Client 1st Advisory Group
Managing Partner, President
Michelle Mabry holds the CFP® certification and is an Accredited Investment Fiduciary®. She has been working with clients to help them achieve their financial goals and dreams since 1989. She also works with retirement plan sponsors writing their investment policy statements and performing due diligence on their plans to make sure they are compliant with ERISA regulations. Michelle spent 19 years at Ameriprise as a financial advisor and during her time with Ameriprise, she was on the President’s Advisory Council, and served on several boards, which helped influence the direction of the company’s independent franchises. In 2008, she founded Wealth Management Consultants, an independent investment advisory firm which later merged to become part of Client 1st Advisory Group.
Michelle is a frequent national speaker on investments topics and has authored several articles which have been picked up by cnbc.com and Fox News, she has also contributed to the Wall St. Journal. She is on the Board of Directors for the Greater Pinebelt Community Foundation and serves on the Investment Committee which directs the investments for all their endowment funds. She also served as a board member for the Mississippi Council on Economic Education and is the Finance Committee Chair, St. Fabian Catholic Church.
Michelle has a BS in Economics and International Trade and Finance from Louisiana State University. Michelle lives in Hattiesburg with her husband, Tom and their five children. She is an active member of St. Fabian Catholic Church and in her spare time enjoys running and travel.
BS, Economics, Louisiana State University
A 401(k) is an employer sponsored plan that you can make elective deferrals to up to $18,000 per year and a $6,000 catch up amount for those over 50 years of age. Employer plans typically provide some amount of matching contribution. You get to select from a menu of mutual funds or ETFs as outlined by your individual plan. An IRA is not tied to an employer and you can contribute up to $5,500 per year with a $1,000 catch up for those over age 50, if your income is below a certain amount and you are not covered by an employer plan. The benefit of an IRA is that your investment choices are much greater and almost unlimited. The costs of each does need to be considered and will vary depending on the investment selection.
It doesn't matter at all. All of your withdrawals from your IRA will be taxed as ordinary income at the time it is withdrawn and you will pay tax at whatever tax bracket you fall in at that time. There are no short or long term capital gains taxes on IRA assets.
Unfortunately, almost anyone can claim themselves a financial advisor these days. You need to check their credentials to make sure they have the background and education you would want your advisor to have. I suggest you look for someone who holds the CFP professional designation. You can find one in your area at www.cfp.net. You should also understand how a financial advisor is compensated, through commissions on product sales or through fees. In many cases, a fee only advisor can provide the most objective advice free from conflicts of interest. Another resource to find these advisors is through the National Assocation of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA). You can find these advisors at www.napfa.org.
A combination of the pension and a lump sum is often a good thing. This provides some guaranteed income and allows you to invest some for growth to provide a hedge against inflation. An important factor to consider is whether the pension has a cost of living adjustment (COLA), and whether you want to provide continued income to your wife after your death (survivorship payments). This can cost you a lot in terms of decreased monthly pension income. If you take the pension route, you may want to consider life insurance as a means to replace the pension in the event of your death, instead of taking the reduced pension amount to provide survivorship benefits. This will, of course, depend on your health. There are many factors to consider in this equation: whether you have kids you may want to leave assets to, your health, your wife's health, other assets and liabilities you have, etc. Sounds like it would be good for you to meet with a financial advisor.
It stays open until you call to close the account. If you don't plan on using the old credit card, you should call and close the account as too many open revolving credit cards can have a negative impact on your credit score.