There is a perception that financial planning is something that is only needed if you are extremely rich, but this is certainly not the case. You would do well to consult a financial planner about retirement, as well as for estate planning, if you want to protect your assets and pass along wealth to your heirs.
The story of one family we know is a good example of why you need this type of assistance:
The husband did not think he was wealthy enough to need help with estate planning and did not set up a bypass trust. After his wife’s death, the estate had grown beyond the exclusion amount at the time and there was nothing their children could do to avoid paying a six-figure amount in estate taxes. The parents certainly meant their children no harm but they did not know that the guidance of a trustworthy financial planner could have preserved more of their money for their heirs.
Earlier this year, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance examined bypass trusts, reporting that while the you can now leave up to $5 million to your heirs without incurring federal estate taxes (that sum is up to $10 million for married couples), this law is set to expire and if it is not renewed “by the end of 2012, the estate tax will revert to its pre-Bush levels, when estates larger than $1 million were taxed at a rate of 55%. Although that’s unlikely, you must make sure your estate plans hold up no matter what Congress does.”
Clarity Financial Planning can assess what you need and help you find an attorney when you need wills, trusts, medical directives, powers of attorney, beneficiary designation, and titling of assets.
Defining your own financial freedom will help you be more comfortable about retirement and the possibilities of creating the life you want. Whether you are single, married, or raising a family, the way you approach your financial well being now will shape your life for years to come.