Financial Wellness Program
You’re ready to get your financial house organized and to follow a program that will help you align your money and your values.
Advisor Office Hours
You’re not ready to hire a full-time financial planner, but you’re looking for an answer to your most pressing financial issue.
You're not sure which service is the best fit for your needs and you want a summary view to help you make an informed decision.
Financial Wellness Program
What is it?
This is an ongoing engagement that begins with the identification of your primary goals and the development of your custom-designed financial strategy to achieve them.
True financial planning is not a one-time deliverable, it’s an ongoing process that enables you to make well-informed decisions throughout your life. We’ll be the CFO for your family and focused on growing and protecting your wealth.
Who is it for?
This broad-based financial planning program is designed for people that are motivated to improve and simplify their overall financial health. You are generally comfortable being in the driver’s seat and want to be involved in managing your various accounts, but you like having a guide in the car to keep you on track, to provide motivation and counsel, and to keep you from getting financially “lost”. We watch the dashboard so you can keep your eyes on the road (i.e. your complex and busy life).
We have found that high income professionals in their 30’s and 40’s (especially those with young kids) get the most out of this program because they are at a stage in life where their assets and accounts have started to become quite tangible and complex while their available time to manage and keep up with all of it has become very small.
Take a look at the sketch immediately below. If your current financial life looks like the image on the left and you'd much prefer that it looked more like the image on the right, the Financial Wellness Program was designed with you in mind. Thank you, Carl Richards, for saying it all in....zero words (literally)!
What does it include?
- Financial Wellness Assessment: We’ll look at your cash flow, net worth, savings rate, how well prepared you are for financial emergencies and your risk management portfolio (i.e. Are you properly insured? Estate docs in place?). You’ll get a list of action items to address any immediate needs.
- Initial development of a goal-based financial strategy (over the course of 2-3 meetings with your financial advisor)
- Plan implementation support and adjustments through the first year
- Periodic check-up meetings with your planner (2-3) each year thereafter to monitor, adjust, and adapt your strategy as life evolves
- Ongoing coaching, guidance, and accountability to ensure you continue to make progress and build wealth
- Access to your financial planner between meetings as urgent or important questions arise. 24/7 secure online access to your complete financial picture
Below is a list of common questions, issues, and challenges that we’ll tackle together to get you on track to financial wellness today and financial freedom tomorrow:
- Identifying Values and Setting Goals: Why is money important to you and what would you like your money to enable you to accomplish in life? This is step 1 and it informs us on what we’re planning for.
- Risk Management: This term is most often associated with insurance, but it actually covers much more: sufficient cash reserves, adequate savings rate, estate planning documents to care for your family, an appropriate investment portfolio.
- Housing: We can evaluate if you should buy or continue to rent, how much you can afford and the required down payment, refinancing options, and whether you should explore real estate investing.
- Education Planning: Everything from choosing the best savings vehicles, to helping you find ways to lower the cost. We can help you figure out your best strategy, including your eligibility for financial aid.
- Employee Benefits Optimization: 401(k) contributions and investment options, life & disability insurance, employee stock purchase plans, Health Savings Accounts…the list is long. We work together to ensure you are taking full advantage of the benefits available to you.
- Equity Compensation: Stock options, restricted stock units, employee stock purchase plans, etc. These all have different tax consequences and risks, and they all affect your financial picture differently. We review your available stock compensation and advise you on how it could best serve your goals.
- Estate Planning: For most people with young families, estate planning is primarily needed to protect your children in case anything happens to you. We can identify needs in your existing estate plan and partner with your attorney to ensure that your estate plan works well with your overall financial plan.
- Investment Analysis: Are you following a strategic investment plan? Can the strategy be adjusted to better align with your goals? Are you paying too much in fees? Are you taking on too much risk? Not enough? We’ll answer all of these questions and give you a consolidated view across all of your accounts.
- Cash Flow Management: We review your income and expenses to determine how much or how little you are saving, how much you should be saving, and where. If you have debt, we can also advise you on how best to pay down debts.
- Retirement Planning: It can be difficult to think about retirement when it’s likely 20+ years down the road, but retirement planning cannot wait until you’re 60. We look at when you are likely to achieve financial independence given your current savings and spending goals, and we adjust your plan to get you back on track if necessary.
- Tax Planning: Taxes play a major role in your financial life. We look for ways to minimize current and future income taxes as a part of your overall financial plan. We also coordinate with your tax professional to make sure your tax decisions work well with the rest of your financial plan.
Advisor Office Hours
What is it?
This is a one-time engagement designed to address 1-2 pressing financial questions, concerns, or challenges that you’re facing.
While most financial advisors only serve clients who are willing to pay for ongoing service, Office Hours gives you “as needed” access to a fiduciary financial planner. Using the music industry as an example, this is like the moment you were first able to download that one song you really wanted whereas you previously had to pay for the whole album.
Who is it for?
This program is designed for professionals who are not ready for the Financial Wellness Program, but still want financial guidance right now. We focus on the topics that are top of mind to help you understand your best course of action and the rationale supporting our recommendations. We can cover any topic that you need advice on or issue you need assistance with. Below are some of the common client situations that we see in Office Hours:
DIY: You enjoy managing your finances, but you want professional validation on a few key decisions or confirmation that your overall approach sets you up for success.
Building blocks: In order to free up capital to invest, you need some guidance on a debt paydown strategy or help building a budget.
Goal-specific: You want to verify if a 529 is the best college savings option for you and some guidance on which plan to choose.
For a broader “menu” of topics, click HERE.
- Initial assistance organizing your relevant financial information
- 1 to 2 meetings to understand your concern or question and talk through all the specifics. (Number of meetings will depend on complexity of your project.)
- A written summary, including specific action steps that you can take next to make progress on your own
We’re also available by phone and email throughout the duration of our time working together.
How Much Does it Cost?
Our service rate is $200 per hour. We will provide a fixed-fee before moving forward. For example, let’s says you are looking for a life insurance needs analysis and a review of your 401k. Before work commences, we inform you it will take 3 hours to complete that for you. We would agree on a flat-fee of $600 before moving forward. You don't have to worry about any hourly model surprises at the conclusion of the engagement.
Which Service is Right for Me?
We’ve made it easy to compare the two main ways we can work together. Check out the chart below - or schedule a Discovery Call to chat through your options. We can hash out the details and help you understand what kind of support makes the most sense for your situation.
|Financial Wellness Program||Advisor Office Hours|
|Topics||Goals, Cash Flow, Debts, Insurance, Investments, Retirement & Education Planning, Large Purchases, Tax & Estate Planning||Designed to Address 1-2 from your list|
|Meetings||Year 1: 4-6 Meetings Year 2+: 2 Meetings||1-2 meetings on average|
|Fees||Plan Creation Fee + Ongoing Monthly Subscription Fee||Fixed Project Fee|
|Access||Phone / email access outside of scheduled meetings||During project duration only|
|Personal Finance Dashboard Website||24/7 secure online access to your financial plan and wellness dashboard||No|