The Path to Financial Peace of Mind
Financial peace of mind may sound like a marketing cliché, it is nonetheless true: getting your financial life organized and understood just feels good. You rest easy because you understand where your money is going and why it is going there. You reduce the natural anxiety that accompanies financial and life transitions. Plus you have professional help when the unexpected arises or when you simply have a question.
Keep More of Your Hard-Earned Money
We have a sign in our office that says “Dear IRS: Please take us off your mailing list.”
You don’t have a choice about paying taxes but there is no reason to pay more than you should.
If you’re like many people, your income-related taxes represent about one-third of your annual expenses, yet often little or no coordinated planning is done to minimize your tax bill! Careful tax preparation and planning can free up money for other goals. We think about your taxes while we work on all other areas of your planning. We help you organize your financial information for tax filings and coordinate the preparation of your return. We work with you throughout the year, not only when it is time to prepare your return.
Do you want to save more on income taxes?
- Restructure investments so they are held in the most tax-efficient locations.
- Rethink how you use your workplace retirement savings accounts and IRAs.
- Shift and time your income and deductions.
- Save for college in a tax-efficient manner.
- Do more for your church or favorite charity.
- Identify all the deductions that apply to your small business or home.
When you are organized and on top of your taxes, you’ll feel better.
Making Work A Choice, Not a Necessity.
Retirement planning today is not the same as our parents’ generation. Fewer and fewer people are eligible for traditional pension plans. You may be able to contribute to a retirement plan at work but you are expected to grow and manage the money on your own for up to 40 years of employment and 30 years of retirement.
According to the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, half of today’s working families are “at risk” of not being able to maintain their standard of living when they retire. So it should come as no surprise that the most common questions we hear from new clients are “Am I on track for retirement?” and “How is it going to work when I get there?”
If guaranteed pension income is not in your future and you have to rely on significant savings balances to enjoy your retirement, the transition to retirement can be uncomfortable if not down right scary. You want to get it right and you don’t want it to fail.
Taconic Advisors can help you answer these questions:
- How much do you need to save to meet your retirement goals?
- When is the best time to begin collecting Social Security?
- How do I take money from my accounts to keep taxes down?
- What do I do about Required Minimum Distributions?
- How can I make the best use of other retirement benefits that are available?
When you get it all right you create “financial independence.” Your money works for you rather than the other way around. Work becomes an option and you can choose the work you really want to do…if any! Believe us, you won’t just feel better…you’ll feel great!
"What Do I Have and is it Right For Me?"
Does that sound familiar? It will to many of you. There are countless decisions you must make to build a dependable investment portfolio that will benefit from market upswings and weather downturns.
- How do you decide whether to buy an individual stock, a mutual fund, treasuries, commodities, or just leave your money in your savings account?
- What are the costs and tax implications of the investments you select?
- Which types of investments should you hold in your retirement accounts vs. your brokerage accounts?
- Should I be using annuity products?
- How do you sort through the conflicting advice you read in the media?
It’s enough to make your head spin. Some people end up putting small amounts in many different investments to make sure they’ve covered all the bases. Others put the majority of their assets in one or two places rather than deal with investment decisions. Others freeze and do nothing.
In a well-constructed portfolio, each investment should fulfill a specific function and should be appropriate for your unique situation.
To create a better investment strategy that will serve you for your lifetime Taconic Advisors will:
- Thoroughly discuss your goals before making investment recommendations;
- Look at all the financial risks you are taking before determining your appropriate level of investment risk;
- Review all your accounts and determine not just the right asset allocation but also the right asset location (which investments should be in which accounts);
- Consider all other components of your financial planning, including your tax return.
- Keep what is right for you. Why throw out the baby with the bathwater?
- Prepare all paperwork and help you consolidate accounts.
An unusual feature of our practice is that we do not have investment balance minimums nor do we “gather your assets.” Instead, we use the accounts you have or, if they are not serving your best interests, we open retail accounts for you at prominent low-cost investment providers. We never "touch" your money. We help you manage the accounts yourself. You retain complete control over your investments at all times.
Astute investing is not a haphazard exercise. When your investment decisions are backed by a written plan and are properly balanced, objectively chosen, and periodically reviewed, you’ll feel better and more confident.
Difficult Questions. Informed Answers.
Estate planning goes well beyond making a will. It involves decisions in many different areas, including the naming of a guardian for minor children and special provisions for mentally or physically disabled children, medical directives and other end-of-life considerations, how to minimize or eliminate estate taxes, how to best handle gifts or bequests to charities, whether a trust is right for your situation, and how to most effectively transfer ownership of a small business.
We are not attorneys and cannot write a will for you. We will evaluate with you the pertinent estate issues that impact your life and consider choices that you can then implement with your attorney.
Common questions that we can help address include:
- Are your beneficiaries up-to-date and will your plan transfer assets efficiently?
- Will taxes or probate costs unnecessarily reduce your estate?
- Have you legally appointed someone to make decisions for you if you are unable to make them for yourself?
- Are you concerned about possible conflicts among your family members after you are gone?
It can be uncomfortable to think about death and its impact on your relationships and the wealth that took a lifetime to build. But if you don’t set aside some time to plan, the government has a plan that might not be to your liking. Once you put yourself in the driver’s seat, you’ll feel better.
It's More Than Just Investments
Comprehensive financial planning takes into account all of the areas that help you achieve, and maintain, your goals.
A good financial plan will get you to where you want to go but that begs the question of where do you want to go? We encourage in-depth conversations about what retirement looks like to you, what kind of schooling you want for your children or grandchildren and many other important life goals.
Do you know where your money goes? Do you know where it will come from when you retire so you can maintain your lifestyle? We’ll help you create a reliable system to meet your current and future spending needs, as well as the savings required to stay on track.
Do you give to causes that you care about today? Do you plan to include them in your will? We can help you determine which assets are most appropriate for charitable gifts and how you can obtain the most favorable tax treatment.
Are you confident that you have the right amount and the right kind of insurance on your life, home and automobiles? We don’t sell insurance, so we can offer an unbiased opinion on the coverage you have and whether it is best structured to meet your goals.
Your home is probably your single largest investment and your mortgage your single largest debt. The housing bubble showed everyone how easy it is to get a big house with a big mortgage and end up with a very big problem. We advise on getting the right-size home for your income and the right-size mortgage to fit your income. We will also review your mortgage to see if refinancing might lower your monthly payment or allow you to reduce the interest you pay.
Couples can have separate and distinct feelings and attitudes about money and finances. Have you been open about these with each other to make sure that you are working together as a team?