Many individuals confuse financial planning with general savings and investing advice. While how to save (and how much!), and where and when to invest those savings, is every bit important, prudent Financial Planning goes much beyond the realm of just saving and investing. The sooner you understand the role of financial planning in meeting your short, medium and long-term financial aspirations, the better you’ll be able to control your financial destiny.
Why Financial Planning is Important
A well-grounded financial plan is essential for anyone who wishes to accomplish specific financial objectives. Whether it be the idea of owning your home (sooner, rather than later!), making sure your children’s education is well funded, or ensuring a smooth and stress-free retirement; all of these seemingly disparate components come together under a unified financial plan.
The scope of an effective financial plan should therefore cover key aspects such as Saving, Budgeting, Investing, Tax planning, Insurance planning, Retirement planning, Estate planning, and much more.
What We Can Do For You
Our systematic approach to Financial Planning services includes:
- Discovering You: We realize that financial planning is all about YOU! And the only way that we can deliver what YOU need is to understand what those needs are. We do this through a consultative discovery approach of getting to know you, and helping you understand what we can do for you.
- Strategizing: Now that our professionals have a better sense of who you are, and what you wish your financial future to look like, we can work together to create a financial strategy that will help you fulfil those financial objectives.
- Holistic Planning: Cookie cutters don’t work for us – and we believe they don’t serve the interest of our clients either. Through our systematic strategy-building process, we’ll create a set of personalized, holistic plans – for the short, intermediate and long-term, that will help fulfil your overall financial strategy. Our planning process is intensive, and we do it using a consultative and iterative approach. Each session brings us closer to helping you achieve the financial objectives that we set out together, during the Discovery phase.
- Implementation: Now that the plans are in place, we’ll walk you through the process of implementing them. Whether it’s making the right investment decisions, choosing the right insurance plan for you and your family, saving enough (and regularly) to reach your retirement goals, or creating an Estate Plan that preserves your legacy; our qualified Financial Planners will be right there by your side as you take each step. Through foresight, encouragement and professionalism, we’ll make sure each step of the plan is successfully implemented.
- Frequent Reviewing and Monitoring: While we’ll laud you at every successful implementation of your financial plan, we’ll stay vigilant throughout the process to make sure you stay on track to meet each of the objectives set out in the plan. Through constant monitoring, and frequent reviews with you, we’ll consult with you and make modifications to the strategies and plans as and when needed.
While many of us don’t realize it, we are constantly engaged in subconscious acts of investment planning. We plan how we can best invest the limited time we have at our disposal. Would the 2-hours we have best be spent visiting a friend at the hospital, or would it be better invested, say, by taking in that ball game? We do some longer-term planning too: Does it pay to invest the effort studying for a degree in Arts, or would we get a better return studying to pass the Bar exam?
So, why don’t we invest the time planning our investments?
Why Investment Planning is Important
It’s been said: What you sow, so shall you reap! When it comes to enjoying the fruits of your investment, truer words were never spoken. Even if you don’t have thousands of dollars to invest, simply taking the time deciding where to “park” the money until you need it can be a rewarding investment planning exercise.
How your money grows, what you pay for that growth, and the ease and comfort with which you “journey” towards reaping the rewards of your investments, are all important aspects of a good investment plan. In the absence of such a plan, your financial future could be in jeopardy!
What We Can Do For You
Our Investment Planning service is based on these simple facts: Market timing doesn’t work! Creating and preserving wealth needs diversification! Focus on the long-term, and don’t let short-term diversions distract you! Investing is about more than just making money – it’s also about helping you achieve your financial goals!
Here’s a preview of what our Investment Planning service cover:
- Understanding your financial goals: Through an intense yet structured “Getting to Know You” process, we’ll understand what your financial goals are, and we’ll help you prioritize some of the most pressing short, medium and long-term financial objectives you’d like to accomplish.
- Analyze a point-in-time snapshot: The next step is to analyze where you are today, in terms of your savings and current investment portfolio. Sometimes, this phase of our review results in actionable steps that can immediately benefit you – like cutting your losses in a sinking investment, or leveraging some profit-harvesting and tax-selling opportunities in highly successful ones.
- Proposing an investment strategy: With that information in hand, we can draw-up comprehensive personalized investment strategies that will help you reach your financial objectives. This may be accomplished by building upon your existing portfolio, or proposing a set of cost-effective, tax-efficient, age-appropriate, risk-averse investments that are aligned with your personal financial goals.
- Implementing the plan: Our Investment Planning approach is dynamic, and constantly evolves with your changing circumstances. We’ll guide and advise you on investment plan transitions as you go through life and life-style changes.
- Watching over your investments: We’ll monitor and review your investments, plans and strategies in light of changing investment climates.
- Consult, advise and counsel: Ours is an ongoing partnership. Throughout our relationship with you, we’ll keep you informed, and communicate constantly with you about proposed changes and potential risks or opportunities for your investments.
Long before retirement even hits our radars, we’re planning what type of education, skills training and professional designations we’ll acquire. We also spend a lot of time planning which industries are the best place to work in, and which employers to work for. Once employed, we carefully strategize our every career move, so that we progress to the top of the ladder in our respective fields.
Sadly though, while we focus most of our efforts on all these plans, we often forget to plan for “life after work”!
Why Retirement Planning is Important
Everything we do – from choosing a career to managing career progressions at our employers – is presumably so we and our families and dependents can have a better life. But if we fail to plan for “Life after work”, all of the plans and effort we put into our working lives, could be jeopardized.
What will retirement look like? Are we spending too much? What if we’re not saving enough? How frequently should we be saving? Could we run out of money in retirement? Are we investing in the right places? How much will we need in retirement? Will Government and Employer pension plans cover us through retirement?
If we don’t plan for retirement, we’ll never be able to prepare for it. And an ill-prepared retirement is bound to be one filled with financial stress and chaos!
What We Can Do For You
For our clients, retirement planning doesn’t start at retirement. It starts much before! Our Retirement Planning service takes a long-term view of your financial wellbeing. We use a life-cycle approach to ensure your “Life after work” is as well-planned as your life prior to retirement.
Here’s what we do for you as part of our Retirement Planning service:
- Your personalized retirement planning strategy: Everything we do for you centers around four pillars - Helping you plan to achieve your financial goals prior to retirement; Planning to ensure you have sufficient income during retirement; Putting plans in place to safeguard your Nest Egg and yourself against potential catastrophes; Planning for your legacy.
- Understanding your goals: Through an intensely personalized approach, we understand what your retirement goals are.
- Analyzing where you are at: To plan a meaningful retirement, you need to know where you currently stand. We’ll help you build an in-depth financial inventory to use as part of our retirement planning process.
- Developing the plan: Remember all those questions you had on your mind – largely unanswered? Well, we’ll work with you to create a retirement plan that addresses every one of them. When we’re done, you’ll not only know what you need (income) to fund your retirement lifestyle, and what your investments will generate; but you’ll also know how to bridge the shortfall – if any.
- Implementing the plan: As you move closer to retirement, we’ll work closely with you to ensure the plans are implemented in a phased and orderly manner. The goal of our Retirement Planning approach is to make transitioning into retirement as seamless and stress-free as possible.
- Supporting you make decisions on pensions and benefits: Our retirement planning professionals will be right there when you need them, with help and advice on pensions and benefits (Government or Employer): Whether to apply or not? When to apply? What to do with those funds…and much more.
- Looking out for you in retirement and beyond: Our Retirement Planning service isn’t done yet – not by a long shot! To live a long and fulfilling retirement, you’ll need help with many other facets of your life – Health Care, Insurance, Charitable Giving and Legacy Planning. When you need our advice, our specialists will know exactly how to respond!
- Ongoing reviews: Our Retirement Planning service ensures that we maintain a long and enduring relationship with you. We’ll continue to monitor and review your retirement plans, and consult with you frequently about any changes or updates needed to address your evolving retirement lifestyle needs.
For some people, financial planning is mainly concerned with how best to go about building a nest egg, and how to make it last through retirement. But for many, there is a desire to ensure their estate delivers benefits beyond their own retirement, and produces a lasting legacy even after they have passed.
Why Estate Planning is Important
If you wish to leave behind a lasting legacy, whether it’s for family and loved ones or a charitable institution, then you need to put a well-thought-out Estate Plan in place, so your legacy is established in accordance with your wishes. Without such a Plan, strangers (the State, Lawyers or individuals that don’t have your interests in mind) could determine what happens to your Estate.
If you wish to ensure that you are in control of what happens to your estate, and if you want to guarantee that your estate is handled in accordance with your directives, then having an Estate Plan is paramount.
What We Can Do For You
Our Estate Planning service includes:
- Helping you understand the importance of a will: Your will should be the corner stone of your Estate Plan. We can help you understand why and how you should structure this document so your legal team can create a will that reflects how you want your Estate disposed. From a simple will to a Testamentary Will, or Joint Wills and Living Wills – our experts will help you navigate through the complexities so you won’t need to stress over what’s what!
- Creating Powers of Attorney (POA): Whether it’s to manage specific assets, like your investments, bank accounts or real estate holdings after your gone; or whether it’s meant to help others make health-care decisions in your best interest in case you are ill or incapacitated, you need to have a POA in place to ensure your wishes are followed. A well-crafted POA will also smoothen how decisions about your final arrangements, and those related to your estate, are taken care of once you pass.
- Choosing Executors: The Executors of your Estate wield strong powers that determine how your Estate is finally dealt with upon your passing. We’ll help you understand the importance of choosing an executor (s) for your Estate, and what criteria you should consider when appointing someone to discharge this all-important role – especially if minor children/guardians are involved.
- Designating beneficiaries: If you don’t choose beneficiaries for your assets carefully (or not at all!), your estate assets might well end up in the hands of individuals that you never intended should benefit from them.
- Considerations for dependents needs: A well-thought-out Estate Plan will ensure that all of the needs of your dependents (be they minors, adult children, siblings, persons with special needs or aging parents) are taken care of in accordance with your desires.
- Tax planning considerations (minimizing Estate taxes and reducing probate fees): Without a well-thought-out Estate Plan, a considerable part of your estate could erode through taxes, fees and other levy’s, even before your designated beneficiaries see a cent!
- Protecting your estate: Though you might no longer be here, many of your assets – like your long-term investments, property and other tangible assets – will likely need care, protection and management until they are finally disposed off, and the proceeds distributed to your designated beneficiaries. In the absence of an Estate Plan, your assets will likely not receive the type and level of protection those assets require.
- Health and welfare considerations: A comprehensive Estate Plan contains several components, including directives to your Executors and POA-holders about what to do in case your health (mental or physical) deteriorates. In the absence of those components of your Estate Plan, decisions impacting your health and welfare might be made by others (likely medical professionals or state-appointed representatives) whom you do not trust.
- Distributing your assets/legacy: Without a proper Estate planning, your assets might not be distributed in line with your final wishes. And because creating legally-binding wills and ensuring the Estate Plan are in sync with the Will is essential to ensure proper distribution of your estate, our professionals can support you in this endeavor.