Putting a Value on Your Social Security Benefits

Brian Burton

Atheneum

Key Takeaways: Most retirees don’t think of Social Security as an asset and therefore exclude it from their balance sheet. The present value of Social Security payments over an average life expectancy can easily be several hundred thousand dollars. We can’t predict what will happen with Social Security down the road, so it is important … Continued

Social Security: Whether to Wait to Start Taking Retirement Benefits

Frank Yozwiak

Atheneum

Key Takeaways: You could be facing up to a 30% reduction in your PIA by taking Social Security retirement benefits at age 62. By waiting until age 70, your retirement benefits will be roughly 32% higher than your PIA. The breakeven for taking Social Security retirement benefits at age 70 compared to age 66 is … Continued

Social Security Income: Not-So-Simple Basics

Andy Reynolds

Atheneum

  When I first started writing this article, my introductory sentence was “Social Security on the surface is a very simple concept.” However, as I began to write about all of the “simple” information, I have to conclude that Social Security is not very simple at all if you are not continually dealing with it. Below, I … Continued

Pre-RMD & Social Security Roth Conversions

Andy Reynolds

Atheneum

Key Takeaways: Roth conversions should be especially considered if retired and not yet 70 years old. Withdrawing pre-tax funds and paying taxes before Social Security and Required Minimum Distributions (RMD) may result in less tax paid on those funds over the long term. Careful retirement income tax planning prior to age 70 may present significant … Continued

Insight into Fixed Income & Timing of Social Security

Andy Reynolds

Atheneum

When entering retirement, the question of how to structure income can be the most influential factor in determining a family’s long-term financial well-being.  Several factors such as income source, inflation, and sequence of returns present risks and opportunities for retirees.  Today’s Atheneum discusses how we might explore retirement income with John and Jane Smith.  They … Continued

Most Couples Shouldn’t BOTH Delay Social Security

Cameron Hamilton

Atheneum

Key Takeaways: Two income households have more complex Social Security timing decisions The higher-earning spouse generally benefits from delaying payments The lower-earning spouse generally benefits from starting payments early We’ve written a previous breakdown on the Social Security timing decision.  Briefly, between age 62-70, if you delay taking income, your monthly benefit grows.  We discussed … Continued

Alternative Uses of Social Security Income

John Boardman

Atheneum

Key Takeaways:    There are many unique situations that could justify taking Social Security earlier. The psychological benefits of a new income stream can relieve anxiety around a new planning strategy. To take Social Security before age 70, the financial and non-financial benefits of claiming Social Security early should outweigh the benefits of deferral.   … Continued

Should Business Owners Raise Their Salary to Earn More Social Security?

Cameron Hamilton

Atheneum

Key Takeaways:   Pass-through entity owners can choose to take profits as wages or distributions Increasing owner salary raises payroll tax liability but also increases future Social Security benefits Older owners and owners with non-working spouses and/or incomplete earnings records stand to benefit the most from increasing their salaries   Lower taxes are better, right?  … Continued

Atheneum – An institution for the promotion of learning

The Ballast Atheneum is a collection of our thoughts on the twelve most important topics in financial planning.

Protect. Plan. Prosper.

Protect: Estate Planning, Insurance, Retirement Income, Debt Analysis

Plan: Cash Flow, Monte Carlo, Retirement Savings, College Savings

Prosper: Asset Allocation, Taxes, Social Security, Employee Benefits

Protect

Plan

Prosper

From the beginning, we have built our firm with one simple, guiding principle: build a company that we would want taking care of our family, as if we were the client. To accomplish this goal, it starts and ends with high-character, ethical people.

We are continually selectively seeking high-quality people who believe in our client-focused process. If you are interested in becoming a part of our team, please do not hesitate to reach out to us at info@ballastplan.com and include an updated resume and brief cover letter with an explanation as to how you would fit into our culture, as detailed below.

Our Core Values

Problem Solvers

In a dynamic and ever-changing industry, our team of expert financial advisors goes beyond simply mitigating your needs, but proactively anticipating and solving them. Our financial consultants can help you navigate complex financial matters.

Team-Based Approach

Our financial advisors work together to ensure the best outcome for our clients. We combine the unique perspectives and expertise of each team member to develop the best strategy. We also collaborate with other professionals on our client’s behalf, forging relationships with tax, legal, and insurance advisors to find the best solution for your needs. At Ballast, you have the support of our entire team behind you.

Acountability Partner

Our team of financial consultants goes beyond just managing our client’s investments; we serve as an accountability partner to ensure our clients are steadfast towards their financial goals. We work with you as a companion to make your goals a reality, guiding you through some of the most important financial planning steps and encouraging you to live fully. We provide guidance on the most important aspects of sound financial planning to ensure you can adapt and make adjustments as necessary:

Protect: Estate Planning, Insurance, Retirement Income, Debt Analysis
Plan: Cash Flow, Monte Carlo, Retirement Savings, College Savings
Prosper: Asset Allocation, Taxes, Social Security, Employee Benefits

Proactive Guidance

Through transparent and honest relationships with our clients, we proactively pursue ways to prevent and solve problems, easing worry in our client’s financial life. Once we have created a personalized pathway and financial plan, our expert financial advisors continually refine your plan, providing consistent monitoring, oversight, and accountability throughout.

Clients First

As fiduciaries, we are committed to always putting our client’s best interests first, with the highest standards of care. We are inspired by the trust our clients have in our firm and motivated to help our clients achieve peace and comfort in their financial lives. The Ballast experience is centered on a holistic approach, providing you with continuous refinement and accountability, so you can meet your goals.

Civically Involved

The Ballast team is composed of dedicated, active members of the community. As dedicated board members, committee members, chairmen, and trustees of various organizations, we are able to share our knowledge and learn from those in our community.

Thought Leaders

As life-long learners, we provide our clients with in-depth knowledge and expert financial advice through consultations, articles and webinars, written and curated by our advisors. Our financial advisors go beyond advising by offering innovative ideas and sophisticated solutions to complex needs in our clients’ lives.

Our Team Members

  • Serve others as their financial advocate
  • Establish relationships deep enough to anticipate needs and potential issues
  • Proactively solve problems, rather than merely identifying them
  • Continually grow as life-long learners, with a high level of expertise
  • Desire to work on clients’ behalf with other professionals (tax, legal, insurance, etc.)
  • Enjoy working as a part of a team to create the best outcome for clients
  • Are creative, self-starters who contribute to the continuous improvement of the Ballast experience
ballast lexington ky financial advisors john boardman cameron hamilton brian burton andy reynolds frank yozwiak

Benefits

Similar to our belief of taking care of clients, we believe in taking care of our staff members. All staff is provided a suite of benefits up and above compensation. We want to attract and retain the best of the best and benefits are imperative to this mission.