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Latest Newsletter: What is the Rodgers & Associates Financial Planning Process?

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Developing a solid financial plan is the cornerstone of wealth management. It helps you envision your short and long-term life goals and becomes a roadmap to your financial future. The process of putting a financial plan together can be summarized as:

  • Examine your current situation
  • Set financial goals
  • Measure your progress

Once you have a financial plan, it should be easier to make financial decisions and stay on track to meet your goals. It is also critical to have a plan when working with a financial adviser. The plan is the basis of knowing you and your adviser understand your goals and are working towards the same objectives.

The Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. feels the process of creating a plan and implementing it is central to the profession. The CFP Board’s comprehensive update to its Practice Standards lays out a seven-step financial planning process that all CFP® Professionals must comply with beginning June 20, 2020. This change reflects the CFP Board’s vision for how advisers will interact with clients to serve their best interests.

The Seven-Step Financial Planning Process

  1. Understanding the client’s personal and financial circumstances
  2. Identifying and selecting goals
  3. Analyzing the client’s current course of action and potential alternative courses of action
  4. Developing the financial planning recommendation(s)
  5. Presenting the financial planning recommendation(s)
  6. Implementing the financial planning recommendation(s)
  7. Monitoring progress and updating

The advisers at Rodgers & Associates follow this process with the added focus on efficiency. We have a unique approach to creating efficiency, which involves coordinating all parts of a financial plan to: 

  • Minimize income taxes
  • Minimize risk
  • Minimize costs and expenses
  • Keep the plan current and up-to-date with legislative changes and family/life changes.

Our Approach to Tax Efficiency

Our New Three-Legged Stool strategy creates flexibility regarding how money is saved and invested to minimize taxes today and in the future. Building a balanced three-legged stool may help to position our clients for potential changes to tax laws in the future. Managing an investment portfolio efficiently requires knowledge of current income tax rules and how they will specifically apply to each client. Many people make the mistake of focusing only on building wealth through investment returns. But there’s another side to the coin that we believe is equally important—the impact that taxes can have on accumulated wealth. Our advisers stay current on tax strategies that can help preserve wealth and aims to improve a client’s financial picture now and in the years to come.

Creating a Risk-Efficient Investment Strategy

Our advisers help clients structure an investment strategy that takes only enough risk to reach their financial goals. No investment strategy can be truly risk-free as equity exposure is necessary to provide growth to hedge against inflation. This is then balanced efficiently by using fixed-income investments to balance equities during market downturns. We only recommend broadly-diversified equity funds to avoid the damage that could be caused to a portfolio if a single company were to go into bankruptcy. The time to prepare for recessions and bear markets is before they happen, starting with a risk-efficient investment strategy.

Minimizing Expenses by Maximizing Efficiency

There can be many expenses associated with managing finances. Mutual funds and exchange-traded funds have expense ratios and other internal expenses. There are trading costs and transaction fees even if there isn’t a commission associated with the trade. Equity funds are screened for minimal expenses and trading can be reduced by using broadly diversified funds. Our advisers minimize expenses for clients by using individual bonds for the fixed-income investments in the portfolio. Individual securities have no ongoing internal expenses. Other efficiencies are created when reviewing insurance coverages, such as eliminating insurance that is no longer needed and adjusting coverages based on the current needs of the client.

Developing and Modifying a Financial Plan

A financial plan is not a static document. It is constantly evolving to meet the needs of each client, whose life dreams and goals are also evolving. U.S. tax laws have changed frequently since the income tax was created in 1913. Often, these changes can create both opportunities and traps. Family dynamics frequently change for many clients and the financial plan will need to adapt and change with the times.

We have found one of the biggest concerns for people planning their retirement is having enough money to live comfortably for the rest of their lives. No one wants to run out of money during their retirement years. Our focus on efficiency can help preserve wealth during retirement. By paying fewer income taxes, minimizing costs and expenses and implementing a strategy to minimize risks ahead of market downturns, we can help our clients achieve peace of mind.

Rick’s Insights:

  • CFP® Professionals must follow the CFP Board’s seven-step process of creating and implementing a plan for clients.
  • Creating financial efficiencies is one way to help preserve wealth through retirement.
  • Financial plans must be flexible so they can evolve and adapt as needed in the future.

You’ve worked hard to save for retirement. How can you turn your wealth into an income that’s designed to last your lifetime?

Now that retirement is a reality, or will be soon, you probably have questions. Here on our website, you can find generalized advice, but don’t you deserve advice tailored just to you?

Clint Krushinsky is here to help you get answers. Simply call him at 717-560-3800 or 1-888-876-3437. He’ll answer your questions and help you get to know us. If we are a potential fit for each other, Clint can arrange for up to two hours of initial consultation with no cost or obligation and no sales pitch.

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March 4, 2020 — Congratulations! You’re Retired… Now What?
February 20, 2020 — One Year from Retirement? What You Should be Doing to Get Ready
February 6, 2020 — As You Approach Retirement, How You Save is Extremely Important
January 24, 2020 — Use the Ten Years Prior to Retirement to Position Yourself for Success
January 9, 2020 — Will Changes to the Life Expectancy Tables for RMDs Make a Difference?
December 26, 2019 — Are Your Heirs Ready? 3 Lessons to Teach Children About Wealth Now
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October 31, 2019 — Dos and Don’ts of Retirement Planning
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February 27, 2013 — 9 Ways to Beat the Medicare Surtax – Part 1
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January 30, 2013 — Social Security Basics
January 16, 2013 — Understanding the Impact of Consumer Confidence on the Markets
December 26, 2012 — The Fiscal Cliff and the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT)
December 19, 2012 — Reducing Taxes on an Inherited IRA
December 12, 2012 — Dealing with Capital Gains in Taxable Accounts
December 5, 2012 — Avoiding the Unpleasant Surprise of a Mutual Fund Capital Gain Distribution
November 28, 2012 — Strategies to Manage the Taxation of Social Security
November 14, 2012 — Stop Saving for Retirement and Start Planning for Financial Independence!
October 31, 2012 — Understand and Plan for the New Medicare Tax
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September 12, 2012 — Preserving Your Income Stream Through Retirement – Part One
September 5, 2012 — Are Bonds Still a Good Investment if Interest Rates Go Up?
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August 1, 2012 — 8 Principles of Preparing for Retirement – Part 2
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June 27, 2012 — What To Do When a Relative Passes Away
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June 13, 2012 — Social Security – Part 2: Minimizing Taxes on Social Security Benefits
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May 9, 2012 — Investor Behavior, Not Market Timing, Matters More in Your Portfolio
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February 29, 2012 — 10 Ways You Can Avoid Penalties on Early IRA Withdrawals
February 22, 2012 — The Dangers of Rolling Your Company Stock into an IRA
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December 7, 2011 — Thinking of Paying off Your Mortgage Before You Retire?
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Lower Your Audit Profile
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July 20, 2011 — When Is Your Beneficiary Not Your Beneficiary?
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May 20, 2011 — Annuity Traps (Part 1)
Consolidating Employer Retirement Accounts
2025 Lititz Pike, Lancaster, PA 17601
Phone: 717-560-3800, Toll-Free: 888-876-3437