Financial planning involves your personal strategy for managing your assets in a way that integrates risk management, opportunities for growth, and stability in both the short and long term. It’s a critical part of life planning. No matter where you go, you need to have a solid plan to get there or to fall back on if you hit a bump in the road.
Having a skilled and experienced financial advisor on your side will help you in this process. Our financial advisors consider all the elements in your financial situation – current assets, expected growth, tax issues, current and future financial needs, retirement needs, and estate planning – and develop a comprehensive strategy to help meet your life objectives.
You can count on cash and income flow while you are working, but it’s important to start thinking at an early stage how you will fund your retirement. Structures like trusts and IRAs can help provide you with future funds so that you can live comfortably.
Ideally, we want to help you create a plan that independently assures your retirement will be adequately funded, so that you aren’t relying on unsure assets. For more information on retirement planning, please visit our detailed Retirement Planning page.
Your financial advisor can also help you figure out ways to keep from falling into extensively taxed areas with your financial plan. An entire area of law stems from the US tax code, and no layperson should try to structure their own strategy for tax reduction.
Without careful planning, your income, investments, accounts, and other assets may be subject to taxes that could have been much lower with a careful financial plan. Certain types of investments are considered “tax-favored,” and you want to take advantage of them to the fullest extent possible.
If you aren’t already familiar with the basics of a 401(k) plan, it is an employer-created entity to which employees can make salary-reducing contributions. Employers must then make either matching or “non-elective” contributions. Earnings within a 401(k) are tax-deferred.
401(k) plans are popular as they afford a number of different investment options and are relatively low-cost to maintain. Contribution limits can also grow over time
This specific type of retirement plan is only available to certain people, including some public school workers as well as tax-exempt entities and organizations. The positive is that investment returns, as well as growth, in 403(b) plans will not be taxed until the funds are drawn.
If you have any young members of your family who will someday be college-bound, the time to start planning financially for their education is now. Careful planning will help ensure that students will have the best options possible when it comes time to start paying tuition bills.
Setting up accounts and structures now like educational IRAs or trusts is only part of this planning process. If students are planning to seek financial aid, their award amounts could be impacted by familial funds. Talking through all of the possibilities now with a financial advisor will make sure that you are on the right track to make the process as smooth as possible.
Estate planning is a huge part of financial planning. It refers to how your assets will be dealt with after you pass and includes legal documents like wills, trusts, and life insurance. These are complex and technical documents, and you should not attempt to draft them without professional legal help.
Since you won’t be around to make certain that your wishes are carried out in the manner you would have wanted, it is very important to ensure that your estate plan reflects your wishes. If you would like more information about estate plans, please visit our partner firm, Perkins & Zayed.
A “profit-sharing plan” is a retirement plan that allows employees to share in company profits. Depending on annual or quarterly company earnings, employees receive a portion of the company’s profits. Discretionary employer contributions are also allowed, meaning that employers get to choose how much (if any) they want to contribute, subject to certain rules.
All businesses can use this type of plan, and it can be a great option to help employees feel dedicated and well-served by the company, since increased profits means greater contributions to their accounts.