Financial planning for business owners requires a different type of advisor: one in tune with your unique opportunities and challenges. The business itself is a valuable asset that is unlike any other financial asset that you may own. You would rather invest in your company than in the stock market. You have a lot of risk because a large part of your wealth is concentrated in the company. Despite your net worth, you occasionally find yourself strapped for cash that isn’t tied up in the business. You need a plan and an expert advisor working for you to continually manage and update it.
You need to know exactly where you are before you can decide on a direction to move. The Be Sure Assessment makes sure the planning you have in place continues to serve you and move you closer to your goals and objectives.
Tax, estate, and financial planning does create complexity. The details matter, but you do not have to be the one who agonizes over them. Systems can be set up to manage the entities you create, pay notes on time, document gifts, and substantiate business purposes. Large estates will almost certainly be audited by the IRS. If you have your ducks in a row, the process is likely to go much more smoothly, and your heirs are more likely to come out ahead.
You shoulder a ton of risk already as the owner of a small business. Outperforming your neighbor in the market is not a financial plan. Managing your investments so they accomplish your long-range goals is.
The key to well-designed asset protection strategy is to start early. Anything done after a claim arises could be undone in court, and will likely only make matters worse. Much can be done simply by owning your assets properly. You can set up trusts to protect your assets either in the USA or off-shore.
A life insurance policy typically spans several decades, and no long-term financial instrument should be left unmanaged over time. Policy portfolios may be affected by policy owner actions or inaction, the general economic environment, tax laws, health changes, family changes, risk tolerance changes, evolving goals, and changes in financial resources.
A good insurance advisor will understand how life insurance fits in to your overall tax, estate, and financial plan. Questions that guide policy design include the following: How much death benefit is required to provide the cash flows to support your family in the event of your premature death? Or to fund a buy-sell agreement? How long do you want the coverage to last? For how many years do you want to pay premiums? Is the accumulation of cash value important or merely incidental to the death benefit and to keep the premiums level?
First, determine the proper ownership structure. Should the policy be owned by a trust? By a corporation? By your business partner? By your spouse? Ownership is crucial to make sure the death benefit falls into the right hands in a tax efficient manner.
Second, select the right type of policy. An advisor can help you develop a protocol, which is similar to an investment policy statement for an investment portfolio. The goal is to reduce risk, improve guarantees, and increase returns, all within budget parameters.
Most importantly, obtain the best possible underwriting class. When you get rated incorrectly (and unfairly), you pay too much for your coverage.
Policy management includes monitoring policy performance over time, actively managing policy features and options, and adapting to changes that occur over of life of a policy. Proactive management identifies issues before they arise, where possible and develops strategies to address issues like declining interest earnings, missed premium payments, or policy loans.