What is Financial Planning?
People don’t always know what financial planning is, or why or when they need a financial plan. Sure, retirement is most often the impetus to call a financial planner. Learning how to save and invest for the future are good reasons to seek help too. But what if you were thinking about changing careers, living in Europe for a year, or selling one house to buy another?
All of these decisions could benefit from financial analysis. Chances are, the conversations you have with your financial planner on these subjects will have an important influence on the outcome and the sustainability of your financial future.
Creating the future you want, and doing so in a way that reduces risk and increases your sense of security are what financial planning is all about.
Financial Planning Topics to Consider
At Stoffer Wealth Advisors, we work with you to design a financial plan that’s right for you. Together we look at your whole financial picture, taking a systematic approach. This will allow you to make informed choices about your financial future which are in alignment with your values and goals.
We will take into consideration all the following topics and how they may relate to your financial planning decisions:
Spending and Savings Plans
The most important variable in a financial plan is how much you spend each year. Developing a spending and savings plan that is right for you is a key component of a sound financial plan.
Owing to the variability of inflation, investment returns and unexpected life events, looking 20 to 30 years into the future can be tricky. With the help of the most up-to-date software we can analyze potential scenarios, and make reasonable projections to help you make smart decisions for your retirement and for your future.
Investment Analysis and Asset Allocation
Asset allocation (the percentages of your investment portfolio that you have allocated to each of the major categories of investments, e.g., stocks, bonds, real estate, cash, etc.) determines how much risk you assume and how much your portfolio is likely to grow over time. Asset allocation is usually decided by looking at risk. How much can you stomach and how much can you afford? These are critical considerations when managing a retirement portfolio.
Planning for Social Security
Sometimes circumstances dictate that you need to begin taking Social Security at age 62. But, if you can wait a few years the rewards can be worth the wait. Married couples have many options that a financial planner can help evaluate. Sometimes the choice to wait can mean tens of thousands of dollars extra over your lifetimes.
Risk Management and Insurance Analysis
Risk management and Insurance analysis are key elements of financial planning, especially if you’re married and you count on both of your incomes for retirement. What happens if one of you dies prematurely? More importantly, how does it impact the financial security of your surviving spouse? Every married person should to know the answer to this question…even though it is difficult to ask or to even imagine.
Preparing for Health Expenses and Long Term Care
Health expenses and long term care are expensive, and potentially damaging – sometimes catastrophic – to your financial situation. The most challenging scenario is when a family member transitions to a skilled nursing facility where the average cost nationwide is almost $100,000 per year. This can have a devastating effect on a family’s savings and can eventually leave the surviving family member unable to afford his/her care in the future.
Employee Pensions and Retirement Benefits
Pension payout options and retirement benefits seem to have become more complicated over the years. How do you make an informed choice? If your spouse outlives you, how much of a benefit will the surviving spouse need? The more you want your survivor to have, the less you will receive in benefits today. Once you make your selection, payments are locked in for the life of your pension. We can help you to decide on the course that is best for you.
Giving can be an important part of people’s experience and enjoyment of their wealth. People often have heartfelt stories about how they chose their favorite charitable causes. Giving can be such a source of joy! While charitable giving has beneficial tax consequences there are complexities that you will want to be aware of. This particularly applies to those who have inherited or gifted stocks. Consulting your financial planner could save you unwelcome surprises.
Everyone’s situation is unique. As financial planners, we use a step-by-step process to examine and analyze your current financial situation. Taking into consideration what is most meaningful to you, we offer our expertise and experience to help you make the best decisions about your financial future.
Contact us for a complimentary session about your financial plan and your future.
Financial Planning Fees
Paying for a financial plan can be worth every penny. People spend a considerable amount of time and energy worrying about how to plan for their future. Having solid answers and a clear path forward can offer tremendous peace of mind. Most people also want to avoid costly mistakes that could jeopardize their current financial well-being. We’re happy to discuss our financial planning fees with you and you’re also welcome to check out our fees here.