Put simply, comprehensive financial planning considers three questions:
1. Where are you today?
2. Where do you want to be tomorrow?
3. How do you plan to get there?
The planning process gives you a clear picture of where you stand financially and provides you with direction and discipline to help you achieve your financial and non-financial goals. The approach is holistic, independent, and goes far beyond investment planning. It considers every aspect of one’s life to make sure the decisions you make are supporting your goals and not conflicting in any way.
There are six key areas that are considered inside of every financial plan, as follows:
It is important to understand your cash inflows (i.e., salary, interest and dividends, pension and social security), how much you spend (i.e., expenses, taxes and debt), and how much you should be saving (for retirement, vacation, emergencies and more). A cash flow report summarizes these things in an easy-to-understand format.
New clients often come to us with an accumulation of various investments in their portfolios, acquired at different times and over many years, with no rhyme or reason as to why they are there. We believe every investment in your portfolio should have a specific purpose. When customizing your personal investment strategy, we evaluate your goals, take time to understand your values, consider your time horizon for needing funds, and recognize your tolerance for risk. Using techniques such as asset allocation and diversification allows us to help reduce risk. The goal of this structured approach is to reduce the impact that the volatility of the market and your emotions can have on your portfolio, while providing flexibility and balance. We offer institutional account benefits through our custodian, Charles Schwab.
The best of financial plans can fail if exposed to risks such as premature death, disability, or the need for long-term nursing care. Additionally, in this increasingly litigious environment, it is imperative to have adequate personal liability protection. By evaluating and understanding these risks, we develop and implement a strategy to reduce the potentially devastating effects the unexpected can have on your financial well-being.
Proactive tax planning is crucial to the long-term success of your financial and retirement plans. By monitoring the ever-changing tax laws, we can help you leverage all of the opportunities that are available to you, minimizing your tax obligation and maximizing your savings. Strategies may include: tax-efficient investments, gifting, charitable planning, Roth IRA conversions, and loss (or gain) harvesting.
Financial independence is a common goal; often defined as having the ability to enjoy life and do as you wish without financial concerns, including the ability to retire on your own terms. People are also living longer, and that means many could spend as many years retired as they spent working. While an active and longer life is desirable, it comes with certain challenges that need to be addressed. Inflation, taxation, and rising health care costs are some of the factors that need to be taken into account when determining how best to achieve financial independence. The Access approach focuses on developing a strategy to help you get there and assisting with important pre-retirement decisions, such as when to collect Social Security or what pension options to take.
The purpose of estate planning is to ensure that your wishes (as it pertains to prolonged medical care, for example), as well as your assets (who inherits what) are protected when you are no longer in control, either because of illness or death. It also provides comfort to your heirs that they are carrying out your desires the way you intended. Our comprehensive planning approach helps you consider your options and then provides valuable assistance to your estate planning attorney to help draft those documents.
In addition, intergenerational family wealth planning is available to those who wish to leave a legacy to family members now and safeguard the success of future generations after they are gone.
Finally, in addition to the items above, we take time to understand the following:
After the big picture has been considered, we spend time explaining the recommendations and helping you implement the plan. Also, upon request, we are happy to speak with your other trusted advisors, such as accountants, attorneys and bankers, to further confirm your financial needs are being met and nothing is being overlooked.
And we don’t stop there. Financial planning should not be a one-time event; it is an ongoing process because life is unpredictable. That is why our approach includes ongoing monitoring and guidance. Learn more about Our Process.
At Access Wealth Planning, we are driven by a desire to help our clients achieve their dreams and feel secure about their financial future. You can count on us to be there when it matters most. Gives us a call at (973) 740-2400 to learn how our advisors and comprehensive financial planning process can benefit you and your family.