Wealth Management Checklist

Strategy is the cornerstone of the financial advisor / client relationship in my view.  Only with a big-picture strategy can you help ensure your investment decisions are the most appropriate ones for you.  Take a couple minutes and go through this list to help ensure your strategy is sound.  Call Tom at 563-556-1000 with any questions you may have.
- Are you contributing to a retirement plan at work?
- If you have no plan at work, are you using a Traditional IRA?
- Are you contributing to a Roth IRA?
- Have you run a retirement projection that includes the following:
  • Current age, age when you’d like to retire, and estimate of life expectancy
  • Amount of current assets and amount of anticipated future contributions
  • A hypothetical illustration of potential asset growth
  • Estimated inflation rate
  • Estimate of social security and any retirement plan payments
  • Amount you want to live on in retirement in today’s dollars
- What is your strategy for creating income from your retirement savings?
Estate Planning Strategies1
  • Do you have a plan to transfer possessions to your heirs?
  • If appropriate, have you considered a revocable living trust for your assets in order to avoid probate and reduce the chance that personal information will become part of public records?
  • Do you have a strategy to help minimize estate tax?
  • Do you know who would care for your kids in the event of your death?
  • Do you have children with special personal situations that need to be planned for?
  • Do you have adequate life insurance coverage?
  • Are all your old 401k’s rolled over into a rollover IRA?
  • Have you recently reviewed your beneficiaries on any life insurance, IRA, retirement plans, or annuities?
  • Are you using appropriate gifting strategies?
  • If applicable, have you explored wealth transfer strategies that could potentially reduce or avoid taxation on your estate?
  • Do you have powers of attorney set up to allow others to execute financial and healthcare decisions for you in case you’re incapacitated?
  • Have you explored the pluses and minuses of a living will?
  • Do you know who the executor of your estate will be? Have you talked with them?
  • Does your executor know where to find your financial and legal information?
  • Do you have trusts in place to help your children manage their inheritance properly?
  • Have you made funeral/burial arrangements?
  • Have you conducted a family meeting with your heirs to discuss your estate plans and to answer questions?
  • Have you taken steps to educate your heirs on appropriate financial management strategies?
  • Have you introduced your heirs to your financial consultant, tax professional, and attorney so they can work with people you trusted when you pass away?
  • Would you like any assets to go to charity? Are you aware of all your options?
  • Do you have an attorney?
  • Do you know how much college costs today and what inflation rate you should assume for the future?
  • Do you know what percentage of the cost you will fund?
  • Do you know how restricted you want your child’s education fund to be?
  • Are you maximizing potential tax benefits in your education planning? 1
Portfolio Management2
  • Do you have clearly defined investment goals for retirement, college education planning and other expected purchases?
  • Have you defined your goals, objectives, time horizons and risk tolerances?
  • Are you aware of the optimal asset allocation given your goals, objectives, time horizon and risk tolerance?
  • Does at least one of your financial consultants know what ALL of your assets are for the purpose of reviewing asset allocation and diversification strategy?
  • Do you understand how your current investments really operate?
  • Do you know why you own all the investments you own?
Tax Management1
  • Are you maximizing retirement plans for tax purposes?
  • Do you manage your portfolio for maximum tax efficiency?
  • Do you have a tax professional?
  • Is your cash maximizing interest rate opportunity?
  • Is your short-term money as liquid as you need it to be?
  • Do you have adequate auto, property, health, liability and disability insurance?
  • Do you have a plan to cover potential long-term care expenses?
  • Do you have an insurance agent?
  • Does your business have a retirement plan in place?
  • Do you have adequate insurance for your business?
  • Do you have a succession plan in place?
  • Do you use “key person” insurance?
  • Do you have an accountant and attorney for your business?