Which Financial Plan is Right for You?

Wouldn�t it be great to have a written financial plan so that no matter what happens in the market or the economy, you still feel confident that you are going to be ok?

At BWFA, we have found that where you are along life�s journey greatly affects what kind of financial plan you need. For example, someone who is just about to retire has different questions and concerns than someone who is just starting a family. That is why we offer three separate planning services to meet the distinct needs of our clients at different stages of their lives. The purpose of this article is to explain which plan is right for you.

The Pre-Retirement Plan

If you are more than five years from retirement and do not have complicating issues, such as significant employee stock options or your own business, this plan is likely to be for you. At this stage of life, clients find that there are tremendous demands on their resources, including buying a home, raising a family, and putting children through college. Additionally, there is saving for retirement, paying taxes, and protecting assets and loved ones with insurance. The Pre-Retirement plan helps ensure clients get the most from the resources they have.

Our Pre-Retirement Plan identifies what you are doing right and what you are doing wrong. It outlines specific recommendations in investments, insurance, retirement savings, education funding, and basic estate planning. We will also cover any other area that may be of concern to our clients, such as whether to refinance a mortgage. Questions the pre-retirement plans typically answer are:

  • Have I selected the best investments?
  • Do I have the right kind and amount of insurance?
  • How can I reduce my taxes?
  • Am I on track in saving for retirement?
  • How should I fund my child�s college education?
  • Can we afford to do what we want to do?

The Retirement Plan

If you are within five years of retirement or have recently retired, the Retirement Plan has been designed for you. Retirement is a significant life transition and with it come numerous questions and concerns, such as: How much can I spend in retirement? Will I be able to maintain my standard of living? How do I generate income from my investments? Do I need long-term care insurance? The Retirement Plan gives clients answers to these pressing questions and, more importantly, gives them confidence that they can live in retirement with financial security.

This is accomplished by developing year-by-year financial projections and using sophisticated analytical tools (Monte Carlo simulations) to �test� different scenarios and help clients identify the best course to follow. In addition, we provide specific recommendations in the areas of Estate Planning, Long-term Care Insurance, Taxes, and Investments. Questions the Retirement Plan typically answers are:

  • When can I retire?
  • Will I be able to maintain the lifestyle I desire in retirement?
  • How should I invest my assets in retirement?
  • What can I do to reduce taxes?
  • Do I need long-term care insurance?
  • Should I revise my wills?

The Estate Plan

If you have substantial wealth, the Estate Plan is the most appropriate for you. Clients with estates above $1.5 million frequently require techniques and planning beyond basic wills. BWFA will identify which techniques are most appropriate and help clients put the proper techniques in place. In some cases, the preparation of legal documents (wills, trusts, etc.) will require the client to employ an attorney, at additional cost. BWFA will work with the client and the attorney to ensure satisfactory execution of the estate plan. Our Estate Planning service has three objectives:

  • To help clients minimize federal and state estate taxes
  • To establish how assets will be handled when the clients are no longer able to manage them
  • To organize clients� assets and affairs in a way that makes settling affairs easier for their heirs

Financial Plan Reviews

In a clear, concise and cost-effective manner, our financial plans help our clients achieve their goals at each stage of life. Of course, goals, objectives, markets and tax laws change. That is why we recommend a Financial Plan Review biannually. The purpose of the reviews is to determine if our clients are meeting their financial objectives and if modifications or revisions to their Plans are necessary.

The Financial Plan Review answers the question: Am I still on target to reach my financial goals?