By: Mike Gertsema, CEO & Wealth Advisor
Most investors are very concerned about the markets, the economy, their health, their family’s health, whether they’re going to lose all their money, and will we ever get back to the good old days?
Of all the things we worry about, which of them are we really in control of?
Most people we meet with have most of the above concerns and our job as financial advisors is to help them realize they do have control over more than they originally thought. Our focus is on their financial future and taking advantage of opportunities in the marketplace that they may not have thought about due to the worries of everyday life.
Let’s look at how your overall picture – life stage, wealth journey, risk tolerance, and more – fits into creating your comprehensive financial plan.
Risk and Volatility
The markets have had more volatility recently than most of us are comfortable with, so the question is: does it really have to be this way, and is that canceling all my hopes, dreams, and plans?
Now might be a good time to review how much risk is built into your financial strategy and your comfort level with that risk. Also, look over your options for aligning your strategy with your goals and values now that you’ve seen how your portfolio behaves in a volatile market.
At the end of the day, we as consumers want it all – we want to make as much money as we can when the markets are up and don’t want to lose when the markets go down.
While we know that’s probably not realistic, there is technology available today that can help us with managing risk in your portfolio and with your input, we’re able to match your hopes, dreams, and plans with your risk tolerance.
This helps prepare you for how your investments will handle the lows in the market and the highs in the market. It’s all part of a comprehensive plan that we put in place with you.
Retirement Goals (and Dreams)
Most of our clients want to live a comfortable life, enjoying the fruits of their lifelong labor, sweat, stress, saving, and planning for retirement. In some cases, retirement felt more like a dream than reality and the possibility was remote at best.
Once we determine your goals for retirement, which in most cases involves replacing the net take-home pay you are currently making, we can start the process. We can gather all your retirement savings, pensions, social security, debt, and dreams.
I love numbers and numbers excite me, especially when I see what they can do for our clients. It’s the most fulfilling experience for me to watch clients see the endless possibilities that they have once they can see what their future retirement cash flow looks like. They start dreaming and asking us to illustrate endless possibilities that they’ve discussed privately and thought about but figured were impossible fantasies.
Income Tax Strategies
The fun doesn’t stop there – integrating income tax strategies becomes the next step. We need to see if there are opportunities to improve our client’s cash flow today and possibly reduce the income tax on their beneficiaries in the future.
While I understand I’m not a CPA, I have valuable information and technology that will also help your CPA in the tax-planning process. The information is also very helpful for your attorney in the estate-planning process.
Your financial advisor can play a major roll in your financial planning today with strategies and tax efficiency and in the future with estate planning and other needs.
Financial Planning at this Point in History
Today with all the history-making events going on, we are more concerned about survival than anything else. As your financial advisor, we’re looking for opportunities for you and want to illustrate them for you in your financial plan, so you understand the real-life possibilities available.
In the past three years we’ve seen some major law changes; the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, The Secure Act signed in 2019, and most recently the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES ACT) signed in 2020. All this new legislation is impacting your retirement and your financial plan. Your retirement plan should be a living document that changes as you change or as the laws change, it’s not meant to be a once in a lifetime event.
The information is available to help you take advantage of the changes that benefit you and your family financially. With the help of technology, we can illustrate the law changes and provide you with the illustrations either in our office or live through virtual meetings.
Technology is changing the world even faster now due to the COVID– 19 Stay-at-Home Order. My guess is, most people may choose to use the technology for virtual meetings instead of face-to-face meetings in the future purely because of convenience and time management.
Creating your comprehensive financial plan has always been about investing and now it’s about advising and investing. The advising makes much more of a difference financially than investing alone and our mission is to empower you to make life’s decisions on your terms.
Want to talk through your financial plan? Make an appointment today!
For a comprehensive review of your personal situation, always consult a tax or legal advisor.