Consider your goals when it comes to your financial future. You want security, comfort, perhaps a legacy to pass on and the ability to enjoy life as a payoff for years of hard work. For most individuals, recognizing what they want or hope for in their retirement and beyond is relatively clear; how to get there, however, doesn’t always seem so clear.
When it comes to wealth planning, everyone’s got an opinion, everyone’s got a bias on how to achieve your goals. Accountants say one thing, mutual fund advisors say another, stockbrokers and life insurance agents say something else. Even your brother-in-law tends to weigh in. But most people don’t think big picture.
That’s why we created the Wealth Curve Blueprint. Instead of selling people financial products, we want clients to have a strategy, a plan. Figure out the strategy first, then find the right products later. It’s a plan that should be reviewed and updated on an annual basis. That’s how you ensure a more predictable result.
How the Wealth Curve Blueprint is Different
The Wealth Curve Blueprint was formulated because we didn’t want to just have conversations with clients to tell them “everything’s rosy,” when it isn’t. We wanted to be realistic and help them understand how they were going to be impacted by the decisions they were making about their wealth. This is how our approach is different; the Wealth Curve Blueprint identifies problems, helps you understand those problems, and reveals why and where changes need to be made. It helps individuals gain by reducing taxes and reducing risk. It will have lower fees and costs. It will give you more benefits and more protection. Ideally, it will save more money, increase retirement income, and increase the inheritance one leaves for their family. If you’re not getting these benefits from a financial strategy, why bother having one?
We designed the Wealth Curve Blueprint to be a snapshot of your present plan—where you are right now. With the blueprint, all financial decisions made over the last twenty-five years or more come together in one place to provide a macro view of your current situation. However, it is not designed to be a road map for where you’re going or a history of where you’ve been. It is a current, at-a-glance view of the most important parts of your plan: family makeup, income sources, savings rate, taxes, mortgages and debts, property taxes, insurance payments, lifestyle, and more.
This blueprint – or snapshot of your current financial situation – is one of the most important components to a financial plan because it reveals all the components unique to your circumstances and financial pressures. With it, we can determine if your wealth curve is trending up or down. You gain a clearer understanding of whether your financial pressure is too high, there’s too much volatility, you’re overspending or under saving, or if you have enough protection against a lawsuit or disability—all the components that can impact your financial plan. It is designed to help you understand, identify, and rank, in the order of potential risk, the forces attacking your wealth.
Once everything is organized into the wealth curve blueprint, then we can begin to look at strategies to reduce taxes, fees, and costs and to increase savings rate. It also lets us see how well a plan is protected, and it gives us a big-picture view of a client’s lifestyle so we can look at ways to modify it moving forward. We can even see whether credit card debt, tax debt, or business liabilities are going to impact the personal plan; then we can use that information to work on debt structure.
More than most balance sheets, which typically show current assets and liabilities, the blueprint also considers future obligations—and all those future “wants” in life. Whether it’s a supervacation for the family, paying for college or weddings, or giving to charities, by seeing your current situation in the blueprint, all those future obligations can be captured and made part of the client’s wealth plan.
Everyone has unique variables they must consider and plan for as they create their plan. For example, we might see that a client is putting away $25,000 a year in anticipation of spending $300,000 to fund their kids’ college educations. But is that the most efficient use of that money? And if they put their kids through college, will there still be enough money to retire? These are questions to be asked and then answered as part of the overall wealth plan.
Every Family, Couple, Individual is Different
No wealth curve blueprint is the same, which means no financial product approach can be the same. Every family, couple and individual faces different financial pressures, priorities, and obligations. That’s what makes the blueprint so critical in the planning process.
Let’s look at sample clients John and Molly Redbank. We first identify the specific dynamics of their family which include living parents, siblings, and any relatives who might be a financial burden or who might leave inheritance money. John and Molly have two children, Junior and Kayla, so the couple’s information includes future expenses for college and weddings. We may also need to include in their plan milestone birthdays for the kids or cars that need to be purchased. By creating a blueprint for them, we can see how they earn their money, where the money is invested, and the contributions being made. We can see their residences (primary and secondary), debt structure (credit cards, mortgages, and rental properties), and protection and defense (life insurance, disability insurance, long-term care, will, and trusts). By having everything captured on a blueprint, John and Molly can be aware of all their pressures, and we can begin to identify and overcome the financial leaks in their plan.
To achieve the financial future you want, you must understand where you are financially today. This big picture approach – using the Wealth Curve Blueprint – provides the clarity needed to make the right strategic decisions so you can have that financial future. Learn more about how the Wealth Curve Blueprint can help you achieve your specific goals.