8 Wealth Management Issues
1. Investment Management*
In today's investment environment, it is easy to be overwhelmed by the amount of information available. It seems that the media and so-called "experts" are always telling you what to do with your investments, even though they do not have any knowledge of your specific situation. Without professional advice, taking action could be detrimental to your investment goals.
Together, we can create an investment strategy that is designed just for your unique goals and needs in mind. We will build an investment plan that considers your investment goals, comfort level, expectations, and the effect of taxes on your portfolio. This plan will manage your risk for every dollar of your return. And, because investment management is something that should be adjusted as your goals evolve and your portfolio changes, we will work with you on an ongoing basis to monitor your portfolio and rebalance it as needed.
2. Cash Flow & Debt Management
Cash flow is the cornerstone of your wealth management plan. Without a clear picture of what money is flowing in and out each month, it is impossible to make informed decisions with respect to the other wealth management issues that affect you.
In addition to your cash flow, your debt level and credit history are also important barometers of financial health. Good debt management ensures you have credit when you need it, make wise borrowing decisions, and avoid disaster if you become overextended.
Working together, we can identify where your cash is going each month and evaluate potential opportunities to improve your cash flow through tax strategies and proper debt management. We can help you determine if certain strategies such as refinancing, debt consolidation, or changing your tax withholding could be advantageous to your solution. You may discover that you have more resources than you might have thought to help you pursue your other wealth management goals.
3. Family Risk Management
Are you prepared for the unexpected? Even the best investment and financial plans can crumble if you have not properly prepared for the risks that exist for every family. Should something happen to you or a family member such as a disability, death, or a long-term-care need, the careful planning and investing you have so diligently developed can be unraveled in an instant.
By learning more about your situation, I can evaluated your current risk plans to determine if they are adequately meeting your needs at this stage of your life and as you plan for the future. You may believe you have minimized your risk by having life insurance; however, because the world of risk management is changing quickly, we should conduct an evaluation of your risk and the efficiency of your plan. Even a policy put in place a few years ago could be less efficient than what is now available. If modifications are needed to your risk management plan, we will make suggestions that not only address your risk management needs but also consider the tax implications of these changes.
4. Retirement Planning*
People entering retirement are facing concerns that retires simply did not face 20 and 30 years ago. As healthcare is improving and life expectancies rise, you are likely to live longer during retirement than past generations. And, unlike your parents and the generations of the past who had their retirement funded mostly with guarantees made by their employers and the government, the assets you have accumulated may be your primary source of cash flow.
In addition to the concerns that exist, it is important to first establish a clear vision of what retirement means to you. Will you continue to work part time? Will you be traveling the world? Everyone's vision of the "dream" retirement is different.
We can partner with you to create a plan considering the level of assets needed to fund your vision of retirement including likely income needs, potential tax implications and risks that can stand in the way of realizing your vision.
5. Education Planning*
Every child dreams about what they will be when they grow up, and a college education can be the most important factor in that dream becoming a reality. The available education planning choices can be confusing, and it is important that you have someone helping you who understands how your savings will affect you child's or grandchild's ability to qualify for financial aid, as well as the implications for your income, gift, and estate tax situation.
As your Advisor, I can help you identify how much money you need to send your children or grandchildren to college, determine how much you need to save, and how this dedicated investment fits with your overall investment management plan. By working with me, you can create an education plan that does not compromise your progress in the other wealth management issues or your tax situation.
6. Legacy Planning
What type of legacy would you like to leave? Legacy planning is about so much more than just money. Simply stated, a legacy plan ensures that what you want to happen will happen at the time of your passing. However, because the subject of legacy is a complex and emotional topic, many families overlook planning before it is too late. If this topic is not discussed before a loved one dies, it could place your family in a difficult position of making decisions and deciding details when family members are the most emotionally fragile.
Having a plan in place reduces this stress and the red tape that goes along with losing a loved one. Without a good plan, the government may be in a position of dividing your assets between members of your family, and often they may not make the same decisions you would. Also, without a suitable plan, your family may be giving up a substantial portion of their inheritance to taxes, causing significant financial burden during a very emotionally devastating time.
Together, we can create a legacy plan that minimizes the estate taxes that may be incurred, and maximizes the amount of money going to your family. Proper legacy planning can also eliminate the problem of placing your family in the position of guessing what you would have wanted.
7. Business Planning
As a business owner, you likely face daily challenges such as having enough cash available to take advantage of opportunities when they arise, using the business as a vehicle to save for your and possibly your employees' retirement, and protecting your business from a potentially devastating financial loss. The demands of running your company may leave very little time to focus on the important financial matters that can have a major impact on you, your family, your business, and your future.
We can help you evaluate and implement strategies that not only protect your business, but also take advantage of opportunities that could improve the cash flow, tax situation, benefits, and bottom line of your business.
8. Special Situations Planning
Throughout your life, as your pursue your long-term goals, some expected and unexpected needs will come your way, whether it is planning for a wedding, taking a spur-of-the-moment dream vacation, deciding to buy a second home or facing unexpected expenses due to unforeseen events.
We are here to help you with situations that do not always fit nicely into the other wealth management issues. We can assist in determining a path to get you through whatever financial challenges and opportunities arise. While working with you in these special situations, We will continue to monitor your tax situation as well as your progress in the other wealth management issues.
*These services are offered by Douglas Stephenson through his affiliation with H.D. Vest Investment Services SM and H.D. Vest Advisory Services SM.