Whether you are 45 or 75, it’s never too early – or too late — to plan for your retirement. We help you answer the important question we hear from all our clients: “Am I going to be okay?” Our retirement planning begins by helping you define what that means for you and some of your financial goals. We ask a series of questions to help you do that. Here are a few to consider:
- When do you want to retire?
- Are there major charitable bequests you want to make?
- Is there education funding for children or grandchildren that you want to help with?
- Do you have a target amount you want to leave in your estate?
We take the answers to these and other questions and calculate what kind of retirement planning you need. The proprietary tool we use to illustrate all of this is called the Observatory. Much like a real observatory, it allows us to look far into the distance at your financial future and estimate how you might achieve your goals.
The Observatory, updated regularly, is a great way to determine the financial impact of a goal or decision you are faced with, yet the emotional part of each decision is equally important. We help you think through all of those decisions and reach the best retirement plan for you.
The primary objective in estate planning is to protect you and your financial assets both during and after your life. What makes a successful estate plan is different for each individual, and is affected by many considerations. Here are a few to keep in mind.
- Who should handle important matters in your life if you are unable to?
- How will you be sure that your wishes are fulfilled and your assets distributed to your heirs in the manner you prefer?
As we help you put your estate plan together, we aim to answer these and other important questions:
- How do I minimize tax implications?
- What is the best way to donate to charity and leave assets to charity at my death?
- How can I transfer assets to my family without losing control of them while I am alive?
- How can I avoid legal hassles for my loved ones when I’m gone?
Once your estate planning structure is designed and legal documents are executed, it is vital that you align your assets appropriately to conform with the estate plan, including properly titling ownership of assets and accurately naming beneficiaries to corollate with the legal documents in place.
We can help you be careful and specific, so your assets are distributed exactly as you wish.
How do you make your money grow?
That depends on your ability to take risks based on your financial goals, both short- and long-term. Risk and return are two sides of the same coin: Return is the payment you should expect for accepting risk. Risk is the fact that those returns are not guaranteed.
As you consider an investment strategy, consider your ability – and willingness — to take risks:
- How stable are your sources of income?
- What is your short-term need for cash?
- Do you have options available if something happens and you need to change your plan quickly?
Once we assess your willingness to take risks, we make decisions about asset allocation based on the primary building blocks of investing: Cash, bonds, and stocks. Diversification is the only way to reduce your risk in an uncertain world; we will counsel you on your exact allocation strategy.
Income taxes are some of the largest expenditures of your lifetime, so planning exactly how you’ll manage your tax exposure is very important. As a firm full of CPAs, we take special pride in the many ways we can help you avoid nasty surprises. Because if you make a mistake in this area, the cost can be massive.
Here are some of tax challenges you may face:
- You have a complicated compensation package.
- You receive some form of equity-based compensation such as company stock plans, stock options, ESOP plans, Employee Stock Purchase Plans or various forms of deferred compensation.
- You have zero withholding taxes occurring once you are retired or no longer employed.
- You are no longer employed and live on the proceeds from your investments, which creates taxable income in various amounts and at various points during the year from sales of securities and distributions from retirement plans.
Many people only think of taxes once a year, which makes you vulnerable to a tax surprise. For our investment clients, we facilitate tax management strategies all during the year.
The proprietary tool we use to illustrate our financial planning is called the Observatory. Much like a real observatory, it allows us to look far into the distance and estimate the impact of your decisions on your financial future. We use this model as the first line of defense in tax planning.
Working with us to prepare a regular Observatory report requires looking forward and identifying the expected sources of income, decisions to be made and therefore the associated taxes. The Observatory is a wonderful tool to determine the financial impact of any financial goal or decision you are faced with, including income taxes.
TAX MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES
Congratulations! You’ve reached the point in your career where your compensation package is directly tied to the performance of your company. That might mean that you have complicated stock options, deferred payments and other benefits that you must manage carefully to maximize their value.
Consulting with us on both your short- and long-term career and financial goals can ensure that you aren’t surprised by tax liability and that you are ready to take advantage of everything your compensation package offers you.
Our Observatory tool can be a great help here. Much like a real observatory, it allows us to look far into the distance at your financial future and estimate how you might achieve your goals.
Identifying events that could dramatically change your future and the future of your family is part of a sound financial plan. Some of those events include:
- Premature death
- Portfolio risks
- Property casualty risks (primarily the risk of being of sued)
- Need for long-term care
- Risk of mental decline due to dementia, Alzheimer’s, etc.
Insurance is a primary tool we use to deal with these risks and we are ready to quantify the amount and type of coverage that best suits your situation. Other risks may require the use of trusts and other asset protection type vehicles to hold assets. Careful estate planning is also a risk management tool.
Understand, though, that we at Telarray do not sell insurance products. We believe there is an inherent conflict of interest in recommending a product and being paid a commission on that product. Instead, we identify your needs and make a recommendation of the best way to cover the risk, then we assist you with obtaining the coverage the most cost-effective way possible.