If you only need 1%-3% from your portfolio, then yes, your portfolio can be invested conservatively. If you need 4%, 5%, or more, then a conservative portfolio is likely a guaranteed failure (i.e. you will run out of money before you run out of life). So, instead of thinking about risk tolerance based on your age or your proximity to retirement, think of it based on your needs and the chances of reaching your goals. After all, what is really more risky---guaranteed failure, or possible failure with a good chance of success?
In general, all company matching will be done into the traditional side of the 401(k). Even if your contributions are all to the Roth side, the matching will almost always be to the traditional. As such, yes, it makes sense that you will have the majority of your money in the Roth side (from your contributions), and a smaller amount in the traditional side (from your employer match).
You can earn 1.5% in an FDIC insured savings account at Barclays. That is about the best you can do these days with no risk and no penalties for early withdrawal.