Do You Have a Financial Game Plan?
No matter the stage of life or state of emotion you are currently in, there exists an opportunity to bring an efficient financial game plan to your existing assets and current monthly cash flow. With each life event, as an individual or family, there are questions to answer regarding proper and efficient investment, tax, and estate planning. Whether you are building wealth or preparing to turn in your wage-earner card, a financial game plan helps reduce the uncertainty, mitigate risk, and prepare you for the next season of life.
Spend a moment thinking about the importance of preparation. Hours will be spent on your next big work presentation. You and your spouse will be diligent in the details of buying your first home or having your first child. You will clean your home from top to bottom prior to hosting a holiday party. So much of people’s time is spent in anticipation of the next event. Many have said, “Success is when preparation meets opportunity.” At Trilogy Financial, our advisors want to provide you that same level of diligence and preparation with a comprehensive plan focused around your highest priorities and concerns.
- Will my assets generate enough income in retirement based on my current standard of living and what I want to do in retirement?
- What are my options for college planning?
- How should I plan for long-term care after having to take care of my parents for the last several years?
- What about Social Security? Is my estate plan correct?
Just as any great quarterback calls the shots on the field, most families and individuals need a seasoned quarterback to help them sort through these numerous questions, dissect the next best step, and then execute the financial game plan. It is the perfect blend of what you will do, can do, and should do. Once the structure is in place, you can emotionally relax, trust your training, and know your money is working for you.
A solid financial game plan can come in a variety of forms. In some cases it is a comprehensive written document that addresses the intersection of various asset classes, risk planning and tax mitigation over time. These can be very useful for complex plans, but can sometimes be overwhelming for people early in their career. In other situations, it is critical to use technology to aggregate your data all in one place. From your bank accounts to your budgets to your investment accounts to your financial goals, it can be a very valuable to have a financial advisor work with this kind of technology to help keep track of your “playbook” month to month and track your progress digitally and instantaneously. And for some the game plan starts more simply. A clear and stable budget combined with an accountable savings plan can make a big difference in getting a plan going.
Certainly adjustments will need to be made over time. You can count on the fact that your “opponents” will shift. The primary enemies we are facing in financial planning being time and risk: market, business/entity, inflation, health care, and longevity. Every time a financial event happens, your priorities change, your nest egg fluctuates, and your concerns have a different perspective requires minor adjustments in game plan. For this reason, a “set it and forget it” game plan rarely works for most Americans and why the ongoing service of a qualified advisor is key.
Planning is progress, not perfection so our collaborative wealth advisors will help you begin with the end in mind, then work backwards around your goals within the appropriate time frames. Trilogy’s advisors will be a resource for you today and as your plan grows and evolves over time. Our clients’ needs change as their lives evolve, and our intention is to grow and evolve with you.
A solid financial game plan will address your area of need in all seven areas of financial planning: budgeting and cash flow, balance sheet, retirement, education, risk management, tax and estate planning
- Budgeting and Cash Flow: This area of planning addresses money in and money out. By knowing where your regular spending dollars come in from, how regularly and how consistently and then having a strategy for where they go through budgeting and cash flow management you can prepare yourself for the critical savings plan you will need to reach your goals.
- Balance Sheet: This is an analysis of your current assets and liabilities. One big area of balance sheet management is controlling and paying down debt. But more than that, it also includes knowing what assets you have where. How are they invested? What risks are they exposed to? What are their tax treatments?
- Retirement: This area of planning proves to be the cornerstone of many people’s financial game plan. With the goal in mind of eventually not working any more, most Americans start thinking years in advance how to accrue the necessary benefits and assets to help plan for and protect a solid and secure retirement.
- Education: For people with children this area of planning is critical. No matter how you intend to pay for your child’s education (or have them pay) having a plan for this increasingly large expenditure is critical to long-term planning.
- Risk Management: All investments and asset classes carry with them an element of risk, as we mentioned above. Whether it be market risk, inflation risk, interest rate risk or a variety of others, a solid multi-faceted financial plan will help you understand your risks and chose which risks are reasonable given your goals and time horizons.
- Tax planning: Uncle Sam is going to be involved in your plan whether you want him to be or not and needs to be considered. Because of the variety of account and investment types and their various tax treatments, understanding the tax implications of your planning decisions is key to making solid decisions over time.
- Estate planning: While too many people think they aren’t “rich enough” to consider the importance of estate planning, it is important for every family. Making sure the assets you have pass according to your wishes and ensuring your beneficiaries avoid unnecessary probate expenditures can be key considerations in this area.
Through these seven areas, planning principles are applied to your goals based on your unique storyline, motivation to reach said goals, and the complexity of your situation. Based on this, Trilogy advisors will develop concepts for organizing your wealth and savings plan followed by a selection of products and services suited to your unique game plan. Our technology and systems in place allow the firm to service a broader reach of clients with greater depth. As an independent firm, Trilogy doesn’t own or have an ownership interest in any products or services, so your plan will be designed with only your unique needs in mind. Then, with both collaborative relationships both in the office and out of the office, through advisory teams and strategic relationships with CPAs and estate attorneys, your specific situation will be met with full, complete planning.
Return to the original uneasy feeling of not being prepared. Now, picture walking into the office, your home, or being on vacation with a sense of peace, confidence, and clarity, knowing your financial questions have been answered and you are now working towards priorities you set out to accomplish. There will never be a perfect time to get started and changing the status quo is difficult, and so in most cases the best time to take a look at the game plan is now.
Securities and advisory services offered through National Planning Corporation (NPC), Member FINRA/SIPC, a Registered Investment Adviser. Additional advisory services offered through Trilogy Capital, Inc., a Registered Investment Adviser. Trilogy Financial Services, Trilogy Capital, Inc. and NPC are separate and unrelated companies.