Our wealth advisors are often asked about strategic financial planning, wealth management strategies and investment planning. But all of these questions really boil down to one simple issue: How to achieve financial peace of mind.
Here at Premier, we like to define this desirable state as possessing confidence in your financial future; and while we understand that this concept means different things to different people, we believe that a few common factors can help all investors achieve financial peace of mind. Here are 5 steps to help you reach this worthy goal.
1. Estate Planning Strategies: Forming Your Plan
Create security by working with an estate planning attorney to complete your estate plan which can include items such as a will, a trust, a health care directive and much more. Our family wealth advisors can help you get started by discussing the items and areas that you will need to include in your plan. Working with an attorney who specializes in estate planning strategies will allow you to rest easy, knowing that your assets will go where you want them to and that a trusted executor or trustee will see that your wishes are followed.
2. Work with a Competent, Experienced Tax Professional
When tax time rolls around, as it always does, the last thing you want are surprises. Banish tax uncertainty by working with an experienced, knowledgeable tax professional. Choosing an enrolled agent -- a tax professional that's passed comprehensive exams, adheres to high ethical standards and takes continuing education -- or a CPA is a good bet. A tax professional can also help before financial decisions are made so as to mitigate tax consequences down the road.
3. Work with a Trusted Wealth Advisor
Choosing a wealth advisor is just like choosing a doctor or an attorney; you wouldn't just pick the first name that popped up in an online search without doing a bit of research, first. When it comes to choosing the person that'll be giving you financial advice that impacts your future and security, it's essential to hire an experienced, competent wealth advisor that puts your interests first.
Eliminate both sales pressure and the potential for conflicts of interest by selecting fee only, fiduciary wealth management advisors which typically means they are SEC Registered Investment Advisors with addional training and experience as wealth managers; advisors with educational certification like Certified Financial Planner are a good place to start.. Fiduciaries are legally bound to place your financial interests above their own. In addition, work with an advisor that offers a detailed, transparent accounting of fees and costs, as well as a clear explanation of why they advocate the wealth management strategies that they do.
4. Gain Peace of Mind with Adequate Insurance Coverage
When your insurance needs are met, you'll rest easier at night knowing that your assets and your family are protected. Consider the following types of coverage:
Life insurance (not too much, not too little)
Homeowners and Auto insurance
5. Financial Planning Strategies and Your Retirement
Finally, realize that it's never too soon to plan for retirement; in fact, the earlier, the better. Help yourself make the right financial decisions now for a comfortable future by creating a realistic working budget -- and then adhering to it.
Remember, your money will have to last for the rest of your life. Consider factors such as inflation, healthcare costs, final expenses and estate taxes when preparing for retirement. But above all, live within your means both before and after retirement to ensure that your money will last.