Helping You Build, Protect, and Preserve
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Providing Clarity Where Life Intersects Wealth®
Successful wealth solutions are the direct result of the clarity obtained through comprehensive wealth planning and management. We view Wealth Management as the highly personalized and strategic integration of financial planning and investment management; a fluid process that enables you to make well informed and thoughtful decisions reflecting the ever-changing circumstances of your life.
Comprehensive Wealth Planning
To be successful you must “Know Your Course” before setting sail. Your unique vision for the future should guide your life’s journey and act as the foundation. A Comprehensive Wealth Plan should clarify your vision and dreams, and help make them a reality.
At Navigation Group, our first task is to understand your values and objectives. Working together we can help you to define a vision for your future that will guide us in developing your plan. We look at your financial life not only in dollars and cents, but in terms of your personal values for your life, your family, and your legacy.
It is important to create a financial plan that is clear, well defined and-most importantly-quantifiable, based on your goals and risk tolerances. The planning process typically takes several meetings to complete so you will have the added benefit of time to further evaluate how you work with your advisor and the comprehensive process we follow, before making important financial decisions.
Since your comprehensive wealth plan is created from the information provided by you and your other professional advisors and because we adhere to a formal planning process, you can feel confident that the recommendations are based your personal needs and not on a one-size-fit-all approach. Our MyWealthMap™ process includes maintaining a live financial plan online from which you and your advisor can evaluate your progress in real time.
The New Realities of Retirement
Thirty years ago when asked about retirement most would describe it as a well-deserved rest after years of hard work; time to sit on the front porch and watch the grandchildren play.
Today, in addition to previous ideals, retirement is often a new beginning, a change in direction or just one of many stages you envision in fulfilling your dreams and goals. Some may spend time giving back to their community, others working on their relationships, spending more time with family, focusing on self-enrichment and others may take on entirely new careers or even travel the world.
A successful retirement should include preparing and maintaining a comprehensive financial plan encompassing all your financial needs, risks and options. You should also work with your advisors to address the emotional and family issues that may arise during this time.
Depending on your unique circumstances, the advisors at Navigation Group are experienced and qualified to:
- Evaluate retirement benefit plans and options
- Recommend strategies that best suit income tax, investment, estate and cash flow planning situation
- Provide written retirement lifestyle analysis incorporating all sources of income, required spending needs, potential retirement dates, various economic scenarios and tax considerations
- Determine elections for pension plans, lump sum payouts vs. annuities and joint survivor vs. single-life distribution arrangements
- Provide investment recommendations during accumulation periods and distribution options to provide best tax-advantaged income sources during retirement
- Coordinate beneficiary designations with estate planning documents
Together we can work to put the strategies into place to help pursue the lifestyle of independence and comfort that you have always dreamed of.
It is important to take the time to fully understand your financial position and investment philosophy before making any investment recommendations. Based on your financial plan we strive to create a portfolio that will achieve an appropriate balance between risk and return.
Our goal is to develop a diversified portfolio that is designed to maximize return based on your definition of acceptable risk. Your personal time horizon or family index helps to determine the most appropriate blend of asset types to attain the best possible risk-to-reward ratio for you. You`ve worked hard to accumulate your wealth. Now is the time to build upon what you have, while seeking confidence and success.
We employ a strategic asset allocation strategy coupled with tactical research that emphasizes portfolio re-balancing and mid to long-term market trend analysis. With the help of independent, unbiased research we carefully select from the thousands of investment management possibilities available today to build a portfolio that focuses on your needs.
While we take a long-term view of investments. we also employ tactical research to capitalize on shorter term trends and cycles that are present in our financial markets. Capital markets and economies go through painful periods. Trying to make short-term guesses to attempt to avoid these adjustments is extremely improbable. It could be costly and very inefficient on an after-tax basis. While we take every measure to minimize risk in client portfolios, we also coach our clients that they must occasionally accept and tolerate sometimes painful short-term volatility to potentially reap the positive performance advantages that may accrue over the long term.
Diversification and Asset Allocation don’t ensure a profit or guarantee against a loss. Tactical allocation could involve frequent buying and selling and may cause investors to incur tax liabilities and/or transaction costs.
Concentrated Stock Strategies
Whether you are interested in developing a well thought out exit strategy for a highly concentrated single stock position or you are looking to learn about producing additional income or even hedging all or a part of your position it is vital to employ the cutting edge strategies implemented by experienced professionals.
Through our advisors’ relationships with LPL they have been able to bring together a powerful blend of experts in strategies that enable our clients to make the most of their concentrated equity positions.
In mapping out a comprehensive course of action you most consider every detail to achieve your goals.
The desire to provide your family an education can often be jeopardized by the lack of planning. Although your children and grandchildren may not yet know what they would like to be when they grow up, it is important to plan, and to plan as early as possible. Whether your children are going to your Alma Mater or the university you could only dream of, by planning well you can leave them with the options you want them to have.
The Reality: College costs are high and rising quickly. According to CollegeData.com, moderate college budgets for the 2015-2016 academic year range from $24,061 for students attending in-state public colleges to $47,831 for private institutions. You can bet that the price tag will continue to rise.
Work Benefits Strategies
In order to help your team members make the most of their workplace benefits we can provide an educational experience design specifically for your group’s needs. Benefit packages can be complex which can make it challenging for employees to understand how to make the best decisions and how to integrate their benefits to best support their financial needs. Navigation Group partners with employers to provide advice and education to employees on the benefits offered to them, including retirement, health and welfare, insurance, and equity benefits. The advisors at Navigation Group provide employers with:
- Advisors knowledgeable on the employer’s benefits and equity compensation
- Workshops and meetings about financial topics relevant to the employer’s benefits package
- Discounts on Fee only financial planning for your employees and their families
We believe that you should have no more or no less coverage than you need to protect yourself and your loved ones in the event an illness, injury or catastrophe strikes.
While the calculation of your insurance needs can be quite complex, resist focusing solely on the income that would be lost if you were to become ill or pass away. Instead consider the actual needs and lifestyle expenses of those you wish to protect.
Life Insurance Planning
The main purpose of life insurance is to provide resources at your death for someone who depends on you for either monetary or other personal support. Few of us like to think about these issues, but the proper and creative use of protection planning strategies to minimize exposure to risk is something even fewer can afford to ignore.
While calculations of your insurance needs can be complex and should be part of a comprehensive financial analysis here are a few basic questions you may want to consider:
- Who will be affected by your death?
- Is there a financial need?
- Should you take responsibility for it?
- Will the remaining income cover expenses AND allow needed savings for your survivor’s needs?
- Do you have a mortgage that needs to be either paid off or annual funded annually?
- Do you have other Debt?
- College tuition expenses that have not been funded yet?
- Will your estate be subject to taxes or other expenses?
How long could you stay the course if you lost your ability to earn your present income? Simply put; a disability is the inability to pursue an occupation because of a physical or mental impairment. While no one likes to think about worst case scenarios it is always helpful to be prepared for them and therefore be better positioned to focus on the things you most enjoy in life.
Most of us would not argue that insuring our valuable assets is a wise decision. We insure our homes, our cars, our jewelry and our lives without question but often we miss our most valuable financial asset: our ability to earn an income. Protecting your ability to earn just makes good common sense.
The first step to determining your needs in the event of a disability is to objectively analyze how a short or long-term disability would affect your overall financial plan. This should include analyzing your needs as well as available dependable resources. This information can help you to make an educated and well thought out decisions on how to protect yourself and your family in the event of a disability.
We understand without proper protection planning your way of life might be at risk should you become disabled. One of our wealth advisors can help you to objectively analyze your needs and, if appropriate, help you in selecting and implementing a suitable program.
Long-Term Care Planning
While we don’t want to think about ourselves or a loved one ever needing long-term care, it is a reality that, if not faced now, could cause emotional and financial devastation in the future.
It will never happen to me.Fact
The need for Long Term Care can occur at any age, to anyone.
- 75% of people 65 and older will eventually need Long Term Care.
- 40% of the people who need Long Term Care are of working age and between the ages of 18 and 64.
I won’t live long enough to need it.Fact
Americans are living longer. The fastest growing population is the 85+ group. 50% of 65 year olds will live to be 100.
I can rely on the government (Medicaid) to help me.Fact
To some extent this is true; is intended as a safety net for the poor. In order to qualify for Medicaid, a person must spend down all assets to the poverty level.
Medicare only covers skilled care for a limited time, only after hospital confinement and does not cover either custodial or intermediate care. Other disadvantages include long waiting lists for admission, necessity of frequent moves to find adequate care, and the government determines the type of care received. Lastly, estate recovery is now mandatory – this means that the states must recover from the estates of beneficiaries any Medicaid long-term care benefits received.
For those who are already dealing with family members who are suffering from Alzheimer’s click here to download a free copy of University of Arkansas’ Couch Bryole’s Playbook for Alzheimer’s Caregivers. Or if you prefer, visit www.BroylesFoundation.com and download a copy.
As your financial advocate we can design a plan to help you leverage your assets and bring order and reason to your financial affairs . By employing a disciplined and comprehensive process, you can integrate your financial decisions with your broader life goals while preserving your legacy. Our goal is to help you more clearly “know your course.”
With the passing of time, the primary concern of many families has become the preservation of their estate for their heirs. They’ve worked hard for what they have, and it is important to them to preserve their wealth—sometimes for generations to come. By focusing on wealth preservation and transfer strategies, we can help you maximize the estate you pass on by helping reduce costs and taxes and providing necessary liquidity. As part of your planning we can provide you with “what-if” scenarios so that you may easily evaluate various estate planning and transfer options.
We have the experience to help you with:
- Estate and liquidity planning
- Estate calculations
- Estate distribution techniques
- Income replacement
- Revocable and irrevocable trust planning
- Intra-family wealth transfers and gifting
- Estate freeze techniques
How will you define your legacy?
For many the idea of openly discussing their vision for their heirs and money matters is at a minimum uncomfortable and for some, out right taboo. Many worry that if they discuss such personal plans with their heirs that their heirs will become lazy or start spending their inheritance before the memorial is even imminent. Others fear that if they ask their parents about their estate planning they will be perceived as morbid or, worse yet, greedy.
In fact, in-depth planning and meaningful conversations are crucial to successfully creating and protecting family legacies. Often baby boomers and their elder’s generation are uncomfortable discussing the one-dimensional topic of leaving an “inheritance” but both embrace the idea of leaving a “legacy,” because it captures all facets of an individual’s life – including their family traditions and history, life stories, values, and wishes.
It is important to create a forum where family members can openly discuss their wishes, hopes and fears when working to define your family’s legacy. Having an objective moderator for “family meetings” can be instrumental in overcoming many of the obstacles families face when discussing key legacy issues. A professional Legacy Coach can be an invaluable resource, helping families to establish a Family Financial Philosophy that provides structure and guidance for future generations.
Charting Your Course with Family Meetings
For many centuries, parents have worried about the negative impact that money may have on family relationships and, most importantly, how substantial gifts or inheritance may negatively affect their children. By discussing the trials, tribulations and successes that a parent experiences as they occur, a child can learn to deal with money by the example a parent or other family member sets.
Navigation Group is sensitive to family dynamics and experienced with leading family meetings. Through open communication, the family meetings create the opportunity to educate the next generation on the importance of financial responsibility and family traditions. A family-wide vision and legacy strategy can include philanthropic plans, business continuity strategies, and create a sense of social responsibility.
By encouraging open communications between generations as well as working to raise the level of understanding about family wealth, these meetings can be the basis for a stronger family and more responsible heirs. Communicating with your family regarding these overall strategies you can often alleviate concerns caused by speculation and misunderstanding that may cause family rifts and widen the generation gap. Each generation may have their issues but it is important to be flexible and learn from each other no matter what the age.
Wealth Transfer Strategies
Wealth Transfer Strategies encompasses a broad array of issues including but not limited to: Estate Planning, Legacy Planning, Trust Service, Special Needs Trusts, Philanthropic Strategies, Family Meetings and Business Planning. It takes a uniquely qualified and experienced advisor to partner with you to build a successful wealth transfer strategy. Through skillful use of a well crafted discovery process the right advisor can help you to uncover your most important issues and opportunities. Working with your advisor and attorney you will learn how you may most effectively use wills and trusts, optimal forms of property ownership, estate and gift taxes, philanthropy, and strategies for property transfer between spouses and through multiple generations.
We work with our clients’ attorneys, CPA’s and Trustee’s to design and implement various family trusts, family limited partnerships (FLP’s), family LLC’s, stock option transfers, special needs trusts, incentive trusts, grantor retained annuity trusts (GRAT’s), intentionally defective grantor trusts (DGT’s), and dynasty trusts as appropriate to clients’ objectives.
Over the last three decades, the popularity of Living Trusts has skyrocketed. No longer a tool just for the wealthy, Living Trusts are one of the most common estate planning tools in use today. Almost anyone with an estate of $100,000 or more can benefit from having a living trust. Estates of $100,000 or more are often subjected to probate in their state of residence, which can cost anywhere from 2%-4% of the estate’s value in court and legal fees.
This legal arrangement, usually drafted by an estate attorney, creates a separate entity called a Living Trust. A Living Trust is called that simply because it is created while you’re alive (as opposed to a “testamentary” trust created after death). The living trust also is useful for individuals subject to estate taxes. Through a living trust, a couple is able to maximize their Unified Credit to its fullest. It even accomplishes protection for individuals wanting to avoid conservatorship.
Advanced living trusts can be structured for complicated family situations. Re-married spouses, with children from a previous marriage, can use an advanced revocable trust to ensure kids receive their proper inheritance. Once established, almost anything can be placed in a trust: bank accounts, stocks, bonds, real estate, life insurance, and personal property. In “funding” the trust, you simply change the name or title on your assets to the name of your Trust. Many people worry about losing control of assets; however, that is not the case within a carefully constructed Living Trust.
They afford an extra measure of protection against loss of control, and ensure that your assets remain out of the public record even after your death. Some trust can even help to provide protection against issues related to creditors or divorce.
Trusts can be as complex or as simple as the grantor would like. In some cases using the professional help of an independent trust company may be your best option. A trust company can make a lot of sense when a family member isn’t the right choice. They can help with trustee duties, provide the benefit of an objective third party, work and even add oversight with your advisor(s) and provide an impartial trustee when dealing with delicate family issues. If you would like more information about a The Private Trust Company, an affiliate of LPL Financial, please click here.
Have you ever opened an old box and found a family treasure of photos; listened to an unforgettable story from an elder about the old days; tried to imagine what “their” lives must have been like, or been in a situation that your family’s health history would have been helpful?
At Navigation Group we are dedicated to not only preserving our clients’ wealth, but also to preserving the wisdom, the experiences and the opportunities that come from knowing one’s family history. We are committed to helping our clients preserve their family’s legacies by creating a Family Archiving Process. This process is ever evolving and we believe will help our clients to preserve and share the lessons and experiences for generations.
We have broken this down into four key areas of focus. Each piece of this puzzle is a valuable treasure within itself. Each piece adds strength to your family’s future by learning from its past:
- Family Mission Statement and/or Philosophy — By creating a family mission statement, or philosophy, you can help to define specific values and goals while providing a sense of belonging to all.
- Family Photos, Videos and Memorabilia — Many of us have boxes of old photos, super 8 movies and videos tucked away in our attics and basements with the hope of sharing them in the future. While preserving them for the future can be a daunting task, by using today’s digital technology you can more easily make this a reality.
- Family Tree, Family History and Family Stories — How much more of our family’s legacy is lost with the passing of each generation? With the tools available today it has become easier than ever to preserve and share your past with future generations. We have created the Legacy Interview process to help you capture some of your family’s history before it is lost.
- Family Health and Well Being: Genetic History — Have you ever wondered if there is something in your family’s medical history that you should know? This information might be useful to you and your doctors in providing a picture of your (and your children’s) health in the future.
Success comes in many forms. Sharing one‘s good fortune by giving back to your community, your church, the environment or assisting the less fortunate are ways more and more individuals and families are choosing to define their legacy.
Each of us can define what is of personal significance and can couple it with the benefits of preferential tax treatment that is given to most charitable gifting strategies. Some can even lead you to achieve a zero-tax estate plan or at a minimum the most efficient use of your money possible.Charitable giving strategies that help clients realize tax-efficient estates and fulfill altruistic objectives include:
- Charitable remainder trusts (CRT)
- Charitable Lead Trust (CLT)
- Private Foundation
- Wealth replacement trusts
- Testamentary IRA Charitable remainder trusts
- Charitable Beneficiaries of IRAs
- Charitable gift funds
- Family foundations
- Charitable gift annuities
- Pooled income funds
Special Needs Trust
In a time of great debate over medical coverage, government programs and expanding deficits a Special Needs Trust can assure that your loved one receives the maximum benefits afforded by law and preserves the assets that may supplement and enhance their life. Special needs trusts are often established by the parents or relatives of a disabled child, with funds to be used to pay for supplemental or living expenses of the disabled person not paid by other sources. Special needs trusts can also be set up with the disabled person’s own funds, again to provide for supplemental medical or living expenses.
A Special Needs Trust is like other trusts: It is a separate, legal entity that allows the donors to gift assets to a second person, the trustee, to be used for the benefit of someone else—in this case, a special needs child or dependent adult. Funds from this type of trust are not used to pay for benefits that would otherwise be provided by state or federal programs.
To maximize the use of assets and income for a Special Needs trust it is often wise to enlist the help of an experienced financial advisor, a tax professional and an estate planning attorney.