IWM strives to provide a comprehensive and coordinated approach that will address all your financial planning needs. We provide a range of services both directly and by offering extended services through our trusted partners.
Whether it is a comprehensive financial plan or limited to a few categories, we will begin the process by defining goals and timing, assessing your investing risk tolerance and developing parameter assumptions such as: life expectancy, rates of return, and inflation rates. We will then combine this information along with a detailed inventory of your finances to build your financial plan. Together we will review the results from our planning and make adjustments until we have set a plan that is right for you.
Once we have a plan in place, our focus will shift to execution. We will perform progress reviews and plan updates on a schedule that we mutually agree is appropriate. All information will be compiled into your My Financial Future book for safekeeping and ease of access.
Retirement planning is more challenging today than previous generations. Lifespans have increased, health-care costs continue to grow at an accelerated rate, and there are concerns with the long-term funding of social security.
There are also many concerns about retirement itself, like: how much money do I need to save to retire? When will I be able to retire? Will I outlive my savings? Together we work to design a plan that addresses your concerns, desired outcomes, and expectations. We will define your retirement savings goal, withdrawal rates, living expenses and how to optimize your social security benefits.
Below is an example of an illustration included in your financial plan.
Total Capital Assets Summary Illustrates Your Assets in Taxable and Retirement Accounts
Your retirement plan will balance your retirement income with your retirement expenses, as shown in the example below, and include plans to:
- Take distributions from investment accounts that minimizes taxes
- Minimize volatility by optimizing income from dividends and interest
Cash Flow Summary Illustrates Your Income & Expenses Now Through Retirement
Our approach to managing investments begins with developing an asset allocation for your portfolio based on your risk tolerance, time horizon and overall financial plan. This allocation is a mix of asset classes such as equities, fixed income and alternative investments, if appropriate.
We consistently apply time tested techniques like dollar cost averaging, dividend reinvestment and regular rebalancing when constructing and managing portfolios.
Portfolios are constructed using a combination of traded funds (ETF’s), mutual funds, stocks, bonds and certificates of deposit (CD’s)
Securities are selected based on long-term performance and expenses using independent research sources such as Morningstar and Value Line
IWM’s sole source of compensation is fees paid by clients, based on the assets under management. As your portfolio grows, so will IWM’s compensation. IWM is not compensated through commissions received from mutual funds.
We continually monitor the outlook for the economy and markets and use the information to apply advanced investing techniques like overweighting of growth sectors and hedging and capital preservation strategies in bear markets.
Although we use projected rates of return when preparing investment and retirement plans it is unlikely that the actual market returns will be uniform. To ensure our planning is robust and improve our probability of success, our planning software allows us to use Monte Carlo simulations to evaluate the impact of variance sequences of returns.
Our performance will be measured by comparing the rate of return of your portfolio to industry benchmarks such as the S&P500, MSCI EAFE Index (covering Europe, Australasia and the Far East) and the iShares Barclay U.S. Aggregate Bond Fund.
Estate planning often brings up feelings of uneasiness in people. We feel that it is best to think of it as way to protect those you love and ease the burden on them if you should become incapacitated or die. Think of it as the insurance component of your plan.
Our objective is to ensure your estate plan is current, complete and cost effective. Our review will determine if it covers your intentions, identify any gaps and address items such as:
- Ensure assets, accounts and policies have proper titles and beneficiaries
- Discuss the pros and cons of traditional wills vs. trusts
- If a trust is appropriate, cover the various types of trusts
- Ensure your will, durable power of attorney, advanced medical directives, letter of instruction and trust, if appropriate, are current and in effect
- Ensure that copies of your estate plan are properly stored with those people in positions of trust to you
- Conduct periodic reviews of the documents to ensure they remain current and valid
If any changes or additions are necessary, we will coordinate our efforts with one of our trusted partners or an estate planning specialist of your choice.
Tax planning helps to minimize taxes both now and throughout retirement. We will review your most recent tax return and look for opportunities to reduce your taxes. The structure and type of your accounts will also be reviewed, taking into account your tax rates, now and in retirement. Fully utilizing the available tools to save for retirement and minimize taxes helps you keep more of your money so that it works for your now and in the future. Our efforts will be coordinated by a tax accountant, if appropriate, and will cover the following:
- Roth vs Traditional IRA’s
- Determine if a Roth Conversion is Appropriate
- Self Employed 401K’s
- SEP plans
- IRA Rollovers
- Use of Municipal Bonds in Taxable Accounts
The cost of a college education has grown at a rate faster than inflation. Funding these costs while saving for retirement can be overwhelming but by addressing it head on and armed with the right information and tools, we will make it part of your financial plan and help prepare you for what lies ahead. Considerations for planning include:
- Parent and Student’s Contributions to Paying for Education Costs
- Public vs Private Universities
- Undergraduate and Graduate Degrees
- College vs. Vocational Schools
Taking a pro-active approach to the education planning component of your financial plan is one that we believe in. The plan will include detail as it relates to education and your retirement plans as well as incorporating your points of view on how to ultimately achieve funding. We will also provide advice on how to take full advantage of 529 plans, UGMA and UTMA accounts and Roth IRA’s.
The primary purpose of insurance is to manage risk and, in our opinion, is a core component to your financial plan. Our goal is to help you secure the types of insurance and coverage levels that are truly necessary and do so cost effectively. In your financial plan, we will provide advice on the following types of insurance:
- Life Insurance, Term vs Whole Life
- Home & Auto
- Liability or Umbrella Policies
- Long Term Care
- Professional Liability, Errors & Omissions, Malpractice