Investments are the core of any financial plan, but a holistic approach will consider the bigger picture as needed. In addition to investment management, we may offer advice on a range of financial planning issues based on your circumstances including: retirement planning; wealth transfer and estate planning strategies; estate administration and guidance on fiduciary responsibilities for executors and trustees; and insurance needs. We may also coordinate investment and financial planning with your legal and tax advisors.
Retirement is less a moment in time, and more a transition which unfolds over years. If circumstances permit, this transition should start at least several years before your planned retirement. Once you retire, how to withdraw from your investments is one of the most important decisions you will make. The withdrawal strategy used is tied directly to how your funds should be invested and the level of risk you take.
We help you throughout your retirement:
- We plan with you for your transition from working and investment accumulation to retirement and investment distributions.
- For those with traditional pension benefits, we help sort out your options, such as evaluating and choosing among various lump sum or pension annuity options.
- We will assess your readiness to retire. Before leaping into retirement you need to quantify your retirement lifestyle and spending needs and identify the contribution which needs to come from your investment portfolio to support your retirement. You need to know whether your expected withdrawals are reasonable and sustainable over the long term without subjecting your portfolio to undue risk.
- We develop a strategy for taking distributions from your investment portfolio. When you retire, you will draw a “paycheck” from your investment portfolio. You can ill afford to have your portfolio go out of business before you do. We use a strategy which aims to create dependable cash flows and modest growth over the long-term.
Wealth transfer and estate planning strategies.
This is about getting money from you to those you want to help, your family and charities, and minimizing taxes in the process.
We can help you by:
- Identifying your estate planning objectives and the potential tax exposure.
- Evaluating your current estate plan and documents including wills, trusts, beneficiary designations, powers of attorney, health care proxies. Reviewing the ownership of assets, including how and in whose name assets are titled, is equally important, but often overlooked.
- Considering strategies to minimize taxes or to manage and protect assets for the benefit of family members.
Understand and maximize your insurance coverage.
Because we do not sell insurance, we can provide independent, unbiased advice. Insurance purchases must be as cost efficient as will get the job done without wasting precious resources. You need to know whether you are adequately protected for your money
- Review current insurance policies and terms of coverage, including employer provided coverage, to help you understand current coverage and whether it is adequate for your needs.
- Quantify your need for life, disability and long-term care coverage and align your needs with what is affordable.
- Assess the viability of your coverage. With life insurance, in particular, you must know whether a policy with cash value is adequately funded or whether it is likely to run out of money.
- Recommend changes to existing coverage and policy structure. Sometimes something as simple as changing how policy dividends are used may eliminate or reduce the amount of out-of-pocket premiums.
Working with your legal and tax advisors.
We have a particular affinity for the legal profession because that is our where our background lies. We understand the personal, legal services you need as they relate to investing and financial planning, and how those services should be delivered. Investment management and financial planning cannot be done in isolation from legal or tax counsel. It often falls to the investment advisor to identify issues, assign tasks, and coordinate with other professionals to see that issues are properly addressed.
Targeted investment advice when that’s all that that is needed.
We are unique in our willingness to deliver pure investment advice. Most of the investment business is built around selling a product (something we don’t do) or full investment management services (something we do), but some clients just need informed, unbiased advice. We can deliver this. We will advise clients about risk assessment, choosing asset classes, allocating across asset classes, selecting investments, measuring performance, and re-balancing. We scale our fees to our services and typically charge a fixed annual fee for this service.