Once you reach the middle stages of life, you’ll likely need a realistic and comprehensive written financial plan every year. We get you started with a complete financial plan or review your existing one.
How We Can Help
We understand that your overall quality of life is inextricably linked with the well-being of your personal finances. By looking at your comprehensive financial situation, we can help you to make financial decisions that benefit both.
Emergency Fund Management
All clients need an emergency fund in place that helps them sleep well at night. This number is different for everyone and we help clients determine their needs.
Our detailed analysis of current income and current net worth will help clients determine what they need to invest to be able to enable the retirement they desire. All IRAs, 401ks, 403cs are modeled to projected future value and income.
Ankerstar Wealth provides detailed analysis of current and project college savings programs to help parents determine their college savings needs. This calculation can often be complicated by having multiple in college at one time. Money Guide Pro specifically addresses this.
A bit of careful planning can help to eliminate the worry of running out of money. Wherever you are on your road to retirement, it’s never too early to start planning. Even if you feel that you got a late start, planning now can still make a real difference.
We have helped our clients carefully consider their strategy for retirement:
Most Americans will rely on their retirement accounts to provide income in retirement.
We focus on two things — making sure you have enough upon reaching retirement and then converting what you have into the desired cash flow stream in retirement.
Developing an investment plan is a vital step in pursuit of your retirement goals. With our help, you will learn how to build an investment portfolio that’s right for you, in which assets to invest, and how to manage risk.
We’ll guide you through the complex maze of pensions, allowances and benefits available from the Social Security and Medicare.
We explain how to qualify for maximum entitlements by choosing the optimum social security strategy.
Tax and Retirement Income Strategies
How to choose between retirement investment options and the tax and social security implications? We are able to assist in making the right decisions using cutting-edge financial planning software.
We can also help you to evaluate the different types of retirement income products available.
Like Retirement Planning, which has to commence long before you enter into retirement, Education Planning (for yourself or your children) needs to occur well before mature learners or young scholars are poised to embrace higher education. Luckily, there are a number of government-encouraged educational planning tools that are available to individuals and families.
What We Can Do for You
We will help you take the guess-work out of planning for future educational needs – whether it’s for yourself or for a family member (child, ward, grandchild). We do this by creating a forward-looking financial plan of estimated education costs and expenditure. Our team will help you put tax-advantaged strategies in place that are in accordance with a myriad of Federal and State laws.
There are a number of Educational Savings Accounts (ESAs) and Educational Savings Plans (ESPs) available to Americans. And while some ESPs allow you to set up an unlimited number of accounts, not all expenditure incurred is “qualified” under every plan – the rules might differ. Our Educational Planning experts will help you make sense of some of those ESAs, including:
- 529 Plans: Also called “qualified tuition plans”, these are state or educational institution-sponsored tax-advantaged savings vehicles meant to encourage individuals and families to save for the future education costs of a beneficiary (child, grandchild)
- Prepaid Tuition Plans and Educational Savings Plans: These are two variants of 529 Plans that we’ll help you understand. While Prepaid Plans allow you to purchase credits or units towards future educational costs, Educational Savings Plans are like an investment savings account, but where funds are designated solely for future educational expenses. Both variants of the 529 Plan have specific guidelines and rules that are sometimes difficult to understand and follow. Our experts will help you make sense of it all when deciding which of these are right for you and your family
- Coverdell Education Savings Accounts (Coverdell ESA): These are educational savings that can be built over time using a custodial or trust structure. The sole purpose of such an account is for paying approved educational expenses on behalf of a designated beneficiary to the account
- Navigating the ESA landscape: We’ll help you decide which of these ESAs are ideal for your needs. For instance, some contributions might not be deductible, while other ESA accounts are income-tested – you are only able to set them up based on income thresholds
*529 College Savings Plans
Investors should consider the investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses associated with municipal fund securities before investing. This information is found in the issuer’s official statement and should be read carefully before investing.
Investors should also consider whether the investor’s or beneficiary’s home state offers any state tax or other benefits available only from that state’s 529 Plan. Any state-based benefit should be one of many appropriately weighted factors in making an investment decision. The investor should consult their financial or tax advisor before investing in any state’s 529 Plan.
Through developing a personalized investment strategy, diversification, and avoiding short-term distractions, we aim to help create and preserve your wealth so you reach your financial goals.
Our Investment Planning Process
- Create a point-in-time snapshot: We analyze where you are in terms of your current portfolio. In some cases, we can provide immediately actionable steps that benefit you; like leveraging tax-selling or profit-harvesting opportunities.
- Develop an investment strategy: From your snapshot, we’ll draw up personalized investment strategies that will help you reach your financial objectives. This may be accomplished by building upon your existing portfolio or proposing a set of tax-efficient investments that are aligned with your personal financial goals.
- Implement your plan: Our dynamic approach to investment planning evolves with your changing circumstances. We’ll guide and advise you on investment plan transitions as you go through life and lifestyle changes.
- Consult and counsel: Ours is an ongoing partnership. Throughout our relationship with you, we’ll review your investments, keep you informed, and communicate constantly with you about proposed changes and potential risks or opportunities for your investments.
We help our clients through long-term Tax Planning strategies – and that’s exactly how we’ll help you. Tax planning does not commence on the date of filing your tax returns. Prudent tax planning often starts long before – sometimes even before you make investment decisions that trigger a tax liability. We can help devise tax planning strategies that minimize taxes, maximize tax refunds and guide you to optimize your tax-friendly investment returns.
How We Can Help:
- While the best advice you can get is: Save. Save. Save…as much as you can. The next best advice is: Be careful how you invest those savings. Our Tax Planning advice will include considerations on whether you should invest with pre-tax dollars, or post-tax income. How you invest, and in what types of vehicles, can make a significant difference to the taxes you pay. Our Tax specialists can help you navigate through the various advantages and disadvantages of choosing one strategy over another.
- When planning for tax impact on your income, we’ll also plan for the types of income that you might receive: Dividends, Interest, Annuity payments, Capital Gains, Inheritances, Employer or Government benefits. While all of these are potential income streams in retirement and before, each has different tax planning implications
- Our tax specialists will help you foresee impacts to your future net wealth. If left unplanned, your net wealth could be diminished due to likely claw-backs to benefits, and the possibility of erosion to your estate through substantial taxes.
- We’ll help you mitigate possible tax impacts when it comes to your estate. A good tax plan will ensure that future generations do not bear the burden of taxes due to the legacy you leave them. But to ensure a tax-advantage inheritance to your beneficiaries, you need to put appropriate plans in place NOW – and that’s where our Tax Planning specialists can help.
Having an estate plan is paramount in ensuring your estate is handled according to your wishes. Together with your estate planning attorney, we can assist in drafting documents and reviewing your situation so your estate benefits the people and charities you care about most.
What We Can Do For You
- Will education: We can help you understand how to structure your will so your legal team can create a document that reflects how you want your estate disposed of and distributed. From a simple will to a testamentary will, or joint wills and living wills – our team will help you navigate the complexities of this document so you won’t need to stress over specifics.
- Creating Powers of Attorney (POA): Whether it’s to manage specific assets, such as investments, accounts, and real estate holdings, or to help others make health care decisions if you are ill or incapacitated, you need a POA in place to ensure your wishes are followed. A well-crafted POA will also smoothen how decisions about your final arrangements, and those related to your estate, are taken care of once you pass.
- Choosing executors: The executors of your estate wield strong powers that determine how your estate is handled upon your passing. We’ll help you understand the importance of choosing an executor(s) for your estate, and what criteria you should consider when appointing someone to discharge this all-important role – especially if minor children/guardians are involved.
- Designating beneficiaries: If you don’t choose beneficiaries for your assets carefully, your estate assets might end up in the hands of individuals that you never intended should benefit from them. A well-thought-out estate plan ensures the needs of your dependents are taken care of.
- Minimizing estate taxes and probate fees: Taxes, fees, and other levies have the potential to erode a large part of your estate before your beneficiaries see a cent. Careful planning can reduce the impact taxes and fees may have.
- Estate protection: Even after you pass, many of your assets – such as long-term investments and property – will likely need protection and management until they are disposed of and their proceeds are distributed to your beneficiaries. In the absence of an estate plan, your assets will likely not receive the type and level of protection those assets require.
- Distribute your legacy: Our professionals can support you in synchronizing your estate plans and your will, so your assets are distributed in line with your final wishes.
Planning for Business Owners
Many business owners spend so much time managing their business financial matters that their personal finances can suffer. They are often unsure where to invest outside of their business for diversification.
How We Can Help
- Analyze your current levels of taxation and how to become more tax efficient
- Review your business plan and cash flow statement to determine the overall health of the business
- Create or review your current business valuation and offer several exit strategy options for leadership
- Help the client understand how accumulating wealth within the business becomes part of their overall wealth portfolio. We use MoneyGuidePro to show the client how their assets are allocated.
Good planning helps you identify and plan for all the risks involved in every aspect of your financial life. Thoughtful Insurance Planning helps mitigate the risks you can’t foresee or those that you are unable to plan around!
Our Insurance Planning service covers:
- Comprehensive Review: We’ll review existing plans, if you have them, to ensure they continue to fit your needs. But if you don’t have an insurance plan, we’re here to advise and guide you on which plans make best sense for you and your family.
- Home, Car and other asset insurance: It is our belief that you shouldn’t over-insure, but you should never un-insure or under-insure either. The type (and value) of your home, car and other assets will determine what insurance, and how much of it, you should buy.
- Death-event security: If you have people that depend upon you being around for many years to come, like your spouse/partner, minor children, aged parents, we’ll advise on what life insurance policies best meet your needs.
- Retirement income through annuities: Sometimes, the best way to guarantee retirement income is the simplest – Annuities. Of course, these products vary in terms and pay-out options and conditions. Our experts will help make sense of it all!
- Critical illness protection: You may be in the best of health now, but illness has a way of sneaking up on the fittest amongst us. Let us help you determine if you need to insure against a critical illness and, if so, under what terms.
- Disability and long-term care protection: Accidents, at home, at work, during your commute, can leave you severely disabled and financially stressed. As can debilitating illness! We’ll help you insure against such unexpected turn of events.
- Travel insurance: Sometimes, even the safest of travel plans can turn into nightmares. Whether it’s an illness or accident overseas, a missed flight, lost baggage or natural disasters that interrupt your plans – if you are insured, you’ll likely be less stressed about dealing with the consequences.
- Health, dental and wellness insurance: With family and personal medical care becoming more expensive by the day, it may be prudent to cover yourself and your family through appropriate health insurance plans.
- Funding children’s education: Even though your children are of tender age, sometimes insuring their lives may make good sense in the long-term, especially in helping to pay for college or university. Paying just a few hundred dollars a month in premiums now, could result in a windfall payment by the time your child is of college or university-going age. We’ll help you decide if this is a good option for you by doing the math!
- Insuring estate and succession plans: When structured correctly, insurance can be a great estate planning tool as well, especially when it comes to shielding your beneficiaries from paying taxes or fees on their inheritance. Partners in business may also use insurance policies as a great financial tool to aid in succession planning. We’ll help you structure an insurance plan that makes sense for your needs.
*The cost and availability of life insurance depend on factors such as age, health, and the type and amount of insurance purchased. Before implementing a strategy involving life insurance, it would be prudent to make sure that you are insurable by having the policy approved. As with most financial decisions, there are expenses associated with the purchase of life insurance. Policies commonly have mortality and expense charges. In addition, if a policy is surrendered prematurely, there may be surrender charges and income tax implications.