Our 8-Step Financial Planning Process
- Set your retirement goals
- Assess your current financial position
- Identify retirement income sources
- Evaluate retirement risks
- Understand health care issues
- Invest your retirement assets
- Manage your retirement income
- Monitor your retirement assets
Here are some details for each step.
- Set your Retirement Goals – We like to have our clients envision how they’d like their retirement to go in the first 10 years (the Go-Go Years), the next ten years (The Slow Down Years) and then the remaining 15 years following (the Loving Years). Typically most people aim to do the bulk of their “fun” spending in the first 10 years of retirement.
- Assess your Current Financial Position -To ensure you’re able to afford the future you hope for most easily, we’ll need to understand your financial situation, today and your planned spending tomorrow. This normally would require us to understand your different lines of debt, your insurance, how much retirement savings you have, how much you spend in a normal month, etc.
- Identify Retirement Income Sources Because retirement income sources are often reliable and conservative which in turn decreases your needed withdrawals, the next step is to understand what sources of income you have to help pay for retirement. These sources may include a pension, Social Security, IRA accounts and other savings, and even part-time work. The after-tax income that these sources can generate is potentially vital for the health of your plan. As a part of this process, we’ll help you to understand how to time each of these and why their timing matters more than you more realize.
- Evaluate Retirement Risks – We believe that risk management is absolutely necessary for any well-thought out retirement plan. Some examples might include: Inflation may eat away at your income and erode its purchasing power throughout time. The stock market may not do as well as we all hope. You may live much longer than you expect or maybe your spouse will and you won’t which may hurt their ability to afford life as well (less social security). All of these risks need to be taken into account.
- Understand Health Care Issues – The number one reason for filing bankruptcy in the United States is healthcare issues and retirement requires a change in health insurance coverage (to Medicare for most). For many, Medicare isn’t good enough on it’s own so most people buy some kind of insurance that covers the things that Medicare doesn’t. This might include a Medigap Insurance policy, Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D. Without a plan to ensure you can afford your healthcare post retirement, your strategy to afford retirement is likely based on a hope and a dream that you won’t get terribly sick. This plan has to be adjusted, changed and improved as you go through life as well. We have our own specialized professional to help you when the time comes.
- Invest your Retirement Assets – An important part of retirement planning is investing your money in the stock and bond markets. This may seem frightening to some, however, it’s important to ensure your assets grow with the cost of living (preferably faster than) in order to ensure you can afford a retirement community, healthcare costs, food, and life in general. Once you’ve created your list of goals, we’d help you to understand the portfolio that’s most likely to help you afford your future without taking too much risk. Your financial plan will show you the future you laid out and the portfolio we recommend as a result.
- Manage your Retirement Income – Thinking about managing your income while working was easy. “Spend less than I earn” is really all you had to think about. As a retiree, it gets more complicated. We’ll help to monitor each income source you depend on and, if the markets tell us to pivot, we’ll help you pivot.
As part of helping you manage your retirement income, we’ll help you to understand:
- The lowest risk way to generate income and capital gains you can pull from to pay your bills.
- The most tax-efficient way to ensure your lifestyle is affordable and easy to manage.
- When and how you’ll receive your monthly income.
8. Monitor your Retirement Assets
A retirement plan isn’t a one-time, set it and forget it strategy. It requires maintenance, time, effort just like a house does. Without ongoing maintenance and analysis, your plan could fall apart.
We aim to have a bi-annual review of your investments, spending, insurance, tax plan, and estate plan to ensure that, if any changes are needed, we’re helping you make them.
Why We Use The Financial Planning Process That We Do
Your financial future is impossible to tell. You could have a perfect, inexpensive future and win the lottery so everything is affordable but more likely than not, you probably will have some medical problems and won’t win the lottery.
Our process is set up to serve you whether you have a perfect future, a normal one, or a tragic one so we can help you pivot as life does. We’ll meet up at least twice a year to discuss your budget, your health, your plans, and your goals to make sure that you’re on track to afford each step of the way as tax-efficiently and simply as possible.
Pricing for Wealth Management and Financial Planning
- 1% of the account value is the only fee you’ll pay us and the % fee goes down as your net worth increases.
- In exchange, you’ll have a team of professionals to ensure that your financial life is managed properly and your retirement is affordable, your taxes prepared and optimized and your financial life managed as perfectly as we can.
If you’d be interested in learning more about how we can help, click on the link below to schedule an appointment.