Often, you are the only person who can see your entire financial picture. However, typically a financial advisor or certified public accountant has expertise or knowledge in financial planning, tax planning, accounting, insurance, and estate planning. In a traditional financial service model, you might have found that these professionals—often salespeople—recommend products based on their limited knowledge of your and your family’s needs. These experts are likely not collaborating with one another to ensure you are maximizing your financial opportunities.
So, what’s the solution? It can be time-consuming and expensive to work with multiple professionals, and it could be advantageous for you to look to a more holistic financial professional to help you in various service areas.
What is Holistic Financial Planning?
Holistic may seem like a buzzword, but its meaning carries a lot of weight. It's all about looking at the big picture, instead of getting caught up in the details. Imagine you're planning for retirement, and you go to two advisors for help. One gives you a number to aim for, based on formulas and calculations. The other takes a more in-depth approach, looking at your entire financial situation and lifestyle goals. Which approach do you think would serve you better in the long run? That's the power of a holistic perspective.
Our team takes into account every facet of your financial situation, ensuring we can support you through any life changes, whether it be retirement, education expenses, estate planning, minimizing debt, or managing investments. This approach offers numerous advantages—with one of the most valuable being the integration of your existing tax situation. A holistic financial plan integrates the tax consequences of your investment plans, providing you with the assurance that you're not overpaying in taxes beyond what is legally required.
Why is Tax-Smart Better?
Partnering with a qualified financial advisor who stays current with tax laws and works closely with tax experts can make a world of difference for your investment portfolio. Without their expertise, you may miss out on potential opportunities and face unwanted tax consequences. In 2023 and beyond, your financial advisor should have a deep understanding of the ever-changing tax landscape, so you can focus on your priorities while they handle the details.
It should be their standard practice to explore every option for reducing tax liabilities. Taking a holistic approach through a tax-smart lens includes reviewing your investment strategy, business assets, possible insurance needs and retirement goals, ensuring your investments are appropriately allocated, considering future expenses and how they will be covered, and evaluating the tax implications of your investment and distribution decisions, including dividends and capital gains or losses.
The Risks of Over-Reliance on Investments
Portfolio management is a crucial part of your financial plan, but viewing investments as the answer to every problem could leave you as an investor feeling deprived of more robust financial services. You cannot invest your way into having appropriate life insurance. You cannot invest your way out of paying more taxes. And you cannot invest your way out of spending more than you make.
Your investment portfolio and tax situation typically are the most discussed areas of your financial plan, but a holistic approach means that if you make a change in your portfolio that impacts your estate plan, you will not need to call your financial advisor—they will already know.
At Scafa Financial Services, LLC, we take an integrated approach to financial planning. For more information, visit scafafinancial.com or give us a call at 609-750-0002, and we’ll begin helping you, your family, or your business today.