Financial Planning

Working together to build your financial plan, we will get a comprehensive picture of where you currently are, identify your goals and outline a path to reach them.  I will pinpoint risks that could get in the way of reaching your goals and implement strategies to reduce or eliminate them.  Over the course of our engagement we will work through the different areas of your financial plan, starting with the items most relevant to you, but making sure we cover all areas of your financial life.

Case Studies

Geoff and Mary have been saving their whole lives, recently launched their children and are settling into the empty nester routine, although they dream of retiring as soon as possible.  Geoff has historically handled the finances and has done endless calculations which say they can afford to retire next year.  However, Mary is more conservative and doesn’t believe retirement at 45 is possible.  Luckily, we were able to work together to prepare a plan and confirm that Geoff isn’t crazy and that Mary should feel comfortable with retiring because they have more than enough saved!

We prepared a cash flow analysis showing their current expenses and identified how their expenses would change with retirement.  We reviewed the implications of retiring at age 45, especially with regards to healthcare and retirement account withdrawals.  We also discussed how they would spend their time in early retirement, given that their friends would still be working.

We reviewed their investments and made sure they were allocated appropriately, both from a risk tolerance perspective and with regards to their cash needs.  We also created a plan to consolidate their accounts after retirement to simplify their lives as much as possible.

We looked at the opportunities they would have in early retirement to accomplish some tax planning while their incomes are low and to provide access to their retirement accounts.  We confirmed their insurance was appropriate and their estate documents were up to date.

Geoff and Mary came to FI-nancial Planner with apprehension and some marital discord due to Geoff’s self-confidence and Mary’s doubts.  After working together, we confirmed early retirement was possible, but also built a plan that Mary was comfortable with.  They can now focus on planning a celebratory vacation – the first of early retirement!

Shawn and Allison are recently married and have their first child on the way.  They are interested in setting up their lives intentionally so they can save for college and retirement while still enjoying precious time with their family and take the opportunity to travel extensively before their children leave for college.  Ideally, they would like to spend each summer vacation abroad, immersed in local culture.

We created a plan together that incorporated growth in income and expenses as their careers flourish and the family grows.  We reviewed their expenses, identified areas where savings could be found, but also looked at ways to optimize using credit card rewards programs.  We also developed a plan for career growth while making sure their jobs didn’t take over their lives.

Next, we looked at their savings and formulated an investment plan that will allow them to reach their goals while minimizing their inputs and expenses.  By getting their savings on autopilot and to the correct allocation, they won’t need to worry about what is going on in those brokerage accounts anymore.

We reviewed their life insurance and estate documents, coming up with a strategy for implementing updates due to the new addition to their family.  We also discussed an education funding plan, to be implemented after their son is born.  Since they prepare their own taxes, I reviewed the latest return to make sure everything looked good, and they passed the test.

Shawn and Allison wanted to make sure they started their lives on the right path.  By working together, we were able to build out a plan and will work together to implement the plan.  They now feel comfortable with their finances and can focus on building a family and planning for vacations rather than obsessing over their monthly statements.

Alex and Kelly live abroad for Alex’s assignment with his multinational bank.  Due to their accommodations with the bank and frugal nature, they have amassed a substantial nest egg and plan to move back to the US to retire at the end of this assignment in three years.

We created a financial plan together with projections of income and expenses.  We spent time digging into savings and withdrawals for the last years of work and first years of early retirement.  We reviewed their two rental properties and discussed the tax planning opportunities of selling the less profitable property while still working.  We outlined the need for legal documents.  We discussed the merits of different titling for their assets and the impact on their child should they pass away.  We determined no life insurance was needed given their accumulated savings.  We worked through the investment allocation process, taking into consideration each spouse’s risk tolerance and their need for account withdrawals.

In the end, we facilitated the discussion and decision to move back to the US at the end of the three year assignment.  Together we decided that working for two more years before retiring would allow them to get a full grasp on lifestyle expenses in the US, while making a more comfortable transition to retirement before age 45.

In the nine months since we started working together, we have continued to have regular calls to discuss their progress and tackle different elements of the plan.

They haven’t sold the rental property yet, but we continue to monitor the real estate market and the profitability of the property.  We have worked together to interview and select an estate attorney to draft their legal documents.  After that meeting, we reconvened to discuss the pros and cons of different provisions for distributions to their underage son.  We have cancelled their existing life insurance policies and directed the savings towards a larger emergency fund.  We periodically review their asset allocation in the accounts managed by FI-nancial Planner and make sure their employer retirement accounts are also invested appropriately.  Together we look forward to their move back to the US and subsequent retirement.

These case studies are fictional and are designed to illustrate the service offering and what the engagement would look like.  Recommendations and results are particular to an individual’s circumstances.