Scope of Financial Plans
At Financial Plan, we believe your investments should be driven by your goals, and creating a comprehensive financial plan provides the framework for accomplishing this. A comprehensive plan brings your entire financial life together with all aspects working in concert. The questions that are addressed include, but are not limited to:
- What is the appropriate amount of cash reserves to keep in bank accounts?
- Should I pay off my debts? In what order should they be paid down? Should they be refinanced?
- Am I saving enough to achieve my goals?
- Should I invest in taxable bonds or tax free bonds?
- What type of account should I contribute to: an after tax, traditional IRA or 401k, or Roth IRA account?
- Is my planned retirement date feasible? What can I do to make it more likely that I will be able to retire?
- Is it advisable for me to buy a vacation home, RV, or other large asset or will the expense cause me to fail in retirement?
- Am I withdrawing too much from my accounts? Am I in danger of depleting my capital?
- Which account should I withdraw from first in retirement: a traditional IRA account, after tax account, or Roth IRA account?
- What percentage of my portfolio should be invested in equity assets as versus fixed income assets?
- What classes of equities should I invest in: large companies, small? growth companies, value? domestic, foreign? real estate, commodities?
- What classes of bonds should I invest in? Government, municipal, corporate, mortage, TIPs? Short or long term? High quality or high yield?
- What should I look for when selecting securities? Past performance? Cost? Investment “style”, Degree of diversification, low turnover?
- What types of investments should I avoid at all costs? Are annuities good investments? How about life insurance as an investment?
- What is the best way to pay for my grandchildrens’ higher education?
- Do I need life insurance? What type? Disability? Medical? Liability? Property insurance? How much should I have?
- Should I buy long term care insurance or plan on using my home equity to buy into a continuing retirement community?
- Should I update my will and Power of attorney? Should I have a trust? Who should be my IRA beneficiary?
- Is it wise to list a child as a joint account owner? Should I give my house to my child, or have them inherit it when I pass away?
- Will I be subject to the estate tax? What can be done to leave more to my heirs and charities and less to the government?
A comprehensive financial plan will address and answer all of these questions and more. Upon completion of a financial plan you will truly have your financial house in order, with a simple and elegant plan that brings together a multitude of financial considerations.
The scope of our financial plans is illustrated below: