1. Cash Flow Analysis
How can you develop a financial planning strategy without knowing how much you need to live on? Very few people enjoy creating a budget but it may surprise you how much is being spent on a monthly basis.
2. Debt Management
To have debt or not have debt, that is often the question. We will converse with you about the various types of debt and which kinds are acceptable and which kinds are not. We will work with you to determine what your preference to debt is and help you come to decisions on what makes sense in your situation.
3. College Planning
Since the cost of private schooling and post-secondary education has been inflating at around 6% annually, you will need to make this a part of your savings strategy, depending on how much you plan to contribute towards your child(ren)’s education. We will show you the common vehicles currently used and what is most appropriate for your situation.
4. Insurance Planning/Risk Management
As part of your financial foundation, being covered for the unexpected and unthinkable events’ of life can be the difference as to whether a financial plan remains viable despite those events (such as early death, disability, or sudden health changes). We counsel our clients about term life vs. cash value insurance, income replacement insurance, long-term care insurance, and the various health insurance options (such as HSAs). As part of a comprehensive plan we will review your property and casualty insurance and educate those who qualify for Medicare supplements.
5. Investment Planning
Though the majority of our clients rely on us to manage their portfolios on an ongoing advisory basis, we offer a fee arrangement for advice only, for “do-it-yourselfers.” We diversify by using mutual funds, ETFs, stocks, fixed income, annuities, real estate, oil and gas, private debt, and other alternatives not correlated to the stock markets. Monitoring and rebalancing your investment portfolio is extremely important once we have an understanding of your objectives, risk tolerance, and time horizon.
6. Tax Planning
Evaluating your recent tax returns is crucial to making appropriate investment, retirement, college, and estate planning recommendations. We often discover legitimate tax deductions not being fully utilized (or even recognized) when we analyze your tax returns with the counsel of your tax advisor. Some specific areas that we will coordinate with your tax advisor are: the alternative minimum tax, net unrealized appreciation (for those who have significant gains on individual company stock in their 401(k)), and stretch IRA strategies for those who will inherit large amounts from retirement plans, and want to avoid the pitfalls of ‘income with respect to a decedent’ (IRD).
7. Retirement Planning
Whether you are self-employed, or working for a company or institution, there are many types of pre-tax and after-tax retirement plans to consider. We help you coordinate what your options are and eliminate the confusion of what you can or cannot do. We have an in-house 401(k) professional to get your questions answered, but we can guide you through IRAs, Roth IRAs, Simple IRAs, SEP IRAs, 403(b)s, and all other deferred compensation plans.
8. Estate Planning
Probably the area of greatest procrastination, we encourage all of our clients to get their “houses in order,” whether it be with basic wills, powers of attorney and trusts, or when looking to give gifts in the most tax efficient way possible. We also offer family meetings when parents are determining what an appropriate inheritance is for their children. Making sure beneficiaries are designated properly on retirement plans, insurance policies, and annuities become a high priority when we look at the entire estate.