Why It's Critical To Have A "Financial Roadmap"

It's All About Achieving The Great Goals Of Life!

Achieving the great goals in life starts with a plan. Without a well-thought out plan, we're much less likely to know where we're headed and when we get there. A comprehensive financial plan creates the "roadmap" to achieving one's life goals and objectives. It helps answer questions like:

Goals and Objectives

  • What is really important to me (money, wealth, happiness, family, kids, travel, etc)?
  • What special dreams do I have that I want to achieve before I die?
  • Am I successful in managing against an annual or monthly cash flow budget?
  • How do I balance spending today vs. saving for tomorrow?
  • When do I want to retire?

Retirement Planning

  • What annual income do I want in retirement? How will inflation impact that number?
  • How much of a retirement nest-egg do I need so that my spouse and I can't outlive our income needs, given that one or both of us may live 30 years in retirement?
  • Am I currently maximizing my tax deferred savings? (401(k), IRA, etc.)
  • Will my employer-provided retirement plan be sufficient?
  • What role might Social Security play in my retirement?

Retirement Income Management

  • What's the best way to generate my desired level of income during retirement?
  • Which type of asset should I use first - taxable savings, annuities, IRAs, etc?
  • Should I wait until age 70 1/2 to begin taking distributions from my IRAs?
  • How might income "smoothing" help my overall tax situation?

Estate Planning

  • What would happen to my family if I die tomorrow? A year from now?
  • Have I adequately protected my family's standard of living if I die?
  • Do I have a current will so that my assets and belongings go to the people I choose?
  • Have I named guardians for my minor children should I die?
  • How do my heirs inherit my money with the least amount of taxation?
  • Do I have a current living will, durable power of attorney, and health care proxy?

Investment Planning and Asset Allocation

  • Will my current assets grow to a level to meet my wealth needs?
  • Is my portfolio appropriately diversified?
  • Have I identified an asset allocation and investment management philosophy that will allow me to accumulate wealth within the risk parameters that I'm comfortable with?
  • Do I have adequate emergency savings should I lose my job, become disabled, etc?
  • How should I think about any executive compensation or stock options that I have?

College Funding

  • How do I plan to educate my children? Public vs. Private school? College?
  • What will a year of college cost 5, 10, 15, or 20 years from now?
  • What nest-egg do I need to accumulate to meet those college costs? What is the best way to accumulate these funds (parent, child, Section 529, etc)?
  • A Question For Grandparents: Would you like to become importantly involved in the educations of your grandchildren? It may be very difficult for your children to give your grandchildren the education that you gave them.

Insurance and Risk Management

  • Do I have sufficient health, disability, liability, homeowner, and automobile insurance? Should I consider a liability umbrella policy?
  • Do I have adequate life insurance to protect my family?
  • Should I consider long-term care insurance?
  • What would happen if I became disabled and couldn't work?

Income Tax Planning

  • Am I paying the least amount of income taxes possible?
  • Am I maximizing my possible deductions?
  • Do I have a tax-efficient investment portfolio that is minimizing my taxes?

Executive Compensation and Stock Options

  • How should I think about any executive compensation or stock options that I have?
  • Have I taken measures to protect the value of my stock options?
  • Does the value of my options represent a disproportionate share of my net worth, and if so, what options should I pursue to improve overall portfolio diversification and reduce market risk?

If you're interested in developing and implementing your "Financial Roadmap" please give us a call toll-free at 1-800-503-9500.