In the year’s final entry, we’re taking a step back from the specifics to reflect more broadly on our financial planning philosophy and how we implement it for our clients.
- Understanding your destination. Before we start on your plan, we first spend time getting to know your goals and where you are trying to go. It could be saving for college, buying a vacation home or something else entirely. Let’s take the goal of retirement: In some cases, you may want to retire as soon as possible; we’ll discuss together how early you can sustainably stop working given your future income sources, asset level and desired lifestyle. Or you may prefer the scenic route, spending more on vacations and other splurges and working longer. Just as no two trips are alike, the same goes for financial plans.
- Creating your financial GPS. Often, you know where you want to end up (retiring at a certain age, buying a second home, paying off debt) but the trail there is not always clear—countless paths exist to get from point A to point B; which one is for you? If you’re heading somewhere you’ve never been before, you wouldn’t leave home without a plan. Why should getting to your financial destination be any different? That’s what we can help you solve. By taking an in-depth look at your assets, liabilitiesLiabilities are calculated by adding up your existing debts (mortgage, car loans, student loans, credit cards, etc.). (debts) and sources of income, we can create a road map for you to follow to your goals.
- Laying out your path (alternate routes included). After we have a good grasp on your goals and current financial picture, we present your plan to you in an interactive setting. And going forward, we are able to adapt on the fly to present alternative routes if your situation changes. We never end a meeting without providing a set of actionable insights to determine what we believe is the best path for your journey. Along the way, it is inevitable that roadblocks or potholes emerge, like tax rates changing or health insurance premiums rising. Or, a windfall may come your way unexpectedly. That’s why a financial plan needs to be regularly updated and monitored.
- Remember, the journey is never-ending. Financial planning is a process, not a product. We view your plan as a living document that we will tweak and adjust along the way to ensure you are on good footing to get where you want to go.
As our chairman, Dan Wiener, likes to say, you can’t put a price on a good financial plan; so we don’t. Financial planning is an integral part of our comprehensive wealth management service. So why wait? If you’re looking for a New Year’s resolution, a financial plan is a great one for you and your family. Let’s chart your course today!
Contact your portfolio team if you would like to get started or want to update us on any recent life events that should be reflected in your financial plan—it’s what we’re here for.