Financial planning is about understanding where you are, where you want to be, and what it takes to bridge the gap. Your goals are personal, and you get to choose what's most important to you. We can take a broad view of your finances — or just focus on one or two areas at a time.
- Retirement: Determine if and when you can afford to retire. Plan for an early retirement, mini-retirements throughout life, or start a gradual transition to retirement. Understand Social Security benefits and how they'll affect your finances.
- Basic estate planning: Evaluate your readiness for the end of life and incapacitation. Choose how assets and health care decisions are handled. Plan for the support of the next generation, and (if possible) leave a legacy for your loved ones or favorite organizations.
- Introductory tax strategies: Understand how much you pay in taxes. Use strategies that manage your taxes and offer the potential for improving your finances over the long term.
- Risk management: Understand your most common financial risks and ways to manage those risks. Evaluate existing and future insurance coverage.
- Employee benefit planning: Make the most of your employee benefits. Understand what you have available to you and make choices that are best for your situation.
- Budgeting and debt: Manage your income and expenses to build a solid foundation for working towards your goals and minimizing costs. Dig into the interest costs and implications of your mortgage and other loans.
- Other goals: Save for a vacation home, higher education, or anything else that matters to you.
Your plan (or individual module) will include a one-page recap with the most important actions for you to take. You'll also get more detailed output with numerous pages of charts, data, assumptions, and disclosures. If you just want to know what time it is — and not how the clock is built — you'll probably appreciate the one-pager.
Justin is a financial planner — not a tax professional or an attorney. He's been doing this for over a decade, but he doesn't know everything about everything. In particular, he cannot give tax or legal advice. Once it's time for action, you'll have a solid starting point for your meetings with local accountants and attorneys. Please consult with an attorney for legal advice and to execute legal documents, and consult with a qualified tax advisor to evaluate and verify the implications on your tax return.
Predicting the future? Nobody knows exactly how things will turn out. Acknowledging that, we'll set a course designed to help with your goals, and we'll plan to make adjustments as the future unfolds.
Small Business Retirement Plans
If you run a business, you've got a lot on your plate. New regulations and retirement opportunities are probably not the first thing on your mind every morning. What's more, you may pour your profits (in addition to your heart and soul) back into your business, leaving you with a valuable — but illiquid — asset.
Tax savings: Making contributions to a retirement plan (for yourself as well as on behalf of your employees) may offer tax benefits. Some contributions impact your personal returns, while others can potentially be business expenses. A local tax advisor can help you calculate exactly how your tax returns may be affected.
Employee benefits: If you have employees, a retirement plan is a valuable benefit. Retirement plans don't have to be expensive — you have numerous options when it comes to plan design, matching and profit-sharing, and administrative costs.
There are several plan types available, and they can be used by individuals (sole proprietors), incorporated businesses, and nonprofit organizations. The most popular plans we work with include:
- Solo 401(k) (No employees except family members)
- Simplified Employee Pension (SEP)
- Savings Incentive Match PLan for Employees (SIMPLE)
- Nonqualified deferred compensation
Employee Education: Even if you already have a plan in place, employees still need enrollment help and ongoing education. Providing education helps you manage your fiduciary liability and avoid failing discrimination tests (resulting in refunds to key employees and additional administrative costs). We have a library of useful resources that are regularly refreshed, and we have plenty of experience talking with plan participants. From basic financial wellness to more advanced topics, we're here to help.
Liquid assets: A retirement plan can help you build assets outside of your business for your eventual retirement. Your business has value, and we hope you can sell it when you decide to retire. But retirement savings are helpful for living expenses while you find the right buyer or complete a transition.
You're smart enough to manage your money yourself, but you may prefer not to. Some people dislike investing, and it can be intimidating when it's not something you do every day. Whether you want to do it yourself or delegate those duties, we can help.
We believe in long-term investing, primarily using mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs). You can expect a diversified portfolio of investments covering different types of investments, and trading is relatively infrequent. With only 24 hours in each day, our focus is on helping you with your goals. For most new clients, a fiduciary third-party money manager handles the day-to-day investment decisions, rebalancing, and other operations. There's no stock-picking here.
We can work with you in a fiduciary capacity, putting your interests first. No matter what types of accounts you have, we're serious about explaining fees and our compensation — and making sure there are no unanswered questions.
Ready to learn more? Call or write to schedule a complimentary introductory meeting. We'll discuss your needs and determine how to proceed.