The Wealth Counselor
Financial planning has become a generic term. You find it mentioned across media channels from banks to brokerages to accounting firms to personal finance. While the term itself may be diluted, planning is the first step in securing your long-term security. But this security is only realized when the plan is implemented.
Your various needs, anxieties, and aspirations fuel every step and define how you measure the plan’s results. The actual method is best defined as “Planning with Execution” for the obvious truth that you won’t get results unless the plan is put into action. As a single, flowing process, results present themselves as solutions to your needs and requirements. In other words, your income is more stable and certain; your spending matches your priorities; your taxes are less; you know what to do with your property; your loved ones are protected; your physical care is assured.
Why We Plan
The table below identifies eight planning tasks under the general umbrella term, “Financial Planning.” For any given situation, several of these tasks will be active during the planning process, and if you are a successful small business owner, all eight may be in play.
Each task serves as a container filled by your specific circumstances, needs, anxieties, and aspirations; this is detailed in the right column.
Planning Tasks Categorize Needs, Anxieties, and Aspirations
What you need to know: Through the planning process, whether you have one or eight containers filled with your needs and requirements, this inventory sets in motion action steps to bring the fruits of this planning into reality.
Implementing for Results
Trusts, in their various forms, are excellent in solving financial and wealth needs and requirements. In fact, trusts provide an enveloping structure wholly compatible with common investment and insurance tools as well as your other wealth sources, and enhance what otherwise could be attained.
Trust Solutions Meeting Needs and Requirements
Planners operate within a band of expertise such that they use the strategies they know and understand. This natural inclination to stay in one’s comfort zone, though, may lead to limitations in which other tools beyond one’s expertise may do a better job. Trusts are a clear example: Trusts’ technical nature and imposing acronyms (e.g., CRUTs, GRATs, QPRTs, IDGTs, etc.) have built a barrier to understanding that constrains their broader use in producing more robust planning.
What you need to know: No one can be an expert in every one of the eight financial planning categories (see above table). Therefore, advisors operating in a team of experts leap over technical barriers and define comprehensive and efficient solutions. In this multidisciplinary approach, a trust attorney works alongside financial or other advisors and assists in using trusts’ unique characteristics not only to generate true net savings (i.e., the dollar results > the dollar costs) but equally significant quality-of-life benefits.
The Protective Cure
With this context, you should expect that solid planning shifts anxiety to comfort, turmoil topeace, and complexity to understanding. Trusts further deliver a protective cure against these possible hits to your mental and emotional quality of life:
• the pain felt if loved ones aren’t protected financially;
What you need to know: Although trusts offer various net financial benefits, removing anxieties and fears about your wealth may in and of itself enhance your quality of life. Considering these beneficial financial and mental or emotional results alongside a plan’s set-up costs represents a balanced evaluation that leads to a more informed decision; you can proclaim, “It was worth it.”
Actions to Consider: