Day & Ennis, LLC Helps Baby Boomers Create a Path to Retirement
Monday, November 10th, 2014
Many baby-boomers who have worked hard throughout their careers to build a business are now asking with some urgency how to best plan the next phase of their life. A comprehensive financial plan that includes investments, tax, succession and estate planning is a critical first step to answering that question, according to Matt Heller, a senior financial planner at Day & Ennis, LLC, a fee-only financial planning firm and a registered investment advisory firm with the SEC.
"Most business owners are so busy running their business that they don't have the time or expertise to do a financial plan themselves," Heller said.
"And while most have an attorney and accountant, there is no one looking at the whole picture."
Founded 16 years ago, Day & Ennis, LLC has approximately $220 million in assets under management for about 200 clients. Its four professionals are Certified Public Accountants, Certified Financial Planners or both, making the firm one of the most credentialed in Middle Georgia, according to Heller. Day & Ennis, LLC is also the largest of only two fee-only financial planning firms in Middle Georgia.
"As a fee-only firm, we don't sell any products or accept any commissions so our clients can be confident they are getting unbiased financial advice," Heller said.
Eight steps to a financial plan
According to Heller, the comprehensive financial plans that Day & Ennis, LLC typically develops for its clients include at least the following eight steps:
- Identify financial goals.
- Identify any potential opportunities and risks that they may not have considered.
- Calculate their net worth, liquid net worth and monthly cash flow. Understanding cash flow cycles is critical to creating a financial plan, according to Heller.
- Define the return on investment needed to achieve the identified goals.
- Determine appropriate tax-saving strategies. Review corporate tax structure, tax-saving vehicles, deferred compensation, stock options and tax-advantaged gifting strategies.
- Develop an estate plan. Review the wills and trusts and show how the estate is structured and make recommendations to reduce estate taxes.
- Develop an appropriate succession plan. According to Heller, this is especially important in family-owned or closely held companies in which the business is often the owners' largest asset.
- Review all existing insurance coverage and make recommendations on appropriate coverage amounts.
Once a client has provided all the data needed, the firm can typically complete the planning process in about one month. At the end of the process, the client receives a summary financial plan with related action items to consider.
"The overwhelming response from our clients is "thank you." They recognize both our expertise and their need for a solid plan," Heller said.
Investment advice in uncertain times
Investors today are dealing with fairly widespread uncertainty in both equity and fixed-income markets. Interest rates remain at historic lows, but are seemingly poised to rise. Equity markets have delivered strong returns for multiple years and to many, stock prices appear poised to fall. So what are the right investment moves to make in this environment?
"We take a long-term perspective and are most concerned with helping our clients achieve their goals at their comfort level of risk." Heller said.
"We do make tactical shifts as needed. For example on the fixed-income side, we currently prefer maturities under three years as that limits the downside risk related to rising interest rates."
More information on Day & Ennis, LLC is available at www.dayandennis.com.