Personal Financial Planning is the process in which you define your goals and objectives; the hopes and dreams for your life that require financial resources, and create a plan to achieve them. It typically involves short-term and long-term savings, utilizing appropriate investments, and tasks into account taxation, estate planning, and appropriate insurance and an estate plan to protect you and your family.
Your plan may contain elements of:
Paths to retirement and glide paths in retirement are unique. No two are alike. For working individuals, we help provide a road-map to financial security. For those already retired, we help determine what is needed to maintain financial security. Retirement planning typically involves:
- Determining the savings rate needed to achieve a secure retirement.
- Projecting how much a retiree can spend without running out of money.
- Stress-testing a retirement plan to account for uncertainties in financial markets.
- Managing taxes before and during retirement.
- Reviewing Social Security strategies to maximize lifetime income.
- Weighing pension alternatives.
- Recommending an investment strategy that supports and complements the retirement plan.
The cost of a college education continues to rise faster than the rate of inflation. Proper planning can help to reduce, or eliminate, significant amounts of burdensome student debt.
- Tax-efficient savings alternatives
- Inflation-adjusted college funding projections
- Guidance with financial aid considerations
Taxes are typically your largest expense. Because taxes impact nearly every aspect of our lives, we spend a significant amount of time looking at strategies that defer, reduce or eliminate taxes. With two CPAs, our depth of knowledge provides a perspective not typically offered by most financial advisors.
CASH MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES
Following a strict budget is not a very realistic way for most people to manage their money. However, we provide practical guidance for saving and spending by helping prioritize financial goals. Using straightforward techniques, we can structure solutions for short, intermediate and long-term goals, including the most advantageous way to eliminate debt.
With the traditional broker, investing involves paying a large commission to buy stocks, bonds, or mutual funds. Investments in the portfolio are sometimes based on what’s “hot” or what product provides the best sales incentive for the broker.
Our investment recommendations are premised on understanding your financial objectives, time horizon, capacity for risk, and tolerance for risk. Only then do we provide recommendations for your portfolio. And because there are no commissions or compensation from any third party, our investment advice remains objective.
Whether you are just beginning to save or have a significant investment portfolio, our approach is the same; choose low-cost, tax-efficient investments that help you achieve your goals. We assist our clients with their investment planning needs in one of two ways:
- We conduct a thorough analysis of your existing investments, including any investment choices at work, to provide recommendations that you can implement directly on your own. This work is billed at a rate of $300 per hour.
- We provide active and ongoing management of your investments. This service involves regularly monitoring your investment portfolio and rebalancing the asset allocation based on an agreed upon target. Your assets are held with a third-party custodian; usually Fidelity Investments or Charles Schwab. Fees start at less than 1% of the assets under management and details are disclosed in the accompanying brochure.
RISK MANAGEMENT AND INSURANCE
Our fee-only model is ideal for providing an objective analysis of your insurance needs. Far too often, heavily-commissioned, expensive products are promoted, which are not in your best interest.
We offer experience in the following areas:
- Umbrella (excess liability)
- Long-Term Care
- Annuities (fixed and variable)
A review of your employment benefits can help determine whether you are taking advantage of all opportunities at work and what offerings are useful or superfluous.
Often there is confusion between when an FSA or HSA plan is best. We can help you sort out when to use employer-provided insurance plans and when to secure other benefits on your own.
Estate planning is often inadequate, incomplete, or outdated. We can review your existing estate plan to uncover potential areas of weakness.
We discuss topics such as preparation of wills, beneficiary designations, powers of attorney whether a trust is needed.
We also discuss asset protection strategies as well as tax-sensitive planning strategies for you and your beneficiaries.
We can help you prioritize your charitable giving goals with other personal financial objectives and provide guidance with numerous tax-advantaged strategies available:
- Gifts of appreciated securities
- Qualified Charitable Distributions
- Donor-Advised Funds and Charitable Gift Funds