Building your lifestyle protection plan

There are three matters which must be examined thoughtfully and with prudence because they form the core of your financial prosperity. The first of these is establishing how much you’ll need in annual income as you prepare for retirement, the second is resolving how large your investment portfolio will need to be, and the third is deciding the sale price of your business. All three are the sum that becomes your retirement security. Think of this process as a metaphor. You have an accordion that will play a beautiful song, but to get the sound to come out right, you have to squeeze here, push there, and press all the right buttons at exactly the right moment while balancing the box on your knee and singing in accompaniment with a smile! It could be a bit tricky; and it’s so much easier when you have an accordion master helping you. This accordion is your Lifestyle Protection Plan. In order to make a joyful sound, all the financial aspects of your life must be in accord.                           The preceding passage is an excerpt from “Exit Insight: Getting to ‘Sold!’” by author Joseph M. Maas of Synergetic Finance. We’ll continue this discussion in our next post. For more information on this topic, contact Synergetic Finance today or visit Merrell Publishing or Amazon.com to purchase a copy of the book for just $24.95, or $9.99 for the Kindle...

Financial implications of marrying later in life

We always enjoy hearing that our clients have found a special partner to share their lives with, whether they are 30 year old business owners or 60 year old millionaires. When people marry later in life, however, there are financial implications that should be thought through. Here are just a few areas to consider: Prior commitments: If your new partner is divorced, he or she may have financial obligations. In the case of divorce, for example, your new partner may have been ordered to pay half of his or her retirement fund to the former spouse. If your partner has adult children, how will your marriage impact them financially? Will you need to update your will to reflect the change? Also, if you have college age children, will you pay the tuition jointly or alone? Prenup: Whether one or both partners are financially well off, it is worth considering a prenuptial agreement should things not work out. This can be a sensitive subject, because who wants to think negatively about the relationship when you’re about to start a life together? But it is a subject you can’t ignore. If either of you has substantial assets, consult an attorney to decide how assets would be divided should the marriage end within a specified time period. Assets: In addition to traditional assets like homes and cars, talk to your financial advisor about other assets like insurance policies and how they will be affected by a new marriage. For example, if you have a life insurance policy that is part of your estate plan, will you add your new spouse as a...

Coming soon: 401(k) Insight: Getting to “Retired!”

We’re excited to announce that our next book 401(k) Insight: Getting to “Retired!” is coming out soon. Co-authored by 401(k) experts Joseph M. Maas and John A. Flavin of Synergetic Finance, the second in the Insight Series from Merrell Publishing will tell business owners and employees everything they need to know about 401(k) plans. Employers will learn how to create and manage a plan on behalf of their employees; employees will learn how to use their company’s 401(k) plan to help them enjoy retirement. Watch our blog for details about the book’s release and how you can purchase a copy....

Insurance advisor and policyholder responsibilities

Insurance is not a very glamorous topic to discuss, but it is an important one. Continued from our Sept. 4 post, we’re going to discuss the responsibilities of your insurance advisor as well as your responsibilities as the policyholder. Responsibilities of your insurance advisor: Create, recommend, and execute an insurance strategy that is consistent with your estate’s objectives, time restrictions, risk acceptance, guidelines, and limitations. Recommend appropriate insurance companies. Counsel you about the recommended selection and allocation of insurance assets. Continuously monitor the performance of your insurance assets. Recommend changes as necessary to meet your portfolio’s goals. Be available for meetings as necessary, and at your request. Prepare and discuss periodic reports. Your responsibilities: Observe the progress of your insurance portfolio and be alert about the progress toward your goals. Be cognizant of the insurance policies’ objectives and how they serve your plan. Discuss and instruct your advisor to make appropriate changes to the plan, and approve or disapprove of your advisor’s recommendations; be engaged. Provide your advisor with information about your financial circumstances and risk acceptance; be sure to notify your advisor about changes to your information. Read, understand and ask questions about the information in your insurance policies’ contracts. You are responsible for exercising your rights, as attained through the insurance policy purchases, and through your agreement with your advisor. If you have any questions about the roles that your independent insurance advisor or you play in working toward your short-term and long-term financial goals, it is important to discuss them openly as soon as possible. Confused? Have questions? We can help! Contact Synergetic Finance today with...

Designing a life insurance portfolio

In previous posts, we’ve discussed the importance and benefits of using life insurance as part of your long-term financial plan. Life insurance is a flexible, financial tool that can help you protect your assets and reduce your risk. It is particularly useful as an estate planning tool. Once you and your independent insurance advisor have discussed your options, we encourage you to: Outline your insurance strategy in writing. Develop a portfolio of diversified insurance policies that will provide short-term and long-term protection at acceptable levels of risk. Delineate risk protection in the insurance portfolio. Recommend an allocation strategy for insurance policies. Create guidelines for the selection of insurance companies and diversification of insurance assets. Identify evaluation criteria for assessing the insurance portfolio’s performance. Promote continuous and effective communication between the advisor and the client. In a future post, we will discuss the responsibilities of a good insurance advisor as well as your responsibilities as the insured or policyowner. In the meantime, we encourage you to contact us with any questions or to view past articles on the subject. Life insurance: the basics 7 surprising benefits of life insurance To your success,           Joseph M. Maas, CFA, CVA, ABAR, CM&AA, CFP®, ChFC, CLU®, MSFS, CCIM President of Synergetic Finance...