Wealth planning is a concept that can be of a benefit to us all, and yet this simple term continues to confound people. Many are unsure of what is it, how it’s done and its exact application.
Unexpectedly considering this widespread confusion, the notion of wealth planning is actually relatively simple. Wealth planning is an umbrella term used to describe a myriad assortment of professional services, each of them providing a person with tools to help them to retain and manage their wealth.
A common mistake is to think of it solely as investment advice; in truth, wealth management encompasses all aspects of a personal’s financial life, from accounting to tax and legal provisions.
The Purpose of Wealth Planning
The purpose of wealth planning services is to aid an individual in the retention and management of their wealth through a number of professional financial services.
An important aspect of these services is to minimize or eliminate the effect of obstacles that threaten to decimate it, such as poor financial planning, liabilities and overly draconian taxation.
Wealth planning, in its most basic form, can be practiced by anyone, but in its more evolved incarnations it requires an in-depth knowledge of the legal and financial sectors. For this reason, many turn to wealth management professionals to help optimize, grow and protect their existing capital and assets.
There are three main facets to wealth planning: budgeting, estate and retirement planning.
One of the areas that wealth management professionals will cover is how you can budget in order to retain your existing wealth. For those who lack a basic knowledge of finance and spending, it can be easy to quickly deplete your resources. Wealth management professionals can help you to identify long-term financial goals that you want to meet, and advise you on how best to achieve these by pinpointing unnecessary spending that can be avoided and possible savings that can be made. By defining your financial goals and formulating a plan to achieve them, individuals can markedly improve their chances of meeting these aims.
Estate planning is different to budgeting, in that it tends to make provisos for the future rather than focusing on the present. One of the most sought after estate planning services is ensuring that assets are protected from excessive taxation after death. Plans may also be made as to how money is distributed before and after death to maximise the amount of wealth that remains with the estate. Professionals can offer advice relating to techniques such as life insurance, trusts and gifts assigned before death, talking you through the possibilities open to you and their legalities. As these considerations are largely legal, specialist lawyers usually provide this type of wealth management.
Of course, it is not only what happens to your money after death that must be considered; first, you must think about how best to save it for and preserve it during your retirement. Often, this type of planning will involve the provision of investment advice, to help you to build a solid retirement fund that will continue to deliver an income even when you stop working. The most popular type of retirement investment is 401(k), although stocks and bonds and certificates of deposit are also popular types of investment alternatives.
If you’re looking to protect you assets, then spend a little time today considering whether wealth management services could be of use to you.