Organize Your Finances With A Spring Clean This Year

Organize Your Finances With A Spring Clean This Year

Believe it or not, spring is in the air. With most people spending more time at home due to shelter in place orders, this is the perfect time for spring cleaning. 

More often than not, spring cleaning is often talked about in terms of your house or personal habits — but your finances can also undergo a dedicated, deep spring clean.

How can you best organize your finances this season? The first step is to get a certified financial planner involved. Keep the vacuum in the closet for a bit longer and concentrate on cleaning up your finances in the following five ways.

A certified financial planner can help organize your finances by consolidating your accounts

The first step to simplifying your financial plan is by consolidating your accounts. Consolidating your accounts into one place is a great way to add organization and ease not only to your financial plan but also to the whole financial process.

In all likelihood, you have income streaming in from many different sources which can add complexity to your financial plan— this where a certified financial planner can help. Consolidating your accounts can help you:

  • Understand the full scope of your investments
  • Create a better tax plan
  • Reduce costly fees and charges

Understanding the full scope of your investments will help you track and visualize all of your investments in one place. It will ensure you aren’t over or under-exposed in certain areas in your portfolio. You will also be able to select investments that meet both your long-term and short-term goals.

Understanding your investments will also make rebalancing and asset allocation simpler because all of your investments live in one place. An example could include the transfer of funds from an old 401k into an IRA.

By consolidating your accounts, you will also be able to create a better, stronger tax plan with your certified financial advisor. With your investments housed in one place, your certified financial planner will be better able to help you implement tax-efficient strategies to your investments.

Last, but certainly not least, you can reduce the risk of added costs and fees by consolidating your accounts. Expensive fees can drag anybody down— especially when they are unnecessary and completely avoidable. When your investments are housed under multiple providers, it can hinder your returns and increase your fees. Consolidating your accounts can create a more effective planning experience that can ultimately save you time and leave you more educated about your financial holdings.

Sweep away old spending habits

It is always hard to admit when something needs to change, but now is as good of a time as any to take another look at how you are spending money. In some ways Coronavirus has helped us to prioritize and cut away excess spending. 

Write down what negative spending habits you’ve formed over the years and reevaluate which spending habits to keep and which to throw out.

It’s important to be intentional with your spending. When you spend your money in a way that is reflective of your goals and values, you will be more likely to spend it on the people, places, and things that really matter to you and will help further your goals.

Organize your finances by deep cleaning your budget

First, if you don’t have a budget detailing your monthly expenses, now is the time to create one. It doesn’t have to be fancy, all it needs to include is what you spend monthly and how much each expense costs. This can easily be done in Excel or Google Sheets.  

Budgets are living documents that should change and evolve as your needs do. Take some time to sit down and evaluate your current budget. While doing so, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is your budget working for you and your financial health?
  • What areas need to be changed for you to be able to reach your goals?
  • How can you better track your spending and be aware of your budget in practice?

A strong budget leads to more organized finances. After you’ve created a strong budget, re-visit it every month and adjust as needed. A budget is just an estimate, so don’t be afraid to increase or decrease certain areas of spending (just don’t increase any area too much!).

We’ve created a budget spreadsheet to help you evaluate your cash flow.

Triple check your beneficiaries

Life can change in an instant and when those changes happen, it’s vital to have the correct beneficiaries on your accounts. Updating your beneficiaries on your bank, investments, and insurance accounts are important especially as you move into new phases of your life.

While you’re updating your beneficiaries, be sure to select both primary and contingent beneficiaries. Your certified financial planner can help ensure that you haven’t missed anything.

Talk with a certified financial planner

At Platt Wealth Management, we handle your finances as if they were our own so you, your family, and your assets are protected from any unforeseen financial circumstances.

Our certified financial advisors are here to answer any questions you may have about consolidating your accounts, creating budgets, and/or updating the beneficiaries on your accounts. 

At Platt Wealth Management, we put our client’s needs first and provide completely transparent services so you are in better control of your financial health. Take some time this year to spring clean your finances and bring back organization and structure to your financial life. Are you ready to take control of your financial health? Give us a call at (619) 255-9554 to set up a complimentary review or email us here. Let us help you succeed!

How to Build An Ideal Retirement Plan

How to Build An Ideal Retirement Plan

Retirement is arguably the largest saving goal you’ll have in your life. While saving for your golden years may not always seem like a top priority, it can creep up on you — fast.

Retirement planning requires a strong strategy to support the goals and dreams you have for your future. Your retirement plan will take a comprehensive look at your finances, your physical and mental wellbeing, and your lifestyle. The best way to be assured that your retirement plan is in order is to have a certified financial planner or a fee-only financial advisor work with you.

How retirement planning with a financial advisor can help

Your finances are at the heart of your retirement plan. After all, your goals for retirement rely on your financial ability to support those goals, and that is where a financial advisor comes into play for support and guidance.

One of the main goals of retirement planning is to understand your financial state. This way, when you want to go on a trip around the world, you’ll be able to do so (with no financial surprises).

A financial planner will be able to help you make a plan for your finances in retirement by looking at:

  • Your changing risk tolerance and how that will impact your future investments
  • Your current and expected cash flow 
  • Additional options for income (if needed)
  • Creating a plan for Social Security benefits
  • Implementing a tax planning strategy
  • Charitable contributions

Even though the average cost of retirement was $49,000 per year in 2014, that does not mean that specific number will fit into your lifestyle. All aspects of your financial plan will help work to support the life you want to live in retirement. Your financial planner will be able to help you create a strong plan for your finances that aligns with your future goals and current values.

Retirement planning analyzes your future health costs

Healthcare is one of the leading costs for retirees over the course of their lives and more often than not, it can be one of the most overlooked. Retirement planning can help you know how much you will need to prepare.

According to a Fidelity study, a 65-year old couple retiring in 2019 could expect to pay an average of $285,000 over the course of their retirement on medical expenses alone. This makes healthcare one of the most important parts of your retirement plan.

Health insurance in retirement has many moving parts, making it crucial to understand the options you have. When you’re employed, your employer pays a majority of your health insurance, but when you’re retired, it gets far more complicated. This is another area where strong retirement planning can be truly invaluable.

It’s imperative to have a discussion with your financial planner about Medicare so that they are able to create a plan that will provide you with suitable coverage and payment options. 

The Medicare system often leaves people with many questions, so it is important that you know what your plans will and will not cover along with the payments (copay, coinsurance, deductibles, premiums, etc.) you will be responsible for. On average, Medicare will only cover between 50-60% of your healthcare expenses.

In addition to the above, you will need to make a plan for your physical and mental health. Staying active in retirement can boost your metabolism — keeping you healthier and stronger for longer. 

Your mental health is also an extremely important facet of your health plan. Mental health is arguably just as important as physical health, if not more so. Staying mentally healthy can include engaging in activities and communities that challenge you, are in line with your passions, and force you to think in new, interesting ways.

Your retirement planning should support the lifestyle that you love

The last pillar of retirement planning is to build a life that you are excited about living — one that makes you happy to wake up in the morning.

Retirement can be a time for you to pursue passions and find joy, meaning, and fulfillment in the things you do. Your financial planner will be able to help shape your plan to accommodate whatever you wish to do — the sky’s the limit. 

Lifestyle planning is an intricate process and asks you to think through many parts of your day-to-day life that may come naturally to you now, but can drastically change when you retire. These areas can include:

  • Where and how you want to live
  • How you want to spend your time
  • The ways you will develop a community and relationships
  • How you find fulfillment

These areas look very different for each person. You may be interested in pursuing an encore career, sitting on a board, volunteering regularly, going back to school, or spending time with your grandchildren and loved ones. Whatever your goals are, your retirement planner will help create a plan tailored to your future aspirations.

More golden retirement planning with Platt Wealth Management

It can feel intimidating, almost impossible, to plan for all of the moving parts within the retirement world. Don’t worry — you’re not expected to do it alone! 

If you are searching for a certified financial planner that you can trust to help plan the next stage in your life, look no further. At Platt Wealth Management, our financial advisors put your needs first and provide completely transparent services to best prepare you for all stages of retirement. 

Are you ready to take control of your retirement plans? Give us a call at (619) 255-9554 to set up a complimentary review or email us here

 

The Importance of Comprehensive Financial Planning

The Importance of Comprehensive Financial Planning

Contrary to what you may have been told in the past, financial planning is so much more than simply crunching numbers and filing taxes to the IRS. A comprehensive plan can uncover wealth, reveal new opportunities and show possible pitfalls. Financial planning is a diverse field — aimed to help you use your money to enhance your life and well-being.

While some financial advisors may focus on just the number crunching, at Platt Wealth Management we are interested in pursuing the entire financial landscape. We don’t stop at one facet or one event — we dig deeper. 

Our process is about seeing how each aspect of your plan functions unilaterally, but more importantly how they talk to each other and work together to depict the full scope of your financial life. 

This is what true comprehensive financial planning is all about: the ability to blend personal and financial goals that capture the broadest scope of your financial landscape.

What is comprehensive financial planning?

For us, comprehensive financial planning is always about moving forward. It doesn’t stop at one life goal or stall after a milestone — it continues to grow and build as you do. As you know, life is known for throwing unexpected curveballs, and a comprehensive financial plan is able to handle them with grace (and hit a home run in the process).

A comprehensive financial will:

  • Foster a solid relationship with you and your advisor
  • State your explicit goals and the steps to achieving those goals
  • Consist of a synopsis of your current financial status and assets
  • Be a unique plan perfectly tailored for you
  • Be consistently monitored and adjusted as needed

Our 4 step financial planning process does just that. It gives you a roadmap that will outline your financial goals but also leaves space for growth, development, and change. The foundation of this process is the relationship between you and your certified financial advisor. Through that relationship, you and your advisor will discuss your goals and any concerns that you may have in-depth. 

With a comprehensive financial plan, you are able to create a ‘health plan’ for your finances. It is a detailed record of your goals, resources, risk, and timeline. All of these aspects of your financial plan are analyzed and put together to give you the best chance of financial success. 

How does a certified financial advisor deliver a comprehensive financial plan?

A comprehensive financial plan is best executed by a certified financial advisor — someone with intimate knowledge of the field and who is completely dedicated to your financial growth and development. A financial advisor paints the whole picture for you by helping you define your goals, analyzing your situation, developing and implementing your plan, and continually monitoring its health.

A certified financial advisor will take into account every aspect of your financial situation while developing a comprehensive financial plan. This can include, but is not limited to:

  • Management and strategic investments
  • Risk (ex: investments)
  • Estate, Legacy, College, and Retirement planning
  • Taxes
  • Debt
  • Insurance

By taking into account all of these specific areas, your finances have a greater chance of growing and succeeding. When these areas work and mold together, you will be better able to use each aspect of your financial life to your advantage. These areas all work together to form your financial life. 

What can a comprehensive financial plan do for you?

The advantages of having a comprehensive financial plan are countless: it better protects you, your family, and your assets. The beauty of a comprehensive plan is that it’s prepared for the unexpected detours that life throws your way.

They provide a realistic sense of where you are on your financial journey and concrete steps to get to where you want to go. It’s a step by step process that allows you to reach your goals and gives you the financial confidence you need to have a peace of mind.

A comprehensive financial plan also challenges you by requiring you to think more about your long-term financial goals and what current financial habits need to change to help get you there. Your certified financial advisor is there to help you develop these positive financial habits.

Throughout this process, you’ll develop a deeper, trusting relationship with your certified financial advisor.

A comprehensive financial plan with Platt Wealth Management

A comprehensive plan leaves no stone unturned. Not every financial plan is comprehensive. Unfortunately, more often than not, there are pieces of the financial puzzle that are overlooked and therefore put you, the client, in jeopardy.

At Platt Wealth Management, we analyze every puzzle piece so you, your family, and your assets are protected from any unforeseen financial circumstances.

If you are searching for a complete comprehensive financial plan from someone you can trust, look no further. At Platt Wealth Management, our certified financial advisors put client’s needs first and provide completely transparent services. Are you ready to take control of your financial health? 

Give us a call at (619) 255-9554 to set up a complimentary review or email us here. Let us help you succeed!

 

Should You Get A Second Opinion From a CFP?

Should You Get A Second Opinion From a CFP?

In almost every industry and nearly every aspect of life, it is common to seek out second opinions. They help you decide if you are getting the best value for the services that you are paying for. Second opinions are especially helpful when making important, life-changing decisions. You would get a second opinion regarding medical advice, so why should your finances be any different? A once over from a Certified Financial Planner, or CFP can keep you in top financial health.

If you aren’t sure about the state of your financial plans or its future, take the time to look around for other options. Remember, your financial plan should be specific to you and your business and be tailored to fit your unique goals. Your CFP should look at all parts of your financial life.

If you are debating whether or not you need a second opinion on your financial strategy, ask yourself the following questions:

A CFP can analyze if the advice you’re getting is in your best interest.

As sad as it may seem, not all advisors work with your best interests in mind. Some may simply want to receive a little extra commission on the products, tools, and annuities they sell you, which in turn can tamper with their advice. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon to be sold on bad advice while the “advisor” gets a bonus. But how can you know for sure if the advice that you’re getting is genuine?

Make sure that your financial planner holds a financial planning designation (the most well-known being from the CFP Board). What is so great about a CFP professional is that they have gone, and will continue to go through, rigorous education — the learning process doesn’t stop after the CFP designation is earned.

Instead of solely searching out for a financial advisor, look for the term ’fiduciary’ advisor or Registered Investment Adviser. A person of one of these titles is legally obligated to put your best interests ahead of their own, unlike a broker-dealer. The ‘fiduciary standard’ is that of total and complete, honest protection. 

Last but not least, make sure there are no hidden costs or fees and be upfront with what is in your budget. It’s vital to know exactly how much you are paying for the services that you receive and a reputable advisor will respect that.

A CFP can give you a clear idea of how your portfolio operates.

If you don’t, it’s okay — you are not supposed to be an expert here. However, it is important that your financial advisor explains to you what is and isn’t important within your portfolio. Your financial choices can greatly affect both your short term and long term life, so it’s important to be educated on the basics.

Within your financial portfolio you should:

  • Understand the tax-efficiency of your portfolio including asset location, asset allocation, and tax loss harvesting.
  • Know the level of risk you have and how that risk intersects with and impacts your short-term and long-term financial goals.
  • Be aware of your portfolio’s diversification.

Education of the client is at the core of a healthy financial plan and investment portfolio. At Platt Wealth Management, our ultimate mission is to empower our clients with the knowledge and education to help them understand how their portfolio works and the nuances involved to help keep it running.

A CFP can build a comprehensive financial plan.

Your financial plan should take into account your passions, goals, and pain points. Having a written plan is the first place to start as it will illustrate your goals and how your resources should be maximized in order to help you reach those goals.

Your financial plan should be a roadmap that includes:

  • Where you are now and where you want to be
  • A detailed timeline on how to reach your future goals 
  • A backup plan for events such as fluctuating markets, health concerns, or career changes

What a second opinion from a CFP can reveal.

While the process of seeking out a second opinion may be intimidating, it could be in the best interest of your financial future. A second opinion will allow you to receive a thorough analysis of your investments. This analysis may include how well your investments have performed over time and the state of their health today. It will also reveal what the future has in store for your investments such as anticipated returns and if those expected returns will help you meet your goals.

A second opinion will also help you evaluate the costs you are incurring from your current advisor. Is your current financial advisor discovering new ways to save you money? Is the service you are receiving coinciding with the level of fees you are paying?

If you are searching for an honest, trustworthy second opinion from a fiduciary advisor, look no further. At Platt Wealth Management, we put our client’s needs first and provide completely transparent, fee-only services. Ready to transform your financial future? Give us a call at (619) 255-9554 to set up a complimentary review or email us here.

3 Ways A Financial Advisor Can Transform Your Business

3 Ways A Financial Advisor Can Transform Your Business

A business financial advisor can help you avoid costly mistakes and maximize your business returns.

How can a business financial advisor do this? Business professionals live busy (occasionally hectic) lives consisting of hundreds of meetings, client requests, sales goals, and a list of services to uphold. With other tasks taking precedent, it’s easy to add managing your finances as just another thing to check off your ever-growing to-do list. That’s why a business financial advisor is key to maximizing your return from your business.

 Financials are one of the first areas to start slipping through the cracks as a business gains traction and grows. To avoid heading down the slippery slope of inadequate financial management, we suggest hiring a financial professional.

 

Many business owners avoid hiring a financial planner thinking it will add unnecessary costs, however that is a false reality. Working with a professional business financial advisor can not only save you time and money, but also grant you peace of mind knowing the financial state of your business is taken care of now and in the future. 

 

The benefits of adding a financial planner to your team are endless, but we’ve compiled a list of our top 3 reasons as to exactly how they can transform the way you work.

 

A business financial advisor can help you: manage your employee benefits…for your benefit.

It’s no secret that employee benefits, such as a 401(k), are an important piece of your business. While important, retirement plans can also be a tricky process, demanding a large amount of time and attention that many business professionals simply don’t have.

What can a financial planner do for your 401(k) program?

Consult on the details and fine print of your plan

Maintain the health of your account

Manage current assets

Help establish and reach investment goals

Broaden your investment portfolio

By creating a seamless 401(k) plan, your financial planner is also helping your business minimize employee turnover. It’s true — roughly 40% of employees who work for small businesses said they would leave their current company for one that offers a quality 401(k) plan.

Business owners can also receive a tax break from corporate taxes by having a qualified program in place.

A business financial advisor can: execute strategies and help plan your goals.

Capital is arguably one of the most important aspects of a small business, making their investments a vital piece to their long-term success. A professional can help diversify a business’s assets with the long term goal of yielding higher, long-term returns and lowering the risk of individual holdings. Financial advisors will help you maintain a healthy mix of asset types and classes and manage those assets in an efficient way.

Every business’s goals are different and will require a unique mix of assets. Asset allocation and risk tolerance are key determinants when choosing investments taking into account your business’s goals, cash flow needs, and tax considerations.

A seasoned financial planner will:

Keep your portfolio manageable

Know where your money fits best (ex: stocks, commodities, exchange-traded funds, and/or real estate funds)

Continue to build your portfolio based on growth and economic status

Know when it’s time to cut ties with unprofitable investments

A financial advisor is also able to offer you personal financial strategies such as how and when to retire, to help you choose which investments fit best into your future lifestyle. Whether they are optimizing your capital for future business growth or advising on your retirement plan, a financial planner is the backbone for your future successes.

A business financial advisor can: execute strategies and help plan your goals.

A financial planner will be able to help you brainstorm, set, and execute your business’s financial goals. These goals include but are not limited to: exit strategies, investment aspirations, insurance needs, business set-up/liability, and a comfortable retirement plan

All small business owners will eventually exit their businesses, whether it is to start a new business or to begin the adventure of retirement. Either way, a financial planner can help facilitate these sometimes difficult discussions and decisions to help prepare your business for if/when you are no longer there.

Financial planners can also help keep you organized which in turn will help save the business money so it can reinvest in itself. They can give your business the opportunity to expand and grow through:

Employee training
New hires
Additional programs and/or products

Empowering you is our mission as your business financial advisor.

 

At Platt Wealth Management, our ultimate goal is to empower our clients by providing personalized and seamless financial planning advice and expertise. As a business owner, you wear many ‘hats’ throughout the day, but you are also not expected to be a financial expert. That’s why we’ve developed a four-step financial planning process that is designed to get you where you want to go while providing flexibility to adapt to any changes that may come your way.

Are you looking to strengthen your business or personal finances? Are you ready to save time, money, and gain peace of mind? Look no further — our team is committed to finding you the right solution. Give us a call today at (619) 255-9554 to set up a complimentary review and discuss how a financial planner can fit into your business plan.

 

Are you on track for retirement?

Making sure you will be ready for retirement can be overwhelming. Funding your retirement accounts over the years is just one part of your journey to the retirement of your dreams. A Certified Financial PlannerTM can help you navigate the complexities of financial planning. Talk to a Financial Planner>

Dream. Plan. Do.

Platt Wealth Management offers financial plans to answer your important financial questions. Where are you? Where do you want to be? How can you get there? Our four-step financial planning process is designed to be a road map to get you where you want to go while providing flexibility to adapt to changes along the route. We offer stand alone plans or full wealth management plans that include our investment management services. Give us a call today to set up a complimentary review. 619-255-9554.

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