Financial Planning Areas

Depending on your unique financial circumstances and personal objectives, the guidance provided might include (click to expand topic):

Understanding both your current and future expected cash inflows and outflows is essential to planning for your financial future.  You should understand and manage your current cash flow, project the cash flow you expect you will need in retirement based on your unique personal goals and circumstances, and then develop and implement a plan to help position you to achieve both your short-term and long-term financial goals.

The focus of your retirement plan depends, largely, on whether you are in the accumulation phase or the distribution phase of your financial life.  Regardless of your retirement phase, it is important that you identify your goals for retirement, and analyze both your current and projected retirement assets, expected sources of income in retirement, and desired timing of retirement.  You should know the projected level of assets which you may require in order to support financial independence in retirement, and implement an investment and savings strategy to position you to help meet your personal retirement goals.

For many, Social Security benefits provide one of the largest sources of income in retirement.  Deciding when to claim your Social Security benefits can be one of the most important retirement decisions you make.  It is important to understand the Social Security benefits available to you and your family, as well as the various options as to when you may begin to claim these benefits, so that you can determine the optimal time to begin collecting Social Security, based on how Social Security fits into your overall retirement plan.

A multitude of investment vehicles exist.  Determining which investment options are right for you depends on a number of factors. A well-diversified*, tax-efficient, portfolio designed with a complete understanding of your personal goals and circumstances, time horizon, and risk tolerance, should serve as the foundation for an investment strategy designed specifically to help you achieve your goals.

Once implemented, it is important to manage, monitor, and adjust your investment strategy and underlying portfolio as not only your personal objectives and circumstances change, but also as financial markets, economic conditions, and tax legislation change.  Working with an advisor will help you maintain discipline in executing your investment strategy, maintaining this strategy through volatile markets, and proactively addressing any necessary changes to this strategy, or to your underlying investment portfolio, in an efficient and timely manner.

*Diversification does not assure a profit or protect against loss.

A properly designed and implemented estate plan can help to ensure that your wealth will be distributed to those to whom you would like, in a timely and efficient manner, and may ease the process.  Among its many benefits, an estate plan can help you to ensure your assets are distributed according to your wishes, avoid the delay and cost of probate, and reduce potential inheritance and estate taxes.  Additionally, your estate plan can help to ensure that your personal, financial, and health matters are managed in the manner in which you wish.

Understanding your existing estate plan, what it means to you and those most important to you, and who the key fiduciaries are who will execute the existing plan, is essential and should be reviewed every few years to determine whether any changes or updates are necessary.  It may be beneficial for you to update or establish wills, trusts, durable financial powers of attorney, medical powers of attorney, living wills, creditor protections, and guardianship provisions for dependents.

If you do not have estate planning documents in place, or if updates to your estate plan are required, and you do not have an attorney with whom you work, we will provide assistance in finding an appropriate estate planning attorney, upon your request.

Risk management and insurance planning is fundamental to your financial security.  You should have a plan to safeguard your assets and minimize the financial exposure which can be brought about by such adverse consequences as premature death, disability, illness, personal liability, professional liability, and damage to your home and other personal property.  Depending on your personal financial situation and long-term objectives, this plan may require coverage for life insurance, health insurance, disability insurance, property & casualty insurance, and long-term care insurance, to name a few.

Effective tax management may reduce, delay or prevent the impact that income, estate, and other taxes may have on your wealth. It is important that you review both your current and projected tax picture in order to maximize opportunities to utilize tax-deferred savings vehicles, minimize alternative minimum tax, take advantage of tax incentives, and optimize the timing of reporting income and claiming deductions.   Additionally, we offer individual tax preparation services through our affiliated Certified Public Accounting practice, Damon & Associates, Inc.  

The cost of a college education continues to soar, and financing a child’s education is one of the biggest challenges parents face today.  Understanding the numerous options available for saving for and paying for college for your children and grandchildren can be overwhelming.  To plan to fund college education, you should consider your children’s or grandchildren’s goals for college, project the potential total cost, consider all available savings strategies, and implement a plan to help meet these education saving goals.

For many, their largest investment is the business which they have worked hard to grow.  Our vast experience in working with closely-held businesses has proven to be a tremendous resource to clients.  We help our clients to identify appropriate capital growth strategies, secure and maintain financing, help ensure that they are maximizing retirement plan options, maximize retirement funding both for them and for their employees, and develop business succession plans which align with their hopes for transitioning the businesses they have worked hard to grow.  Corporate accounting, tax and advisory services are offered through our affiliated Certified Public Accounting practice, Damon & Associates, Inc.

Leaving a family legacy is an important financial goal to many.  In order to maximize the amount you may give to the causes that are the most important to you, it is important to review and discuss available charitable gifting techniques, take advantage of potential estate and income tax benefits, ensure that your charitable giving desires fit your overall retirement plans, and identify and implement the optimal gifting strategy for your financial situation.

To attract and retain key employees, employers may offer a number of employee benefits.  In order to maximize these potential corporate benefits, you should understand all of the benefits available, determine the costs of the coverage, and discuss whether it makes sense to participate in these available programs. This review may include discussing the most cost-effective option for available health insurance, determining whether to take advantage of any life insurance and disability insurance coverage offered, reviewing retirement plan offerings and determining both how much and the manner in which to elect to contribute to these plans and evaluating the available investment options and how best complement your current investment portfolio, and understanding any available deferred compensation and stock option plans. 

Company stock options may comprise a major portion of your investment portfolio.  Planning for stock options involves the need to understand and consider income tax consequences, cash flow, and investment management. The investments you choose in constructing your portfolio should complement your company stock to support your overall investment strategy. Further, stock compensation often results in a highly concentrated stock position in relation to a client’s overall portfolio.  To maximize the value of stock compensation, you should have a plan which helps to divest from the concentrated stock position in a tax-efficient manner. 

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