Are you worried you may outlive your resources? Do you want to provide for your children as much as you can and not be a financial burden to them? Do you want your family to inherit your wealth? Six out of 10 people die without a will. This is true across the board, not simply among those with the fewest assets. Estates valued at $1 million or more comprise approximately 2% of the final estates (estates with no surviving spouse). Of those who have finalized an estate plan, many spent less time developing objectives and considering their alternatives than they did planning their last vacation. John J. Havens and Paul G. Schervish, researchers from the Boston College Social Welfare Research Institute, issued a report in early 2003 that estimates at least $41 trillion will be transferred from one generation to the next before 2052. They estimate that the transfer will be divided as follows: $24.6 trillion in bequests to heirs, $8.5 trillion in estate taxes, $6.0 trillion in charitable bequests, and $1.6 trillion in estate fees. That’s approximately 25% in estate taxes and fees! This extraordinary amount of money demands and deserves careful planning. In addition, any intangible assets that you hope to pass along to your children and grandchildren need to be considered. In establishing goals and objectives for the use and transfer of wealth, you probably prioritize them in this order: self and spouse, heirs (children and grandchildren), and community needs and opportunities. It is important to develop a wealth management plan that matches your priorities. Lifestyle maintenance Your most important planning objective is to maintain your current lifestyle and ensure your financial independence. One of the major obstacles to effective planning is the gap between the perception of wealth and reality of wealth. Thus, you should clearly define what is required to maintain your current lifestyle. In other words, the annual income needed for personal consumption and material assets (house, car, vacation home) to maintain your lifestyle and adequate liquidity. Most likely, you want your heirs to be safe and comfortable, to help them become established and successful in life, and to provide for their medical or housing needs if they meet unexpected emergencies. In addition, you want your children and grandchildren to exhibit character, mental strength, integrity, a sense of family legacy, and responsible behavior – attributes money can’t “buy.” In short, you want your heirs to be self-supporting, but would like to provide both selected advantages and a “safety net.” Only you can decide how much is enough to leave your heirs. Many couples discover that if they do nothing, they will leave their children much more than they really believe is necessary or appropriate. Defining an appropriate specific inheritance requires careful consideration of each individual heir. What is appropriate for one is not necessarily appropriate for another. Your job is to identify specific assets or lifestyle attributes you would like your heirs to enjoy as a result of receiving an inheritance. Questions you should consider when establishing a wealth management plan include: 1. What are my financial and non-financial goals for my heirs? 2. Does my wealth management plan accomplish those goals? 3. What is the best structure to provide my heirs with appropriate assets? 4. Have I provided for unforeseen circumstances? 5. What is the best structure to promote our family values? 6. Are my heirs prepared to act responsibly with the assets I leave them? 7. Will my planning bring my family members closer together or pull them apart? 8. Have I made provisions for my community legacy? The most important step in the planning process is to establish clear and concise objectives for your wealth management plan. You should then design a plan that is responsive to your core interests, needs and concerns. It should acknowledge and address the desired level of involvement you want to retain in “managing” philanthropic activities and should incorporate the interests, expertise and desires of heirs. Additionally, it should take into account your total estate plan in a manner that is timely, effective and taxefficient. We will be able to work with you to determine your best course of action. In addition, always consult with your tax professional regarding your personal financial situation.
An asset is anything of value or a resource of value that can be converted into cash. Individuals, companies, and governments own assets. For a company, an asset might generate revenue or the company might benefit in some way from owning or using the asset.
Examples of personal assets include:
Cash and cash equivalents, certificates of deposit, checking, and savings accounts, money market accounts, physical cash, Treasury bills
Property or land and any structure that is permanently attached to it
Personal property – everything that you own such as boats, collectibles, household furnishings, jewelry, vehicles
Investments – annuities, bonds, the cash value of life insurance policies, mutual funds, pensions, retirement plans, (IRA, 401(k), 403(b), etc.) stocks
Your net worth is calculated by subtracting your liabilities from your assets. Essentially, your assets are everything you own, and your liabilities are everything you owe. A positive net worth indicates that your assets are greater in value than your liabilities; a negative net worth signifies that your liabilities exceed your assets.
The balance sheet lists a company's assets and shows how those assets are financed whether through debt or through issuing equity. The balance sheet provides a snapshot of how well a company's management is using their resources. There are two types of assets on a typical balance sheet.
Current assets are assets that can be converted into cash within one fiscal year or one operating cycle. Current assets are used to facilitate day-to-day operational expenses and investments.
Current Assets include:
Cash and cash equivalents: include Treasury bills, certificates of deposit, and cash
Marketable securities: debt securities or equity that's liquid
Accounts receivables: money owed by customers to be paid in the short-term
Inventory: goods available for sale or raw materials
Fixed assets are noncurrent assets that a company uses in its production or goods and services that have a life of more than one year. Fixed assets are recorded on the balance sheet and listed as property, plant, and equipment (PP&E). Fixed assets are long-term assets and are referred to as tangible assets, meaning they can be physically touched.
Examples of fixed assets include:
Vehicles like trucks
The two key differences with business assets are noncurrent assets (like fixed assets) cannot be converted readily to cash to meet short-term operational expenses or investments. Conversely, current assets, are expected to be liquidated within one fiscal year or one operating cycle.
Insurance can be confusing and it’s hard to know what you really need or want.
But here are five very good reasons why you need life insurance.
As we grow older, get married, build families and start businesses, we come to realize more and more that life insurance is a fundamental part of having a sound financial plan. Depending on your type of policy, life insurance is fairly cheap, which means there’s no excuse not to get coverage now. Plus, over the years, you’ll find comfort in knowing money will be available to protect your loved ones in the event of your passing. Here are a few other reasons why having life insurance is important.
TO PROTECT YOUR FAMILY AND LOVED ONES
If your loved ones depend on your financial support for their livelihood, then life insurance is a must, because it replaces your income when you die. This is especially important for parents of young children or adults who would find it difficult to sustain their standard of living if they no longer had access to the income provide by their partner. You will also need to provide enough money to cover the costs of hiring someone to cover the day-to-day household tasks, like cleaning, laundry, cooking, childcare and everything else a growing family needs.
TO LEAVE AN INHERITANCE
Even if you don’t have any other assets to pass to your heirs, you can create an inheritance by buying a life insurance policy and naming them as beneficiaries. This is a great way to set your kids up for a solid financial future and provide for any monetary needs that will arise.
TO PAY OFF DEBTS AND OTHER EXPENSES
In addition to providing income to cover everyday living expenses, your family needs insurance to cover any outstanding debts, like the mortgage, credit cards and car loans. Other expenses include funeral and burial costs that can easily run into the tens of thousands of dollars. You don’t want your spouse, parents, children or other loved ones to be left with any extra financial burden in addition to the emotional burden they’re already suffering.
TO ADD MORE FINANCIAL SECURITY
Like most parents you probably want to know your kids will be well taken care of when you’re gone. You not only want them to get a quality college education, but to provide for other life ventures like getting married or starting a business. For this reason, additional coverage is absolutely essential while your kids are still at home.
TO BRING PEACE OF MIND
We can’t know when we’ll pass away. It could be today, tomorrow or 50 years from now, but it will happen eventually. No amount of money could ever replace a person. But more than anything, life insurance can help provide protection for the uncertainties in life. Without a doubt, having life insurance coverage will bring you and your family peace of mind. It’s one thing you can be sure of and you’ll no longer have to question whether they’ll be taken care of when you’re gone. Life insurance protects your heirs from the unknown and helps them through an otherwise difficult time of loss..
The Value of Life Insurance
Some people may think of life insurance as just another expense. The question you need to consider is would someone in your life suffer an economic hardship if you were to die? If your answer is yes, then life insurance is important for you to have.
Married with children
If you're married and have young children at home who depend on your income, you have a clear need for life insurance. If you were to die, the loss of your income could cause an immediate financial hardship. Not only would this make it harder for your family to make ends meet, but for them to realize future goals such as a college education. Even if one spouse is a stay at home parent and doesn't bring in a formal paycheck, his or her death means that the surviving spouse will have additional expenses such as child care, cooking, and housekeeping - all necessary services for running a household.
Married without children or singles
Why is life insurance important if you don't have children or a spouse? Just because you don't have children or are married, doesn't necessarily mean that you don't need life insurance. If your spouse or significant other depends on your income to keep the bills paid and to run the household together as a joint venture, then having the financial safety net of a life insurance policy is vital. And whether you're married or living the single life, who is going to pay the costs associated with your final expenses? Things such as funeral costs and jointly held debt (such as a cosigner on a loan) are just a few of the costs that you'll need to consider in the event you were to unexpectedly die. Unless you already have sufficient financial resources to cover these expenses, your survivors will most likely need life insurance to help pay for it all.
Having enough life insurance is just as important
The loss of a loved one is an emotional and traumatic experience for any family. But not having enough money to meet immediate and ongoing living expenses, can make a very difficult situation even worse. Not only are the people you love grieving your loss, but they'll now have added financial stresses to cope with. Depending on their current financial resources and ability to get back on their feet both emotionally and financially, your loved ones could be forced to move to a less expensive home or community, forego education and career plans, and cut back on their quality of life. They may be even forced to take out loans to pay for your funeral and burial costs, as well as any outstanding medical or tax bills.
If you're wondering why life insurance is important, stop to consider the potentially devastating consequences of not having coverage to financially protect the people that you love.
What is an 'Annuity'
An annuity is a financial product that pays out a fixed stream of payments to an individual, primarily used as an income stream for retirees. Annuities are created and sold by financial institutions, which accept and invest funds from individuals and then, upon annuitization, issue a stream of payments at a later point in time. The period of time when an annuity is being funded and before payouts begin is referred to as the accumulation phase. Once payments commence, the contract is in the annuitization phase.
The financial product that comes to our rescue to ensure a lifetimes income stream, no matter how long you may live, is an annuity that is contractually structured for lifetime payments. If you end up living way past the average life expectancy, that’s okay, the annuity company is required to pay for as long as you are alive.