Defining Goals and Objectives
This is the most important and can be the most enjoyable step in the process – envisioning what you want your money to do for you and your family.
Pertinent questions include:
- When do you want to have the freedom to leave the workforce?
- How much do you want to be able to spend throughout your retirement?
- If you didn’t have to work anymore, what would you do?
- Where do you want your children or grandchildren to go to school?
- If you died prematurely, what would you want for your family?
- Do you want a vacation home?
- Do you need to care for your parents?
- How will you be financially secure in the event of a long-term disability or illness?
Establishing a Plan
Your Financial Plan starts with us asking you a broad array of questions and gathering data from your financial life to date. We develop a Statement of Net Worth that we use as your financial starting point. From there, we develop a plan to get you from the starting point to your goals. That plan includes:
- Financial Independence Analysis
How much money do you need to remain financially independent throughout retirement?
- Education Funding Analysis
How much will your dependent’s education cost, and how much do you want to contribute to satisfy that cost?
- Capital Needs Analysis
How much money do you need to leave behind in the event of your death to provide for your survivors?
- Cash Management Analysis
How much do you need in liquid funds for emergencies, living expenses, travel, etc.? How much debt should you have? Should you refinance your mortgage? Should you lease or buy your next car?
- Income and Estate Tax Analysis
Are there ways to reduce your current income tax? Do you have capital losses from the past that can be used to offset gains this year? Do you have an estate tax liability now? Will you have one in the future?
- Investment Management Analysis
Where are your investments now? Do you have an Investment Policy and a general methodology that you follow? Are you well diversified? Are your investments tax-savvy? Do your retirement accounts complement your after-tax investments? Do you review your accounts regularly?