Financial planning offers a road-map for preserving and growing your assets. A comprehensive plan helps you balance competing financial priorities, implement specific goal strategies and keep more of the money you earn.
Contrary to popular belief, financial planning is not just another phrase for “investing.” It’s a long-term process that links your finances to your goals. You and your financial planner need to address where you are today – your personal balance sheet – and where you want to be tomorrow. Through asset allocation, financial, savings and investment strategies, you can then begin an informed journey. Financial planning can help you:
There are three key pillars in a secure financial planning foundation: protection (smart risk management), growth (creation of wealth) and preservation (asset protection and estate planning). Without proper protection planning, all of your visions of a secure future for you and the generations to come can be easily toppled.
Choosing the right insurance solutions for risk management – in the right amounts and for the right reasons – is both a wise financial strategy as well as a responsible and caring act that provides loved ones with a genuine feeling of security.
While the basic premise of life insurance is protection, most wealthy families are also using it as a long-term savings/investment and wealth creation resource. Let’s take at the reasons why permanent high cash value life insurance makes sense as part of your financial planning.
Even after death, life goes on. The mortgage needs to be paid and so do auto, school and home equity loans, college costs, as well as final expenses: hospital bills, funeral and burial or cremation costs.
Used in its most traditional sense, life insurance provides critical money at a time when a family is emotionally overwhelmed. It can easily be tapped into to pay off housing expenses, outstanding debt, and provide replacement income.
If you’ve amassed significant wealth, a little planning can go a long way in helping you save in estate taxes. Many families find they are temporarily “cash poor” after a death; it takes time to liquidate many assets. As a result, an Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust (ILIT) funded with a life insurance policy can be used to create nearly instant liquidity and save frustration and headaches.
Just as importantly, depending on the size of the estate, federal estate and income taxes, state taxes and other levies can dramatically shrink assets. Add on estate taxes are typically payable within the 9 months of death. Life insurance, when structured correctly, could, at the very least, help your family pay estate taxes from the proceeds of the policy.
Keeping family harmony is another goal of life insurance. Assume that the business – or perhaps the family home – is going to one of four children. That’s a large asset and siblings may feel angry or shortchanged. Life insurance can help by making the division of assets more equitable.
In addition, the estate owner can earmark estate assets for charitable giving, ensuring that the support of a favorite charity lives on…and quite possibly, saving on taxes as well.
Providing for children with special needs presents its own unique difficulties. Life insurance may be a cost-effective way to help provide for future financial needs.
To put it another way, in the voice of author Nick Murray: “We insure against what can go wrong in order to acquire the luxury of investing for what can go right.”
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