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Below is a list of the services we most commonly provide to clients. Most clients find that they need several of these, combined in a holistic way.

Retirement planning

How much income will you need in retirement? How much do you need to be saving every year to meet this goal? And what if you started saving later than you would have liked: Is it possible to catch up? These are the kinds of questions we address as part of a retirement planning engagement.

Saving for college
Estate planning
Risk management
Debt management

Should you pay off credit card debt before you start saving for retirement (or saving for college or to buy a house)? What about student debt? How can you pay down your debt more quickly?

Setting up a retirement savings account
Employee benefit choices

What employer benefits do you take advantage of? Most are not taxed as income, but some are. And if your employer offers a “cafeteria plan,” do you take the cash or the fringe benefit? Which is more advantageous? And what about Flex Savings Accounts and Health Savings Accounts: Do these make sense for you?

Cash flow analysis/budgeting

We look at cash flow whenever we want to make sure that you have enough cash to meet a particular goal: buying and paying for a new house, saving for college while meeting other expenses, or enjoying retirement at a certain standard of living. But often cash flow issues arise at a more mundane level. Many people wonder why they can’t seem to save any money at the end of the month. “Where does my paycheck go?” We can use cash flow analysis to help you get a better sense of your spending and develop a workable budget that will allow you to enjoy life while also reaching your financial goals.

Tax optimization

Most of us feel a duty to pay taxes so that our government (state and federal) can provide services we all need (defense, Medicare, education, road repair, etc.). But no one wants to pay the Tax Man a cent more than we have to. So many financial decisions we make every day have tax consequences. Will the mortgage deduction make buying that new house more affordable than it might appear otherwise? Would it be more advantageous to make that charitable donation this year than next? Often tax optimization comes up in the context of investing. Bond interest is taxed differently than the profit that comes from selling a stock (or most stock dividends), and even that depends on how long you have owned the stock. It gets tricky! And while interest earned on most bonds is taxed at both the federal and state levels, some bonds are tax-free at the federal level and some tax-free at the state level too. Making these decisions depends on the unique situation of every client. We are not tax accountants, but we can make you aware of the tax consequences of different investing and other financial choices we make every day.

Portfolio review

What mix of stocks, bonds, and other investments is appropriate given your financial goals and your tolerance for risk? Does your current portfolio strike the right balance? How often should you rebalance your portfolio? How often should you rethink your broader investment plan?

Life events

Life events are not a “service” per se, but are very often the occasion for clients to seek our help. “I’m getting married: how does that affect my financial goals and the plan I need to meet those goals?” “We’re having a baby: do I need to get serious about life insurance now? Is it too soon to start saving for college?” “I have just received an inheritance from Aunt Judy: should I use it to pay off my house or keep it for retirement or spend it on that trip around the world?” “My employer is offering me stock options: should I avail myself of this benefit? What are the tax implications?” “My spouse has terminal cancer: how are we going to pay the health bills? Will I be able to maintain my standard of living after my spouse dies?”

Educational seminars