Your Financial Plan Your GEM Financial Advisor, Your Partner in Planning…… Creating an effective financial plan takes time, education and experience. Even if you are using popular consumer financial tools, planning on your own can be overwhelming and frustrating. Consulting with a GEM advisor not only reduces your workload, but also helps ensure that your plan is comprehensive and based on current regulatory components and data. The key to creating a successful financial plan is ensuring that it covers your current and future financial needs. The best way to determine your particular needs is by spending time with a GEM advisor to discuss: Your understanding of the options and alternatives tailored to your specific financial situation Defining your goals and objectives Evaluating your resources and implementing them effectively and efficiently PLAN YOUR OBJECTIVES Whether your goals are simple or complex, to pursue them effectively we recommend having a comprehensive financial plan that includes: A realistic investment strategy that addresses your desired level of return without taking on more risk than you can tolerate A retirement plan designed to provide the income you need for as long as you live College and education saving plans that address steadily rising costs An estate plan that meets your goals for charitable giving and the effective transfer of wealth to your heirs The following are some common areas to consider when planning your financial future: Monthly Budget: Addressing your monthly budget is an important first step in successfully managing your overall finances. Failing to have a clear picture of your regular recurring bills and expenses can dramatically reduce your ability to meet your financial objectives. Savings: Fundamental to building a secure, manageable future is saving for the unexpected as well as the expected. Saving is easier if you “pay yourself first” and build in automatic savings into your budget. Risk Management: Risk can take many forms: illness, accident, liability and natural disasters, to name a few. Failing to manage risk properly can jeopardize your financial future. That’s why smart financial planning evaluates the various levels and types of insurance you carry to make sure they are aligned with your overall goals and needs. In many cases, insurance can also be used effectively as an alternative revenue stream and a hedge against inflation and riskier types of investments. Education Funding: The costs of education for children and grandchildren can be staggering and are seemingly always on the rise. Education is often one of the largest expenses you will incur. Arm yourself with current information about the variety of proactive education savings vehicles that can help you reach your funding goals while avoiding big surprises or long-term debt. College planning is an integral part of our financial funding road map. Retirement Planning: Social Security benefits, employer-sponsored plans and personal retirement savings, including investments, IRAs and annuities, typically combine to comprise the retirement income for most Americans. Deciding which retirement choices will serve you best can be daunting, but your GEM advisor can guide you with options that will support and enhance your overall investment and tax strategies. Retirement planning is critical to your future as the cost of independent living, assisted living and long term care can deplete your resources more quickly than anticipated with inflation and cost of living components. We factor these components into your financial plan so your plan is realistic and customized to your objectives. Estate Planning: Your legacy is in your hands. Only through diligent monitoring can you be assured that your assets will be transferred effectively and according to your wishes to the people and charities you care about most. Establishing trusts, regularly reviewing your legal documents and beneficiary designations, and examining tax implications for survivors are vital to establishing a plan that provides you and your loved ones with greater confidence and security. Overcoming Objections to Financial Planning As you consider contacting GEM Advisors to pursue financial planning, you may have thought about the following: “It’s too much work” – We are specially equipped with the tools and experience to help you build a customized plan with the least amount of work for you. “It’s too expensive” – the fees for working with GEM Advisors to create and monitor your plan are likely to be small compared to the opportunity cost of not managing your money in an effective, long-term manner. Managing your money is much like managing a business, and financial planning is a small investment in the structure with tremendous potential to help you pursue your goals. “It’s too late” – It’s never too late to start planning. Whether you are just beginning the accumulation phase of your career or have already gathered a substantial nest egg, financial planning is valuable. In fact, pre-retirees and those in retirement often find themselves struggling to protect their wealth, and having a plan in place, especially during uncertain economic times, can be comforting, factual and rewarding. “I can do it myself” – There are many online resources that will help you get started with financial planning. However most use a one-size-fits-all approach verses a customized approach with GEM Advisors. You are not able to test models against risks or make any changes based on your situation. Your GEM advisor has received specialized training and has the tools to prepare an individualized plan that maps your financial future. In addition, our advisors can guide you through implementing your plan, providing advice on revisions and helping you monitor your progress toward making your goals a reality. We would like to help you get started on planning for your future. Give GEM Advisors a call at 847-680-3082 to set an appointment or email [email protected]. Thank you, in advance, for the opportunity! Investing involves risk including loss of principal. No strategy, including asset allocation, ensures a profit or protection against a loss.