A Holistic Approach
Logging into your financial accounts, you can easily see the numbers in black (and red) and the summary of your hard-earned assets. But it’s not just dollars and cents that make up your financial plan. When people think of financial planning, they may first turn to their savings and investment portfolios, but there is much more to consider. Seasoned professionals believe financial planning is about the process, not the product.
A financial advisor has the responsibility to consider your full financial picture, to ask you specific questions to gauge your needs and goals, and to encourage you to follow a process, not chase investment returns. If your advisor is only focusing on pushing new investments and products, it’s time to reevaluate your relationship and find a professional who will help you in the following areas of holistic financial planning:
At the core of your financial plan is the Asset Management umbrella. Your advisor must consider the appropriate risk tolerance, and investment style to suit your goals and needs. They must review your assets and liabilities, and understand your personal experience and comfort level with various investment vehicles. You should expect a complete review of these assets & liabilities so your advisor can create a plan that is comprehensive, diversified, and fits your goals for income and growth:
– Checking/Savings Accounts/ Money Markets
– Taxable non-retirement investment accounts
– Retirement Savings (401(k), 403(b), IRAs, Roth IRAs, Annuities)
– Education Savings (529 college savings plans for children or grandchildren)
– Real Estate (Your Primary Residence, 2nd Home, Income Properties, etc.)
– Other Tangible Assets (Antiques/Valuables)
– Business Assets (business real estate, tangible goods, and net worth)
– Debts (Mortgages, student loans, credit card balances, auto loan, business debt)
When people think of “Risk,” life insurance usually comes to mind. But there are many ways to ensure that your financial achievements will not be lost in the event of unforeseen medical expenses, acts of nature, death, or disability. Insurance can be a touchy subject, but it’s a crucial element in protecting your assets, and safeguarding your family’s future. Some types of insurance to consider as your advisor assesses your risk management needs:
– Long Term Care
– Disability Income
Your advisor should help you establish a relationship with an attorney to provide the basic legal documents necessary for your estate plan. For some, an estate plan can be as simple as including a Last Will & Testament, Powers of Attorney, and Medical Directives. For other more complex needs (to include business asset transfers or multiple real estate holdings), specific trusts may need to be established. If you have children with special needs, their care and financial support will also need to be properly addressed. Estate planning is not only about the documents that protect you, but how your assets are titled is equally important. Ask your advisor about the tax considerations, legal documents, and asset titling necessary for your situation.
Business Succession Strategies
If you are a business owner, your advisor will consider transition and succession planning, as well as risk management solutions tailored to your needs. Specific legal documents should also be drafted to protect the future of your business and family. Retaining key employees and protecting your income in the event of unforeseen circumstances should also be addressed.
An experienced advisor will provide a clear process and use a holistic approach to reach your goals. Following the analysis and implementation of your plan, you and your advisor should review your situation at least annually and make any necessary changes. For information on the PSG Scope of Services and Financial Planning Processes, check out our website to see “What We Do” & “How We Do It.”