Strong Tower Associates
Ash Toumayants is the founder of Strong Tower Associates, a wealth management firm dedicated to helping clients in all stages of life prepare for retirement. For over a decade, he has helped hard-working people across Central Pennsylvania prepare for retirement.
It is Ash's mission to educate his clients so they can make more sound choices regarding their financial future and achieve ideal retirement lifestyle. By working side-by-side with clients, Ash helps to demystify the markets, protect assets and map out the right path to a financially secure future. He wants clients to think of Strong Tower as their main ally in the journey to retirement. Strong Tower was founded with the goal of peeling back the veil of confusion that shrouds the financial world and to establish a relationship built on fiduciary responsibility, trust, and transparency. Strong Tower Associates' wealth management services include individualized financial and retirement planning, complimentary consultations, portfolio monitoring through Wealthguard, annuity stress tests, workshops, seminars and more.
Ash spent his childhood in a variety of places. He lived in Cairo, San Diego, Gainesville, and Houston before attending Penn State for college and then making Happy Valley his home. Ash's father was a small-business owner, which largely shaped his drive to help people. He watched his dad run his factory for over 12 hours a day, 6 days a week. While his father worked hard at running his business, he didn't work as hard to protect his wealth. While he retired with a decent sum of money, it was far from representative of the decades of work he had put in.
This has fueled Ash's passion for understanding and educating his clients and is why his mission is what it is: to help clients make more sound choices regarding their financial future. Ash graduated from Penn State in 2004, began working as an advisor thereafter, and then launched his Strong Tower Associates in 2013.
Ash lives in State College with his lovely wife Noelle, and two kids.
BS, Industrial Engineering, Penn State University
Investment Advisory Services offered through Retirement Wealth Advisors, (RWA) a Registered Investment Advisor. Strong Tower Associates and RWA are not affiliated. Investing involves risk including the potential loss of principal. No investment strategy can guarantee a profit or protect against loss in periods of declining values. Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice and are not intended as investment advice or to predict future performance. Past performance does not guarantee future results. Consult your financial professional before making any investment decision.
This information is designed to provide general information on the subjects covered, it is not, however, intended to provide specific legal or tax advice and cannot be used to avoid tax penalties or to promote, market, or recommend any tax plan or arrangement. Please note that Strong Tower Associates and its affiliates do not give legal or tax advice. You are encouraged to consult your tax advisor or attorney.
Annuity guarantees rely on the financial strength and claims-paying ability of the issuing insurer. Any comments regarding safe and secure investments and guaranteed income streams refer only to fixed insurance products. They do not refer, in any way to securities or investment advisory products. Fixed Insurance and Annuity product guarantees are subject to the claims‐paying ability of the issuing company and are not offered by Retirement Wealth Advisors.
WealthGuard™ is a complete portfolio monitoring system. Designed by determining the amount of downside risk a client is willing to tolerate, WealthGuard™ is added to client accounts to help protect from downside risk. WealthGuard™ is not a stop loss strategy. When the account value in the portfolio hits the targeted downside value, an alert is sent to the client, advisor, and money manager. The money manager trades the account as indicated on the WealthGuard™ agreement.
There is no guarantee the exact WealthGuard™ value will be captured, or assets will be traded or liquidated the same day the WealthGuard™ value is reached due to time of day and/or market restrictions. WealthGuard™ is not responsible for any tax implications that may result due to the liquidation or trading of the holdings. FormulaFolio Investments is not responsible for any errors or omissions in the information used to prepare your WealthGuard™ percentages.
WealthGuard™ does not make any representations or warranties, whether expressed or implied, regarding investing in securities or investment products. WealthGuard™ makes no warranties to the legality or suitability of any investment product.
Strong Tower Associates Wealth Management Company Introduction
The Death Benefit is what the Insurance company pays out to the beneficiary when the insured individual passes away.
The Cash Value is the amount of cash the Owner of the policy has access to by taking out a loan on the policy, making a withdrawal from the policy (if it allows you to do so), or when the policy is canceled, the Owner receives the cash value assuming there are no surrender charges, fees you pay when you cancel a policy within the first 10 to 20 years.
Depending on the type of policy, the beneficiary can receive both the cash value and death Benefit. But in most cases, when the insured dies, the beneficiary only receives the Death Benefit and the Insurance company keeps the cash value. So let's say someone has a $100,000 death benefit and a $30,000 cash value. When they die, their family would get a check for $100,000. I know that some people struggle with the concept of the insurance company keeping the $30,000, but the insurance purchased was for $100,000, the cash value represents excess premium paid and an interest rate paid by the insurance company. The difference between cash value and the death benefit is what insurance companies call "Net amount at risk" as in it's the amount they're on the hook for. The $30,000 would represent the return of part of the premium and some interest and the other $70,000 would be the insurance amount totaling $100,000. Imagine a situation where the $30,000 would keep growing over many years and it becomes $100,000. That's when a policy "matures", meaning that the death benefit and cash value is the same amount, the insurance company has no risk anymore, and that the owner has effectively paid for their own insurance because what they have is a glorified savings account.
Term Insurance is a type of Insurance that doesn't have any cash value, and it's why it's the least expensive because none of the monthly cost is going into a "savings account" called cash value
I don't think I've ever written this much about life insurance, is anyone still awake?
Here's a few points that you should consider:
1-Make sure you have enough in an emergency fund that won’t cause you to have to dip into your retirement accounts if/when an emergency occurs. The amount depends on you and your occupation.
2-Roth IRAs are great, as long as there’s a good reason for them. A Financial Advisor can help you see if it would make sense from a tax standpoint. Or if it might shield you from too high a RMD amount when you’re over 70 ½. If you’re on a path where one day your income will be higher than $184,000, a Roth IRA makes sense. Because once you cross that income as married filing jointly by the way, you won’t be able to contribute further.
3-How much income will you need in retirement? If your 401(k) has enough in it to provide that, then why keep adding to it? You’ll end up having to take more funds out of it when you turn 70 ½ than you need, thereby paying taxes on it unnecessarily.
Well, I'm not sure, your best option is to ask your medical provider to make the case for you. Usually, Medicare will pay for dental procedures that are as a result of an illness or injury that affected the person's teeth, like cancer in the jaw. In your case, the illness hasn't affected your teeth per say, but they may cause more issues if not addressed, and I don't know if that will work.
Best of luck, hope it goes well.
All the best, Ash
It's great to hear that you want to work until 70. But I hope you're not just doing it for more Social Security, I'd like to think that you enjoy what you do as well.
Here are some variables that would matter in your decision making:
1-Marital Status: Is that $530 for single life or joint? Would your spouse continue receiving it after you're gone? That would be an important consideration since you might be comfortable managing the asset but your spouse may not, and so it might be easier to get the monthly check. If you are married, I would recommend looking into some Social Security planning strategies so you don't miss some benefits.
2-Tax bracket now…: If you rollover the $88k, you won’t have to pay any taxes on it and you can even keep contributing, as long as you meet all the guidelines. The pension on the other hand would have to be taxed. Assuming your goal is to save the money as you receive it, you should only count the net amount after you pay your taxes.
3-And in retirement: If you already have a large enough 401(k) meaning that when you have to start taking required minimum distributions you’ll be taking out more than you need just to avoid paying penalties, then adding another $88k plus the potential interest may not be the most tax efficient way of doing it.
4-You stated that you’ve been able to match or beat the S&P index. I’m not sure how much risk you’re taking to generate that return, but assuming it’s a fair amount. How long would you feel comfortable taking on that amount of risk? When will you start dialing that risk level back, if ever? Either way, if your only source of income is going to be Social Security outside of your investments then having another stream of income might be appealing.
5-The next generation: I don’t know if you have kids, but generally kids can’t inherit pensions. They can inherit an IRA.
6-The financial strength of the pension fund is an important consideration if you’re going to select a monthly pension option.
Hope you can use these points to help guide your decision making. It’s difficult to say one way or another without running some calculations based on some assumptions about taxes, rates of return, inflation, and longevity.
All the Best, Ash
If the purpose of your trust was to avoid probate, then you already have that protection in an annuity. Annuities avoid probate if there are direct beneficiaries named. I would consider contacting an attorney who specializes in trusts, as there may be other reasons for having the trust.