Here are just a few of the ways our Wealth Management service can help you:
Planning to Make Work Optional
The concept of retirement is changing. Everyone wants the freedom to stop working, but most don’t want to actually stop completely. We call this the “work is optional” chapter of your life. To get there, we help answer some critical questions; Should you save more money? Through which tax-favored vehicles? Can you maintain your present standard of living, and for how long? How aggressively or conservatively should your financial assets be invested to preserve your wealth and maximize your chances of success? What happens if you live much longer than expected? Some of our clients are business owners or post-career consultants, and are unaware of the various types of retirement plans that can help them reduce taxes and reach their retirement goals faster. You may be able to contribute hundreds of thousands of dollars to a properly designed retirement plan. For others, we analyze and explain the various choices available through their employer or industry association—401(k), pension, deferred compensation, employee stock purchase plans and other benefits. We help you choose the best options given your goals, tax bracket and investment choices. Realizing work is now optional means facing a period of tremendous uncertainty, but also great opportunity. After a lifetime of earning income and accumulating assets, you now must start spending the money you have saved, often leading to new found feelings of financial vulnerability. We help make sure that the assets you have accumulated will last for the remainder of your life. For the first time in human history, work is becoming optional several decades before death. This means you need to have the resources and health to really enjoy the fruits of your hard work for 10 to 40 years. We help you plan for the adventures, relationships and community involvement that you now have the time and energy to enjoy.
We offer both estate planning and trust investment management services. First, we analyze and suggest appropriate estate strategies. We make sure that your goals for your heirs, home, business and philanthropy are at the core of your estate plan. Too often, estate plans are designed only to minimize taxes and not to continue your values and legacy to future generations. Second, we manage an estate’s trusts and charitable funds. We have relationships with several corporate trustees that do not manage investments. This arrangement, combined with our wealth management expertise, allows more flexibility and checks and balances than typical corporate trustee relationships.
We help you determine the proper amount of life, disability, property, automobile, earthquake, hurricane, long-term-care and umbrella liability insurance for your needs. We can direct you 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 about how much and what type(s) of insurance to buy is unbiased. You may also own life insurance products, such as 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 many people to purchase insurance products that are not in their 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
Generosity is a cornerstone of a healthy relationship with wealth, yet many people feel ill-advised and often reactive in their giving. We believe in a proactive approach to charitable giving. We first help you understand how much of your wealth is likely to be spent by you during your life. We then discuss with you how much you’d like to see go to heirs, the government or charity. This may be the first time you’ve been shown the impact your wealth can have after you die. We advise on tax-appropriate vehicles to accomplish your philanthropic objectives, as well as which assets make the most sense to use for funding your giving. For many clients, we help set up a low-cost donor-advised fund, which has tax advantages compared with a private family foundation, and with less administrative burden and cost. In addition, we have relationships that can help you identify charities with which to partner in the pursuit of achieving your philanthropic goals.
Concentrated Stock Planning
We have clients who either are executives or are on the boards of Fortune 1000 companies, as well as successful startups. As a result, our team 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 nonqualified 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.
Private Real Estate
We have several clients who have substantial private real estate assets and need objective, expert advice about their properties. This advice includes analysis of your rent roll and operating statements, calculation of expected income yields and overall returns, recommendations for financing and/or disposition strategies, and strategies for diversification and other types of risk reduction.
Many of our clients are entrepreneurs who have accumulated substantial wealth in a privately held business. However, too much of their net worth is often tied up in this illiquid and relatively small asset (compared with publicly traded companies). We help entrepreneurs be as smart with their personal finances as they’ve been in building their businesses. This advice includes key-man protection and buy-sell advice, succession planning, estate and charitable planning prior to sale, helping to maximize value of business, and inter-generational planning and communication.