Our Approach to Personal Planning – The Planning Phase  

• We get to know and thoroughly understand our clients attitudes, objectives, and biases if any.  We pride ourselves on listening and exploring.    

• We collect all pertinent data including but not necessarily limited to, assets and liabilities of all types, income statements, employee benefit data, existing personal and business insurance plans, legal documents, any legal agreements, and tax returns.  
•We prepare a brief report summarizing the data received and noting areas of concern.  Included are a preparation of a financial statement, a comprehensive view of investment  allocation, a summary of existing insurance and benefit plans, and a synopsis of existing legal documents.  


•We use this background information to have in depth discussions with the client about areas of primary concern to the client.  


Upon request we prepare detailed Retirement Cash Flow Projections factoring in Social Security, existing retirement benefit plans, personal and business assets, and a variety of inflation and investment return assumptions to help determine the client’s retirement security status.  We also review the investment and tax strategies currently used by the client.   


•Upon request, we review both the legal and financial security planning in the event of the clients physical and/or mental incapacity.  We prepare Incapacity Cash Flow Projections upon request and assess existing insurance and legal arrangements.  


•Upon request, we prepare a Survivors Needs Cash Flow Projection to determine the   financial security of family and/or business survivors if the client dies prematurely.  In addition, we evaluate tax planning strategies and distribution plans for heirs.


•It is also important to note that we frequently propose and routinely promote the use of a “Team Approach” to planning.  We encourage the involvement of your attorneys,  accountants and other advisors as necessary.  
•It should be clear that we DO NOT USE cookie cutter programs or analysis tools.  Each  and every client is unique, and each and every planning step we use is customized to the  client.   


•The usual result of the planning we do will be the identification of a wide variety of issues to be considered by the client. The key is that these evaluations provide a logical foundation on which to: 
– Understand ones situation
– Evaluate the various issues identified 
– Prioritize the importance of each issue  
– Consider actions to be taken
– Implement any, all, or no recommendations


All of the steps above constitute the planning phase.  This work is done on a “project” basis with a defined beginning and end, and it is billed on an hourly rate.  Total fees are based solely on the time expended. Once the planning phase is completed, the fee meter turns off. 


Financial & estate planning are really an ongoing process.  Finances change. Prosperity changes. Health changes. Tax Laws change.  Personal needs and objectives change.  


We know that plans require regular review and testing.  Accordingly, we are committed to long-term relationships to include semi-annual, annual or bi-annual reviews, and we are, of course, “on call” 24/7/365. 


Our Approach to Business Planning – The Planning Phase 
Business owners have a wide variety of issues in addition to personal financial and estate planning, and, quite often, business dollars can be used to satisfy personal planning objectives.  


We assist business owners in the following areas:
•Design, implementation and funding of business continuation and succession planning arrangements in the event of retirement, incapacity and premature death in addition to  the lifetime sale of the business
•Key executive protection for critical personnel
•Insured benefit plans – group and supplementary life, accidental death and  dismemberment, medical, dental, vision and long term care insurance  
•Qualified retirement plans – 401(k)s, pension, profit sharing, SEP IRAs  
•Non-qualified, selective retirement plans for key personnel

The process we use mirrors the personal planning methodology.  We begin with the collection of and careful review of existing programs followed by in depth discussions of the clients objectives.

We then prepare an evaluation and recommended action steps for the clients consideration.  Again, interaction with existing legal and tax counsel is customarily solicited as well as using key strategic alliances we have with certain benefit companies. 
Our Approach to “Product”
A natural result of the planning process is often the need to address insurance and/or investment products.  However, sometimes clients have “solo” needs that require these products without a comprehensive plan.
In either event, we have extensive knowledge and skill regarding these products and will make specific recommendations.  In that regard there is NO fee for service.  If appropriate, products will be offered and the client is free to accept or reject any recommendation.
We are not employees of any insurance or investment company.  We have no vested interest in any provider and, therefore, we are focused on utilizing only insurance and/or investment companies that we believe are both high quality and cost competitive.
Most products used include a commission paid to us by the product provider. Some include small, ongoing commissions paid in future years.  We disclose all commissions paid and we never “tack on” any type of additional fee to the client.