Personal Financial Planning Services
Financial planning is the cornerstone of the work we do with clients. Before we begin investing, we compile a detailed analysis of their current resources (assets, liabilities, income, etc.) and match those resources with their needs, both current and future. By performing this formal analysis and putting it on paper, we are able to guide our clients on how to best deploy their resources to help provide for retirement. We have also found that written plans help our clients internalize the planning process which leads to a higher level of comfort regarding their financial future.
Many people view investment management and financial planning as synonymous topics -- we disagree. In fact, we believe that the only way to deliver proper investment management guidance is to first have a thorough understanding of what our clients’ plans are. As such, we devote much of our time to collecting information on our clients’ needs and goals and use that information to frame the investment suggestions we make. Once the investment plan is in place, our work then shifts to monitoring both the investment portfolio and our clients’ ever changing needs. By continuously matching the investment allocations with our clients’ evolving objectives, we can be sure our recommendations remain in line with our clients’ long and short term goals.
We view estate planning as a process of assuring your hard earned wealth transfers to your heirs in the most efficient way possible -- our primary focus is the potential minimization of taxes and estate transfer fees. We address such topics as: “Do I need an estate plan? What types of trusts will serve my family best? How can I protect my assets now and after I am gone?”
Proper tax management involves more than filing a return every year. Any taxpayer, regardless of income level, can benefit from planning and the exploration of various tax strategies. As part of our complete financial planning process, we review tax-saving strategies, tax shelters, tax breaks for the self-employed, tax-advantaged investments, AMT and income-shifting ideas.*
“How much will it cost to send my child to college? How am I going to pay for it? Will I qualify for financial aid?”
In addition to answering those important questions, we also help sort through the complex and often conflicting college tax incentives and programs such as prepaid tuition plans, 529 Plans, the education IRA, and the Hope Scholarship and Lifetime Learning credits.
“Do I have enough insurance? Do I have too much?”
No comprehensive financial plan is complete without a review of a client’s risk management portfolio. We review our clients’ various insurance policies (life, disability, long term care) to be sure what they have is a match for what their true needs are. We discuss the importance of choosing the right types and right amounts of insurance that fit the client’s overall financial picture. During this process we find that some clients are actually over-insured while others very much underinsured. Either of those scenarios need to be addressed and worked into a client’s final plan.