Financial Planning Process
Does financial planning sound good, but you’re not sure what it covers? Here’s a pretty comprehensive list of topics we will talk about:
Identifying Goals.This is the foundation of financial planning. Whether your goal is “Provide for my kids while I figure out what’s next” or “Do I have to sell the house now that I’m widowed?” or “I don’t even know what to do next.” Knowing where you are at right now is the necessary first step to moving towards the goals and values that are important to you.
Risk Management. This term is often used simply as a synonym for “insurance,” but it is so much more: ample cash reserves, adequate savings rate, estate planning documents to care for your family, an appropriate investment portfolio.
Real Estate Planning Strategies. You might have a lot of your net worth tied up in real estate, especially your primary residence, and especially if you live in a high-cost-of-living area. We look at the role that real estate plays in your total financial picture and how to best balance the risks and potential rewards of real estate ownership with those of your investment portfolio and the rest of your financial picture.
Education Planning. No matter how old your child is, there’s something we could be doing to prepare for the cost of his or her education, either savings or ways to lower the cost. We can help you figure out your best strategy at every step, and can even help review your financial picture as it relates to eligibility for financial aid.
Employee Benefits Optimization. Life transitions after being widowed can make this part particularly stressful as often your spouse’s job may have provided many benefits beyond salary. We help you examine options for health insurance, 401(k)/TSP contributions, life insurance, legal services…the list is long. We review your benefits and determine whether you are taking full advantage of the benefits available to you and how best to evaluate benefits as they change.
Estate Planning. While this might be hard to consider for those that may have lost their spouse already, estate planning for most people with young families, is first and foremost a way of protecting your children in case anything happens to you. We can help identify needs in your existing estate plan and coordinate with your attorney to ensure that your estate plan works well with your overall financial plan.
Investment advice. Do you have investments spread all over the place–your 401(k)/TSP, your spouse’s, an investment account, a savings account, a CD, a 529–and little idea how they all work together? We provide a high-level view of your entire portfolio as it exists today and recommend how to tailor it to better meet your goals. We can also explain how various investment vehicles and strategies work.
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. We can help you set up a system for saving that is automatic and makes it easy to stick to your plan. If you have debt, we can also advise you on how best to pay down debts. The video below shows how we use technology to make this easy for you.
Retirement Planning. Though you might be still years away from retirement, retirement planning cannot wait until you’re only a few years away. We look at when you are likely to achieve financial independence given your current level of assets and spending goals, and we adjust your plan to help you get there on your terms and timing.
Tax Planning Strategies. We want you to understand your taxes and how they interact with the rest of your finances. We also look for ways to minimize current and future income taxes as a part of your overall financial planning picture. A knowledge of your tax situation will help guide strategy for investing, income, philanthropy. We coordinate with your tax professional to make sure your tax decisions work well with the rest of your financial plan.
Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) Analysis. For servicemembers and their families approaching retirement, deciding whether or not to select the SBP is a major decision that can be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars over military retirement. We work with you to determine your needs, compare against other life insurance strategies, and give you the confidence you need to make the right choice for your individual circumstances.
Financial Planning Fee Schedule
Here’s a look at the different financial planning services we offer and the pricing structure for each one:
Foundation Plan: $999 – $3,999 — Our Foundation Plan is a complete financial plan that includes all of the elements discussed above in the financial planning process. We gather and review everything related your financial life and then work together for 4 – 8 virtual meetings (based on the complexity of your financial situation), typically over the course of a few months. We craft a plan with action steps for each area of your finances for you to confidently implement on your own.
Comprehensive Plan: Upfront cost of $499 – $999 & ongoing monthly cost from $199 – $499 (based on the complexity of your financial situation) — The Comprehensive Plan consists of the same elements as The Foundation Plan, but also includes ongoing execution of implemented strategies, quarterly meetings after the initial plan is developed over, and unlimited email support for financial topics. It gives you complete, ongoing access to Wise Stewardship regarding your financial life for all the questions and changes that life may bring. There is no contract and you are free to cancel at any time. Investment management is available as an additional service to our comprehensive financial planning clients. We will continue to monitor and adapt our strategies based on the fluctuations of the market and your unique needs.
Quick Start Plan: $195 — This plan covers one of the financial planning topics listed above. After you submit some relevant information to your topic of choice, we have an hour-long virtual meeting going over your questions and coming up with a gameplan. Following our meeting, you receive an action checklist reviewing our discussion and giving you the steps you need to implement on your own. Previous Quick Start clients that hire Wise Stewardship for the Foundation or Comprehensive Plan within 5 months of their previous meeting will have the entire $195 applied towards their financial planning fee.
Ask Me Anything: $150 an hour — Have some general questions or just want to talk with a fee-only financial planner? We can work together at a flat hourly rate to customize a plan for your needs. A minimum of 2 hours is required.
Investment Management – The investment management program was designed for those who know where their time is best spent — and researching, managing, and stressing over their investments and the health of their portfolios is not it. Making the right investments is critical to building wealth, providing for your family based on investing life insurance proceeds, and meeting your goals. But trying to DIY can leave you second-guessing every decision, missing opportunities, and making mistakes you didn’t even know you were making.
Successful investing requires objectivity, and it’s almost impossible to remain objective when you’re dealing with your own money. With endless choices and decisions to make, it’s easy to stray from rational strategies and start buying, selling, and rebalancing based off emotion (if you remember to do these things at all). Don’t lose your potential to create, grow, and keep wealth by making the same mistakes the average investor makes. We provide professional investment strategy that runs off academic research and empirical evidence. When we work together to better manage your investments, you can enjoy peace of mind and focus on other areas of your life.
Our investment fee schedule is below. Note that for Comprehensive Planning clients that delegate investment management to Wise Stewardship, their monthly planning charge is offset by any investment management fees charged.
|Account Value||Annual Advisory Fee|
|$0 – $500,000||1.00%|
|$500,001 – $750,000||0.90%|
|$750,000 – $1,000,000||0.80%|
|$1,000,001 – $2,000,000||0.70%|
|$2,000,001 and Above||0.60%|
Effective June 14, 2019, the Massachusetts Securities Division has adopted amendments to the regulations regarding disclosure obligations of investment advisers registered in Massachusetts. The amendments include the requirement that all investment advisers registered in Massachusetts provide clients and prospective clients with a one-page, stand-alone Table of Fees for Services (“Fee Table”). While the information included in Wise Stewardship Financial Planning’s fee table is already primarily listed on this webpage, you can also access the PDF of WSFP Table of Fees for Services (“Fee Table”).
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