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Financial Planning

Retirement Planning
Retirement planning encompasses all aspects of a client’s life and is the building block to financial independence. We work with clients to develop a clear “road map” to financial success based on their goals, objectives and resources. Our advisors then implement and monitor strategies to help them achieve their goal of living a financially secure retirement. Financial planning is a structured, comprehensive process, tailored around a client's individual situations, but often encompasses the following steps:

The first step when working with clients is establishing and defining the scope of the relationship. This helps identify the services to be provided, duration of the engagement, compensation and the responsibilities of both parties.

In step two, our advisors need to understand a client's thought process when it comes to saving, spending, lifestyle, goals and objectives before ever making a recommendation. Collecting qualitative and quantitative data allows our advisors to understand the reasoning behind a client's past decisions and assists them in making recommendations in the future.

Step three is analyzing and evaluating a client’s financial situation. This allows our advisors to determine the likelihood a client will reach their stated objectives. In this step it is necessary to make reasonable assumptions such as retirement age(s), life expectancy(ies), income need(s), risk factors, time horizon, inflation rates, tax rates and investment returns. These activities and assumptions provide the foundation for determining strengths and weaknesses of a client’s current financial situation and the necessary course of action.

In step four, our advisors present a client’s financial plan and provide strategies and recommendations to help achieve their financial goals.

In step five, our advisors assist the client with implementing strategies to help meet their financial goals. This may include selecting and securing products and/or services, coordinating with other professionals (attorney, CPA, etc.) and determining the division of activities between us and the client. Most of our clients implement their plan with our advisors, but are under no obligation to do so.

The final step is monitoring the plan. This is done to ensure implemented strategies are working effectively. Also, monitoring a plan may uncover strategies that may be advantageous in the future.

The financial planning process may vary slightly from client-to-client based on complexity and services chosen.

Tax Planning Strategies*
Tax planning is not as much about making money as it is about keeping the money you’ve already earned. Our advisors offer proactive tax strategies instead of recommendations after the fact. They review clients’ past tax returns, conduct tax analysis for future withholdings and develop strategies to minimize payroll and social security taxes. On the investment side, our advisors capture losses on an annual basis, strive to minimize capital gains & ordinary income and recommend distribution plans from clients’ various investment accounts.

*Tax planning services are not offered through nor supervised by Lincoln Investment.

College Planning
As college costs continue to rise, appropriate planning has never been more important. Clients are provided with college cost projections for specific schools, accumulation strategies 529 College Savings Plans, Coverdell Educational Savings Accounts, Savings Bonds, UGMA & UTMA Accounts, etc.), financial aid assistance and advice relating to various programs to pay for college (loans, grants, scholarships, etc.).

Estate Planning
Estate planning goes well beyond making a will. It involves strategies to help protect you & your family and also to pass wealth from one generation to the next in the most tax-efficient, effective manner. Important decisions and strategies need to be considered, including; who to name as guardian, trustee, executor and attorney-in-fact, whether artificial life support is desired, whether a living trust, tax avoidance trust or special needs trusts are necessary and how best to structure charitable giving and family business transitions.

Employer-Sponsored Plans
Oftentimes clients are faced with making important decisions within tight deadlines about their company benefit plans. These decisions should not be taken lightly. Our advisors assist clients with stock grants, stock options, executive compensation plans (long term incentive plans, deferred compensation, supplemental executive retirement plans, etc.), defined-contribution plans (401(k), 403(b), 457, etc.), defined-benefit plans (traditional pensions, cash balance plans, etc.) and insurance needs (life, disability & long-term care).

Needs Analysis
Insurance is often looked at as a necessary evil; however, it does play an important role in protecting and preserving a client’s health and assets. Our advisors review clients' existing policies and conduct a thorough needs analysis to ensure clients have the appropriate amount and type of coverage. Typical policies reviewed include life, disability, long term care, auto, home, health, and personal umbrella insurance.

Ad Hoc Planning
Our advisors routinely advise and assist clients with complex matters that are “outside the box.” Common situations that arise often include executive compensation packages, business transition and intergenerational planning, to name a few. These services may be billed on an hourly basis or structured as a flat-fee arrangement.

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