Financial Planning – What Have We Done for You Lately
Financial planning is straightforward for many clients. But there is also a project oriented side to the process, examples of which we decided to share to make sure there isn’t something we could be doing for you! We enjoy the challenge and variety of working through new problems. Below are some examples of various situations we have worked on recently:
- Transitioning from Accumulation to Spending Phase: It can be difficult for individuals to migrate from earning an income to living off of savings. There are several pitfalls one can fall in to, but we help mitigate that with a ‘big picture’ map of accounts and how they will be used throughout retirement. This is an extension of the Investment Policy Statement (or IPS). We also try to articulate and automate a ‘waterfall’ of money as it flows from various investment accounts into checking accounts.
- Annuities & Pension Payout Options: While we don’t sell annuities (actually, we don’t sell anything!), clients inherit them from time to time. Also, pension plans often offer a “lump sum vs. recurring payment” option. We can help with the decision to take a lump sum or choose between the recurring payout options. There is a little math involved to solve for the actuarial assumptions the company is offering. Each situation is unique and can make this decision a hard one.
- Loan Consolidation & Cash-Out Refinancing: There are times in a rising real estate market, like the one we have seen of late in Boulder and many other cities, where your loans can be configured more efficiently. Modigliani & Miller (finance geek alert!) tell us the optimal debt load is greater than zero in a world of taxes. But the balance between payment size and mortgage amount is a personal one, and we can help frame the discussion. Additionally, as interest rates have remained quite low, refinancing a loan and taking some cash out, while maintaining a reasonable payment, is a way to add some liquidity to one’s financial life.
- Rebalancing and Lowering Fees in Corporate Retirement plans: Often the default investment options in a many corporate retirement plans, such as 401(k) or 403(b)s, can can be pricey from a fee perspective. Send us your plan statement, and we will look to make the investment choices as smart and fee efficient as possible. We also like to know the balance between equity and fixed income and make sure that is appropriate and reflected in your financial plan.
- Tax Deferred Retirement Plans for Small Business Owners: There is a variety of retirement plan options for the self-employed and small business owners, so let’s make sure we have explored all the relevant options. This is especially the case with only a few employees and a concentrated senior management team. In this instance, we can try to increase the tax savings at the corporate level, and increase retirement savings.
- Trust Accounting & Tax Preparation: Schwab is a great partner for us in many areas. One of them is cost effective trust accounting and tax preparation. These are required for any irrevocable trust and can be a burden. We can help clients access Schwab’s team for trust reporting and tax preparation at very attractive prices.
- Concentrated Stock Positions: Sometimes our clients have concentrated stock positions. There are behavioral impediments and tax consequences that can prevent a client from reducing the concentration. This can have a serious impact on a financial plan. We can help you walk through these issues.
Financial planning is always an integral part of what we do, and we make it available to all clients. We do not charge an additional fee for planning, so please reach out to get this process started, or update your existing plan.
Hopefully the examples above will remind you to give us a call anytime something arises in your financial life. Remember, there are no hourly charges to give us a ring, and we love hearing from you!