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Aligning Your Strategy With Your Goals: The Value of Wealth Planning

Advanced Planning, First Republic Private Wealth Management
January 6, 2022

  • Identify your short- and long-term needs and goals.  
  • Develop a customized road map to help you grow your wealth, plan your legacy and support your community.
  • Enhance your success with well-tested strategies including tax planning, estate planning and asset management.
  • Reevaluate your plans across life stages.

What is wealth planning?

Wealth planning is a process; its goal is to develop a road map to help you meet your short- and long-term goals. Part exploration, part strategizing, planning encompasses all aspects of your financial life. By taking a holistic approach to your unique circumstances, wealth planning can help bring you peace of mind and enhance your success.

The benefits of wealth planning

Once you have a holistic view of your current situation and goals, you can get a better understanding of how your financial decisions — big and small — can impact your financial future. The wealth planning process provides many benefits, including:

  • Clarity about your goals, values and vision — for you, your business and your family
  • Confidence in your financial direction, especially during times of uncertainty and change
  • Guidance from an advisor or planner to help you explore major financial decisions
  • Perspective for a better long-term view of your financial situation and the range of possibilities
  • Measurable results that can help you adjust your course as you move toward your goals

How to get started

Wealth planning starts with gaining clarity about your needs and objectives. To help you think through areas of challenge and opportunity, here are 10 topics the wealth planning process explores.

Considerations

Issues Addressed

Cash Flow

- Can I retire and maintain my current standard of living?
- Can I spend more?
- How much can I transfer to my children, grandchildren or charity without impacting my lifestyle?
- Can I reduce my portfolio’s equity exposure?

Investments

- Does my asset allocation reflect my tolerance for risk and still allow me to achieve my goals?
- Is my portfolio generating the income I need, and is it tax efficient?
- What’s the best way to liquidate a concentrated / low-basis position?
- Are my current expenses reasonable for the services I’m receiving?

Estate Planning

- How are my assets titled during my life?
- How will my assets be distributed upon my death?
- Will my assets be protected from creditors?
- Where will the money come from to pay for estate taxes?
- What happens if I become incapacitated?
- Can someone make medical decisions for me if I am unable to?
- Who will be the guardian for my children if my spouse and I should both pass away?

Life/Disability/LTC Insurance

- Do I need insurance, and if so, how much insurance do I need?
- What type of insurance should I buy?
- Are my current policies still suitable?
- Can I save money by exchanging policies?

Property & Casualty Insurance

- Am I exposed to a substantial loss from theft, destruction, an accident or a lawsuit?
- Do I have adequate coverage on my real estate?
- Are my jewelry and collectibles covered? Is my coverage integrated?
- Should I increase my deductible or have one provider for multiple policies to save money?

Education Funding

- Can I afford to pay for my children’s/grandchildren’s education?
- What are the funding vehicles, and which strategy is best for me?
- Is my current strategy the best strategy for the future?

Wealth Transfer Planning / Charitable Giving

- How much can I give away without impacting my lifestyle?
- What’s the best gifting strategy for me? 
- How will my gifts impact my tax situation?
- How can I equalize my gifts to my children?

Tax Planning

- How can I reduce my current and future federal/state income and estate taxes?

Business Planning

- How do I handle business succession planning, managing liquidity, establishing a qualified retirement plan, retaining/rewarding key employees, offering employee benefits and providing employee education?

“One-offs”

- Should I pay for my new home outright or take out a mortgage?
- What are the tax consequences for exercising employee stock options or when my restricted stocks vest?
- Should I make an 83(b) election?
- Should I convert my IRA to a ROTH?
- Should I defer my compensation? What distribution election should I make?
- What planning should I do for a special needs child?   

What to expect

Once your long- and short-term goals are defined and topics and considerations are reviewed, the holistic planning approach generally includes:

- Establishing or reviewing tax, retirement, legacy and business plans
- Assessing your net worth, insurance and estate plans
- Reviewing your investment allocation, asset protection and cash flow needs

Your wealth planning professional should then deliver a quantitative analysis that includes your net worth and projected net worth, insurance summary, cash flow and estate analysis and projections as well as strategic planning recommendations.

This essential information can help you get a clear view of what the next 5, 10 and 15 years will look like. If you’re anticipating a major transition or considering a large expenditure, that can be addressed as part of your plan as well.

Being intentional about your wealth means having a cohesive planning strategy for your finances — from accumulating it, to growing it, to putting it to work. It takes planning, patience and, in most cases, professional guidance. Establishing a strong relationship with a financial advisor can help you on your path to achieving your most important goals.

The team at First Republic is passionate about adding meaning and value to our clients’ financial lives. Connect with your First Republic advisor to learn more about our wealth and financial planning services.

 

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