The Planner's Perspective: With Estate Planning There Is Always A Plan, Even If It Isn't Yours

It’s true that we will all die at some point, so one would assume that proactively addressing this risk would be a universally accepted concept, however, over half of all Americans still do not have an estate plan. From a legal standpoint you can either die with a plan or without one. What many fail to realize is that if you elect the latter, the state you die in has ‘intestacy laws’ which dictate how your assets are divided whether you would have intended it to happen that way or not. Many families have the good fortune of having one or more competent, healthy and trustworthy children, but intestacy laws do not always work in the way you would assume.
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The Planner's Perspective: Life Planning > Financial Planning

Back in my college psychology class there was a lesson about Maslow’s hierarchy of needs – something I thought I’d never see again after that final exam. However, this lesson has proved incredibly important in understanding life planning, an integral part of the financial planning process. It teaches us that those who have accumulated financial resources may not be looking to evaluate the success of their financial plan simply by looking at a long-term rate of return, and instead, place a higher degree of importance on different intangible measures that directly impact their happiness and sense of self-worth.
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The Planner's Perspective: Communication is Key

Communication is key in any relationship, personal, professional or otherwise. Too often are the lines of communication broken down between family members, especially when it comes to hard or emotional topics such as money and death. We can spend hours discussing the merits of estate planning, but equally as important as having executed a solid estate plan is communicating that plan to those who will be most affected by it. This generally includes not just your spouse, but your children, siblings, parents or others who may have a defined role as beneficiary or fiduciary.
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The Planner's Perspective: It's Not Always About Hitting A Home Run

The average investor has one simple goal – grow the value of the dollars they invest so they are worth more in the future than they are today. While the objective may be simple, the overwhelming amount of information available to individuals can be paralyzing. Furthermore, technology has enabled access to a multitude of investment products and services, many of which may be unsuitable or downright detrimental to the person purchasing them. It’s the main reason professionals have a job and reinforces the need for consistency between your investment plan and overall financial plan.
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The Planner's Perspective: Nervous Investors Have Options, Too

With a recent spike in volatility at the end of 2018 and again in mid-2019, investors may be asking what alternatives are available to complement the securities in their portfolios. Concerns may range from political uncertainty, to valuations, to volatility or a trade war, and it’s not uncommon for there to be many moments in history when investors decide to hit the pause button. Any advisor with a long-term investment philosophy will tell you to tune out the noise and let your money work for you in the market.
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The Planner's Perspective: Planning For Variable Income

Compensation comes in many forms, but the most common form is cash. Many employees are used to getting an annual salary and a periodic bonus, which makes tax and financial planning easier, at least from a cash flow management standpoint. Those who receive significant bonuses, however, are faced with different challenges as variable compensation (commissions, bonuses, etc.) is generally not guaranteed and can vary greatly from period to period.
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The Planner's Perspective: Keeping Up With The Jones's

The ‘keeping up with the Jones’s’ mentality has never been more pervasive than it is today. Before the widespread use of social media, most people didn’t have an idea of what the rest of the world was doing aside from their neighbors, family and friends. With information about others so easily accessible as people continue to openly share details of their personal lives online, it necessitates frequent reality checks about spending, savings and living within your means. Remember, not all of us can live the Kardashian lifestyle.
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With Scope, Broad Can Be Good

It’s rare that someone wakes up in the morning and out of nowhere has a revelation that they need to enlist some professional help to get their financial household in order. Often, people seek out advisory firms after a triggering event such as, marriage, birth, death, retirement, business sale or even after getting whacked with an unexpected tax bill. Other times it is more of a slow burn, where they know they are in over their head (and probably have been for a while) but don’t know where to start.
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