What is Financial Planning?
Financial planning is the pursuit of the best options by analysis of the circumstances and possibilities when making a decision with financial impact.
Retirement planning is the most common type of financial planning. However, there are many matters with notable financial impact. Insurance planning is another type of financial planning. Estate and trust planning are vital to preserving wealth and managing how you provide for your descendants. Business succession planning and asset protection planning are also examples of financial planning. You may want to understand what tradeoffs you are making by buying a second home, or investing in a business, and sometimes, you may just need some help with a mortgage.
Your financial planning and your portfolio must work in concert. The planning informs the portfolio and the portfolio informs the planning. Neither can be done in isolation and the best outcomes occur when a single authority ensures the portfolio and the planning are aligned.
Finally, no matter the plans, to be completely organized requires some pro-activity, some investigation and execution. Boots on the ground, if you will, to ensure assets are titled correctly, beneficiaries named properly, trusts funded, and no conflicts exist contrary to your plans.
Retirement planning is complex. You may have a mix of account types and each of those come with different withdrawal rules and taxation. You may have insurance, real estate, difficult children, annuities, a family business, and different retirement desires among spouses. With several moving parts and layers of complexity it’s easy to overlook opportunities or make mistakes.
You should know where you stand and if you are on target to meet goals. The planning informs the portfolio and the portfolio informs the planning. There is an important connection between planning and the portfolio. The best outcomes occur when the planning and the portfolio are working in concert and both functions are supervised by a single authority. Retirement planning isn’t just about a number you need to get to before retirement – that’s naïve. A proper retirement plan will not only model the accumulation phase, but also the decumulation phase. Having a specific withdrawal strategy can really stretch retirement savings and improve outcomes. Relying upon conventional wisdom will not.
What happens if someone becomes disabled and can no longer work? What happens to your family if they suddenly lose the income and support of a parent? Do you use insurance to create a legacy or do you protect your family while the need is urgent and invest the difference? Those choices aren’t simple. Each option comes with significantly different costs and circumstances. The choices you make will influence other management decisions in your portfolio too. These are difficult decisions and it only gets worse when you ask: What policy should I choose? We are here to help.
Estate and Trust Planning
Estate and trust planning are fundamental to preserving the wealth you have worked so hard to create. Many of the best plans require years to be effective so the sooner you plan the better. With some thoughtful planning and time, families can significantly reduce taxes. Some practitioners refer to the estate tax as a voluntary tax. Even if your estate is not taxable, proper trust planning will avoid probate and allow for an orderly disposition of assets without laborious administration.
Proper planning also involves some investigative efforts, some execution, and some pro-activity. Once the plans have been devised, we ensure assets and accounts are properly titled, trusts are funded, beneficiaries are properly named, and no conflicts exist contrary to your plans. It’s akin to a huge checklist of items to complete and THEN you are financially organized! That is what we do for you.
Please feel free to contact us. We answer questions with complete candor and transparency and we genuinely enjoy helping. Successful outcomes in wealth management require attention to both financial planning and portfolio management. We invite you to learn more about our portfolio management and how we asses risk.