TEAM: Together Everyone Achieves More
From a young age, we learn about the importance of collaboration and how we can work better together. We think the same is true of our role in your life! We believe financial planning done right spans all aspects of life and requires close collaboration with the other professionals and family members on your “team”. We collaborate with team members like your tax professional, your estate planning attorney (and any other attorneys you work with), your insurance and real estate agents, and, maybe most importantly, your family and loved ones. In this space, we share more about our goals and relationships with your team members.
Taxes weave in and out of many (if not all) strategic financial planning decisions. Some examples include:
- Reallocating an account into the Yeske Buie portfolio model,
- Determining whether to make traditional or Roth contributions,
- Determining timing and potential tax ramifications of a home sale,
- Strategizing for equity compensation (stock options),
- Roth conversion analyses,
- Safe-Spending and retirement account distributions (including Required Minimum Distributions and Qualified Charitable Distributions),
- Charitable giving,
- Education funding,
- And more!
And we enjoy tax analysis and planning (I did get a master’s degree in Advanced Financial Planning with a concentration in Income Taxation, after all!). But we are not the experts, nor the final say, and of that we’re well aware. As CFP® professionals, we are required to always act as fiduciaries, to stay within our areas of expertise, and to consult with other experts for advice in your best interest. One of the ways we do so is by coordinating directly with your tax professional when advising on strategies with direct tax consequences. We want to be sure that your whole team is on the same page and that you are getting necessary advice and guidance from your tax expert.
Another way we help the team is by securely sharing annual Schwab tax reports (1099s, 1099-Rs) directly with your tax preparer if requested. At that same time, if applicable, we confirm any contributions you made to your Donor Advised Fund or Qualified Charitable Distributions (QCDs) as part of your annual Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs).
We also offer to share quarterly tax reporting with your tax preparer for their planning purposes throughout the year, especially when it comes to estimated tax payments. These things help us help you and help your tax preparer, and we are more than happy to play our part in this way.
Taxes are a really important and enjoyable part of our work with you and we realize the significant value of your tax professional; we thoroughly enjoy building relationships and working directly with them to best serve you on your Live Big®journey.
Estate Planning Attorneys
Your estate planning attorney is also a major player on your team. Estate planning is a vital aspect of financial planning; ensuring your wishes are known and documented is a gift to your loved ones. Estate planning attorneys work hard to get to know you and ensure your wishes are clearly documented and flexibility is built into your plan to ensure the best decisions can be made when needed.
We will work directly with your estate planning attorney to share all information we have that will be helpful to them (to make the process easier for you). This might include sharing information on your current assets and liabilities, current beneficiary designations, current estate documents, and more. While it may feel like a big task to approach and be easy to put off, we want to make the process as easy as possible for you because we know how important it is.
Once your documents are finalized, we like to have copies on file so we can be familiar with your arrangements and have copies of the documents should you or your family and loved ones ever need them. We also use this information to prepare three different financial planning reports on your Client Private Page®:
- Estate Document Summary – This summary table lists your current estate planning documents and the people you have designated to help make decisions when called upon. We like to review this every year to ensure the people you have designated are still the people you wish to have named.
- Estate Flowchart – We create a simplified flowchart of your current assets and the flow after your passing.
- Estate Calculation – We also create a calculation of your estate and any potential federal or state estate taxes that may be incurred. With the federal estate tax exemption currently over $11,500,000 per person, this isn’t often a report that requires any action, but still we continue to pay attention as we know estate tax laws can and do change often.
Your family and loved ones are a vitally important part of every aspect of your life (of course!). They’re also important in your financial plan – from ensuring you’ve designated the appropriate people to make decisions on your behalf should you be unable to do so, to ensuring your ultimate wishes are known (and that you know your loved ones’ ultimate wishes), to passing on financial literacy lessons and financial hygiene habits… your family and loved ones often play a (or many) role(s).
We enjoy facilitating multigenerational family meetings to discuss financial planning policies, family wealth transfers, and family roles in estate plans – whatever feels best to you and covers what you would like to discuss and share. And we also love meeting separately with your children or grandchildren to embark on the financial planning process and help them take advantage of their superpower: time! Every good financial decision made by a young person is exponentially more powerful to their long-run success than the same decision made 10 or more years later.
To that end, we have a financial literacy program to share tools and resources we find helpful for those young people in your life (children and grandchildren, but also your nieces and nephews and any others you think might benefit from the tools). The program includes tools for young children (including the Money Savvy Pig) all the way up to college graduates (including some great books with tips and thought-provoking questions for exploring the future).
As you know, your family and all of your loved ones play an important role in your life and financial planning is about all of you – your life, your values, your dreams, and everyone who matters to you.
Other Important Team Members
While the three categories of team members above play important roles on your team, there are others who may also be part of your team along your journey, including, but not limited to:
- Insurance agents,
- Third party administrators for small business retirement plans,
- Real estate agents and mortgage brokers,
- Life and business coaches,
- Childcare workers,
- And more.
We empower people to pursue their Live Big® lives. And every member of your team matters to your Live Big® life. We know how important it is to be part of your team and to collaborate with all other members on your team and we hope you feel we are on our “A” game! Please don’t hesitate to reach out if there is anything we can do to help you, your family, your loved ones, and/or any of the members on your team.