As your net worth increases, the level of complexity and the number of challenges you face in maintaining and building your wealth increase too. The following six questions—and their answers—highlight solutions for managing your wealth management plan.
My family’s financial situation has become more complicated. How can I manage it?
As your assets grow, you spend more time managing your finances. You might worry that you are neglecting other matters that pertain to your financial well-being, such as ensuring you have the proper amount and type of insurance, and maintaining proper portfolio allocation. A high net worth brings with it added responsibilities and concerns, and many people who achieve a high level of wealth turn to a spectrum of financial and legal specialists to help manage their finances. People often think greater wealth brings greater peace of mind, but oftentimes the opposite is true. But by working with professionals to manage your financial affairs, you can attain the peace of mind you desire.
Estate planning has become a bigger responsibility. Is my estate plan in order?
A high net worth can trigger substantial estate taxes and gift taxes, making the transfer of your estate burdensome on your heirs. The greater your net worth, the more important it is that you put in place a thorough estate plan that ensures your wishes are carried out in the most efficient manner.
How can I identify a new set of financial goals and align with them?
Your growing net worth affects your life and career goals and your family’s future. Answer the following questions to better define your financial goals, and then work with your financial and legal teams to align with those goals.
- Do you want to retire earlier than planned?
- Do you want to pursue another line of work or endeavor, or do you want to stay on your current path?
- What does your growing wealth make possible for your family members? Have you discussed their goals with them? If so, have their goals changed since you last spoke about them?
Are my investments coordinated with my overall financial plan, and are they properly allocated and structured for my risk tolerance?
In the same way you need to revisit your life goals, you also need to revisit your investment goals. Your growing wealth has likely resulted in a proliferation of investment accounts, which could lead to duplication of investments. Furthermore, your asset allocations might not match shifts in your financial goals. Especially if you have assigned control of your accounts to someone else, your investments might align with the other aspects of your financial plan. Working with your financial and legal specialists, take a look at your investments to ensure that everything is coordinated and evolving based on your new life goals.
Is my larger nest egg protected from major risks?
The amount of life insurance you carried before you achieved a high net worth is probably outdated. You now have far more assets to protect, so you need to obtain other appropriate types of insurance, such as disability insurance, to protect you in case you are injured or ill; property insurance, to protect your collectibles and other valuables; and liability insurance, to protect against lawsuits. You likely already have health insurance, but you should consider purchasing long-term care insurance and end-of-life care policies for yourself and your spouse. Working with your financial and legal teams, thoroughly review your overall insurance picture to ensure that you have sufficient coverage to protect your sizable assets from major risks.
Am I handling my charitable giving in the most efficient way?
You can organize your charitable efforts in many different ways to match your philanthropic desires, but you should do it in the most tax-advantaged way, because the money you save on taxes increases the amount you can give to charity. Complex solutions such as family foundations require a financial advisor’s expertise and experience.
How We Help
These six questions—and their answers—make clear that high-net-worth individuals and families need to ensure their financial plans address their needs and goals in a comprehensive and holistic manner.
Our Smart Choices Wealth Management Process assists those who achieve a high net worth create an integrated financial plan designed to maximize their growing wealth, despite the complexity and challenges that come with it. The process comprises the following steps:
- Gather information on your assets and liabilities; provide a clear picture of your new and improved financial situation.
- Establish a new set of life goals based on your values and your wealth.
- Organize a comprehensive financial plan that includes investment planning, tax planning, insurance planning, retirement/aging planning, estate planning, and philanthropic planning.
- Form a long-term partnership with you, continuing to monitor your progress toward your goals and adjusting your plan, as needed, in response to changes in financial markets, the economy, and your life situation.
So go ahead—celebrate the results of your hard work and planning. Then turn to us to maintain and grow your wealth so you and your family can enjoy it well into the future.