A financial plan is the foundation for attaining one’s financial independence and the path towards achieving this is different for each person. Our disciplined approach starts by first learning about each client’s current financial situation, expectations, values, and goals. Through this process, we are able to provide individualized solutions and create a clear path in helping our clients reach financial independence as our plans take into account all aspects of their financial picture.
In many cases, a financial advisor will create a plan for a client without offering any further guidance. We do not expect our clients to go through several pages of numbers and charts and to then know what steps need to be taken. At Clarity, our financial planners present clients with recommendations and a detailed action plan. Since our goal is to be our clients’ personal CFO, we guide our clients through the process of bringing their plan to reality. As their lives continuously change and with the complexity and ongoing developments pertaining to financial topics, we update our clients’ financial plans on an ongoing basis.
The financial planning process includes the following areas (click on each topic for additional details):
Charitable Strategies | With charitable donations often representing the primary source of funding for many charitable and nonprofit organizations, many find it a priority to contribute to an organization they feel strongly about. These are commonly made in cash, but can also take the form of appreciated securities, real estate, and other assets or services. A charitable donation also provides you with an income tax deduction.
Estate Planning >
Estate Planning | Being one of the only two certain things in life, it is crucial to think about what will happen to your assets and who should receive the things you own after you pass away. An estate plan can be as simple as having a will and naming a beneficiary for your 401(k), or as complicated as having several trusts for different purposes in addition to your will.
Retirement Planning >
Retirement Planning | In the simplest sense, retirement planning is the planning one does to be prepared for life after paid work ends, not just financially but in all aspects of life. The non-financial aspects include such lifestyle choices as how to spend time in retirement, where to live, when to completely quit working, etc. A holistic approach to retirement planning considers all of these areas.
Education Funding >
Education Funding | With education costs rising at a rate higher than inflation, it is important to establish an investment strategy early to fund these costs. This entails estimating future costs, assessing current resources available for these goals, and establishing a savings strategy to meet in potential shortfall.
Income Tax Planning >
Income Tax Planning | Tax planning encompasses many different aspects, including the timing of both income and purchases and other expenditures, selection of investments and types of retirement plans, as well as filing status and common deductions. Any funds used to pay taxes are funds that will not be available to meet future goals, so a tax-efficient strategy in your financial plan is essential.
Investment Management >
Investment Management | The professional management of various securities and assets is a vital part of ensuring one’s investments are adequate to fulfill future goals. One’s risk tolerance and time horizon are necessary to establish the proper asset allocation and diversification to protect the portfolio from various risks.
Insurance Analysis >
Insurance Analysis | Risk management is a two-step process that involves determining what risks exist in a financial plan and then handling those risks in a way best-suited to your situation. These risks may include death, disability, or a catastrophic event. In order to reduce the potential financial effects of these risks, insurance is a key aspect of a successful financial plan.
Debt Management >
Debt Management | Goals such as buying a home, starting a business, or buying an investment property often could not become realities without some form of debt. However, this debt comes at a price which needs to be managed in order to prevent it from having a negative effect on your long term goals.
Cash Flow Management >
Cash Flow Management | Cash flow management, planning for cash inflows and outflows, is an essential skill in ensuring future goals are attainable. This also involves planning for potential and unforeseeable changes in cash flow including a disability or loss of a job.