Whether it’s anticipated or not, a major life transition can be disruptive. You are inevitably facing a mix of emotions while making potentially new and critical financial decisions. We will help you adjust to your new reality by gathering information, determining your needs and talking through the various financial scenarios before implementing financial planning and investment management strategies.
Attorneys, CPAs, mortgage brokers…they’re our friends. We’ll help you connect with the professional resources you need so that you can navigate forward with confidence. The good news? There’s little we haven’t seen and we will always listen with an objective ear.
Congratulations! Getting married is the start of something exciting and should be a joyful time in your life. You’ve found the love of your life and it’s safe to assume that thinking through the financial risks of merging assets is an uncomfortable subject between you and your spouse. We’ll help you navigate the conversation by giving you information and tools to think about your future as objectively as possible. Upfront communication is especially important for second marriages since you likely have more significant assets and potentially children you’re supporting.
We’ll talk about whether or not it makes sense to sign a prenuptial agreement as well as how to title your assets in a way that ensures you keep what is yours… just in case. Our goal is to help handle the potentially unpleasant – but important – conversations so you can enjoy your engagement and focus on planning a life with your new partner.
Starting a Family
First of all, congratulations! You’ve welcomed a child to your family. This is an exciting time in your life and you probably have a few financial questions popping up like: Do I need life insurance? What’s the best way to save for college? Can I afford college??
While you’re figuring out how to manage the day to day needs of your child, we’ll make sure you start thinking about the long-term.
A few of the things that we’ll discuss:
- Amount of coverage and what kind of life insurance
- 529 College Savings Plans
- Disability insurance
- Updating beneficiaries on your retirement accounts
- Creating a will
And that’s just the beginning!
Changing jobs and even careers can happen with careful thought and planning or suddenly. Either way, we will help you adapt and think through the various financial outcomes. Sometimes it means you have to take a bigger short-term risk for a long-term reward, much like investing.
One of the benefits of our job is that we get to see all kinds of ways in which people make money and we’re happy to share what we’ve seen and learned from our other clients. If you need to know how to pay for a graduate school program or a new business venture, we are here to help.
People are getting divorced later in life. Partially due to an increase in life expectancy, the divorce rate for people over 50 has almost doubled since the 1990’s. Whatever the reasons behind your divorce, the process can take an emotional toll and may cloud your ability to think through the various financial implications of separating assets.
If we’re engaged early enough in the process, we can help ensure that your financial settlement is well thought out and not driven by emotion. Most importantly, we can help you work through your plan before you agree to a divorce settlement.
There are many important considerations such as:
- Are you aware of ALL of the marital assets?
- Which assets are in taxable vs. non-taxable accounts?
- What are the post-tax account values?
- Is a lump sum settlement better than alimony?
These are just a few of the many questions we can help you answer.
We’re just going to say it: family is complicated. Add in divorce, death, adoption, step-children/parents and a host of other variables to the mix and the financial conversation doesn’t get any less complicated.
We may not have seen it ALL, but we’ve seen a lot and we’re confident that we can help you make thoughtful financial planning decisions in the most difficult of circumstances. Sometimes the process includes just you or you and your spouse – every situation is different. And for the record, “prenup” is not a bad word…
We will work closely with your attorney to make sure your assets are structured according to your wishes and that you’re as prepared for the unexpected as you can be.
Selling a Business
Well done! Selling your business means that you’ve built a valuable asset and you’re ready to reap the rewards of your hard work. Whether it’s retirement income, another business or a charitable legacy, we are here to guide you. There are the obvious things to think about like taxes and the structure of the buyout, but there are less obvious, emotional ramifications to think about as well. Will you be able to fully let go? How will you define yourself moving forward? How will you spend your time? We’ll have conversations about all of these things.
If you’re just starting the process of selling your business, we can help connect you to the right professionals such as attorneys, business appraisers and CPAs.
This is what we’ve been preparing for and we’re ready. However, you’ve probably been focusing on big picture things like saving enough and deciding where to live. It’s time to talk about more specific things like from which accounts will you withdraw funds to cover living expenses. How frequently? We’ll come up with a plan to structure your portfolio so it provides both the income and growth you need to live life to the fullest in retirement.
We’ll also start talking about how to prepare emotionally for day to day life in retirement. How will you spend your time? What’s going to get you out of bed in the morning? Is it time to downsize? These are not easy questions to answer and will take careful thought and discussion.
Communication during this period is important and we’ll be in touch often.
If you’ve recently learned that you or your spouse is facing a potentially terminal medical diagnosis, you and your loved ones are likely experiencing a roller coaster of emotions. You want to be strong and remain hopeful but this is also a critical time to think about what will happen to your loved ones if you you’re no longer here. This is especially true if you’ve been the primary person making financial decisions for your family.
As you deal with treatment and work through a mountain of feelings, our goal is to help your family prepare so the financial components are as simple as possible. We’ll meet with you and your family to go over both the big financial picture as well as the logistical pieces of your estate. This may mean working with your attorney to create a trust, restructuring and retitling accounts, educating your heirs in financial matters and/or providing a forum to discuss your wishes. We will be there to support both you and your family throughout whatever lies ahead.
Passing to the Next Generation
Whether you plan on leaving assets to your kids, grandkids or favorite nonprofit organization, the biggest gift you can give your loved ones is to think through your estate plan in advance. If you’ve taken the time to draft the appropriate documents, correctly title each asset and communicate your wishes to those who will be left in charge, your family can focus on grieving and making sure your wishes are executed upon.
Most of this planning is done by your attorney, but we will help you think through various strategies and implement any changes necessary, such as retitling your assets.
Another important (and often neglected) part of this process is communicating your plans to the next generation – even telling them where to find your important documents. We also have a tool to help store your important documents safely online, giving you the ability to access them from anywhere.
Death of a Loved One
It’s difficult to come up with words to describe what you are going through – you’ve lost someone you love. It may be a parent or a spouse or someone else dear to your heart and we understand that thinking about any of the financial pieces is far from your mind. Ideally, we’ve had the time to work with you to organize things in advance but if not, we are here to help you navigate the various financial components involved with death.
When it comes to losing a spouse – especially if your spouse was the one handling financial matters in your partnership – it is absolutely overwhelming. We’ll help you prioritize and handle the time sensitive items first, so we can take care of the rest at your pace.
Some of the things that need to be sorted in the short-term are retitling of assets, collecting insurance benefits, changing the names on accounts and credit cards and filing estate tax returns. When you’re ready, we’ll help you think through any changes to your financial goals so we can invest your assets to support your life moving forward.
Back to all life transitions
Inheriting wealth can be unexpected or something you’ve known about for a long time. Either way, it can be life changing. Beyond the emotional component, your head may be spinning with questions about what to do next. How will this change my life? Will this change my life? Beyond the technical components of inherited wealth, receiving a large gift can spark a lot of existential questions that are important to address within the context of your financial plan.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, inheriting wealth have historically accounted for between 20% and 50% of total household wealth accumulation in the U.S. The greatest generation of wealth transfer from the baby boomers is just underway. Despite these statistics, 78% of respondents in a recent U.S. Trust survey of high‐net‐worth individuals feel that the next generation is not financially responsible enough to handle receiving an inheritance. As such, if you are lucky enough to be a part of this significant wealth transfer, we suggest you take the time to carefully plan for how you will use it.