Protecting Your Income & Assets
Wealth Management is a comprehensive and holistic process of managing everything financial to you. Wealth Management is encompassing and may include: Investment Management, Tax planning, Estate Planning, Asset Protection & Life Insurance, Income Planning, Retirement Planning, and more. Often, Wealth Management can include business exit planning, and/or Entity Formation. At IDA, we use an Interactive Financial Planning process to make sure all areas of Wealth Management are being properly addressed for your specific situation, goals, and desires.
Given our relationships with clients we often become aware of financial situations that can be very helpful in tax planning. Taxes and investment management are so closely interrelated that IDA has integrated tax planning & preparation with an in-house team of CPAs and tax specialists. We also work closely with clients outside CPAs and tax planning attorneys helping to facilitate a comprehensive approach to wealth management for our clients. Here are a few ways we can help with your tax strategy:
- Capital Gains Should Be Long-Term.
- Keep Your Portfolio in Tax Sheltered Accounts.
- Invest in Municipal Bonds.
- Consider Real Estate Investments.
- Fund Your 401(k) Beyond Your Employer Match.
- Max Your IRA Savings Every Year.
- Take Advantage of an HSA If You Can.
- Consider a 529 for Education Expenses
We take great care in selecting and purchasing a home and follow it up by insuring that home against potential unforeseen events in the future. Why would we not think about our income and assets the same way? Term life insurance can be an exceptional way to leverage a relatively small amount of premium, or cost, to protect our high income earning years while we are still building sufficient net worth to “self insure.”
In similar fashion, once we reach a point of having enough to retire it might make sense to reposition a portion of our assets into an annuity to protect the principal from future market volatility and guarantee income for life. This is the same thing that a pension accomplishes, only now you get to call (most) of the shots.
Insurance products are complex in nature and require a professional who is licensed not only to sell insurance, but as also operates in a full-time FIDUCIARY capacity for market based investment options. You then have access to the best of both worlds and can compare and contrast the pros and cons of an insured solution versus a non-insured one. When you overlay a comprehensive financial plan to help identify what makes sense for you and why, it is then that you can make a decision whether you need to buy insurance to protect your income and/or your assets.
Possessing estate planning documents does not always mean the estate planning goals are going to be met. We strive to implement a solid plan for our clients so you can avoid unnecessary death tax, unnecessary probate costs, and properly designate beneficiaries for your retirement accounts. We also recognize the importance of the partnership between your financial advisor and estate planning attorney to carry out your goals and objectives successfully.
Another key facet of estate planning is keeping good records, not just of your assets, but also documents that describe your wishes. As an example, your will should outline who you want to inherit your assets after you die, as well as who you’d like to manage your finances or make medical decisions for you in the event that you are incapacitated. These documents are also helpful because they reduce the time and expense of estate settlement, which makes it easier on your heirs.
If you have worked with someone in the past, and you think your estate is properly structured, it may not be. There have been substantial changes in estates laws and taxes in the last couple of years and your plans may no longer accomplish what you think. Also, it’s likely that your situation has changed dramatically since you last examined this part of your financial picture.
One tool at your disposal during estate planning is a trust. By establishing a trust, you can ensure that there is money allocated to supporting young children before they are old enough to handle it themselves. A trust is also a key instrument in helping you minimize estate taxes. If you anticipate having assets of at least $100,000, you can use the trust to shield income from these assets from estate taxes. As you can tell, it could be worth a lot to you and your heirs to do a little planning ahead.