Financial Planning Services

Financial planning is the art of turning preparation into possibility

Whether you’re saving for retirement, starting a new business, or thinking of buying a second home, we can help you define your life and financial goals and develop a plan that’s as unique as you are.

Our Approach to Financial Planning

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What Is Financial Planning?

Financial planning is the process of identifying your financial goals, developing a strategy to reach them, and then implementing the strategy. Your goals may range from short to long-term, with many individuals seeking a comprehensive planning process to prepare for retirement, save for educational expenses, find tax efficiency, and/or manage risk.

In our experience, those clients that have a plan they stick with and revise as life changes occur, fare better than those who do not engage in financial planning.

We strive to give you greater confidence in your financial future and support you in turning your vision into reality.  Here’s what you can expect from our financial planning services.

It All Starts With Trust

We seek to build trusting relationships with our clients. This allows us to assist you in better defining your goals, understanding potential risks or barriers, and in providing tailored guidance on how to reach them.

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A Plan as Unique as You

We know there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to financial planning, though we do have a proven process that we follow. We specialize in working with business owners, snowbirds, and multi-homeowners, and people on the glidepath to or in retirement.

At Stephens Wealth Management Group, we’re here for your triumphs, tragedies, and everything in between. Partnering with us will not only provide you with an actionable plan but also the knowledge and confidence needed to take the next steps.

Our 5-Step Financial Planning Process

Your financial plan will not only address your personal goals but also your concerns.

We develop financial plans early in our relationship and revisit them regularly to address your life changes and to ensure we are still on the right course. Your financial plan will not only address your personal goals, but also your hopes and concerns. We also provide you with options or alternatives to consider, whenever possible.

STEP 1

Discovery

What exactly are your goals? Do you dream of retiring poolside? Are you trying to manage the success of your business? Do you have a favorite charity that you want to support?

The first step of the financial planning process is to discover and define your personal financial goals, beliefs, and values. The clearer your goals and our understanding of your values, the easier it is to plan for and measure your progress.

STEP 2

Summary Financial Plan

With your goals in mind, a wealth advisor takes a deep dive into your current financial situation, reviewing financial statements, tax documents, estate planning documents, and key insurance policies (as needed) to create a high-level financial plan. A summary financial plan is intended to provide a broad roadmap for your financial journey, but it also ensures that your goals are realistic given the state of your finances.

STEP 3

Comprehensive Financial Plan

With alignment around the summary plan, we develop strategies to support your goals. These strategies may require some trade-offs to be made. Whenever possible we provide alternatives that could increase your chance of success. The plan also includes recommendations for managing risk, taxes, and your portfolio.

STEP 4

Implementation

The fourth step is all about action. We work with you to implement your plan, addressing:

• Cash flow and distribution requirements
• Insurance needs
• Estate planning and beneficiary alignment
• Investment management
• Charitable giving

We also coordinate with your tax and legal professionals, navigating specific and/or complex issues involving taxation, insurance, and more.

STEP 5

Progress & Iteration

No financial plan is complete without a monitoring system. We work with you to celebrate your successes and are there for you when difficulties arise. The plan is adjusted as your life unfolds, as economic conditions change and the markets fluctuate, and as new strategies, tools, etc. become available.

Financial Planning For All Stages of Life

You’re never too young or too old to develop a financial plan

In fact, the younger you are, the easier it is to create a financial plan that sets the foundation for and supports you in building wealth for the future. Below are some key financial planning considerations at each life stage.

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Early to Mid-Career Stage

During this stage, our focus is on helping you build a strong financial foundation. This includes establishing an emergency fund to cover unexpected expenses, paying off high-interest debts, and starting to save for retirement through employer-sponsored retirement plans like 401(k)s or individual retirement accounts (IRAs).

As you progress in your career, our focus will be on increasing your retirement savings contributions, taking advantage of employer matching programs available to you, as well as reviewing your health plan and disability and life insurance options.

Pre-Retirement Stage

In your 50’s and early 60’s, we focus on evaluating your retirement savings and projected expenses. This helps us to estimate the income you will need in retirement, considering factors such as healthcare costs, housing, travel, and other lifestyle choices.

It may also be a good time to adjust your savings rate to align to your retirement goals, consider long-term care policies, and more.

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Transitioning to Retirement Stage

We model out options that will support you in deciding when you feel comfortable entering retirement. Considerations may include a phased retirement or part-time work to supplement your retirement income. We also review your pension, Social Security, Medicare, and other retirement benefits to maximize your monthly income. Not all of our work is financial in nature. Understanding what your retirement days will look like and how to mentally transition may be a primary focus in this stage.

Retirement Stage

A successful retirement is often looked at as the goal of financial planning. However, the planning process does not end there. In fact, once you retire, there are many key events that a good plan should address and unique sets of challenges that go with them.

Cashflow is a major consideration and can lead us to activities such as building out a budget and developing or updating your withdrawal strategy. We assess your investment portfolio's allocation to ensure it aligns with your risk tolerance and income needs. Review of your estate plan, trusts, etc. is an important activity in this phase - ensuring your wishes, key people (POA, executor, etc.) and beneficiaries are correctly documented.

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What Are the Benefits of Hiring a Wealth Advisor?

Hiring a wealth advisor is a smart decision. You’ll experience great benefits such as:

Clarity of your financial vision and goals

Tailored assistance with retirement planning, healthcare, taxes, estate, and risk management

Coaching and advice to support your financial journey

Questions and Answers About Financial Planning

Why Is Financial Planning Important?

Financial planning is all about strategy. Developing a financial plan will provide the framework and focus you need to reach your goals. Having a plan in place will also give you greater confidence and security in your present and future financial situation.

How Do I Choose a Wealth Advisor?

To choose a wealth advisor, think about factors like:

  • Are they a fiduciary (acting in my best interest at all times)?
  • Do they have a strong reputation?
  • Do they offer financial planning or are they just managing investments?
  • Are their services comprehensive in nature, including support to estate planning, tax management, and risk management and do they have a large network of partners?
  • Do they have systems and tools to support work with me wherever my life may take me?

Asking these questions will ensure that you connect with a firm that aligns with your goals. For instance, if you’re a business owner who needs assistance with managing your growing wealth, you’ll want a planner with experience in this area.

How Do I Get Started with Financial Planning?

Getting a wealth advisor started is easier than you think. Simply schedule an introductory call with Stephens Wealth Management Group to connect with a financial advisor. After an introductory call, our team will work closely with you to develop a clear, actionable financial plan that fits your short, mid, and long-term goals.

Financial Planning and Beyond
with Stephens Wealth Management

Are you looking to connect with a wealth advisor? Stephens Wealth Management Group is based near Flint, Michigan, and assists clients with financial planning in Genesee, Livingston, and Oakland Counties, as well as across the country.

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