We analyze all aspects of your financial life to develop actionable goals and plans to meet those goals with all pieces of the financial puzzle clearly in mind. We look through a tax-focused lens to analyze all your financial decisions. The goal of our firm is to provide holistic financial planning and recommendations that provide you with total peace of mind. We provide planning services on retirement, non-retirement goals, tax management, investment strategy, debt management, probate avoidance, insurance needs, online financial security and much more.
Our Signature Planning Process includes a 5-step initial meeting cycle to go through every aspect of your financial life.
- Pre-Retirement Accumulation
- Investments and Risk
- Long-Term Scenario Analysis
- Retirement Transition
We have worked with people that are either 5 years from retirement or 5 days from retirement. Ideally, we would have at least a full year to fully learn your situation, discuss all the various topics below, and have a concrete vision of what the future will look like.
This is where we tackle the strategy for the last few years of saving before you retire. These are usually the highest income and highest saving years of your life but just maxing out a pre-tax 401(k) may not be the correct course of action. We want to discuss where to accumulate and have a reason why. Should we actually be doubling up on your mortgage payment? Should you be spending the money in your HSA? Should we take advantage of the Roth portion of your 401(k) even though your tax bracket is high?
We find all those answers for you first and determine the strategy that will get us through the next 1-5 years.
Investment and Risk Planning
Your portfolio is important and what will sustain you for the next 30+ years of retirement. However, our ability to create value for your investments isn’t the main value driver. We unequivocally believe in passive index investing. This means that we buy a little of everything and keep the fees as low as possible.
Your portfolio should be simple and understandable. Investing isn’t easy but it doesn’t need to be complicated.
The areas we can help you in is with appropriate asset allocation and appropriate asset location. Determining how much risk you can take and where that risk is placed within the portfolio has huge implications for the amount of money you actually get after taxes are taken out.
You are in the phase of your life where life insurance is likely less necessary but long-term care and health insurance are very vital to discuss and plan for.
Also, estate planning is a must. Having a will and appropriate beneficiaries on all your financial accounts. However, we want to discuss if there are better ways to achieve your goals. Finding out the best way to give to charities over your life is one great example.
Long-Term Scenario Analysis
We now have the ability to project out the future. This is the meeting where we will discuss your retirement preparedness. There is no such thing as a retirement date or a required retirement balance. All the variables are so fluid and changing that we shoot for a high rate of success given uncertain inputs.
All of the prior meetings have been the retirement planning process – but now we want to discuss how retirement will work and the specific strategies we will accomplish in retirement.
For instance, how do you get money in retirement from your various investment accounts? Well, we create a retirement paycheck for you. Trying to preserve the same type of structure you had before and simplifying your life.
How will health insurance work? Well, this is our favorite topic – especially when you are not yet eligible for Medicare. We will define how we will make health care affordable and minimize total health care costs.
What do I need to do if the market drops right when I retire? Well, we will have a plan for that. Your portfolio should be the safest of your lifetime for the first 10 years of retirement. Defining your portfolio strategy to achieve that is critical.
After we achieve the Signature Planning Process, we then meet with clients at least twice a year to review all the life changes and discuss how to take advantage of new tax law changes and investment management strategies.
Our value comes in two forms – tangible tax savings and intangible decision-making. It is easy to see when our tax strategies increase your post-tax accounts more than the pre-tax accounts or when your Obamacare insurance premiums are mostly covered by the Premium Tax Credit that we achieved. However, avoiding mistakes and reacting to changes with a clear focus is why clients work with us for the long-term.