We never want to assume that our clients fit into a specific box, but there are general characteristics that define each Phase of a person's financial life. It is our hope that by defining the general characteristics of the 4 Phases that our clients will be able to more accurately describe their situation and address issues that often get overlooked.

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Phase 1- Early Financial Literacy

Phase 1 focuses on providing resources for improving financial literacy, exploring career and entrepreneurial aspirations, and encouraging families to have conversations that give the right foundation for having balanced success in life. Our heart is to give back to young people through partnerships with schools and organizations like Junior Achievement, so our next generation gives thought to lifetime planning issues earlier than most of their parents and ideally can bypass Phase 2 to go straight to Phase 3.   

Areas of Consideration:

  • Providing Resources related to paying for and most successfully optimizing college while minimizing/avoiding the use of student loans
  • Awareness of debt & budgeting issues for students heading off to or in college
  • Discussions related to early handling of money for children
  • The benefits of investing in yourself & your kids
  • Discussions of work ethic, entrepreneurship, & goal-setting

Phase 2 - Financial Challenges

Phase 2 is one that we would love for everyone to avoid, but it is where many people find themselves when they realize they need to improve their financial situation.  We can provide referrals to resources that offer help to people who are either:

  1. In the early stages of their careers and family, and/or
  2. who find themselves in a challenging financial situation that they now have a strong urgency to improve, and/or
  3. who are transitioning from a previous career or business to another

Areas of Consideration:

  • Improving cash flow and establishing and implementing budgets
  • Minimizing or eliminating debt 
  • Establishing emergency funds and other savings
  • Implementing appropriate insurance coverages
  • Implementing basic estate planning documents 
  • Improving communication regarding finances with significant other

Phase 3 - Income Growth & Asset Accumulation

Phase 3 is where we typically begin to work with clients in a role of active accountability toward goals while implementing the financial solutions necessary to accomplish those goals. Clients in Phase 3 have established a solid foundation for cash flow, minimizing or eliminating debt (aside from mortgage), and have an emergency fund that now allows for focused investing toward financial goals.

Areas of Consideration:

  • Saving for bigger goals, including home, college, retirement, and family legacy
  • Providing resources related to paying for and most successfully optimizing college while minimizing the need for loans
  • Focus on maximizing your biggest asset - your ability to consistently increase income over your career (via education, career improvement, and/or business ownership)
  • Optimized account type and investment selection
  • Coordinate tax, insurance, and estate planning
  • Alignment of business, real estate, company stock & retirement plans, and other portfolio investments into a comprehensive plan
  • Advanced goal setting, assessment, and tracking using industry leading financial planning software

Phase 4 - Financial Freedom

Phase 4 is the focus on freedom that we have for our clients pursuing a financial situation where their recurring income & scheduled cash flow from assets exceeds their expense needs that allows for a work-optional lifestyle.  It also refers to an attaining and continued pursuit of your most worthy motivational goals.  Most people think of this as "Retirement", but it doesn't have to be in your 60's and for many it can challenge the traditional view of retreating from meaningful work.  Reaching Phase 4 is ideally just a new beginning as you are able to focus on doing what you love, while setting new goals for enjoyment, giving, and family legacy. 

Areas of Consideration:

  • Resource and planning related to the transition from accumulation of resources to the effective coordination of those resources for accomplishing retirement and other goals
  • Personal vision of success in Phase 4 related to activities, relationships, involvements, etc.
  • Implementation of a plan to coordinate and maximize Social Security and pension income with other retirement cash flows
  • Tax effective utilization of retirement and investment accounts (and other accumulated resources) to supplement income needs and accomplish other desired lifestyle and legacy goals
  • Comprehensive estate planning & gifting strategies 
  • Family discussions related to legacy goals