At Compass, we believe that a financial plan is part of your Life Plan, and is fundamental to enhancing your quality of life and achieving your life’s goals.
We start by focusing on what is truly important to you. Our first meeting is spent determining and detailing these items. We ask many questions, but also do a great deal of listening. We get to know you during this process: the significant influences and lessons in your life, your money role models, your personal values and philosophy, your hopes and dreams…in short, your story. In addition, we work to discover how you define success as well as what brings you meaning and fulfillment.
We then conduct a thorough fact-finding of your financial situation. Your preparation for this meeting is the most extensive part of the process that we ask of you. But clients usually find their effort to be well-rewarded by the increased sense of their "big picture”.
Once these steps are completed, together we design a financial life plan that can achieve your goals in ways that also reflect your values, vision, and specific financial circumstances. We discuss various alternatives with you to ensure that we are co-creating your plan.
Once we present your financial plan to you, it will include our written analysis, combined with recommended planning strategies and techniques that are designed to help you achieve your financial goals and objectives. Our recommendations are based on the facts and representations that you make during this process. Where applicable, they address, but are not limited to, the following questions:
- How can I get a handle on what I’m spending?
- Am I saving enough given what I make?
- What level of cash reserves should I maintain?
Asset Allocation and Portfolio Design
- How much risk am I taking now, and how much do I need to take to achieve my goals?
- What asset allocation is appropriate for me given my goals, situation, and risk tolerance?
- How do I incorporate my 401(k), 403(b) or employee stock plan into my overall portfolio design?
- What investments are best held in my after-tax (versus deferred or tax sheltered) accounts?
- What should I be doing now to lower my taxes both this year and in the future?
- Should I be investing in a Roth IRA/401(k)? Should I convert my traditional IRAs into Roths?
- When will I be able to retire, and how much money will I need to maintain my desired lifestyle?
- How do I plan for my children’s education while saving for my retirement?
- What is the impact on my retirement of a career change that would lower my household income?
- How much income can I take from my portfolio and still sustain my long-term security?
Wealth Transfer and Estate Planning
- How do I arrange my estate plan to leave a legacy that reflects my values and priorities?
- How do I treat my children fairly even though they have different needs and situations?
- How do I minimize costs and taxes as well as hassle and delay for my heirs?
- Are my beneficiary designations current, consistent, and indicative of my priorities?
- How can I best benefit the charities and other organizations I wish to support, while ensuring I have enough money to live on?
Risk Management and Insurance
- How much debt and other leverage is appropriate for me?
- What is the optimal structuring of my mortgage and other financing?
- How can I best use financing options in the exercise of my company stock options?
- What type of personal liability coverage should I carry?
- How much/what type of life and disability insurance should I have (if any)?
- Do I need long term care insurance? If so, how much and what type?
Our relationship doesn’t end upon delivery of the plan. We follow-up with you to ensure you’re on track, and where you’re not, we re-address the issues at hand. And since life can be unpredictable, we encourage our clients to update their plans on a regular basis, especially in anticipation of a major life change.