Investment planning is the process of determining your financial goals and objectives and matching them with your financial resources. Working with your dedicated AQuest Certified Financial Planner* offers you the benefit of not only professional knowledge and experience when developing and maintaining your investment portfolio, but also the benefit of specialized tax planning experience.
While investing is certainly part of a successful financial plan, there is so much more to be considered to develop a holistic and secure financial plan. AQuest will assist you in developing a customized financial program and walk you through a step-by-step process that will help make you feel confident in your decisions.
*Not all advisors on this site are CFPs.
Retirement planning is the process of establishing retirement income goals and using specialized strategies to work toward achieving those goals. Retirement planning includes ascertaining sources of income, estimating expenses, giving consideration to the taxes you will have to pay, implementing a savings program, and managing assets and risk.
Retirement planning is the preparation one does to be equipped for life after paid work ends, not just financially but in all aspects of life. The non-financial aspects include your lifestyle choices such as how you want to spend your time in retirement, where you want to live, when you want to quit working completely, etc. A holistic approach to retirement planning considers all these areas.
Estate planning involves determining how your assets will be preserved, managed, and distributed after your death. It also takes into account the management of your properties and financial obligations in the event that you become incapacitated.
Assets that could make up your estate include houses, cars, stocks, artwork, life insurance, pensions, and debt. There are various reasons for planning your estate, such as preserving your family’s wealth, providing for your spouse and children, funding your children’s or grandchildren’s education, or leaving your legacy behind to a charitable cause.
Like any other investment, families need to obtain the proper guidance on how to save and pay for their children’s’ college. Parents are borrowing more than ever to help their children pay for a college education and jeopardizing their own retirement goals in the process. AQuest is able to help you choose the appropriate plan or combination of plans and determine the necessary savings goal. Additionally, we can recommend investment options for the 529 savings plans that suit your time horizon, goals and risk tolerance.
A 529 savings plan is a tax-advantaged savings plan designed to help pay for education. These plans were expanded to cover K-12 education in 2017 and apprenticeship programs in 2019. The two major types of 529 plans are savings plans and prepaid tuition plans. Savings plans grow tax-deferred, and withdrawals are tax-free if they’re used for qualified education expenses.
The money in the account grows on a tax-deferred basis until it is withdrawn. As long as the money is used for qualified education expenses, as defined by the IRS, those withdrawals aren’t subject to either state or federal taxes. In the case of K-12 students, tax-free withdrawals are limited to $10,000 per year.
Note: Prior to investing in a 529 Plan investors should consider whether the investor’s or designated beneficiary’s home state offers any state tax or other state benefits such as financial aid, scholarship funds, and protection from creditors that are only available for investments in such state’s qualified tuition program. Withdrawals used for qualified expenses are federally tax free. Tax treatment at the state level may vary. Please consult with your tax advisor before investing.
This information is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax advice. We suggest that you discuss your specific tax issues with a qualified tax advisor.
Risk Management Analysis
A risk analyst starts by identifying what could go wrong. The negative events that could occur are then weighed against a probability metric to measure the likelihood of the event occurring. Finally, risk analysis attempts to estimate the extent of the impact that will be made if the event happens.
The outcomes can also be assessed using risk management tools such as scenario analysis and sensitivity tables. A scenario analysis shows the best, middle, and worst outcome of any event. Separating the different outcomes from best to worst provides a reasonable spread of insight for a risk manager. Effective risk management means attempting to control, as much as possible, future outcomes by acting proactively rather than reactively.