Reaching long-term goals depends on building good financial habits. One-time or ongoing planning can help establish a clear path to your financial future and help eliminate uncertainty as you save for your goals.
A prospective client engaged us for some financial guidance about saving for near-term goals as well as retirement. He and his wife were expecting their second child, and two full-time careers didn’t leave much time for working on the family’s finances.
The couple had previously used a reputable firm for investment management and had also managed some of their portfolio themselves. However, they felt they lacked a clear understanding of their progress towards retirement and they didn’t feel like they were getting an appropriate level of service or advice from their current investment manager.
The couple had a good start on their savings, but we found some places where they could improve. For instance, maximizing contributions to the husband’s 401(k) could help offset the tax burden of a bonus he was receiving. We helped with budgeting considerations since this would impact the month-to-month cash flow that the couple was used to.
We found gaps in life insurance coverage, and we talked with the couple about their liabilities and goals and how an increase in coverage could help cover these items if something were to happen to either spouse.
After taking our risk assessment, we found that the couple’s current portfolio was riskier than they had originally thought — or were comfortable with. We proposed some changes and explained our recommendations from the perspective of risk, reward, near-term and long-term goals, and asset location. This included recommending an investment mix for their 401(k)s.
- Getting started with saving for the future (and reinforcing good habits) is a foundational element of how we help. This couple may have not had a big investment portfolio, but we found some areas where we could help them save for the future.
- Investment selection also includes a sensitivity to costs. Since this couple has a long time horizon for retirement, costs really matter. We helped build a diversified, low-cost portfolio both for the assets that we manage and for their 401(k)s.
- One-time or ongoing services are good solutions for busy professionals who are getting started with their investments, need assistance with basic planning or financial wellness, or maybe need some advice on debt management.