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The Planning Process

"Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement and success have no meaning." - Ben Franklin

Introduction - I will look at your emotions and finances in a 360 degree picture. I will get to know you, your intentions and what matters to you most. The focus here is to learn about your experiences and expectations, and how emotions may drive your decisions.

Discovery Meeting - My goal is to get an understanding of your personal and financial goals, wants and needs. I will gather the necessary documents and information to ensure I have the full picture and you leave with the clarity you need to go forward. I want to help you transition from thinking about your finances to knowing about them.

Analysis Based on our discovery meeting, I will create a picture of where you want to be in the future. Throughout this process I will focus on simplicity and on making decisions through an intentions-based lens.

Developing a Strategy - I will review the key objectives and priorities of your plan, taking into account your net worth and cash flow. I work together to progress toward the goals we've identified and model scenarios to compare against your base financial plan.

Implementation of the Final Plan - I will present you with your final plan and provide you with an executive summary. My focus is on ensuring you are informed about and comfortable with the plan and the next steps toward making it a reality. 

Monitoring and Updating the Plan - Once the plan is in place, we will meet periodically to manage our strategy and update it when necessary. 

Asset Management

The key to any asset management strategy is to align your goals with an asset allocation strategy that takes into consideration your risk tolerance and your investment time frame. For example, if you are looking to purchase a home, you will need a fund that is highly liquid to be able to remove the funds when needed, but will also remain at a fairly safe, constant value. On the other hand, individuals who are looking to save for college or retirement need to take into consideration their tolerance for investment and market risk and the timeframe that their funds will have to be able to accumulate. As part of the Asset Management process I help you answer the following questions:

  • How can you help grow your assets?
  • Which strategies should you utilize?
  • What is your risk tolerance and investment time horizon?

Risk Management

In the Risk Management pillar, I help my clients analyze how to help protect their families, their business, as well as their retirement, or other investment assets. Many families do not have the proper amount of insurance or for that matter an up-to-date estate plan. I believe it is not because they do not care, but instead, for the reason that they do not think they will get hurt, sick or pass away tomorrow. This can leave assets at risk, and potentially the future goals for your family or your business. This pillar focuses on:

  • If you were to become sick or hurt or pass away prematurely, would your asset management goals for your family or business still be able to be accomplished?
  • Which risks do you absorb with your own funds?
  • Which risks do you transfer to someone else (by purchasing insurance such as Long Term Care, Life or Disability Income Insurance)?

Estate Conservation

As part of your Estate Conservation process, you want to make sure that your estate documents, your assets, and your insurance benefits are aligned appropriately. It is extremely important for families or businesses to have certain documents in place to help ensure their affairs are taken care of.

Consider the following example:

You have an old life insurance policy with your ex-spouse as the beneficiary. You have remarried and have children with your current spouse. You have also established an updated will as part of your estate plan that names your new family as your beneficiaries. In the event of your passing, which would take precedent on determining who would receive the proceeds from your life insurance policy? Is it your life insurance beneficiary designation or your estate planning documents? It is actually your life insurance policy. This is a great example of the importance of linking your overall financial program together with your key financial documents.

This Estate Conservation pillar serves to help you answer the following questions:

  • If you were to be incapacitated tomorrow, who would take care of your affairs?
  • Who would be the guardian for your children?
  • Will there be taxes owed at yours or your spouse's death?

Tax Management

Your real rate of return on your investments is calculated by taking the rate of return, then reducing by takes paid and the effects of inflation. The only way to get a higher real rate of return is to either design a strategy to help attain a higher investment return or to take advantage of tax benefits. And remember, you cannot manipulate inflation. The Tax Management pillar serves to help you analyze the following scenarios:

  • What is the real rate of return on your investment portfolio?
  • Do you have all your investments taxed the same way?
  • What impact would tax rates going up have on your retirement income?
  • To what level are you concerned with getting all the tax benefits that you are legally entitled to and that are suitable for your situation?

*The financial analysis and recommendations are not intended to replace the need for independent tax, accounting, or legal review. Individuals are advised to seek the counsel of such licensed professionals.