Mar 08

Part 2: I’m in a Life Transition – Now What?

by Geoff Wells

Years go by with casual spending and saving until one day a major life event materializes.  It could be a happy moment such as a marriage, retirement or an additional child.  A life event could also be a sorrow-filled experience of a death, a divorce or a loss of a job. Regardless of the event, financial planners can add the most value for clients in key life phases.

Objectivity – A financial planner will provide an outside view of the situation and deliver an objective opinion.  A simple, fresh perspective can enlighten a path in a confusing time of life.

Scenario Analysis – A financial advisor can analyze the what-if scenarios that run through a client’s mind and streamline the decision making process.  How much can I retire on?  What happens to my children if I die?  How will this marriage affect my savings?  Answering these, and many more similar questions, can give a client peace of mind in a confusing time.

Planning for the Unknown – Another key concern in a life transition is understanding future unknowns.  Each transition causes a unique set of new circumstances to analyze and plan for.  Although the federal estate tax limit is greater than $5 million dollars for an individual, did you know the New York State limit is $1 million? How do you plan on avoiding the New York State estate tax while minimizing the loss of control when gifting money?  Digging deeper into the unknowns can protect a family’s wealth and minimize planning mistakes.

Simplifying the Complex – Life transitions come with complexities.  For example, a client on the cusp of retirement came to us with nine different retirement/investment accounts and a dozen various funds in each.  With account consolidation and unified reporting, we were able to properly diversify the portfolio and illustrate all of the assets on a single sheet of paper.  An advisor can help streamline the financial portion of a life transition so that you can focus on the aspects that matter to you!

Return to “Why Do I Need a Financial Advisor?”