Comprehensive Financial Planning
We got you covered with all aspects of your financial well-being.
What does a Certified Financial Planner Actually Do?
Many believe that financial planning is just about creating a coherent and well-planned investment strategy, and though this is certainly a service that they offer, there is a lot more to it.
These certified professionals offer a wide number of services to help with your finances. This may mean devising a way to help you to become financially independent or to manage the way you are making use of your cash flow. It could be determining your risks and planning suitable insurance coverage to protect your assets and shield them from frivolous lawsuits. They can also greatly assist with planning for later life and how assets will be distributed upon death.
A certified financial planner can help with just about anything concerning money and assets. In fact, there are hundreds of services that they can provide. So, who needs a financial planner?
Work with an expert
A certified financial planner can help you decide.
Who needs a Certified Financial Planner?
Given the number of services that they can provide, very nearly anyone could benefit from certified financial planning. However, these services are particularly important for those who are entering into a new or unusual financial situation. This could mean buying or selling a home, planning for retirement, receiving an inheritance or insurance settlement, divorcing, or retiring.
Those with simple finances may be able to DIY their way to a healthy financial life, but a certified financial planner can provide you with an objective, expert perspective to determine what your financial priorities should be as well as the best investment plans to meet your future goals.
Let’s take a closer look at each of the central services a certified financial planner can provide to help you decide if they’re right for you.
We are different in that we cover all aspects of Financial Planning!
Certified investment planning will take a look at where you are financially and where you want to be down the line. By learning about you, your lifestyle, and your goals, a certified financial planner can help you plan out an investment strategy.
An independent financial planner can choose from any number of options to design a custom investment strategy that will meet your individual needs. Instead of simply taking your money and investing it, a certified financial planner will act as an advisor who helps you to choose the strategy best suited to your situation. The lack of a commission or direct management means no conflicts of interest—the only success that matters is yours.
Planning for retirement can be complex. It requires more than just setting money aside—there are a lot of questions to ask, such as where do you want to live, how do you plan to spend your time, and are there any dreams that you would like to fulfill? These are all made more complicated by the fact that saving for retirement should not mean giving up on living comfortably now. A certified planner will take a look at your current situation and resources to devise the best plan to achieve your goals without sacrificing your lifestyle. They will then monitor to see how you are progressing on your plan and help you to change it whenever necessary.
The amount of money you make isn’t always the important part; instead, what’s important it the amount you actually keep. If there is one thing we have all learned from the last few years, it is that unexpected disasters can wipe out years of savings and investments in an instant. Even worse than a stock market collapse or a financial recession, though, is a lawsuit.
Many people believe that they would have to do something illegal—or at the very least, extremely irresponsible—to face a lawsuit that would put all of their assets at risk. Unfortunately, this is not at all true. Even a completely frivolous lawsuit can become financially devastating if a runaway jury chooses to grant an absurd award.
Perhaps even worse is the fact that even should you succeed in proving your innocence, the legal costs and the time spent defending yourself can still lead to financial devastation.
This is why asset protection is so important. Certified financial planning will help you to devise strategies that ensure your assets are shielded from harm. This starts with a diversified investment portfolio to protect your assets from the next financial downturn. Next, they will find ways to protect your assets from any claims using a variety of techniques such as diverse entities, including trusts and LLCs, and basing your assets in different jurisdictions. A well-designed asset protection plan can prevent losses and in many cases prevent frivolous suits from ever moving forward in the first place.
There is another aspect to protecting your assets: insurance. The right insurance can protect you from devastating financial harm, but being over-insured will just drain your finances for no benefit. Certified financial planning will help you to assess your needs and find the right types of protection, which should then be periodically reviewed to help ensure that the level of protection remains appropriate.
Though a certified financial planner will not sell you insurance coverage directly, they can help you choose the plans that are right for you. For most clients, this will entail basic necessary policies such as property and casualty, health, disability, and life insurance; however, for some clients, other additional policies might be appropriate, such as long-term care insurance and umbrella policies. These are often complex policies with many terms and considerations that a certified financial planner can help you to sort through to decide what is right for you.
A certified financial planner is neither a tax attorney nor a tax accountant, but they do know how to incorporate tax planning into an overall financial plan. Certified financial planning will help you to employ tax planning strategies, and because tax laws can be complex and are always changing, when it is necessary, your financial planner will work with tax accountants and attorneys to keep your plans current.
A legitimate certified financial planner will ensure that you stay on the right side of the law and employ legitimate strategies to prevent paying any more than your fair share of taxes. This means starting with basic strategies such as taking full advantage of all deductions to which you are entitled and using your retirement plans to their full potential.
For those with a more complicated financial situation, such as business owners and people with significant assets, there are many more complex strategies that can be employed. For business owners, this includes using deferred compensation and defined benefit plans. In many cases, the use of corporations and trusts can also help to prevent unnecessary tax liabilities.
A well-planned investment strategy is also critical to avoid unnecessary tax burdens. A certified financial planner will help you to optimize your investment portfolio to minimize your tax burden. This will not involve unethical strategies such as offshore accounts, but will focus on long-term gains to avoid the costs of constant trading and using tax harvesting strategies to turn losses into future tax savings. Certified financial planning will ensure that you pay your share, but never any more than that.
Estate planning is always one of the most difficult and emotional parts of financial planning. This is why many people turn to a certified financial planner: for help in making difficult choices on these sensitive topics.
A certified financial planner can help ensure that the estate plans you craft truly represent the legacy that you want to leave behind. In some cases, a simple will may be enough, but in other cases, more complex techniques such as trusts may be appropriate. These can avoid a considerable tax burden and also ensure the greatest degree of privacy. They can also help you craft plans in case of incapacitation to grant another individual power of attorney in order to manage your affairs.
There are a number of tools to ensure that your own values are carried forward in your estate plans, such as ethical wills and letters of instruction. A certified financial planner can help you with the many emotional decisions involved in estate planning, while also helping you make choices that will pass down not only your money and assets but the beliefs and values that you hold dear.