Solutions for you and your family
When it comes to financial matters, it's easy to see where you want to go. It's harder to figure out how to get there. Whether you're saving for retirement, investing for the future, funding a college education or reaching for any of a hundred other financial goals, we can help.
A dynamic approach to helping you and your family reach your financial goals
We use financial planning tools and resources to help you and your family reach your financial goals. We provide expertise in the six areas with the biggest impact on your personal financial situation, and develop plans and strategies to help you succeed.
We help you identify where you want to go, and show you how to get there, turning financial planning into a powerful force for you.
Current Financial Position
The first step involves getting a snapshot of where things are today, including assets, liabilities, net worth and cash flow.
Understanding your current financial situation is one of the most important aspects of doing financial planning. Your current assets, liabilities, liquidity and cash flow will affect almost every other short or long-term goal that you have.
Many people don’t realize the long-term impact of the financial decisions they make on a day-to-day basis. Your financial needs in the event of a death or disability will be closely related to your current situation, and areas such as income tax liability, asset allocation, estate tax liability, ownership status of assets, and control of assets are all inter-related.
If you already have a good understanding of your current financial situation, congratulations! If you could benefit from a greater understanding of where you stand today, there are numerous ways that you can begin.
Use worksheets to calculate your net worth and track your cash flow. Personal finance programs such as Quicken™ or MS Money™ are also helpful in gaining a better understanding of where you stand today.
For help in identifying strengths and weaknesses in your current financial picture, or for help in developing a comprehensive financial plan, select the "Contact Us" option located in the main site menu at the top of the page. Our Financial Advisors are just a click away!
Financially protecting yourself and your family from death, disability, accident and illness
Protecting your family from major financial risks is one of the cornerstones of any sound financial program. Life insurance, disability insurance, health coverage and long-term care insurance should all be evaluated to help minimize your exposure to financial risk.
By working with a knowledgeable Financial Advisor, you can develop a comprehensive approach to assessing your need for additional coverage. To help you get started, click on the Financial Calculators link located in the main site menu at the top of the page.
While there are more complicated systems for calculating your insurance needs, this provides you with an indicator of whether you should consider increasing your life insurance coverage.
Strategies to help you retain assets and minimize payment of unnecessary taxes.
Managing risk in your investments
Successful investing is based on managing risk — understanding what risk means and using it to your advantage.
Risk refers to the chance that an investment's value or return will be lower than expected. Investments with potential for greater loss are viewed as riskier than those with a lesser chance of loss.
However, the risks associated with investments differ in the long-term compared to the short-term. In the long-term, so-called "risky" investments may offer a greater chance of reaching a financial objective.
For example, a government bond that guarantees a return of principal and $100 interest after 30 days is risk-free in the short term, since the return will always be $100 regardless of events in the financial markets, if held to maturity. In contrast, common stock may have the potential of earning as much as $200 and as little as $0 and offer no protection of principal.
In the long-term, the picture changes. Based on historical stock performance, risk faced by stocks declines over the long-term. The risk faced by government bonds increases, however, since their long-term returns they offer are frequently outperformed by other types of investments and may not always keep up with inflation and taxes.
The risk and return of any one investment should be viewed in relation to your total investment portfolio — the combination of investments you’re making. If you hold just one or two accounts, you are more exposed to risk than if your money is more widely diversified. Diversification means investing in instruments which behave differently during a given economic situation or time period.
A Financial Advisor can help you determine an appropriate level of risk and diversification for your financial goals, profile and time horizon. Talk to an advisor or representative today about developing a customized investment strategy.
Strategies to help you retain assets and minimize payment of unnecessary taxes.
As Ben Franklin aptly pointed out over two centuries ago, taxes are one of the certainties of life. Our challenge is to use the provisions of the tax code to our advantage wherever possible.
For example, income can be from earned (employment) or unearned (investment) sources, and can be taxed today, taxed later (deferred) or not taxed at all (exempt). How we decide to hold our assets and receive our income will have the greatest impact on our income taxes.
Everyone knows that the U. S. tax code is extremely complex. Many types of assets (tax-exempt bonds, IRAs, annuities, and cash-value life insurance to name several) offer significant tax advantages. Working with a financial advisor who understands the tax implications of your financial decisions will help assure that you are making those decisions with all the pertinent information, often resulting in significant tax savings. For help in identifying strategies to reduce your taxes, or for help in developing a comprehensive financial plan, contact one of our knowledgeable Financial Advisors today.
This information is a general discussion of the relevant federal tax laws. It is not intended for, nor can it be used by any taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding federal tax penalties. This information is provided to support the promotion or marketing of ideas that may benefit a taxpayer. Taxpayers should seek the advice of their own tax and legal advisors regarding any tax and legal issues applicable to their specific circumstances.
Creating accumulation and income strategies that help you achieve a financially secure retirement.
Plans help address the changing concept of retirement
The concept of retirement is changing. And so are the ways that people prepare for it. For some, retirement means lots of leisure time to pursue hobbies and interests. For others it means a change to part time work, and still others will spend their new found free time with family members or as a volunteer in the community.
Two retirement savers (These are hypothetical examples for illustrative purposes only)
Sid Saver, 25, has a long way to go before his golden years. With an income of $25,000 in the early stages of his career, Sid's working with an eye to the future. If Sid defers just 4.7 percent of his annual income to his 401(k), he could retire with 80 percent of his annual salary*, adjusted for inflation. And, Sid's tolerance for risk is high, given his long time horizon. He'll allocate his money into an aggressive portfolio made up of equity investments.
Pete Procrastinator has waited even longer. At age 48, he's earning $50,000 per year as an editor for a small publishing company. But he has only saved $5,000 in an IRA. Pete would have to save more than 30 percent of his before-tax income into his IRA annually in order to retire with just 80 percent* of his current income. That's more than the law allows, so Pete would have to use another savings vehicle, as well. Pete's not too worried, though. He plans to continue working part time after age 65, and will invest 12 percent into a moderate portfolio, with 40 percent of funds going to a fixed income group and 60 percent going to an equity group.
Developing a strategy for a financially secure retirement is no simple task. That's why an experienced professional's knowledge and objectivity can make this important challenge more manageable.
Strategies for preserving and distributing assets to heirs in a way that fits your goals and desires, while minimizing estate taxes, probate expenses and estate administrative costs.
Helping you protect your legacy
No matter how large your estate is, a sound estate plan remains the best assurance that your assets will be distributed to the heirs you select in the way you choose. It can also help protect your financial security if you become incapacitated.
While reducing taxes can be an important goal, it’s not the only reason to develop an estate plan. Regardless of what happens with tax legislation, an estate plan can be an essential financial planning tool.
Beneficiary designations on retirement accounts, life insurance policies and the like must be coordinated with the rest of your estate plan. Those assets will go to the listed beneficiaries, regardless of your will.
Estate planning can help protect your family's interests and ensure that your wishes are carried out.
In addition, the probate process is time consuming and expensive. Consult one of our financial professionals to learn how to protect your estate.