Financial Statement Organization and Monitoring
  1. Like a manufacturer that produces products, it is important to take an inventory of various components to assess your current status and develop a road map to meet your goals and objectives. When this road map is created, you should maintain an inventory and ledger of your assets on an ongoing basis to measure your progress. At Strategic Financial, we assist in the organization of your personal balance sheets to ensure all assets and liabilities are accounted for and that all items throughout your personal balance sheet (assets, equity interest, and liabilities) are analyzed and addressed.
  2. Test whether you have planned properly:
    1. Has your net worth grown over the past year? And, are you on track to meet your personal and retirement goals?
    2. From quarter to quarter, is an investment over or underperforming?
    3. In the event an adverse event was to occur within your family (i.e. death, disability, etc.), would both spouses be able to locate all your financial assets and manage them?
    4. Do you know where all of your assets are and do your other family members know of them in the event something were to happen to you?
Cash Flow Budget and Analysis
  1. Key to any individual’s financial success is a balanced budget no matter how much income you earn in a year. A balanced budget involves aggregating all income sources and, more importantly, expenses to determine areas to increase income and reduce expenses to meet your goals. In doing so, you are able to identify and analyze areas in which you are being overcharged and/or not maximizing income potential. By working with Strategic Financial, we will be able to focus on areas to increase income while simultaneously reduce expenses to meet your goals.
  2. Test whether you have planned properly:
    1. Do you know your expenses on a monthly and yearly basis?
    2. Does your budget incorporate savings for potential large expenditures and goals like purchasing a house, replacing a car, paying for your children’s education, and retirement? 
    3. Are you staying within your budget and is it being tracked?
    4. Have you identified areas where you maybe overpaying for unneeded expenses such as expenses related to being over insured?
Income Tax Planning and Capital Gains Management
  1. During your accumulation years and throughout retirement, it is important to limit the amount of money Uncle Sam is taking out of your pocket and prevent any unnecessary penalties assessed by the government. By implementing various tax saving strategies and monitoring your specific tax situation, Strategic Financial can assist in deferring taxes, project your tax liability, and manage your cash flow to limit potential tax consequences. 
  2. Test whether you have planned properly:
    1. For the current year, do you know the amount of federal and state income tax you may owe?
    2. Are you paying enough taxes to avoid penalties? Are you within the Federal income tax safe harbor?
    3. As a business owner, are you utilizing tax saving processes to reduce your taxation?
    4. What investments should you derive retirement income while limiting taxation? 
Investment Planning and Management
  1. As your progress through different stages of life (accumulation phase, retirement phase), it is important to create a cohesive investment strategy to balance risk with return. By developing an investment plan early within your career and continuously reviewing and revising it throughout your life, you will have a greater chance of achieving your goals. By engaging Strategic Financial, we will carefully marry your investment objectives with investment options while continuously managing risk and monitoring your investments.
  2. Test whether you have planned properly:
    1. Are your assets properly diversified? Do know how much your investment portfolio could decrease in any one year (i.e. could your portfolio decrease in value by 10%, 15%, 20%, etc. based on historical data)?
    2. Are your assets bucketed into assets to meet potential income needs during retirement (i.e. short-term, mid-term, long-term)?
    3. What is the investment allocation of your portfolio across various asset classes?
    4. How much in fees are you paying per investment and are they reasonable?
Debt Management
  1. As you progress through life, you will have varying levels of debt whether its school loans (college, graduate school, medical, or law school, etc.), mortgages, car loans, etc. In carrying debt, you must continually evaluate your debt to determine refinancing opportunities during periods of low interest rates to save money. Strategic Financial will assist you manage and payoff your debt while providing guidance to effectively use debt to meet your goals and objectives.  
  2. Test whether you have planned properly:
    1. Given the interest rates on your various debts, should you refinance, prepay your debt, or invest? Should your interest rate be fixed or variable?
    2. Do you have too much debt given your current cash flow?
    3. If you were to lose your job, how would you be able to meet these debt payments?
    4. In utilizing financing, are you able to deduct the interest?
Goal Funding
  1. Whether it’s buying your dream beach house, buying a new car, saving for the impending wedding of your children, these hefty expenses can approach quickly and must be accounted for early on so that the appropriate amount of money is set side each month/year. In order to prepare for known and unexpected expenses (i.e. car replacement, new HVAC system, new roof), you must properly save and have the diligence to continually save for these obligations. With the help of Strategic Financial, we first identify your goals and unexpected expense obligations and then develop a road map to fund them.
  2. Test whether you have planned properly:
    1. Have you identified the method and structure in which you are going to fund your goal or expense?
    2. What is the most cost effective way to fund it and are there hidden costs?
    3. In funding college education, have you structured your assets in a way to improve you chance of obtaining financial aid?
    4. In order to obtain you goal, do you know the amount in which you must save per week or month? And, are you accountable to ensure savings regiment continues?
Education Funding
  1. Children are an integral part of people’s lives that are full of energy, smiles, and hugs. While they enrich your life, kids are expensive – they grow out of their clothes, break things, and more importantly require an extensive amount of education funding. Whether you send them to private or public elementary school, middle school, high school, and college, it’s an expenditure that you know you or your children will have to face. In working with Strategic Financial, we help develop the best mode to save for these expenditures and use tax deferring vehicles to maximize every dollar spent. 
  2. Test whether you have planned properly:
    1. Are you saving adequate money each month/year to fund their education? Are you accounting for education expense inflation?
    2. Are you utilizing tax deferred vehicles (529 plans, Coverdell accounts, etc.)? 
    3. Are you maximizing state and federal tax credits available on your 1040 tax returns?
    4. If the money is invested, is it too risky or conservative based upon the time horizon of the education expense need?
Capital Needs Analysis 
  1. One of the worst fears of any family is to lose a spouse or loved-one. While no one could imagine this ever to happen, it is extremely important to prepare in the event a spouse were to become deceased and ensure adequate income needs are accounted. With the help of Strategic Financial, we will assist you navigating this topic and analyze whether you are over or uninsured to meet your specific situation.   
  2. Test whether you have planned properly:
    1. Do you have too little or too much insurance?
    2. Do you have the right type of insurance (i.e. term or permanent)?
    3. Is the insurance vehicle the best fit for your situation (i.e. whole vs. variable vs. universal life insurance)?
    4. Will the expenses within your life insurance eventually erode the cash value of the insurance?
Risk Management 
  1. Why would you not protect your assets and wealth that you have worked so hard to earn? Insurance premiums may seem costly and pointless, but in the grand scheme, the cost of insurance is small if you were to experience an event that could cause you to liquidate your investment portfolio or emergency cash reserves as a result of disability (short or long), car accident (liability or under/uninsured), lawsuit, long-term care expenses, etc. As part of Strategic Financial’s services, we will analyze your insurance to determine whether you are underinsured or over-insured to properly protect your wealth and reduce your expenses.     
  2. Test whether you have planned properly:
    1. Do you have the proper coverage under your auto, home/renters, and umbrella insurances? How do you know?
    2. In the event you become disabled, does your family have enough income to meet your expenses?
    3. If you or your spouse required long-term care insurance, how would you obtain funds to meet these expense needs? (Dependent upon the region and type of facility and care, long term care costs can be over $100,000 per year.)
    4. If you were to be liable for an incident, do you have adequate umbrella insurance?
Retirement Planning
  1. After working for years and years, it is everyone’s eventual goal to…. RETIRE! But, how much do you need to retire given your specific expenses, income needs, and future obligations? By engaging Strategic Financial, we will help you navigate this sought-after reward by determining the approximate amount of retirement savings to meet your future expense needs and develop a customized savings and investment plan to meet this goal. 
  2. Test whether you have planned properly:
    1. Approximately, how much do you need to retire? Did you account for inflation and determine the probability of success?
    2. How much will you need to save on a monthly/yearly basis to meet your retirement goal, and will your current monthly expenses allow for this?
    3. Within in your projections, did you account for expenses typically covered by your employer/business? And, did you account for expenses typically experienced in retirement (i.e. Medicare Part B and D, medigap insurance, etc.)?
    4. Do you have hobbies that will help you transition into retirement?
Estate Planning
  1. As a key component of a financial plan, estate planning is essential to avoid onerous intestate proceedings (probate without a will), limit unfavorable federal and state estate tax consequences, and ensure the proper designation of a guardian, among others. While each state has generic estate distribution and guardianship designation rules, it is important to have an updated and properly structured will to have the assets that you have earned throughout your life be distributed according to your objectives. Strategic Financial will review various estate planning techniques, help structure an appropriate estate plan, and review your wills and powers of attorneys prior to execution to meet your goals and objectives.  
  2. Test whether you have planned properly:
    1. Do your durable and healthcare powers of attorneys have updated and appropriate legal language to act as necessary? Have the tax laws changed since your wills were executed?
    2. Who will be the guardian of your children in the event both spouses were to become deceased?
    3. Does your estate plan meet your specific distribution and tax objectives?
    4. Are your primary and contingent beneficiary designations properly updated to follow your estate plan?
Estate Valuation and/or Estate/Trust Distribution Planning
  1. When a loved one passes, it is very difficult to immediately begin managing the affairs of the deceased individual (parents, grandparents, friends, relatives, etc.). From filing the appropriate state and federal tax forms to assuming the responsibility, liability, and role of an executor/executrix and trustee, the processes and tasks can be overwhelming and confusing. In seeking the services of Strategic Financial, we will guide you through the process to ensure all necessary and required steps are taken and all tax implications are properly considered and managed.  
  2. Test whether you have planned properly:
    1. Are you fully aware of all paperwork that needs to completed (estate tax return, Form 706, etc.) within the statutory timelines?
    2. As a fiduciary of the estate or trust, are all investments being managed appropriately while considering tax implications? Are you exposing yourself to too much liability and are you mitigating it?
    3. Have the market values of specified accounts been adjusted to take advantage of certain tax benefits?
    4. Are assets being managed and distributed appropriately in accordance with the decedent’s will and/or trust documents?
Business Continuity Planning
  1. In owning a business, there comes a lot of responsibility to provide for those who are dependent on you (your wife/husband, employees, children, etc.) for their income and standard of living. As the owner or key employee of a business, you are the component that manages the business and generates new revenue. With such responsibility, you must carefully plan to ensure the business continues in the event of your death or disability. By contracting Strategic Financial, our team will build a succession plan that will facilitate a smooth transition and maximize the compensation you and your family are owed.   
  2. Test whether you have planned properly:
    1. Do you have a succession plan? Who would replace you if something were to happen in the event of death or disability?
    2. Is the successor or key man incentivized to stay in your business and are you competing for employees against your competitors?
    3. How is the business to be transitioned (buyout, gift, etc.) and are proper documents executed to ensure a proper transition? Will your family be taken care of?
    4. What mechanisms are in place to facilitate the transfer (installment purchase, life insurance, etc.) and have you mitigated the tax consequences?