If You’re Just Starting Out
It used to be that all you had to worry about was yourself. But as your family, career, and overall prospects grow, so do your responsibilities, often creating more questions than answers.
- What is a 401(k)?
- How much should I contribute, and how should I invest it?
- Should I buy a house? Can I buy a house?
- What do I need to do now to help pay for my child’s tuition?
- How can I save for the future when I have all these student loans?
- How do I prepare for the future, while still enjoying life today?
- Do I need life insurance? What about disability Insurance?
- How will I be able to track my progress towards my goals and investment balances?
We listen to your wants, needs and dreams, address your questions, and help you to discover solutions unique to your situation. Through our planning, education and monitoring process, we provide the tools to help you tackle these responsibilities and pursue your dreams.
If You’re Planning for Retirement
Until now, you have been busy with family, career and life itself. You may have saved a little along the way, possibly contributing what you can afford into your company’s retirement plan and/or IRA. Maybe you are about to become an “empty nester,” and you have new ideas about what you want in life. Or you are established in your career and have little time left to save before retirement. Sometimes you lie awake at night concerned that you might not have enough to ever retire fully and live your dreams.
- How much do I need to save?
- Are there other options beyond my IRA or company’s plan to fund my retirement?
- How do I know if I’ve saved enough?
- When should I apply for Social Security? Medicare? And how does that affect my retirement plans?
- Do I need life insurance? Long-term care insurance? Medicare supplement plan?
- What is the best way, and from where, should I take my retirement distributions?
- How do I know the most tax-efficient way to take distributions?
We have guided many clients through the complexities of retirement, Social Security and Medicare, as well as pre-retirement considerations. Through careful planning and disciplined decision-making, we can help our clients sleep better at night. Our level-headed and experienced guidance helps you avoid the unintended consequences of knee-jerk reactions—the real enemy of long-term retirement.
If You’re an Entrepreneur/Business Owner
You have successfully built your business to levels you once dreamed of and continue to reach for the top. You are dedicated, disciplined and passionate about everything you do. You work smart and play hard. You expect honest, “straight to the point” communication. You believe you are capable of managing your own investments, but you know your time is limited, and therefore delegating this task makes sense to you.
- Can I get decent returns in a tax-efficient portfolio?
- Should the focus of my investments be how much I earn or what my after-tax results are?
- Will you provide me with a consolidated on-line view of all my investment and banking relationships?
- Are there creative (and legal) investment solutions that provide tax savings?
- How much life insurance should I have?
- Should I have a company pension plan? Offer other employee benefits? If so, which type?
We are well-versed in ways to help entrepreneurs and small business owners structure their investment portfolios to focus on after-tax results. We believe that, "it's not what earn on your investments, but what you keep." We work closely with you and your accountant to help eliminate tax surprises, and we are focused on finding ways to lower your tax bite with innovative solutions to fit your needs.
If You’re a Same-Sex Couple
With the recent repeal of DOMA, you now have the same rights and benefits as other couples. However, with options that are more complex than ever, you may be confused about what makes sense for you. Perhaps you are estranged from your family and lack the financial and emotional support a family could provide. Maybe you are afraid that if your health deteriorates, your family will not follow your wishes. Or, possibly you need knowledgeable, unbiased advice to clarify what all this means for you.
- Should we get married? What are the benefits? What are the possible tax considerations?
- How would marriage affect my Social Security income?
- Do my company benefits apply to my spouse/partner?
- Should I/we have a trust?
- Should we consider life insurance to protect each other in the future?
- Would long-term care insurance be a good idea?
- Should each of us have a health care directive/durable power of attorney for health care?
We have advised same-sex couples both before and after DOMA’s repeal and also understand the unique considerations that arise within the LGBT community. Our many years of experience working with same-sex couples qualifies us to provide long-term solutions. Our approach to understanding your unique circumstances and our concern for your overall well-being are important aspects of our planning process.
If Your Family is in Transition
Perhaps you’ve found yourself caring for a spouse, family member or friend who can no longer take care of himself or herself, due to diminished capacity or illness. Or maybe you have experienced the sudden loss of a loved one or divorce. You may feel helpless, and possibly hopeless, because your dreams, expectations, and hopes for the future have all been dashed. Your spouse may have always handled the financial responsibilities, and now you don’t know what to do or where to start. There is an abundance of information you can read, recommendations from well-meaning friends you may hear, and support groups you can attend, but you still feel overwhelmed. What you really need is a strategy with clear-cut steps to guide you in making important, timely decisions in small actionable bites.
- Where do I begin?
- What do I need to do right now and what can wait?
- Is there a trust in place? Who is the successor trustee?
- Is there life insurance? What about long-term care insurance?
- What will be paid for by health insurance? Medicare? Medicare supplemental insurance?
- Is there a springing power of attorney? What about a healthcare directive?
- Will I need additional help to care for him or her, or for me?
We are experienced helping clients whose lives have been interrupted by sudden life events. This is often a very emotional time, and we understand how someone whose life was sailing along could now feel insecure and even paralyzed. We have guided many families during times like these and have developed a process to make sure that all the concerns raised, as well as those you haven’t thought of, are addressed. Our goal is to help you to walk through these times with dignity and grace.
If You Have Special-Needs Family Member
You may have a child or other family member who has special needs. Presently, you may be knee-deep in delivering care. However, in the quiet hours of the night, you have deep concerns about how you will provide for your child or family member if something happens to you. Sometimes you lie awake at night wondering who will take over if you cannot fulfill your responsibilities. You need someone to help you navigate the complexities of Social Security Income (SSI) benefits and ensure that these benefits are not lost by mistake.
- How do I fund the future needs of my child or family member?
- Is life insurance a good way to provide for the future?
- Should we have a special-needs trust?
- Who will handle the everyday needs of my special needs child/family member?
- Who will help my successor make sure that they follow the complex rules and regulations for SSI benefits to make sure they won’t make a mistake resulting in disqualification?
Our experience guiding families dealing with special needs issues has taught us that each family is different and therefore the solutions are unique to your circumstances. Our job is to listen to your concerns and provide a solution that gives you comfort knowing that you have fulfilled your responsibilities to your loved one that will stand the test of time.