What can be learned from your financial records

Your financial records reflect the story of many aspects of your life, your values and the decisions you make.

Have you made wise choices?

Have you saved early in your life, to help ensure a more secure retirement, financial future or for your children or grandchildren’s college education?

We can learn a tremendous amount from a review of your financial records, such as your tax returns, checkbook, credit card and investment statements. You can learn from these records as well.

All your financial decisions have an impact on your financial future. Everyday expenses, from coffee to clothing, impact your ability to save and invest. Larger decisions, like what car you get and whether you lease or buy, as well as house decisions, have an even greater impact on your financial future. As your financial advisor, we can help guide you with your major life financial decisions.

Are you using or maximizing the retirement plans which are available to you? If you are self-employed or a consultant, are you contributing to a defined benefit pension plan, which can provide significant tax savings, which can far exceed IRA or 401(k) contributions?

If your tax returns every year show lots and lots of stock trades and you get brokerage statements which are more than 10 pages long, is your advisor handling your account properly? Our clients would not have these type of statements.

Does your tax return reflect that you are charitable, in relation to your financial means?

Are you choosing to take family vacations and especially multi-generational experiences? Are you creating significant memories and a legacy?

If you are making large charitable gifts, are you using appreciated stock, which may be advantageous?

Does your tax return reflect that your financial advisor is using very tax efficient investments, which reduce taxable distributions, and thus reduces your taxes?

Does your tax return reflect that your financial advisor does tax loss selling throughout the year, if there are opportunities to do so? Or is your financial advisor only considering tax loss opportunities at year-end? Do you know what tax loss selling is?

Do your bank account statements show that you are spending less than your income?

Should your mortgage be refinanced? Are you pre-paying your mortgage? We would not recommend pre-paying mortgages today for most people, given the very low interest rates which currently exist.

If you have done proper estate planning, are your bank accounts, investments and real estate properly titled? Are the beneficiaries for life insurance and retirement accounts up to date and in accordance with your estate planning?

Your life can be viewed as a series of financial decisions. We are here to help you make good decisions. We want you to plan for the future, and at the same time, balance that with enjoying today.

Our advice may be to take that special trip now. Take your kids or grandchildren to that place you always wanted to see or experience. If you have saved and made many good decisions throughout your life, that experience may be the next great decision you should make.

Working together, we can help you to have a more secure, enjoyable and confident life.
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