The “right” time to talk to a financial advisor is different for everyone. Some advice you’ll read on the internet says to hire an advisor once you can save 20% of your income. A more helpful way to approach this question is to list your financial goals and how you will reach them. Be as specific as you can. Maybe you would like to start a college fund for your children or begin looking for a cottage on Lake Michigan where you can spend your retirement days. Do you know what steps to take to reach those goals? Do you have a plan for staying on track?
Here are a few scenarios where an advisor can help simplify your financial life and put you on track to meet your future goals.
Planning for Retirement
Retirement planning is more than contributing to your 401(k) or Roth IRA. It also involves identifying sources of income, looking at future expenses, developing a savings program, managing assets, and establishing a timeline for when you can retire.
You can start planning for your “golden years” at any time, but it’s best to factor it into your financial planning from the start. An advisor can help plan through every detail and create an investment strategy to achieve the retirement you envisioned.
A note for those preparing to transition into retirement. Entering the distribution phase of life takes a vastly different mindset than the accumulation phase. This is often the biggest emotional hurdle for retirees. Our firm focuses on helping individuals create a tax-efficient income plan. By automating monthly distributions, we can figuratively recreate a “paycheck” for you, easing any emotional concerns around how much and where your money will come from.
Planning for College
The cost of attending a four-year college or university has been rising twice as fast as inflation. Starting a college fund while your children (or grandchildren) are still young will give you plenty of time to save up for the rising costs of college tuition.
A common type of college fund is a 529 plan. In the past, this savings plan was limited to postsecondary education costs. Now, a 529 can apply to K-12 and apprenticeship programs. These plans are tax-deferred, and withdrawals are tax-free if used for qualified education expenses. 529 plans are run at the state level, so it’s important to have a financial advisor who is familiar with the rules in your state.
Thinking about what will become of your assets when you are gone probably isn’t something you enjoy pondering. However, estate planning is still an important part of managing your finances. Not only does it make your wishes clear, but it may also protect your beneficiaries from having to settle the estate in probate court. Estate planning may also help minimize taxes.
Managing Workforce Retirement Plans
A well-designed retirement plan is important for attracting and retaining a skilled workforce. If you own a business, you might work with a financial advisor to modify or expand your company’s retirement plans.
A financial advisor can act as a plan fiduciary in either an ERISA 3(21) or ERISA 3(38) capacity. In addition to helping you set up and manage the plan, they are available to meet with individual employees to map out investment solutions to fit their goals. Establishing this direct communication between advisors and your employees will help minimize your stress as a business owner and provide educational tools and resources.
Life rarely goes according to plan. A financial advisor can help you plan for expected events and recover from unexpected ones:
- Inheriting money from a parent
- Selling or buying a home
- Starting, selling, or buying a business
- Managing finances as a new married couple
- Managing finances after being widowed or divorced
Plan for a More Confident Financial Future
Midwest Capital Advisors helps people simplify their financial lives and make the right decisions to meet their goals. We will work alongside you to assess your current financial state and listen to your goals for your family, your employees, or for your future. We will map out specific recommendations to help meet those goals, implement your plan, and monitor it. Learn more about our financial planning process or let us know if you have questions about our services.