Personal Financial Planning → Pieces of the Puzzle


Building a successful financial plan can be puzzling. As we construct a plan, we find that our financial lives have many pieces. Some of the financial issues that each of us can expect to face during life can include:

  • Cash Management:
    More than just balancing the checkbook, cash management includes preparing a budget, using credit wisely, saving for emergencies, and keeping income taxes as low as possible. These concepts can be overwhelming and difficult to maintain, so consulting a trusted and knowledgeable Financial Planner can be key.
     
  • Risk Management:
    The risk of loss of life, earnings, and property must be factored into your plans. Life insurance can be used for family protection. Disability insurance can protect against the loss of a person's ability to earn a living. Health insurance not only protects us against financial difficulties, but a good plan can also help us maintain a healthy lifestyle. There are many different options for these types of insurances and finding the right one for you is important. 
     
  • Accumulation Goals:
    There are many different savings goals that you could have. For families, college planning is a common goal. Purchasing a home or car and building an investment portfolio are two other typical accumulation goals. Defining and establishing a plan on how to reach these goals is beneficial in many ways and can help you succeed.
     
  • Retirement: 
    Retirement planning requires a serious long-term commitment to ensure that our later years are as comfortable and worry-free as possible. There are many different considerations when planning for retirement from producing income to long-term care needs. It is important to consult someone you trust to help you prepare for this stage of life.
     
  • Estate Planning:
    Recognizing that death is inevitable and planning for the orderly transfer of our assets to our heirs is what estate planning is about. There are many different ways to approach estate planning from a financial standpoint and understanding your options can help you make the right decision for your situation.
     

Click to know more about the topics below.

 

The Need to Plan for Retirement

With a longer projected life span, more than ever it is important to plan for retirement in order for you to maintain the quality of life that you currently enjoy. There are several factors that need to be taken into consideration, during retirement planning, such as health, income needs, travel costs, the pursuit of favorite hobbies or sports and the list goes on.

Developing a successful retirement plan involves carefully considering a wide range of issues and potential problems. Finding solutions to these questions and concerns usually requires both personal education and the guidance of knowledgeable individuals from many professional disciplines. The key is to begin planning as early as possible. Planning Needs' financial professionals have experience in helping clients and developing the right retirement plan for their needs.

Some of the key topics involved with planning for retirement include:

  • Retirement Costs
    When saving for retirement, it is not always known the exact cost of your monthly expenses. This can cause some to not have enough in their personal savings or retirement plans. Social Security benefits can supplement any income needs but this may still not be enough. 

    With insufficient income, retirees may be forced to continue working or face a reduced standard of living. With proper planning, the probability of having enough savings increases, which increases the chance of a successful retirement. 

  • Housing
    Many enter retirement and realize that their house is not the perfect fit for them anymore. The consideration does not only include the size and type of home (condo, house, assisted living, shared housing, etc.) but also its location and costs associated with the transition.

    In addition, reducing monthly mortgage costs by refinancing or completely paying a home loan can increase cash flow. With so many things changing at once, it may be necessary to consider some options when it comes to housing.

  • Health Care Coverage
    Health care in retirement can be one of the biggest decisions for retirees. Medicare is a program that the federal government has for retirees age 65 and older. This may be a good foundation for health care and a supplemental policy is often needed.

    If you decide to retire before you are 65, you will need to determine your coverage options, these may include being on a spouse's plan or purchasing an individual policy.

  • Estate Planning
    In addition to utilizing assets up to and retirement, you must consider what happens to your assets when retirement is over. Designating appropriate beneficiaries will ensure that all assets are transferred to individuals and organizations according to your wishes. Positioning assets in the right vehicles for your situation may help pass them to your beneficiaries in the most tax-efficient way.

Retirement planning involves more than one puzzle piece and it is important to have someone to help you navigate these different topics. Please click here to contact us and set up a consultation to see how we can help with your retirement plan.

 

 

The Need for Life Insurance

If you are unsure if your family and loved ones would be financially secure due to an unexpected death, then life insurance may be a viable solution for you.

By working with Planning Needs Financial Group, and preparing for any unforeseen circumstance, you can give yourself and your loved ones peace of mind knowing that:

  • Your family can stay in their same home and their living expenses will be taken care of.
  • Your kids will still be able to go to college and not incur excessive debt.
  • Any upfront, lump-sum needs for immediate cash are met.
  • Estate settlement costs for probate, attorney's fees, and estate taxes will not deplete inheritances.

If you want to discuss your life insurance options, please click here to contact us.

 

 

The Need for Disability Insurance

Many people believe that their biggest asset is their home or other tangible objects. For most of us, our biggest asset is actually the ability to work and earn an income. Not being able to perform job duties due to a disability is often financially devastating.

According to one study, more than 25% of those entering the workforce can expect to be out of work for at least a year, due to a disability, before they reach normal retirement age1.

The risk of disability is real and there are a few options you have to protect against it:

  • Social Security Disability Income:
    This type of disability benefit has strict guidelines that one must qualify for in order to receive the income. Due to this, many applicants will need to apply multiple times before seeing any benefit. This could leave you without income for a length of time that may not be sustainable.
     
  • Employer Funded Group Disability Insurance: 
    Employer-sponsored disability policies are a great start for covering your possible disability income needs if your employer provides this as a benefit. These policies have limitations on the monthly income you are able to receive, typically capping it at around ⅔ of your salary or a specific dollar amount. The taxability of the benefit is also a concern, depending on how the policy is paid for.
     
  • Individual Disability Income Insurance: 
    An individual disability insurance policy could provide you with the coverage that you need, either by supplementing your group disability policy or covering your full need as a standalone policy. Although individual policies may cost more than the group disability insurance, these can be tailored to fit your individual needs and, as long as you pay the premiums, the benefits are not taxable. 

If you feel that a disability policy may be right for you, please click here to speak with one of our Financial Planners.

 

 

The Need For Long-Term Care

Long-term care needs vary from person to person, but planning for this is of the utmost importance. Almost 70% of adults, age 65 or older, will need some level of long-term care for an average of 3 years2.

A long-term care insurance policy can:

  • Give you the flexibility to begin care when you need it and figure out the right type of care for you.
  • Protect your family and yourself, from financial hardship as a result of medical issues in the future.
  • Prevent the necessary depletion of your assets, in order to qualify for Medicare, as a result of a debilitating illness or condition

Standalone long-term care policies can be costly, depending on the benefits that they provide. There are also ways to add long-term care benefits to a life insurance policy, which could reduce the cost.

Please reach out to one of our Financial Planners to discuss your specific situation by clicking here.

 

 

The Need for Estate Planning

Lack of, or improper, estate planning can often jeopardize the money you leave behind for your loved ones, or result in drawn-out probates. 

There are different tools that can be used to ensure you leave a legacy for your heirs that you are happy with. These can range from insurance and annuities to specific investment account types and they can help reduce estate or probate taxes, increasing what is left to your beneficiaries.

Consulting with a knowledgeable Financial Planner can help you determine the options that are most suitable for your situation.

Estate planning is an important piece of your overall financial picture, please click here to contact us to discuss your situation further.

 

 

The Need for Health Insurance

Regular physician and dental visits are a normal part of maintaining good health, even for the healthiest among us. In addition, as we grow older, there are other reasons medical care is necessary.

Circumstances change in our everyday lives that could affect our health care coverage, Planning Needs Financial Group works with our individual clients to ensure that they have the healthcare coverage that they need.

There are three broad sources of health insurance:

  • Individually owned policies: 
    An individual, or family, purchases a health policy directly from an insurance company or health maintenance organization. This insurance provides portable coverage that will stay active if your employment changes. Some individuals may qualify for premium assistance through the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
     
  • Group health insurance: 
    Group health insurance is typically provided through an employer or another related group such as a professional association. Only a select number of plans are offered, so choices may be limited. 
     
  • Government programs: 
    One of these programs is Medicare, which is for those aged 65 and older, there are several components that provide hospitalization coverage, basic medical care, and prescription drug coverage. If you enroll in the standard Medicare Part B, you may want to purchase a supplemental policy to help with costs that Medicare does not cover. If you would like more details about Medicare, please click here for more information!

    Other programs include Medicaid, which provides health care for the impoverished, and medical care for active duty and former military service members. Also, some states have individual programs to provide health insurance to low-income individuals and families.

If you would like more information click here to contact one of our experienced health insurance agents today for a free consultation!

 

 

Health Savings Account (HSA) Considerations

An important consideration when choosing a health insurance plan is the option for a Health Savings Account (HSA). An HSA is a tax-favored account set up exclusively to pay certain medical expenses of the account owner, spouse, and dependents.

A Health Savings Account comes with the following stipulations:

  • Health Insurance coverage must be provided under a high-deductible health plan.
  • Qualified contributions by the account owner are deductible from gross income and growth inside the account is tax-deferred.
  • Distributions to pay for qualified medical expenses are received income tax-free.
  • Funds not used during one year will not be lost and can be used to pay qualified medical expenses in later years, even if no further contributions are permitted.

Similar to an Individual Retirement Account (IRA), an HSA is owned by an individual and is thus portable. If an individual changes employers, the HSA moves with the individual and does not stay with the former employer.

To learn more about the benefits of a Health Savings Account and to find out if this option is right for you, please click here to speak with one of our experienced Financial Planning professionals.

 

 

The Need for College Planning

The cost of a college education continues to rise each year at a rate that outpaces inflation. If one of your goals is to provide your child with assistance toward higher education, the key is to begin planning as early as possible to avoid any potential shortages.

  • Consider tax-advantaged approaches:
    There are several types of accounts that can provide a tax benefit while also helping you save for college. State-sponsored Qualified Tuition Plans or 529 Accounts and  Coverdell Savings Accounts are just a few.
     
  • Start a savings program:
    By estimating the cost of tuition, or the amount you want to put toward your child's education, you can begin a savings plan. Inflation, investment return, and lump sum contributions can all be factored in when determining the amount you need to save on a monthly basis.
     
  • Options if there is a shortage:
    If personal savings will not be enough, there are other options to help with the cost of college. Financial aid and scholarships are a couple of ways to supplement the cost of college. Some universities also have work-study programs that your child can enroll in.

At Planning Needs Financial Group we want to help you realize these goals. Please click here to contact one of our Financial Planners to discuss the best way to help you save for your child's college education.


Achieving Financial Independence

Solving your financial puzzle in today's world can be complicated and takes work. To have the highest probability of success you'll want to:

  • Choose Your Financial Planning Team:
    In our complex, ever-changing world, expert help is needed. A trained specialist such as an Attorney, CPA, Insurance Professional, Investment Advisor, and Financial Planner are generally members of your team.
     
  • Develop Your Plan:
    With the help of your team, you can develop a systematic, integrated plan for dealing with each of these puzzle pieces. Creating a financial plan can provide direction and help you reach your goals.

Take the steps to put your puzzle together and achieve a sound financial future by clicking here to contact a knowledgeable and trustworthy Financial Planner.