Financial Planning

Saving

TOP

Depending on your stage of life, chances are you’ll have a distinct approach to saving. New graduates or young couples have different needs than retirees or mid-career families. But no matter your personal situation, we can help you develop financial habits that will lay a strong foundation for your savings.

Younger individuals and couples have a number of benefits in terms of financial management. Low insurance costs and a long investment horizon, combined with few responsibilities, can make for an excellent financial base. We can help you build on these advantages, while at the same time considering a debt load that might include student loans, car payments or perhaps a mortgage.

Couples planning for a first child enter into a new level of commitment—both personally and financially. Learn how to save for a child through specialized insurance and investment products, such as a 529 College Savings Plan.

Mid-career professionals typically have higher incomes than younger investors—but they also carry more responsibilities. From mortgage payments to a child’s education, consider a financial plan that balances your needs and obligations.

Retirees have worked hard at their careers, and now is the time for relaxation and celebration. Chances are children have moved from home, the mortgage is mostly paid off and a few investments are coming to fruition. However, income levels may have dropped after retirement. Find out how to manage your finances in a way that allows you to fully enjoy the fruits of your hard work.

In short, no matter your life stage, contact us today to learn how to balance savings and investing with your other commitments.

Tax Planning

TOP

No one likes taxes. But through the advice of a professional financial advisor, you can access products and services that help ease the burden. Charitable contributions, life insurance policies and investment products purchased through Traditional IRA’s, Roth IRA’s, or Qualified Retirement Savings Plans at work can all be useful tools in an effective tax strategy. Working together, we will consider your personal situation and design a tax plan that fits your needs.

Choose from a variety of products and services, such as:

  • Income-splitting for spouses or common-law couples.
  • Charitable donations, which benefits important not-for-profit work and allows donors to maximize tax credits.
  • Life insurance products that build tax-advantaged capital for retirement.
  • Investment products that provide for tax benefits, such as those purchased through Traditional or Roth IRAs.

Contact us today to learn more about tax-planning products and services that are specifically tailored for your needs.

Succession Planning

TOP

Preparing for succession after death is a difficult issue to discuss, but it is also an important part of any comprehensive financial plan.

We can help you and your loved ones approach succession planning in a constructive manner that ensures they avoid problems and are well cared for in the event of your death. The process involves two main considerations: life insurance and preparing a will.

Life insurance can ease the financial burden and provide security for your loved ones in the event of your death. A lump-sum payment can be used for mortgage costs or to supplement lost income, helping your successors during a difficult period. Financial security and stability can make it easier to cope with the loss of a loved one.

A written will provides a means to guide your loved ones through the succession process. By naming your executors and providing instructions on the distribution of your estate, your surviving loved ones avoid having to guess your wishes. Rather than provincial law determining how your assets are to be divided—a situation that can result in lengthy court proceedings—a clear, carefully considered written will provides clear instructions to your successors. Save your loved ones the stress of dealing with financial issues by planning for your succession while you are alive.

Contact us today to discuss succession planning in more detail.

Business Succession Planning

TOP

The death of a partner or major stockholder in a business can have devastating effects on both the business and the deceased partner’s surviving family.  The business is concerned with gaining control of the deceased partner’s interest at a fair price so that it can continue operations without interference from the surviving family members.  The family members are most concerned with receiving as much money as possible for their interest in the business and for capital that may be needed for estate settlement purposes.

The Need for a Written Agreement

Absent a written agreement, the competing interests of the business and the family members could lead to major conflicts, litigation and possibly the forced liquidation of the business.  A buy-sell agreement can ensure that the business interest of the deceased partner will transfer in an orderly manner to the benefit and satisfaction of all parties.  With a buy-sell agreement in place, the stability of the business for it clients, employees and investors (or creditors) is more assured.

Key elements of a buy-sell agreement include a mutually agreeable sales price and terms of the sale.  The agreement needs to be funded in order to ensure that the capital is available at the time of the death of a partner.  Life insurance provides a cost effective means of creating the capital necessary to buy out the interests of the family and establish a reserve for the business to use to continue its operations.

Types of Business Owner Buy-Sell Arrangements

Entity Plan: Under this arrangement, used when there are multiple owners, each of the business owners has a separate agreement with the corporation or partnership as the entity.  The entity, per the buy-sell agreement, will buy the deceased partner’s interest at his or her death. 

Cross Purchase Agreement: Used in situations where there are two or three owners, a cross purchase agreement is established between each of the owners. At the death of one of the owners, the surviving owners agree to buy a proportionate share of the deceased owner’s interest.

Buy-Sell arrangements are a simple, yet effective way for business owners of privately held companies to plan for the orderly transfer of business interests where two or more owners are actively involved in the business. In addition to securing the needs of the surviving family members and ensuring the continuation of the business, a buy-sell arrangement also ensures each owner that there is a buyer for their business interest at a fair price.

Business succession planning involves legal, tax and personal financial issues. Guidance from a qualified attorney or tax professional is strongly recommended.

For more information on business succession planning, contact us today.

Charitable Planning

TOP

Everyone has their own reason for gifting their assets or a portion of their income to charitable organizations.  Some find comfort in helping others who are less fortunate, while others simply want to share their good fortune.  Many of the institutions of art, sciences, and education are supported in large part by those who want to give something back in appreciation for their contributions to the community or to the individuals themselves. 

Presently, the tax code offers incentives for the gifting of one’s assets or incomes. Tax deductions are given for current contributions and, for estate owners, charitable gifts can reduce the size of the estate to help minimize estate taxes.

Often, an individual will designate a charitable beneficiary in their will to benefit the organization after the individual dies.  But by using charitable gifting techniques, a donor may be able to benefit the charity while living without having to sacrifice the income that an asset can generate.  Understanding how properly structured charitable gifts can provide current benefits for both the donor and the charity could be important for the charitably inclined.

Charitable Remainder Trust

A remainder trust enables the donor to transfer an asset while retaining the right to the income it generates. The asset becomes the “remainder” which is owned by the charity.  Remainder trusts, if properly structured, can qualify for a current tax deduction.  There are three types of remainder trusts:

Unitrust:  With a unitrust, the income the donor receives is based on a percentage of the current fair market valuation of a trust asset.  Each year, as the asset is valued, the income is adjusted based on the new valuation.

Annuity Trust:  Instead of a percentage of the asset value, the donor is paid a fixed amount annually.

Pooled Income Fund:  Donors can pool their donated assets in a fund that is operated by the charitable organization.  The donors then receive a proportionate share of income from the fund that is paid throughout their lifetime.  Payments can vary each year based on the valuation of the underlying assets in the fund.

Charitable Lead Trust

Also known as an Income Trust, this vehicle transfers the income rights to the charitable organization. Generally, the income rights are assigned for a specified period of time after which the remainder passes to the donor. 

Charitable planning involves tax and legal issues that should be discussed with a qualified tax or legal professional.

For more information about charitable planning, please contact us today.

College Planning

TOP

With the cost of college rising at greater than the rate of inflation for decades, it has become increasingly hard for families to provide the same kind of education for the next generation as the current and prior generations were able to enjoy.  And yet the need for education to be prepared for the types of careers the present and future economy has to offer continues to increase. This combination of factors only raises the importance of having a plan to pay for the type of education parents want their students to have today.  

Thankfully, there are a number of resources available to help with the cost of college, and strategies for taking advantage of same are important to learn about and to deploy as strategically as possible.  Allgood Financial has made it a point to stay abreast of the ins and outs of financial aid and how to optimize your position to garner as much aid as possible. Additionally, we are versed on how to save for education, and in whose name such savings should be placed, to ensure savings do not have the unintended consequences of lowering the amount of aid you might otherwise qualify to obtain.

For more information about college planning, please contact us today.