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Client Services – The Right Puzzle Pieces

There are four financial disciplines among the "puzzle pieces" below that are critical to getting ahead financially. The order in which these disciplines are developed is also critical. 

Learning about the hierarchy of these financial disciplines, and using the right product, can help revolutionize your financial future!

For whatever reason, many people try to acquire these financial disciplines backward. They believe that if they invest first, then they will have enough money to pay off their debts. And once debt payments stop, then they’ll be able to afford to save something. Then by the time they get around to protecting, the protection may be much more expensive, and their health may have deteriorated. This may cause the cost of protection to rise, or perhaps they may be uninsurable.

We know that investment income is not likely to replace savings, and using investment income alone is no way to pay off debt quickly. Still, there are numerous people who call our company because they want to “get enough money together so that they can start investing.”

Many of these people have consumer debt or student loans, maybe both, but they believe “investing” is “where it’s at.” Nothing could be further from the truth. Ironically, the less we know about some things, the more they seem like a good idea. It’s the axiom of “ignorance is bliss.”

Income Taxes

Objectives – Design an income tax plan to increase deductions and arrange your affairs so your taxes are as low as possible. There are two ways to reduce taxes; Reduce income, or Increase Deductions. Very few Americans use tax planning, yet income tax planning forms the foundation of any successful financial plan.
Facts | Tax Reform | Forms | Tables |1040 | How an HSA Works |  Clock

Cash Flow | Debt Elimination Planning 

Saving should be the second financial discipline that people develop. The biggest catch to saving is that you need to actually save the money. Many people invest money and think that they’re saving. Investing is not saving! To count as savings, the money needs to be in a safe place that does not expose it to market risk, or any other risk of loss.

Managing debt naturally follows saving and should be the third financial discipline. There are many people who will get a much higher return by managing the debt they have before they invest. Think credit card debt, student loans or almost any other consumer debt. Managing debt doesn’t necessarily mean pay off all debt. Some debt can be good, if it provides better cash flow or better tax treatment. Managing debt means keeping the good debt and executing a plan to pay off bad debt

Objectives – Design a strategy that identifies potential savings in taxes, insurance premiums or unallocated income that can be redirected to your savings and investments. There are two ways to find out where your excess is going. Keep track of every penny or the ACH way. Start saving most of the surplus. In a couple months, you will know where it is going ... or better yet you won’t miss it and you will be that much closer to retirement.
Number? | Debt | Data Thieves | Great Password |  Budget  

College | Education Planning

Objectives – Structure an appropriate college strategy using UTMA, UGMA, 529 Plans, Education IRA’s and ROTH IRA’s for your children. The evaluation is based on the number of children, their ages, educational plans, school selection, possible scholarships and student loans that may be available, student earnings and family income.
101 |500K Baby | RetFunds? | How Much? | Student Loans  | Student Loan Debt |  LifeBridge  

Retirement Planning

Objectives – Design and implement a plan to avoid outliving your income during your retirement years. We calculate your total income, expenses and taxes during your stated life expectancy. The evaluation reveals potential issues that may cause you to outlive your income and helps you adjusts your working and savings strategy to select an appropriate retirement date and savings goal to reduce or eliminate the shortfall.
PERA Buyback? | Social Security Medicare Ready? |How To? | SS#  | Hype  | Tuning | Traps | Bucket  | Healthy Body |  Women  | 18 Years | Sequence of Returns | Compare | Fruitful | Risk  | Tax Diversification | HSA | ChecklistSS-Quote  | PERA-Quote |  

Protection Planning

Protection should always be the first financial discipline. Without protection, clients risk leaving family, business associates, dependents and creditors in a difficult spot. Protection is even more important than saving because, for a small sum, insurance will provide several times more protection than what individual can save in a short period of time.

Objectives – Design a strategy that provides for your needs and goals after your death. We fund two key areas: First, funding that covers Immediate Expenses. Second, we fund for the Loss of Income to your loved ones. We also fund three key periods: Until children are age 18, Until retirement of the surviving spouse, and During retirement of the surviving spouse.
Protect | Basics | Risk | Needs | DNA | Exit | Group? | Medicare | Gift | 1851 | Quote  |

Estate Planning

Objectives – Discover the most useful means of owning property. Simplify disposing of your estate in a manner that meets your objectives. Provide enough money to meet known and expected settlement expenses due to death. Preserve the assets you have worked hard to accumulate. Provide funds for education expenses and debt repayment. Provide a satisfactory income for your survivors. Reduce estate and income taxes, administrative expenses, executor’s fees and attorney fees.
101|  Will? |  Giving | Digital Estate  | ILIT | Special Needs | Inventory | Critical | Probate | Test  |

Disability Planning

Objectives – Implement a disability income plan that pays a monthly benefit if you are unable to work because of an accident or illness. The practical and prudent alternative in dealing with disability is to transfer the risk to a disability insurance company. Other alternatives are: Build up sufficient personal savings. Borrow the funds from family or the bank. Sell Assets. You rarely receive true value in a forced sale.
Basics | How Much? |   50 to 70% | Quiz | Self Insure | Quote  |

Long Term Care Planning

Objectives – Design a long term care plan to help you avoid seriously eroding or exhausting your assets. This strategy accounts for a broad range of health care, personal care, rehabilitation, and social services for ill or disabled people who need help with their daily activities. Many states now offer incentives for those who complete their own Long Term Care planning.
Extended Care | Cost of Care | Self Insure? | Threat | Quote |

Investment Planning

Investing should always be the last financial discipline, not just because of the risk of losing both earnings and capital, but because people will have better financial acumen after developing the first three disciplines.

Objectives – Design and customize your portfolio with the flexibility to defend against great market risk, capitalize on periods of good returns and a stable strategy that helps you buy low and sell high. We use a combination of two asset allocation strategies depending on your risk tolerance. The first method is the stable or balanced strategy combined with reallocation triggers which forces you to sell some of the best performers while buying more of the weakest performers. The second method is an active strategy where you determine your tolerance for risk combined with your long-term goals. This higher risk strategy would direct you to increase your investments in the best performers if you are confident that the market is in a period of good returns or allocate more dollars into cash as a means to protect your portfolio if you believe we are in a period of great market risk.
Cycle | Reality  | #72 | Inflation | Headed? | Risk | Compound |Stocks | Emotion | Predict | Worst | Elections |  The Bubble | Sequence of Returns | Risk Tolerance |  Riskalyze 

Asset allocation does not guarantee a profit or protect against loss in declining markets. There is no guarantee that a diversified portfolio will out perform a non-diversified portfolio or that diversification among asset classes will reduce risk.