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Frequently Asked Questions

The First Visit

What should you expect?
We feel that it is important for you to get to know our office on the first visit. That would include meeting the people that work in our office and sitting down with one or more of our investment professionals to discuss your concerns and questions. During your first meeting, we will familiarize you with our process and familiarize ourselves with your situation. Our goal it to educate and answer any question that you might have.

Is There Anything We Should Bring With Us on Our Visit?
It is important that you bring along your most recent statements from any investments, insurance products, and retirement accounts that you have. These items will give us a good start in determining where you are now financially and how we may be able to assist you going forward.

How Much Does it Cost for the Initial Visit?
There is no cost for the initial visit. After the initial visit, you should have a relatively good idea of whether our office is the type of office you want to do business with. If we are a good fit for one another and you are interested in utilizing our services then any costs will be disclosed prior to making any investment decision.

Planning For Retirement

My Company Has a Retirement Plan. Should I Invest in it?
Although we never want to give specific investment advice without meeting you and learning about your situation, we will go so far as to say that if your company has a matching plan, it is most likely beneficial for you take advantage as much as you can afford, up to the matching amount. For example, if your company has a 3% match, that means that if you put in 3%, the company puts in 3%. The company “match” is like free money and we would encourage anyone to take free money when they can get it.

What is the Difference Between a Traditional and a Roth IRA?
A Traditional IRA is money that goes into a registration of an IRA as pre-tax dollars. These dollars grow tax-deferred and eventually will come out as a taxable withdrawal. Withdrawals are subject to income tax and prior to age 59 ½, a 10% federal penalty may apply.

A Roth IRA is money that foes into a registration of an IRA as after tax dollars. This means that you have already paid the taxes on the dollars you invest. In the Roth registration, the money grows tax-free and eventually will come out, as long as you follow the rules, tax-free. Distributions on earnings are tax-free after five years and age 59 1/2. Prior to age 59 1/2, a 10% federal penalty tax may apply.

At What Point Should I Start Income Planning for Retirement?

While that is a pretty loaded question and the answer varies from person to person, the general consensus is that retirement income planning should be looked at as soon as possible. It should be more heavily addressed 10 years prior to retirement. If you are within the 10 year mark and have not started planning for how you will be structuring your retirement income, it's not too late but it's something that should be addressed a soon as possible with your financial advisor and tax planner. 

Miscellaneous Questions

As A Small Business Owner, How Do I Plan For My Own and My Employee’s Needs?
We believe the best solution for a small business is to open up some type of a retirement plan for their employees and themselves. This may include, but is not limited to, a Simple IRA, SEP, 401(k) or some other type of qualified retirement plan. There are also some very attractive plans available for sole proprietors.

How Much Should I Have in a Cash Reserve Account?
The cash reserve account that you have may be made up of checking accounts, money market, savings accounts, and shorter term CDs. This is your money you have easy access to. The general rule of thumb is to have somewhere between three and six months living expenses in a cash reserve account.

Do We Invest Differently at Different Ages?
Although the simple answer is yes, it actual has more to do with your goals and objectives, and that is always determined when we have a face-to-face or over the phone conversation. We need to make sure that we understand your investment objectives, and whether anything has changed in your life to make that investment objective or goal different.

How Do I Plan For My Child's Education?
There are a number of different programs that can be used for planning for educational needs. These would include, but are not limited to, 529 College Plans, Educational IRAs, Uniformed Transfer to Minor’s Act (UTMA) and Uniformed Gift to Minor’s Act (UGMA), just to name a few. By sitting down and going over what your objectives and goals are, we can determine what is the best method for you at this time as with each of these options as with anything in life there are positives and negatives to each of these options.

Let’s Work Together. Now What?

Can I Transfer My Accounts to Your Office?
For the most part, accounts can be transferred from one brokerage firm to another. Before you do, it is important that you feel comfortable and confident with the investment professional office that you are looking to transfer money to.

How Do You Know What Investment I Should Be In?
Since everyone is different, we try to delve into your situation by asking a lot of questions. Many of our clients that had advisor relationships before, say some of the questions we ask, they have never been asked before. The reason for this is for us to be able to get a good grasp on your situation, your beliefs about money, investing and social issues, your timeline for needing the money, and many other things that helps us understand you. Armed with this information and our experience and knowledge, we feel we can then help you properly diversify and invest your accounts to best suit your needs and goals.

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