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...

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...

Working with a business broker

You’ve worked too hard and too long to risk selling your business by yourself. You need a professional who knows how to sell businesses, where to advertise, and has industry contacts. The chances are you’ve not sold many businesses in your career, and now is not the time to learn. Engaging Your Broker’s Services When seeking a broker to sell your business, your due diligence is required in selecting the most suitable firm. Some things to think about: You want to know how your broker will advertise your business and their budget for this purpose. If your sale is confidential, you’ll want to know how the broker will advertise, yet keep your identity unknown. Does your broker think a cash sale is best for you, or a price with terms? Determine that the broker is a good fit for your type of business; has the firm previously sold a business of your type and size, and in your location? Remember that time kills deals…so is the broker experienced in moving the process along rapidly? Be clear about the frequency of contact you expect from your broker; if you want frequent updates, say so. Find out how quickly the broker responds to buyer inquiries, and the protocol for moving prospects forward. Inquire about how many listings the broker has and determine if he or she is too busy to be a good selection for you. Reviewing the engagement proposal Once you have selected the broker you believe will do the best work for you, the broker will require you to sign an engagement letter detailing your working relationship. This letter...

It takes a village…

If you’ve been following our blog, you’ve probably seen a number of posts over the last few months about exit planning, a complex topic that can be difficult to understand. Exit planning in its simplest form is a well-constructed plan to help a business owner to exit his or her business at a specific date in the future. The plan helps the business owner maximize his or her finances which includes increasing the value of the business before its sale or the owner’s retirement. A good exit plan incorporates many moving parts – a personal financial review, a business valuation, an estate plan, a strong investment portfolio and much more. Synergetic Finance possesses expertise in many of these areas, but we welcome the opportunity to work with other professionals to help our clients achieve their financial goals, including estate planning attorneys, CPAs, insurance advisors, business coaches and others. If you fall into this category and want to partner with us to better serve your clients, we’d love the chance to talk with you. Contact us today to set up a consultation call or visit. We also encourage you to take a look at founder and CEO Joseph M. Maas’ book Exit Insight: Getting to “Sold!” to learn more about the exit planning process. You can read excerpts from the book on our blog, or you can purchase your own copy at Merrell Publishing or Amazon.com.   We look forward to hearing from...