If retirement is one of your goals, the "Enough for Life Report" will analyze when and under what other circumstances that goal can be achieved. Should you save more money? Through which tax-favored vehicles? Can your present standard of living be maintained? How aggressively or conservatively should your financial assets be invested to have the highest probability of retiring at the desired time?
Many of our clients are business owners who are unaware of the various types of retirement plans that can be utilized to reach retirement goals. Tax laws are allowing some of our clients to contribute hundreds of thousands of dollars to retirement plans on a pre-tax basis. Each plan has different requirements as to how much can be set aside each year, whether an annual contribution is required, and who in the company must be covered. For those who don't own their own business, we analyze and explain the various choices available through their employer - 401(k), pension, deferred compensation, employee stock purchase plans, and other benefits. Regardless of employer, we help our clients choose their best options for retirement savings.
Those nearing retirement or already in retirement face a period of tremendous uncertainty. After a lifetime of earning income and accumulating assets, clients are faced with having a finite asset base to meet their future living expenses. The assets that have been accumulated must last for the remainder of their lives, which is a daunting proposition in an age of longer life expectancies. Some investment risk must typically be assumed because inflation will erode the purchasing power of a portfolio over time. We build customized portfolios to balance these risks, while educating our clients to the types and levels of risk that they are assuming.
We provide two important services: Estate Planning and Trust Investment Management. First, in conjunction with our client's estate planning attorney, we help analyze and suggest the most appropriate estate planning tools that might be used. We also make sure that our client's personal goals about their heirs, home, business, and philanthropy are at the core of any estate plan drafted. Too often, estate plans are designed only to minimize taxes and not to create vehicles for the continuation of the client's values and legacy to future generations. Second, we are able to manage the trusts and charitable funds that are created in estate plans. We have relationships with several corporate trustees that do not manage investments. In conjunction with our wealth management expertise, this arrangement allows our clients more flexibility than is typical of most corporate trustee relationships.
As part of comprehensive financial planning, we advise our clients on the proper amount and type of insurance for their needs. This advice can cover life, disability, property, automobile, earthquake, hurricane, long-term care, and umbrella liability insurance. In addition, we can direct our clients to no-load and low-load insurance products that may not be available through the typical insurance agent. Because we don't sell any insurance ourselves, our advice is unbiased.
Our clients often own life insurance products, including whole life, term life, variable life, universal life, and/or annuities. Each policy has a unique cost structure, and many of the policies' fees are not obvious. Unfortunately, the combination of very loose disclosure laws and a competitive sales environment has led to the recommendation and purchase of many insurance products that are not in the client's best interests. While there are good reasons for owning life insurance, we often find that our clients can accomplish many of their goals in a more cost-effective way than with the insurance they currently own.
Philanthropy and Charitable Giving
Many of our clients are passionate about their communities and the world at large. They make personal and financial commitments to organizations that improve people’s lives, seek to find cures for disease, and provide solutions to intractable problems, among others.
Abacus has significant expertise in assisting clients with tax-intelligent philanthropic strategies. We are able to advise on tax-appropriate vehicles to use to accomplish a client's philanthropic objectives, as well as which assets make the most sense to use for funding such a vehicle. In addition, we have relationships within the community that can help clients identify the charities with whom they wish to partner in the pursuit of achieving their philanthropic goals.
Concentrated Stock Planning
Because we have clients who are either executives or are on the boards of Fortune 1000 companies, as well as successful start-ups, Abacus has significant expertise in the tax and investment strategy involved in concentrated stock and stock options. We are familiar with 10b5-1 plans, Rule 144 restrictions, incentive and non-qualified stock option plans, and deferred compensation, and are thereby able to effectively converse with corporate general counsel to navigate our way around complicated issues for insiders. Concentrated stock offers incredible opportunities for reward as well as great risks to its owners. Obtaining planning from an expert in conjunction with your CPA and counsel is essential.