PLANNING FOR EVERY STAGE OF YOUR LIFE
Munn Gray & Associates are there for you. Every Occasion. For better or worse.
Your financial needs are continually changing, and Munn Gray & Associates are here for you at every stage of your life. Although many people follow similar financial patterns during their life, everyone needs an individualized financial plan that is dependent on many different factors in an individual’s life.
For better or worse, major events that affect your circumstances require a change in your financial plan. Childbirth, marriage, divorce, the death of a spouse, or loss of job all require a partner to help you along your journey.
The Munn Gray Dynamic Allocation Investment Process™
Our proprietary process is a structured, unemotional investment process that combines asset allocation, a focus on relative strength, rebalancing and diversification to help develop and implement a customized financial plan capable of addressing your needs and risk tolerance in a tax-efficient, economical manner.
It provides a proactive approach which includes a selling strategy that can help make your portfolio more conservative when we feel conditions warrant it, and help reduce the chances that your portfolio suffers an unrecoverable loss. This process also provides tactical modifications that could allow your portfolio to benefit by emphasizing asset classes that are outperforming (relative strength).
We typically rebalance portfolios on an annual basis to bring them back in line. Rebalancing a non-retirement account could be a taxable event that may increase your tax liability.
Loss of a Loved One
Losing a spouse or family member can be emotionally devastating. Making things more complicated, the death of a spouse creates a torrent of financial issues. Many aren’t familiar with their insurance policies, investments, taxes or estate planning because many times the husband handled the financial matters of the household.
But, with more than 13.7 million widowed persons in the United States, you are not alone. In fact, our team at Munn & Morris can help you regain control of your finances and your life through financial planning and educational programs.
We can help you get things in order related to your taxes, Social Security benefits, long-term care needs, insurance and more, including:
- Review your cash flow situation, administer paying your bills, file for death benefits and maintain enough cash liquidity
- Focus on financial triage to enable you to get through your grief period without worrying about your investments
- Create an Executor Checklist and connect you with an estate attorney who can help you with your estate paperwork
Compatibility over finances is one of the most common reasons couples split up. Although opposites attract, when two people are financially opposite, divorce often ensues. There is no reason money must become a problem if both of you go into the marriage on the same page. Before you tie the knot, a meeting with a financial advisor is an increasingly important step along the way.
A Munn Gray & Associates advisor will take the time to get to know you and your fiancé by understanding both your current financial needs and your future wishes. By meeting with an advisor, both parties can understand what assets you both bring into the marriage, your debts, and other financial events that can affect your lives together.
We can assist with tax planning, changes to life goals, housing, Social Security maximization and retirement.
If you find yourself needing support during times of change in your relationship, we can relieve some of the stress, and help you get your things in order by helping you:
- Gather proof of income
- Make a post-divorce budget
- Provide a clear picture of your finances to allow for a equitable distribution of your marital assets and debts
- Establish credit in your own name
- Make a post-divorce budget
- Understand tax and retirement implications
- Protect your legal rights
Having a Baby
Before your child takes their first steps, you can take several steps of your own. Adjusting your finances for a new child can have a major impact on every aspect of your financial life. It’s never too early to start budgeting for a baby, planning for college, ensuring family security, or thinking about tax implications.
Munn Gray & Associates financial advisors are with you each step in your journey through parenthood, from colic to college. Be prepared for life’s challenges and celebrations by leaning on our advisors to help you develop a budget for childcare, medical costs, education and emergency savings, life insurance, and retirement.
Through our team and a trusted network of advisors, estate attorneys, and accountants, we can help you:
- Assign a healthcare proxy and durable power of attorney
- Evaluate federal and state income tax scenarios related to child tax credits and flexible spending accounts
- Determine your financial needs for additional insurance protection
- Resolve competing desires to save for education and retirement
- Review and update your beneficiaries
- Review your employee benefits package including healthcare, life and disability income insurance to compensate for the new family member
- Update or execute a valid will
- Help you understand your new benefits package and options, including health care, life, longterm care, and disability income insurance
- Provide options for how the job change might affect existing employee stock options
- Assist in understanding how your income and expense changes impact your future financial goals
- Help with financial planning during your transition from job to retirement
Balancing these positives and negatives, looking at your short and long-term options, and helping you weather this transitionary period is what we do best. Contact us today for a no-obligation consultation of your retirement plan options.
College costs have increased exponentially over the recent years, dramatically outpacing inflation. With the costs of higher education rising so dramatically, it is crucial to have a strategy and plan to manage this important goal. Key questions to answer include:
- Do I want to pay for my children’s / grandchildren’s education?
- Can I save for college and retirement (or other goals) simultaneously?
- Is the cost of higher education still worth the price we pay?
- Are there different ways to finance education?
Making and keeping an updated plan helps our clients succeed more quickly and efficiently. Our efforts include helping families provide a success path for their students – from finding the right school, to earning an appropriate degree in a reasonable time with confidence and gratification.
Increasingly, donors of charitable gifts are specifying the exact use to be made of the gift and want to assure their philanthropic dollars are going to the right cause. However, it is important to understand how a donor’s wishes might be interpreted as times progresses – and long after the benefactor has passed away.
Donations to charities have a dual purpose: Reducing taxes and supporting valued causes. For those looking to consider both reasons, a charitable trust is a perfect way to accomplish this goal. The justification for the different treatment of charitable trusts is to encourage charitable giving. However, for those with considerable estates, this could mean hundreds of thousands of dollars in tax savings as well.
Charitable trusts can have the following benefits:
- Preserve the value of highly appreciated assets
- Provide income tax deductions
- Reduce estate and gift taxes
- Create income from non-income-producing properties
Many retirees underestimate how much they’ll need to cover healthcare expenses. In fact, a Center for Retirement Research study recently estimated out-of-pocket costs for a healthy 65-year-old couple to be $260,000 to $570,000 for their entire retirement. Income from investments and Social Security can go toward paying ongoing medical costs, such as Medicare premiums, deductibles and copays, but as healthcare costs continue to rise, this could place a significant strain on your retirement. We can work together to anticipate your healthcare expenses in retirement and account for them within your overall retirement income plan.
Another risk-management option is long-term care insurance, which covers a range of nursing, social and rehabilitative services for people who need ongoing assistance due to a chronic illness or disability. While you can’t know for sure if you’ll need long-term care or for how long, a comprehensive policy can help you plan for the unexpected.
Some people choose a policy to help:
- Protect assets
- Add options for quality care
- Relieve family and friends from the stress of providing care
- Preserve their independence, dignity and financial freedom
Planning for a Grandchild
aou’ve raised your children and now you want to help start your grandchildren off with a strong financial future. Increasingly, grandparents are stepping up to help both minors and adult grandchildren with everything from higher education expenses to retirement plans.
Munn Gray & Associates team of financial advisors can help build and execute a strategy to transfer your assets through several taxable and tax-deferred programs, including:
Questions to Consider:
- What types of trusts are there, and what are the advantages and disadvantages of each?
- How much can I leave to my grandchildren under the current tax laws, and how can I shelter it best?
- What options provide me the most control over my money? For example, the circumstances under which money can be distributed, when it should be withheld, the age of distribution and who manages the finances.
- What is generation-skipping transfer (GST) tax and does it apply to me?
- What’s the difference between an Education 529 plan, Uniform Gifts to Minors Act (UGMA) account and Uniform Transfers to Minors Act (UTMA) account?
Real Estate Planning
Financial advisors don’t just help balance your budget or plan for retirement; they also help clients purchase homes and investment properties. Since a house is often the largest financial investment you’ll ever make, it makes sense that we have compelling views on how to go about it.
Whether it is an investment property or buying your residence, you need to make smart decisions to meet your long-term wealth building goals. While you may be most concerned with just qualifying for a mortgage, a financial adviser will prompt you to ask, “How much home can I afford given my short and long-term goals and objectives?”
Typical questions we can help answer include:
- Will my total housing payments still allow me to save for retirement?
- What is my backup if my job or family situation changes after buying?
- Will I have a cash emergency fund equal to three to six months’ expenses even after settling into the new home?
- How does a change of residency affect income and estate taxes?
- How can I improve my credit score to lower my mortgage rate?
- Should I buy or rent?
- What are the tax benefit of owning real estate?