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Family Estate Planning Discussions

family silhouette sunsetMy family, like many other families, is very busy; between children, work and home, there are many chores and activities that must be fulfilled every day. To conquer all these responsibilities, we divide many of them up. We trust each other to ensure that they are responsibly managing their duty. This works well because we have limited time and different skill sets. One of my responsibilities is managing the family finances.

Recently, my wife, Stephanie and I had a conversation revolving around our personal planning. It went something like this:

Stephanie: What happens if you die?

Bob: Don’t worry, everything is in order.

Stephanie: What does that mean?

Bob: We have our estate planning documents, there is more than enough insurance and everything for the business succession has been planned.

Stephanie: What do I need to know or do?

Bob: Ugh, well that is complicated.

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Emotional Investing and the Consequences of Behavioral Biases

Holding money and plant

We all experience distractions in the media, uncertainty in the markets, or pressure to buy and sell from friends, colleagues, and so-called financial gurus. All these factors can directly challenge an investor’s ability to make consistent, rational and logical investment decisions. This barrage of information coupled with inherent behavioral biases can make investing a challenge for most people. How you behave and react to the information available will play an important role in your financial success.

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Retired? What to do with all of that time

TimeWhen you are planning for retirement you may have all your ducks in a row. Many of the financial obligations of your life have been paid off; home and college. You have a nest egg to pay for living expenses and medical costs, an estate plan to ensure your family is protected when you pass, insurance so you are not a burden to your loved ones in your most elder years. You are free to live the life you desire.

Having a strong plan is critical to living a financially secure retirement, but have you considered and planned for your time when you retire? It can be a crucial yet often overlooked part of the planning process. For those who have not considered what their days, weeks and months will look like, it can make for a strained transition to your next phase of life.

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What do Investing and Wine Have In Common?

vineyard grapes CopyAs the seasons change and the weather gets warmer, I’m reminded once again of some of my favorite outdoor activities. One of my favorite things to do when I was younger was grab a bottle of wine and take my wife on a picnic at the Princeton battlefield park. As I sit in my office today contemplating different ways to explain our approach to investing, I find that making wine and investing money have much in common.

Enjoying vintage wine is a fine experience. How often, though, do we consider the long journey from grape to glass? This journey requires so many steps and the slightest factor might be the difference between a mediocre wine and a great one. When it comes to investing, similar levels of care must be taken to achieve a successful outcome.

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The Impacts of Aging and the Critical Importance of Having a Plan

Sunset DockAs financial advisors, we have seen what happens when people have not planned for the challenges that come with someone that has significant medical issues.

Alzheimer’s disease, parkinson’s, dementia, or other chronic illnesses have led them to substantial diminished capacity-- physically, mentally or both. They come to us trying to put together a plan. When we meet with these families, it is a constant reminder of why we recommend to begin a relationship before the planning becomes overwhelming. The financial planning process helps prepare for many unknowns. That way if and when something diverts you from your original plan it is not as difficult to adjust.

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