My Financial Bridge illustrates the common themes we experience over the course of a life…we finish school, get married, start a family, build a career, put kids through college, invest our life-savings, manage a retirement income, guard against chronic health-care costs and contemplate the legacy we may one day leave behind. My Financial Bridge serves as a metaphor of these common life experiences and helps to organize the financial documents and records related to these events.
Although most people we meet are more than half way across their bridge, we find there is always value in evaluating what you’ve done in order to measure how well you’re prepared for what lies ahead. In that sense, My Financial Bridge helps you to collect the important factual data necessary in developing a financial plan and organizes it in a useful and retrievable manner.
We created the process called My Financial Bridge developed from over 25 years of listening to and working with hundreds of Americans in and approaching retirement.
If you’re like most people, you have financial concerns that range from preserving assets to investing your retirement accounts, or balancing between sustaining your life-style while allocating assets for healthcare or legacy.
That’s a lot to think about and plan for all at once and gathering the information and answering questions needed to make well informed decisions can be tedious. Let’s face it; living life is a lot more fun than planning it but that doesn’t remove the need to be prepared.
My Financial Bridge is designed in a well-organized, chronological manner that explores the events we face over a lifetime. No matter what point you’ve reached on your journey across the bridge, you can always review what you’ve done to make certain your financial foundation is strong, assess your current position and look ahead to the opportunities and challenges you’ll face.
By reviewing the various Guide Points™ along the Bridge, together we can examine whether or not you’re moving forward and implementing the most appropriate financial choices for your situation as well as storing important information and records you’ll likely need to find later…all handy in one easy to retrieve location.
Another special feature of My Financial Bridge is that it enables you to keep a journal of memories, photos and videos of all the special events and people you experience along your journey across the Bridge. Financial assets are accumulated to enjoy and experience life so it seems fitting to recognize where and how we choose to spend and share our resources…values we can pass along and can keep as a family legacy.
My Financial Bridge serves as a visual metaphor of your financial plan and the financial choices you need to consider and implement in order to successfully manage and maintain your lifestyle. The visual also serves as a long-term agenda for the review of your financial plan and storage point for you and other important advocates to retrieve and evaluate your important financial information.
Our process is designed to organize your factual financial data points in a systematic fashion so we can spend more of our valuable discussion time uncovering your goals and educating you about your retirement plan options. Once you enroll in My Financial Bridge, we provide you with the core templates needed to gather and to post data most beneficial in designing your personal financial forecasts.
As work progresses toward completing the information gathering step, we initiate an initial consultation to discuss your current situation and to uncover how you picture the transition from your income-earning years into a period of retirement account distributions. Together, we can explore strategies designed to sustain your lifestyle and to maintain your purchasing power.
After a plan is implemented, My Financial Bridge serves as a check list and agenda of future consultations. We’ll examine the finer details of your plan, look ahead to future opportunities and challenges, while also using the Bridge as a reminder to review programs already set in place.
Our perspective segments My Financial Bridge into three spans signifying the progression of your life and lifestyle.
Early in life after completing our formal education, we enter a period of short-term SAVING…saving for a honeymoon, new car, first house or just a little cash reserve. With new responsibilities and new ownership, our focus in this span is more about guarding against risks and considering goals of a lifestyle we’d like to create.
INVESTING is the middle and longest span across the Bridge. Here we’re implementing and adjusting goals. We have immediate financial needs such as upgrading home furnishings and household improvements or perhaps planning a special family vacation to Disney or a tropical island. We balance this with long-term goals such as educating our children, paying for a daughter’s wedding or even buying a second home. These plans are all executed on top of accumulating financial assets in order for us to provide life-time income after we stop earning a paycheck.
SPENDING is the third span of your Bridge. Here you’ve reached a point where the paycheck has become optional. Your investments are now needed to generate a lifestyle sustaining income. You may spend more on travel than before and perhaps you’re discovering the blessings of grandchildren. You want to make sure you can meet all your financial and healthcare needs and are also contemplating how you’ll leave your legacy to family and charity.
By breaking the progress of your life into these thirds, the organization of My Financial Bridge helps bring perspective on how you may choose to allocate your financial resources, execute your short and long-term planning decisions and make sound financial choices.
Our Focus is on retirement planning as it sits at the core of the broader financial plan. By placing the initial emphasis on retirement planning, we’re able to determine how excess available income and assets may be utilized for other important financial goals. We explore 401k options, when and how it’s best to claim Social Security, whether or not your retirement accounts are best suited for income now or later. We examine how guarantees and lower volatility come with the trade-off of losing ground against purchasing power and rising costs from inflation. We build this forecast first because all other important decisions such as college tuition funding for children and grandchildren, vacation and luxury lifestyle elements as well as gifts to charity have an impact on the long-term success of a retirement plan.
In addition, we examine the escalating costs of healthcare throughout our lifetime and how to best prepare for those expenses not typically covered by traditional health insurance and Medicare.
Throughout all life’s successes, challenges and human experiences, there is a continuous need to preserve, invest and manage our personal financial resources in order to sustain our lifestyle.
There are steps and measures we need to implement and monitor along the way that serve as the foundation for our financial well-being. Additionally, we need to look ahead to prepare for the obstacles as well as the opportunities that can either impede or enhance the life we live and share.
No matter how far you are on your journey, we help you explore what you’ve accomplished—how solid is your foundation—and identify what action steps you need to consider now and several years from today to fulfill your goals and to maintain your lifestyle.
My Financial Bridge serves as an illustration of the core areas we consider in personal financial planning and it also represents a long-term agenda we follow in working our financial planning process. Additionally you’ll discover as you populate the pages of your own Financial Bridge site, it becomes not only the key storage unit for all your important financial information but a collection of your favorite memories and the story of your life values.
The more we learn about you, what you’ve done and how you’ve lived, the better we can form a customized plan that suits your personality, individual tolerance of risk, and meets your life-time goals and the goals you have for your family.
We encourage you to create a password protected, encrypted Financial Bridge site of your own. Review our resources and templates which we hope will help you in making sound well-informed financial decisions. View the pages where we store information and from which we manage our financial planning process. Ask yourself how closely you’ve managed these areas in your financial life.
You’re invited to call upon our financial planning team who can help you identify your goals and assist you in implementing a strategy that keeps you on course across your Bridge.
Start your plan by establishing a login profile on MyFinancialBridge.com. From the Bridge Dashboard, click Consultation and select the Initial Consultation Packet link. As you will see, there is certain information we’ll need to collect in order to begin to build your base retirement plan but we do not need to gather personal information such as account numbers or tax ID’s. Follow the steps in the Initial Consultation Packet and you’re well on your way.
As you inventory the materials necessary, we will contact you to arrange an initial call for us to become acquainted, get to ask a few questions of one another and determine if working together is a good fit. If we agree to proceed, we can move into learning more about your current situation or schedule another time to talk further.
After the initial phone interview, some would-be bridge builders feel they’d rather be general contractors and turn the construction over to us. After mailing the records identified as needed into our office, we can complete the Questionnaire Vignettes™ and fill in your Bridge for you.
This initial step enables us to establish your first Goal-Planning-and-Monitoring scenario which sets the foundation of our financial planning process and our working relationship together.
Monitoring your plan continues after the planning foundation is established and over time we drill down into the other aspects of your Financial Bridge. Areas such as risk management and personal insurance, long-term care needs analysis, college funding projections, income tax and estate needs analysis are explored. These agenda items are examined while continuing to revisit and review the core aspects of the primary retirement plan.
An introductory meeting is offered without obligation or cost. After our initial consultation and before work begins on your retirement plan foundation, we set our terms of engagement together and execute an advisory agreement along with a one-third payment. Compensation for the initial retirement-income projections, which set the foundation of our long-term planning process, is offered for a flat fee of $750.
Upon completion, terms of an on-going working relationship are determined by considering assets brought under management, client net-worth and complexity of future anticipated planning needs. An annual planning advisory agreement is executed each year after the initial agreement and upon mutually agreed terms.
You are welcome to explore My Financial Bridge and to utilize the resource for a trial. We reserve the right to delete any file uploaded to the site deemed to be inappropriate or unsafe. In the event that an advisory agreement is not executed in a timely manner by you, we reserve the right to terminate a user’s login credentials.
After you’ve created a personal My Financial Bridge login, you are free to contact us and we will reach out to you via email to initiate an initial communication for discussion of your financial goals and aspirations. After an initial period of becoming acquainted and determining whether or not we would be well suited to working together, you will be asked to execute an advisory agreement with the terms and scope of our engagement together.
A sample advisory agreement can be provided to you upon request as well as forms ADV Part II and ADV Part II B.