Financial plans come in all shapes and sizes. Here are just a few examples of how we bring all the pieces together for our clients.
Please note these are hypothetical scenarios and do not involve or identify specific clients of Fully Financial.
George and David are a young, successful couple living in Athens, Georgia. George started a business five years ago, and it is beginning to really take off. David is a law professor at the University of Georgia. They recently paid off David’s student loans and are now looking for ways to save and invest. Their taxes have increased pretty dramatically since George started the business, and they also want to find ways to reduce their tax bill.
At this point, George and David haven’t saved much for retirement. They put a lot of money into George’s business and paying off David’s student loans. They know that David has some retirement plan options available through his job, but they don’t know much about it. George has 15 employees at his company, but he has not looked into a retirement plan yet (for himself or his staff).
They purchased their dream home two years ago and plan to stay there for the long-term. Fortunately, they have a relatively healthy sum of cash sitting in their savings account that has accumulated from their paychecks and George’s business profits.
George and David want to think about starting a family soon and are ready to talk through their options as an LGBTQ couple. They want help finding a balance between saving and investing for their future while also enjoying their life now.
George and David have made great progress by paying off their student loans and purchasing their dream home. There are several areas that they know they need to work on and want to work with a financial planner who does more than just investment management. They chose Fully Financial because of the comprehensive approach and fee-only services that they offer.
George and David met with Fully Financial and received a comprehensive financial plan and investment portfolio. They were excited to receive recommendations that were not just investment related, but covered all aspects of their financial life. Their comprehensive plan included:
A review of David’s employer retirement plans and savings/investment recommendations specific to the retirement plans available to him.
A recommendation for a retirement plan for George’s business that keeps administration simple and plan expenses low.
A cash flow analysis that allows George and David to find a balance between saving for the future and enjoying their life now.
A lifetime tax minimization plan that helps George and David save taxes in the current year and minimizes taxes over their lifetime.
A low-cost, tax-efficient strategy for their investment portfolio.
A plan for how much cash they should be holding in their savings account (for emergencies and short-term spending plans), a recommendation for how to make the most interest on the cash they are holding, and a plan for what to do with the excess.
A detailed discussion around the various options available to them for family planning, plus scenarios for how to save and plan for each option.
A checklist of smaller action items to fine-tune their financial life.
George and David are so glad to be working with a financial planner who understands the unique financial issues faced by LGBTQ couples and can help them implement these recommendations. Since they are both busy with their careers, they are relieved to have someone who can manage their investments so they do not have to think about it every day or manually do it themselves.
They have peace of mind knowing they are saving enough to accomplish their goals, and they feel good about spending any extra money they have to enjoy life now. They are most excited to be working toward a concrete plan for starting their family, which they now feel confident can happen within the next few years — no matter which path they ultimately choose.
Emma and Daniel have just retired from their careers and are enjoying their retirement in the North Georgia mountains. They are looking for help to determine how much they can spend each month without derailing their finances or drastically reducing their standard of living. They have the following recurring income sources:
Emma’s Social Security benefit
Daniel’s Social Security benefit
They also have assets in retirement accounts. They don’t know the best way to go about distributing money from those accounts and are worried about doing something that could substantially increase their taxable income. They need help streamlining their finances and admit they don’t really know all of the rules when it comes to retirement accounts, like when to start taking Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) to avoid hefty penalties.
Emma and Daniel also want to ensure that their estate is properly set up. They have three children and six grandchildren that they would like to leave an inheritance to. They have basic estate documents that were done 30 years ago before the grandchildren were born. Emma’s mom recently passed away and her estate was a nightmare to administer because it was not set up properly. Emma and Daniel want to make sure their children don’t go through the same experience and wind up getting tied up in probate court.
Emma and Daniel are looking for help to ensure they are making wise financial decisions. The thought of mismanaging their money in retirement keeps them up at night. They want to make sure all the details are taken care of and that they have someone to turn to when they have money questions.
Emma, a recently retired teacher, and Daniel, a recently retired engineer, have worked hard their whole lives. They are at a point where they want to sit back and enjoy the fruits of their labor, but the thought of unintentionally making financial mistakes is adding stress to their lives. They need a review of their retirement and estate plan to ensure that they are set up for success and have a clear picture of their full retirement income distribution plan.
Emma and Daniel met with Fully Financial and received a comprehensive financial plan, which included dynamic withdrawal strategies to minimize taxation and maximize their retirement income. They were particularly excited to work with a fiduciary planner who could advise them on all areas of their financial life and did not push any unnecessary products or insurance policies. Their comprehensive financial plan included:
A retirement income distribution plan that allows them to feel confident in how much money they can spend each month.
A tax-efficient withdrawal strategy from their portfolio to ensure they are taking funds from the right account each year.
An overview of their Social Security benefits and pension plan, including how those fit into their overall income distribution plan.
An analysis of their healthcare options and recommendations.
A risk management review to make sure their assets are properly insured (and that they are not overpaying for unnecessary coverage).
Incorporation of their RMDs in the retirement income distribution plan.
A comprehensive review of their estate documents, along with recommendations for a local estate attorney in case they want to update their legal documents.
A beneficiary review to ensure their beneficiaries align properly with their estate documents.
Action items to optimally set up their estate to ensure the estate administration process is smooth for their family members.
A lifetime tax minimization plan that helps them save taxes in the current year and minimizes taxes over their lifetime.
A low-cost, tax-efficient strategy for their investment portfolio.
A checklist of smaller action items to tune-up their financial life.
Emma and Daniel have much greater peace of mind now that they are working with a financial planner who can take care of managing all areas of their finances for them. They want to be able to enjoy retirement and not think about when to take (or not take) distributions from their portfolio. They don’t have to worry about unnecessary taxes or penalties, and they feel really good about their estate plan. They now have a clear vision for their retirement and can get back to fully enjoying this next phase of life, instead of worrying about money.
Taylor is a 53-year-old executive who has spent her career working for various animal health companies. Taylor has built her wealth by saving diligently to employer-sponsored retirement plans at different stops along her career. Although she’s not quite there yet, she has started to think more about retirement.
Taylor purchased a whole life insurance policy five years ago but is unhappy with the amount that she has to pay in premiums each month. It seemed like a good idea at the time she bought it, but she’s having second thoughts and wants to make sure she has adequate coverage if she were to pass away.
Taylor is divorced and has two children and one granddaughter who was just born last month. As a relatively new empty-nester, she’s thinking about down-sizing but isn’t sure whether she should buy or rent. And if she does decide to buy, she doesn’t know if she should hold onto her current home and rent it out or sell it. She’s also going back-and-forth on whether to finance her new home or just take money from her investment accounts to pay for it.
In addition to saving for her own retirement, Taylor wants to help save for her granddaughter's future education. She is not set on a retirement age, but she wants to retire comfortably and travel often while maintaining her current standard of living at home.
Taylor needs a comprehensive financial plan and has turned to Fully Financial for help. We will review her current investments to ensure that she is invested appropriately and not highly concentrated in her employer stock. If it makes sense, we also want to help Taylor consolidate her retirement accounts so she is not paying unnecessarily high administrative fees on employer-sponsored accounts from her previous jobs.
We’ll work with Taylor to review her goals surrounding retirement and education for her granddaughter to ensure she is able to accomplish her goals. We’ll also explore the different home-buying and selling strategies available to her.
As a fee-only, fiduciary financial advisor, we do not sell insurance policies, but we will closely review Taylor’s insurance and make recommendations on her policies and coverage needs. If Taylor decides to make a change, we can connect her with a vetted insurance broker to make sure she obtains a quality policy at a competitive cost.
Taylor met with Fully Financial to receive her comprehensive financial plan. She’s excited to work with financial advisors who are able to help her with goal setting and aren’t exclusively focused on investments. She also likes that Fully Financial does not sell insurance, so she knows that she is getting unbiased advice and isn’t worried about being sold a policy she doesn’t need. Taylor’s financial plan includes:
A review of her employer retirement plans and savings/investment recommendations specific to the retirement plans available to her.
A plan that ensures she does not become too concentrated in her employer stock, including a recommended schedule for selling out of her ESPP and RSUs.
Rollover recommendations to consolidate employer-sponsored retirement accounts from her previous jobs to lower her underlying fees, increase her investment choices, and better organize her account management.
A cash flow analysis that allows her to find a balance between saving for the future and enjoying her life now.
A strategic analysis showing the tradeoffs of buying vs. renting a new home since Taylor would like to down-size, plus a breakdown of selling vs. renting out her current home, and a detailed overview of the optimal financing options should she decide to purchase a new home.
A life insurance analysis to ensure Taylor has the right type of insurance and is paying as little as necessary for the proper coverage.
A lifetime tax minimization plan that helps Taylor save taxes in the current year and minimizes taxes over her lifetime.
A tax-advantaged education savings plan so that she can ensure her granddaughter is set up for success (and minimize her own lifetime tax liability).
A low-cost, tax-efficient strategy for her investment portfolio.
A plan for how much cash she should be holding in her savings account, plus recommendations for achieving the highest yield on her cash reserves.
A review of Taylor’s estate documents to ensure that she is prepared for the unexpected.
A checklist of smaller action items to fine-tune her financial life.
Taylor is over the moon to finally have a clear path toward financial independence. She feels confident that with her Fully Financial plan in place, she will be able to accomplish her goals of retirement, travel, funding her granddaughter’s college education, and enjoying life with her family. For the first time, she feels like her financial accounts are organized, and she truly understands how all the pieces of her financial life work together. She knows that Fully Financial is there every step of the way, so as her life changes, her financial plan will adapt with her.