Let’s align your personal finances with your unique goals and values
The old way of financial planning: Gather copies of all of your financial statements, and fax or snail-mail them to your financial advisor. Tell them what age you would like to retire at. Some time later, receive a massive binder full of confusing charts and graphs that aren’t really explained to you. Buy some kind of expensive and overcomplicated financial product that even your advisor doesn’t really understand but supposedly solves all of your problems. Put the binder on a shelf in your home office and forget about it. Once a year, maybe have a brief meeting to review your portfolio while your advisor tries to sell you another expensive annuity or front-load mutual fund that you don’t need.
The Next Gen approach to financial planning: We believe that financial planning is an ongoing and collaborative process that starts with a discussion of your values and goals, and results in concrete action steps that we work on together to help you align your finances with a life you love. Maybe your goals include starting a business, paying off your student loans, traveling around the world to watch the Olympics every four years, climbing the highest peak on all seven continents, buying a beach house, opening a charity to help homeless dogs find families, or something else entirely. We’ll help you figure out what it takes to get to where you want to be, even if it’s a bit off the beaten path.
No matter where you are in the United States, we can meet up with you online through services such as Google Hangouts or Skype. If you are in San Diego, you’ll also have the option of visiting our office.
The purpose of going through the financial planning process is quite simple: to help you determine the best way to reach your goals. Simple, however, does not mean easy. We can help you get there, but you must first recognize that it will take some upfront work and a few honest, meaningful conversations.
Once you sign up, we’ll have several meetings during the first couple of months as we work together to create and implement your financial plan and get you on track. Here’s an overview of the steps that we’ll follow:
We start every client relationship by getting to know each other a lot better and identifying the values that are truly most important to you, because every financial recommendation we make in the future will be made through that lens. We’ll also organize all of your financial data such as investment accounts, insurance policies, employee benefits, expenses, and other important pieces. We’ll securely connect all of your online accounts with our client portal, because nobody wants to have to print out paper statements all the time.
Based on what we discover about you and the data we have about your finances, we’ll work together to consider various options to help you achieve your stated goals. We’ll help you understand the advantages and drawbacks of each potential pathway, and crunch a lot of numbers to help you make an informed decision. The investments you select, the amount you’re able to save, insurance policies, cash flow management, tax considerations, and many other factors will go into our analysis.
Once you are armed with all of the information you need to start making some choices, we’ll provide a list of specific prioritized action steps that need to happen to get you there and assist you along the way. For some important tasks, we’ll be able to directly help you. For others, we’ll refer you to trusted outside professionals such as attorneys, accountants, insurance agents, or realtors, and work closely with them on your behalf. We will help hold you accountable to making things happen!
The only thing that can be absolutely guaranteed about your financial plan is that it will not be 100% accurate over long time periods. Factors such as investment returns, tax rates, interest rates, and inflation are impossible to perfectly predict. Besides that, it is likely that you will undergo massive life changes that require updates to your financial plan from time to time. Your financial plan is not written in stone, and we don’t just throw it at you and abandon you! We will proactively monitor your investments, spending, and other variables through our advanced technology and check in with you from time to time to make needed adjustments as your life changes or as the economy shifts. Most clients will have about two review meetings per year after the initial plan is put together, though you may prefer to have more or fewer of them. As an ongoing client, you are always welcome to contact us with any financial question, no issue is too big or too small!
Here are a few more details about the types of issues we’ll cover while creating your financial plan:
Planning for the future
We’ll take a comprehensive, values-based approach to setting goals for your future and then put a plan in place to get you there. It’s not just about planning your finances, but helping to design your life.
STUDENT LOAN PLANNING
For many young professionals, massive student loans feel like an enormous burden that they’ll never be able to get out from under. Planning for the best way to pay them off can be overwhelmingly confusing, but have a tremendous impact once done properly! We’ll look at your eligibility for special programs such as PSLF, PAYE, ICR, and others. You’ll then get a recommendation on how to best relieve this burden, which takes into account everything else we know about you and your financial plan.
Cash flow & debt management
Managing credit cards, auto loans and other debt can be challenging, especially for those with variable income streams because of bonuses or commissions. We can help find ways to smooth things out, along with taking a look at other areas like credit scores and liquidity of your assets.
Our financial plans include an analysis of your potential needs for life insurance, income protection, health insurance, long-term care coverage, property and casualty insurance, or liability coverage. As a fee-only financial planning firm, we never directly sell insurance and we always make objective assessments to give recommendations that are in your best interest.
This critically important area is overlooked far too often, especially by those who think that they aren’t wealthy enough to need it. We’ll help review beneficiary designations, assess the need for documents such as wills or trusts or powers of attorney, optimize asset titling, and address any other estate concerns.
We can help construct an investment portfolio that is aligned with your needs, and then make adjustments for you as conditions change. Rather than chasing after abnormally high returns, our approach is designed instead to maximize the chances of you reaching your goals. Another thing that makes Next Gen Financial Planning unique is that we do not charge any additional fees for managing your portfolio (see next section for more details).
Evaluating your tax situation can uncover opportunities to optimize tax strategies and make sure that you aren’t unnecessarily overpaying each year. Our tax system is constantly evolving, and we’ll stay on top of it so that you don’t have to. We do not currently offer tax preparation services, but may do so in the future. We will work closely with whoever files your taxes to make sure that your tax planning objectives are put into action.