FAQs

A living will allows a person to make a decision during his or her lifetime not to be kept alive on death-delaying devices, in the event his or her condition is considered terminal. A living will is a personal decision made by an individual. Once the living will is signed and properly witnessed, copies of the document should be distributed to the person's family physician and any other attending or treating physicians. By law, a physician or hospital is to keep this document with your medical records.

A living trust is an alternative to probate. This document places all of the assets that you own during your lifetime into a revocable trust. A living trust can be changed, amended or terminated in whole or in part by the individual at any time, provided he or she is of sound mind. Under a living trust, you can be named as your own trustee for your own property. Upon your disability during your lifetime, you can name a successor trustee to manage your assets and pay your debts. Upon your death, you can name a successor trustee to ensure that your assets are distributed as you so designate in your living trust.

No. There is no need to establish a living trust during your lifetime if you do not have that many assets or the total value of your estate is less than $100,000. If the only asset you own is a piece of real estate, a land trust for real estate can be drafted at a lower cost to you than a living trust.

A health care power of attorney is drafted and signed by you during your lifetime. You give power to an individual named in your health care power of attorney to act on your behalf if you do not wish to be kept alive on life-sustaining devices such as a food tube or intravenous.

A durable power of attorney is signed by you during your lifetime and gives power to an individual whom you name to act on your behalf for financial purposes. It is effective only upon your being declared by a doctor to be incapable of managing your finances. It is important to have a durable power of attorney, especially if you are single, widowed or divorced so that someone can write checks on your checking account, take money out of your 401(k) or savings account, or otherwise sell your assets to pay your bills and to obtain and pay for your medical care and the needs of your family.

Financial Planning is a process that develops a plan for budgeting, taxes, retirement, education, insurance, and estate needs, which meets one's needs and goals. Following an initial meeting to establish your financial concerns and future goals, your financial data is gathered and analyzed to determine your financial situation. A financial plan is then developed as a recommendation of how best to meet your goals, taking into account your current financial situation.

An individual who assists you in developing and implementing a financial plan and investment strategy.

There are many reasons to use the services of a financial planner. Some of the most important include:

• Experience and Skill – you can rely on the financial knowledge of a financial planner to manage your investments rather than risk your financial future by relying only on your own investment knowledge.

• Proven Track Record – although past history is no guarantee of future performance, using the services of a financial planner who has an established and proven investment program adds confidence to your financial and investment plan going forward.

• Coordination of Financial Services – maintaining a close, personal relationship with you allows a financial planner to provide advice on a range of financial matters, helping in overall coordination and management of retirement and investment planning needs.

• Lack of Time – most people do not have or do not wish to commit the time necessary to properly manage their investments.

As mentioned above, there are numerous benefits to working with a financial planner to help create your financial planning road map. One of the key benefits is that a well constructed, implemented and monitored financial plan may allow you to reach financial independence quicker than if no plan of action was formulated. For many clients, financial independence gives them the ability to stop regular employment knowing they have sufficient retirement income to maintain their desired lifestyle for the rest of their life and provide for their loved ones after their death.

• Initial meeting- to develop a profile of your investment objectives, risk tolerance and time available.

• Create customized Financial Plan-after a thorough analysis of the (gathered) financial data, your financial situation would be compared to your needs and goals, and a specific, customized financial plan would be created to suit your individual needs.

• Develop Investment Strategy-The next step is to develop a personalized investment strategy taking into account the risks involved. Our aim to design a plan that would maximize returns through a diversified investment approach taking into account the limitations.

• Implement Investment plan-the financial plan would be implemented according to the strategy discussed with the client and outlined in the plan.

• Monitor execution-The execution of the financial plan with be monitored from time to time. Any change in financial inflow or risk will be monitor by making necessary changes in the financial plan.

• Review Results- The progress of your plan will be reviewed in client’s meetings and any changes regarding your investments will be made taking into consideration the changes in your life.

Your goals might include early retirement, travel, vacation home, or building a family business. FSM will lead you through a process to help you determine your goals and to prioritize them as necessary. FSM will help you to meet your goals, by creating a customized financial plan, strategic investing and tax planning. As your life changes, your goals may too. FSM will continue to work with you in identifying changes to your goals and updating your plan.

FSM suggests two in-person reviews per year or more as needed. At each meeting, we will discuss and evaluate any changes in your life, and make proper adjustments to your plan. We will also review your goals and how you are progressing towards those goals.

At FSM our goal is to help you define, understand, and prioritize a financial plan that relates to your own values and goals. Additionally, we will make recommendations regarding retirement, tax planning, investment analysis, cash management, estate and insurance planning to help you make the best possible decisions for your financial future. We strive to assist with all financial questions, including can you afford a new home, should you purchase or lease a car, how much money should you lend to your kids, etc.

A: Financial planning is the development of a plan for evaluating a client’s current financial situation, identifying areas of need, and planning for future life events. Wealth management is a comprehensive approach that focuses specifically on higher net worth individuals including advice on investment management, estate planning, asset protection, and private banking. Our wealth management approach is driven by the desire to provide the highest level of client service.

Any person seeking financial peace of mind or looking to match his or her financial actions and resources with personal goals can benefit from our services.

We provide financial planning and advice to clients from all income levels.

Retirement: When will I be financially independent? How much will I need and how do I get there?

Taxes: How can I reduce my taxes?

College: What is the best way to save for college? How much should I save?

Budget: How can I reduce debt or save more?

Insurance: Do I need life, disability or long-term care insurance? If so, how much and for how long?

Investments: What are the best investments for me?

Estate Planning: How can I make sure my estate is handled the way I would like?

Special Goals: What is the best way to financially plan for and finance that new home, special trip, gift or other goal?

Financial Check-Ups: How is my plan proceeding? Do I need to make any changes?

Nature is unpredictable in its ways. A death in a family is not only an emotional loss but a financial loss too. The family is deprived of the income of the deceased and this might hamper the lifestyle, mortgage, and education of the family members. To make up for the loss an insurance policy buyer goes for an insurance policy that varies depending on his age, income, and things he would like to cover like basic living expenses, replacement of lost income, retirement savings, child’s education, payment of debts, estate taxes, and funeral expenses.

The policy buyer makes periodic payments called premiums depending on the type of policy his opts for. The life insurance company, in turn, promises to pay a sum of money to his nominated beneficiaries at the time of his death. The premium amount is fixed based on his/hers age, medical history, gender, and the dollar amount of the life insurance policy purchased.

There are two types of life insurance that you can get at your work. These are term life insurance and permanent life insurance.

Term life insurance is for a specific period of time varying from one to 20 years. The insurance continues as long as you pay the premiums and pays a specific amount to your loved ones after a policy time is completed. Though this type of policy does not build cash value it enables you to cover financial burdens like meeting college expenses and payment of a mortgage. It also helps you to get valuable coverage at an affordable price and also supplement a permanent policy.

Permanent Life Insurance policies have no expiry date and continue as long as the premiums are paid. This form of life insurance is absolutely portable and continues the coverage in case of termination of employment. Some types of permanent life insurance policies will grow each year until it reaches the policy value. This cash which is tax-deferred can be accessed through loans and a variety of other purposes.

You can consider a permanent insurance policy if you want payments that stay the same each year, or to put additional money into the policy on a tax-favored basis, or to cover protection for life or even to get cash value so that you can use it while you are alive.

There are several advantages to purchasing life insurance through work. The first and foremost would be getting insurance at competitive group rates. Your premiums are deducted automatically and conveniently from your payroll. Your employer would have reviewed and selected the best plan. Purchasing life insurance through work will save you from taking a medical exam or answering complex questions. Finally, as you are part of the group you would just have to sign up or get enrolled automatically.

Life insurance helps you to build cash that you can withdraw before your death or take a loan on. Generally, income-tax is not levied on the insurance amount received by your beneficiaries as long as the policy is in effect. Loans and withdrawals on the life insurance policy will reduce the cash value and death benefit.

A college planning specialist helps counsels you on the college-funding of an individual or a child. The specialist’s objective is to help you to plan for your child’s/children’s college education taking into consideration your lifestyle, source of income, your retirement plans etc.

Most of the families qualify for little or no “need-based” financial aid. Our expert solution is to create a plan that has a combination of tax-efficient strategies and academic student positioning i.e., free merit aid. Many families assume that they would not qualify for financial aid without analyzing the whole picture. Many clients are in fact surprised when they qualify because of their children studying in expensive colleges at the same time.

The amount to be saved for college education depends on the college that one chooses to study. There is a wide disparity between the fees collected in a private college and the fees in a public college. Public colleges are funded by their states and work out to be much cheaper. The cost incurred for a four-year education in an in-state public college would be around $9,650 whereas, the fee for a four-year study in a private college would be around $33,480. The costs may increase every 10 to 12 years.

If you start to save late you need to find ways to save more. At the outset, you can cut on your daily expenses so that you can find money to save. Asking friends and family to contribute to your child’s college savings in-lieu of birthday gifts would be a wonderful way to save for college. Students can join a two-year community college, where they can earn credits with minimum expenses and save that money for a four-year school later on.

There are a variety of ways to pay for your college. These include payment from parent and student income and savings, scholarships, grants, loans offered by a large number of government and private sources like schools themselves. The Federal government allocates annually about $160 billion for work-study loans, grants, low-interest loans, and other financial aids. You need to fill out an application for FAFSA (the Free Application for Federal Student Aid) to utilize this aid.

A 529 education saving plan is a tax-deferred plan to help families, save money, for future higher education. However, the plan is subject to tax if the withdrawal is not towards ‘qualified higher education expenses’. The expenses could include tuition, room, purchase of educational accessories like computers, books other supplies. Although 529 education plan offers a number of investment options, it involves a certain amount of risk, as it is, with any other investments. Some states offer state tax deductions for contributions made to in-state plans.

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