A Lifetime of Financial Planning Advice

Our clients often share with us that the number one thing they value about our relationship is that as their needs and objectives change over time, we are able to help them navigate through those changes and update their strategy accordingly.

Since we recognize that our clients’ needs evolve over time, we thought it may be helpful to illustrate examples of how important life events can trigger the need to take action.

Our clients talk to us when…

…they’re planning a wedding

Action steps:

  • Update account beneficiaries and successor trustees
  • Determine life insurance needs and recommend appropriate solutions
  • Confirm account registrations are properly titled

…they purchase a home

Action steps:

  • Review mortgage and home equity line financing alternatives
  • Understand the need for comprehensive property and casualty insurance
  • Review personal umbrella liability policy terms and coverage

…they’re expecting a child or grandchild

Action steps:

  • Develop and implement a college savings or gifting strategy
  • Provide an understanding of the benefits and drawbacks of 529 College Savings Plan accounts
  • Review life insurance coverage to account for growing families
  • Work with outside advisors to assure estate planning reflects changing objectives

…their children head to college

Action steps:

  • Understand the filing requirements for FAFSA/CSS financial aid profiles
  • Prepare an asset spending plan to minimize taxes and maximize financial aid eligibility
  • Discuss medical power of attorney, college-provided health insurance and the other alternatives available to full-time students

…they change jobs

Action steps:

  • Understand workplace retirement and health benefit packages (including employer retirement matching or profit sharing contributions, health coverage, disability, and long term care insurance)
  • Establish 401(k) deferrals and select new investment instructions
  • Consider options for previous employer’s retirement plans and portable insurance benefits
  • Understand how High Deductible Health Plans affect Health Savings Account (HSAs) contributions

…they’re planning for retirement

Action steps:

  • Develop and implement a retirement plan savings strategy
  • Assure “catch-up” contributions are used for those age 50 or older
  • Discuss the features of long term care insurance and the benefits that it offers

…they retire

Action steps:

  • Identify Social Security alternatives to maximize expected lifetime income
  • Discuss Medicare health care coverages available for those age 65 or older
  • Analyze workplace pension payment options, such as receiving a lump sum benefit versus lifetime income
  • Plan for retirement account Required Minimum Distributions
  • Understand the benefits of Qualified Charitable Distributions for charitable giving
  • Develop a gifting plan to remove assets from the taxable estate
  • Be sure the end-of-life planning wishes (such as powers of attorney, medical care, living wills, etc.) are clearly communicated to loved ones and family

…they’re looking for a comprehensive “check up” of their financial situation

Action steps:

  • Review updated personal financial statements
    • Update asset values, liabilities and current net worth
    • Reconcile cash flows, income, living expenses and savings
  • Develop a written savings and cash flow plan to prepare for leaving a legacy, retirement income, education expenses, and/or unexpected financial needs
  • Assure savings are directed to the most efficient account types
    • Maintain safety and liquidity to provide for an unforeseen financial need
    • Maximize employer-sponsored retirement plan contributions and take advantage of employer matching and profit sharing benefits
    • Earn state deductions for contributing to in-state 529 college savings plan
    • Understand IRA and Roth IRA contribution options, such as spousal IRA contributions or “back door” Roth conversions
    • Survey employer stock and option plans for vesting and expiration
  • Prepare year end tax planning
    • Harvest tax losses and use carryforwards to reduce capital gains taxes
    • Accelerate ordinary income if lower-rate tax brackets are unused
    • Understand how deductions, income phase outs, and the Alternative Minimum Tax interact

We provide our clients with comprehensive wealth management and investment advice. Together with the families we work with, we have in-depth conversations to understand each individual’s and family’s current financial situation and to interpret unique planning goals, often over decades, and with multiple family generations.