Frequently Asked Questions
Retirement planning is a multi-step process that provides you with two important things: (1) An in-depth review of your current financial situation, and (2) a blueprint that shows you how to achieve your goals and objectives for the future. At Winkler Financial Planning the retirement planning process consists of various distinct steps. It is important to remember that retirement planning is a process . . . not an event.
First we focus on your goals, objectives, priorities and values. For instance: the reduction of current and future income taxes may be an immediate goal, funding a quality education for your children and/or grandchildren may be an intermediate goal, and enjoying a secure financial future in your retirement years is likely to be one of your most important long-term goals. Another great goal in life for some people is creating wealth and/or leaving a legacy for your chosen beneficiaries or charities. You may already be on the road to meeting these objectives and simply need a new strategy, professional insight, or to fine-tune your plan. Whatever your unique situation may be, everyone needs a periodic assessment of where they are on the road to meeting their financial goals. That's why we do an in-depth review of your current financial situation. Next, you need to know how you can set about achieving (or continue working toward) your financial goals. By focusing on cash flow, investments, taxes, pensions and retirement plans, estate planning, insurance issues, savings opportunities and other general financial matters, we design a customized retirement plan for you. Finally, to achieve the intended results, you must implement and monitor your plan.
It may seem like that at first, but the good news is, if you follow your plan and maintain a disciplined approach, you can rest well knowing you can reach your stated goals. At WFP, we try to make the process as easy as possible for you. In addition to receiving professional advice on your most important financial concerns, we can also provide implementation and ongoing tune-ups, if appropriate for your needs.
Any individual seeking financial peace of mind can benefit from our services. We serve people at all income levels, from all walks of life. Clients have the flexibility to work with us on either a one-time, as-needed basis or an ongoing basis. We welcome clients who simply need a one-time financial consultation as well as those who need comprehensive retirement planning.
Because we are Fee-Only financial planners, all conflicts of interest regarding compensation are removed. We do not accept sales commissions; we work solely for our clients. Because we do not sell financial products such as investments and insurance, there are no third-party relationships or outside influences to color our thinking and financial recommendations.
In addition, our firm is a Registered Investment Advisor (RIA); as such, we must comply with a host of regulations designed to protect the consumer. One important question you should always ask when considering a financial planner's services: "May I please have a copy of your ADV Part 2?" This document contains important information about the planner's qualifications, fiduciary duties, history of any past violations, etc. We will be happy to provide you a copy of our ADV Part 2.
While we do not sell financial products, we will offer specific recommendations and opinions regarding the purchase of the various financial products that may be appropriate for you. So, if you need to obtain an insurance policy or a new mortgage, invest into a portfolio of mutual funds, or find an estate planning attorney or tax professional, we can direct you to the resources you need and/or help you obtain these products and services. If appropriate, we can also help you implement your plan and set up your accounts.
We provide advice primarily for mutual funds and electronically traded funds. Also, we provide advice for other types of securities, including stocks (as they relate to your portfolio holdings), bonds, bank deposits, variable and fixed annuities, limited partnerships, etc. We also provide advice on mortgages, budgeting and cash flow issues, 401(k), 403(b) and other retirement programs, stock options, life and disability insurance, etc. If it has to do with money and finances, we can provide counseling, guidance and/or resources for you. Clients are encouraged to call us when they have a major life event, such as a new job, a marriage or divorce, or if they are planning to buy a new home or start their own business. We also encourage our clients to call us with more common everyday questions, such as: ''How should I invest within my 401(k) or 403(b) plan?'', ''How can I reduce my taxes?'', ''What advice can you offer on refinancing my home?'', or ''How can I maximize my Flex Spending Account, Cafeteria Plan or Section 125 Plan at work?''
Absolutely not. We will offer recommendations which in our professional opinion will meet your needs and objectives, but you are under no obligation to purchase them. In today's competitive market, it makes sense to shop around for the best available product or service. We can direct you to a choice of companies that can provide a quality product at competitive prices for you. If you wish, we can help you purchase investments and/or set up your accounts with a third-party custodian such as a discount broker.
As financial planners and investment consultants, we believe in the following fundamental principals with regard to designing an investment portfolio and making specific recommendations: The purpose of a client's investment portfolio is to fund current and/or future financial objectives. The design of the portfolio must take into account the client's financial objectives, tolerance for risk, needs for current income or liquidity, and special considerations such as income and estate taxes. The important thing to remember is that no one can predict the future. It is difference of opinion that makes a market. Investment and economic ''experts'' provided with the same information often come to different conclusions. We do not suggest that we can, or that any of the money or mutual fund managers that we recommend, will make the correct decision every time. We do believe, however, that studying the historic trends and relationships of investment classes and the philosophies and approaches of successful investment managers can provide valuable insight. The appropriate allocation of investment assets for your goals and risk tolerance is the most important component in developing an investment portfolio. We believe that having a diversified, well-balanced portfolio, following long-term buy-and-hold strategies, and having patience, will increase the likelihood that one will achieve their long-term financial objectives.
Before we recommend any investment, we consider the current economic conditions, the outlook for that asset class or type of security and how this investment fits within your portfolio given your objectives and tolerance for risk. As fiduciaries for our clients, we strive to obtain the most appropriate investment vehicles to meet your objectives, while being very conscious of total expenses and risk exposure.
The fees are based on the actual or estimated time involved in meeting with you in person or over the phone, researching and analyzing your current situation, and providing specific recommendations and implementation assistance (if appropriate). Current hourly rates are $180 per hour for services rendered.
Retirement planning fees are determined on a project basis; the total fee for a retirement plan will vary from client to client based on the specific needs and complexity of your situation. A fee range based on the estimated hours required to complete an assignment is provided at the end of a Get Acquainted Meeting, once your personal needs are fully identified. In some cases, a flat fee can be quoted based on the estimated number of hours to complete an assignment.
Yes. Section 212 of the Internal Revenue Code permits an itemized deduction for tax and/or investment advice in the miscellaneous section of Schedule A. It is subject to a 2% floor of the adjusted gross income on a personal tax return.
The actual engagement of services may end. Because retirement planning is a process, not an event, we offer ongoing services, periodic reviews and day-to-day consultation as requested and/or needed
The first step is an initial inquiry from you. Call us at (770) 447-0059 or email us at scott@WinklerFinancialPlanning.com. We offer an initial, no-obligation Get Acquainted Meeting, either on the phone or in our offices. Should you decide to engage our services, we can discuss which of our services is appropriate for you. Most clients find the financial planning process to be stimulating and enlightening. The end result, of course, is greater peace of mind. We look forward to helping YOU build a brighter financial future!