Your financial plan can help you retire, change jobs, make a purchase, travel, and start a business, but it can also impact your loved ones. Ask the right questions today to give your family and friends the resources and opportunities to succeed. Consider these four tips to get you started:
1. Plan for the expected
Ask: “How can I support my loved ones while I'm here?”
Do you want to help your family or friends...
...go back to school?
...pay for a wedding?
...purchase a car or a home?
...retire at the same time you do?
...take a life-changing trip?
...get the long-term care they need?
Is there a charity or organization you want to support well into your retirement years? How can you ensure you’re still able to give back?
Pro Tip: Try working backwards. Once an advisor helps you understand how much you might leave behind, consider whether you want to disburse some of those funds now, helping your loved ones while you’re still here.
2. Prepare for the unexpected
Ask: "How can I support my loved ones if something happens to me?
It’s exciting to plan for weddings and travel, but it’s also prudent to prepare for what happens if you...
...lose your job.
...need long-term care.
For example, if you are the main income earner, do you have enough life insurance to support your household? Is your will and trust properly in place should the worst come to pass?
An expert can help you run scenarios, understand the possibilities, and walk through what-ifs. Operate not from fear but from a desire for peace of mind.
Pro Tip: Loss is overwhelming. Find a team that can be the one-stop shop to help your loved ones coordinate with outside accounts, figure out life insurance, understand remaining assets and liabilities, and navigate your absence.
3. Optimize your estate
Ask: “How will my estate pass on to my heirs?”
Think about the assets you are passing on, the tax consequences of those assets, and how you can minimize taxes—whether it’s you or your loved ones paying.
Your assets might fall into the following buckets:
Tax Deferred— If you pass on traditional 401(k)s, IRAs, or 403(b)s (accounts you didn’t pay taxes on when you put money in), your heirs may need to take this money out within a 10-year period, paying taxes on the distributions.
Tax Free – If you pass on Roth 401(k)s, Roth IRAs, and Roth 403(b)s, you took care of the taxes when you put money into the accounts.
Taxable – If you pass on stock purchases in a brokerage account or individual or joint with rights of survivorship account, be sure you understand the tax rules surrounding this kind of inheritance.
Pro Tip: If your heirs will take distributions from your tax-deferred accounts when they are in their highest tax-paying years, you may want to consider a Roth conversion. However, before you make this decision, review it with an expert. Does it make sense? What’s the break-even point? When will it pay off, and how will it benefit your loved ones?
4. Connect your loved ones with the right team.
Ask: “Who will help my loved ones with their goals and needs?”
Talk with your financial advisor to see how you can help your family and friends transition to their own personal financial team.
Pro Tip: A team-based firm with more than one advisor is best to ensure that there will always be someone who understands you and your family for generations to come.
Above all, the best way to impact your loved ones is to operate with the confidence, calmness, and peace of mind that comes from building the right kind of financial plan.
Financial freedom changes lives, and it starts with financial planning for you and your loved ones.
Investment advice offered through CX Institutional, a registered investment advisor.
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. To determine which investment(s) may be appropriate for you, consult your financial advisor prior to investing.