Prepare for life’s big transitions.
Prepare for life’s big transitions.
Prepare for life’s big transitions.
Your financial needs are going to fluctuate in response to transitions that we all go through as we work, raise our families and look ahead to retirement.
We work closely with you to identify and prioritize your goals. We then develop a road map to help you consider your future options and optimize your financial security. Additionally, we quarterback with your advisory team – including accountants, attorneys, mortgage brokers and bankers – to ensure seamless execution of your plan.
Generational Events Our Clients Experience
We are proud of our reputation of helping hundreds of families achieve their financial dreams by managing their wealth as reliably as if it were our own. Let us help you create a plan so your loved ones will be well cared for.
Whether it’s an elaborate church ceremony, a small gathering on the beach, or a quick exchange of vows in Las Vegas, a wedding is one of the most important moments of your life. Getting married is one of the biggest commitments you can make. Before reaching the altar, most people take a number of steps to prepare for the big day and for building a future life together.
Experts agree that a strong bond and shared plans for the future are important for a couple hoping to make a marriage last. Sometimes the first test of how a couple will manage future financial decisions and priorities will come during the wedding planning. Based on research at theweddingreport.com, on average, U.S. couples will spend $24,000.00 for their wedding. This does not include the cost for a honeymoon, engagement ring, bridal consultant or wedding planner. Add that in and the cost could reach $32,000.00.
Planning and paying for the wedding is just the beginning. You and your future spouse will need to discuss issues such as debt, spending, income, taxes, and budgeting for the future. Many experts urge couples to discuss their financial situation and investment goals in order to avoid problems down the road. This is good advice; financial disputes are one of the top ten causes of divorce in America.
There are a number of things that you and your partner can do today to ensure that your marriage begins and remains strong through the years, both emotionally and financially. Familiarize yourself with potential sources of conflict and tension. Spend time considering what the future may bring. Be willing to ask yourselves some hard questions. When the big event finally comes, you can avoid the proverbial “cold feet” and say, “I do,” with confidence.
After marriage, you become financially tied to your partner. You will share assets and the responsibility for debts. Some couples may choose to write a prenuptial agreement detailing which assets belong to whom and how financial holdings will be divided in the case of divorce. Not all couples will need or want such an agreement.
We can help refer attorneys to couples to discuss your options or set up agreements prior to marriage. We also help tie your wedding budget to your financial plan and act as your financial advocate so that you can make sound financial decisions.
No, half of all marriages do not end in divorce – actually, divorce rates have been on the decline since the 1980s. But the big reasons for divorce have held steady: intimacy issues, lifestyle satisfaction, and of course, the big one in even healthy marriages, money. Couples who have clear, open lines of communication about these topics can identify potential fault lines and get help early. But if cracks in your relationship become irreparable, the emotional and financial consequences will be considerable for both parties, as well as friends and family.
We can help you understand and ensure your personal financial security when planning for a divorce. Regardless of the stage of your divorce, Mission Wealth can act as your financial advocate and educate you, at your pace, so that you can make sound financial decisions. We will coordinate with your other professional advisors and help you understand the trade-offs between various options. During this time it is especially important that you have confidence in knowing you are making well informed choices to support your future well-being.
You have lost a spouse. This moment and the months that follow will be ones of trial, difficulty, and anxiety. Like the 13 million other widows and widowers in the United States you will need to deal with the emotions, legalities, finances and lifestyle changes that define this transition.
Whether the death is expected or not, you will immediately experience the emotional roller coaster of grief, fear, and loneliness. At the same time, you may also need to help others, such as children, deal with the same feelings of loss. While handling these emotions, funeral arrangements also have to be made and cost determined.
The funeral is only the beginning of the financial issues you may face. There are also questions about survivor benefits that need to be looked into as well as a settling of the estate. Most American widows and widowers are eligible for Social Security benefits after the death of a spouse. On average these payments are about $1000 per month. Other organizations such as unions and veterans associations offer similar monthly benefits. Settling your spouse’s estate is another essential task in calculating the amount you have to live off of and the debts that need to be repaid. For most families it takes up to a year to complete this process and the associated court proceedings, so plan ahead.
Losing a spouse is difficult for anyone. However, making arrangements beforehand can relieve much of your anxiety. Even if there has been no time to prepare, educating yourself on the steps you need to take and the financial implications of this transition can make it much easier to navigate.
Whether you are an adoptive mother without a spouse, a divorced father, or a widow raising teens, you all have one thing in common: single parenthood. Although there have been a number of changes in the American family, no change has transformed the way Americans live more than single parenthood.
The U.S. Census Bureau highlights that one-person households increased by 10 percent between 1970 and 2012 from 17 percent to 27 percent; 20 million one-person households (5 million male and 15 million female householders) were accounted for in 2011. In 2012, about 28 percent of children under 18 in the United States-or approximately 21 million children-lived with one parent.
Single parents face unique challenges in balancing work, money, emotions, and the inevitable struggles that come with raising a child. Studies show that roughly 19 percent of single fathers and 17 percent of single mothers attained a bachelor’s degree. In addition, 57 percent of single fathers were homeowners compared to 38 percent of single mothers. This is partly due to fathers being older than the mothers and becoming single by way of divorce; the single mothers are often never married. The children who lived with their divorced father is about 44 percent compared to 47 percent of children who lived with their mother who was never married. When compared to married parents, they are more likely to be college educated and own their home; 9 percent of married families were living below the poverty level and 9 percent received food stamps. Whereas single mothers were 4 times more likely to live in poverty or receiving food stamps. This comparison leads you to see where some of the difficulties lie. Adding to the financial challenges, the average individual 2009 income for parents who had support agreements but did not receive child support was $30,200. The average individual income for those parents with no support agreements was $29,000.
If you are just entering this phase of your life, it is important to begin planning for the future. Laying a positive foundation emotionally, physically, and financially will help you provide a wonderful life for your child and keep your stress at a minimum.
Having a child can be one of the most rewarding and life-altering events you can experience. Over 4 million Americans go through this transition every year and watch their families grow and evolve as a result. Due to the changes and responsibilities of a new child, it is important to prepare yourself in every way possible.
One way to do this is to educate yourself about the costs, in both time and money, of having a baby. First, a mother must commit nine months to carrying a child. For some, this may mean taking time off work or refraining from certain activities and pastimes. After the delivery most women spend some amount of time in the hospital. The average bill for doctors’ fees, hospital charges, and a complication-free birth is $9,700, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. A cesarean section is estimated by the foundation to be $12,500 and can reach nearly $300,000 if complications occur. These costs do not include prenatal doctor’s visits or common tests such as ultrasound and amniocentesis. Finally, most parents take advantage of maternity leaves offered by their employers. These can range from a couple of weeks to a number of months depending on your employer’s policies and your individual situation.
A new parent must also consider the actual task of raising a child. The cost of raising a child from birth to age 18 for a middle-income, two-parent family is over $240,000 (not including college), according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
During those years constant care and guidance is also needed to help your child lead a happy and healthy life. Expecting a child is big responsibility but with confidence, preparation, and a bit of luck you too will enjoy the excitement and happiness of parenthood.
Having a child involves a large financial investment. You will need to cover the basics and consider how you will handle the cost of college, cars, and other amenities. Immediate costs that will be important to consider in the first year are hospital bills, maternity clothing, baby food, diapers, clothes, and preparing your home for a baby. Many of these costs can be reduced by shopping for the best prices and exploring all the available options. We can help you create a realistic budget and apply it to your financial plan so you can rest assured that you are on track with your financial goals.
There is nothing like the love that a parent has for a child. Many people desire to begin their family or add to it through the process of adoption. Some choose to go through public agencies; others choose private organizations. Still others decide on welcoming an international child into their home.
There are many services that match waiting children with expectant parents. The average cost of adopting a child in the United States varies according to the type of placement:
• Public agency adoptions, where children are adopted from the foster care system
• Private and independent agency adoption
• Adopting a child from another country through either a private agency or an independent adoption
No matter which option you choose, it is important to familiarize yourself with the adoption procedure and its associated costs. The adoption process may seem complicated, but there are many resources and support groups available. At the end of the process, developing a bond with a child can be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life.
“My husband and I both work during the day, who will take care of our new baby?”
“I’ve just been offered a job with a new company but it runs late in the afternoon. How will I take care of my kids after school?”
These questions have become much more common as parents continue to work after having children. As the number of parents who work outside of the home continues to rise, so too does the demand for childcare. In the United States approximately 12 million children are enrolled in some sort of care while their parents are on the job. The types of care are quite diverse. Some are taken to babysitters or day care centers, while others stay at home with nannies or relatives.
As childcare becomes increasingly common, concerns about the cost have become a common issue in many households. According to www.Parenthood.com, while costs can vary greatly (by region and type of care), in some areas the average cost of childcare is $500 to $800 per month, per child. In some locales, top-notch care and infant care can cost $1,200 or more per month, per child.
There are a number of options available to help pay for these costs. For example, approximately 80 percent of companies allow their employees to put a portion of their pre-tax income into a savings account for childcare. Many employers have also begun to take seriously the childcare concerns of their employees. Almost 20 percent of large corporations now offer on-site daycare, a reliable and convenient solution. Many companies will help their employees find childcare by offering a list of possible daycare centers or popular sitters in the area.
Services like these are a great resource as you begin planning for childcare. After you’ve talked to your employer, also speak to community members, other working parents, and your financial advisor. Each person’s input will help you find the right place for your child and for you.
Parenting is always a challenge, but is also a very rewarding experience. This is especially true for parents with special needs children. There are many families in this category: those that deal with physical handicaps, mental disabilities, personality disorders, and more. CDC data shows that about one in six, or 15 percent of American children aged 3 through 17 years have at least one disability. That’s more than 2.5 million. If you are parenting one or more children with special needs, it’s important to realize that you are not alone. Because of these large numbers and the growing communication networks provided by technology, parents are connecting with one another and providing mutual support in new and exciting ways.
In addition to support, these networks can give you an inside look into the daily lives of such families. Children with special needs require unique strategies. Some need a full set of treatment and equipment while others only need a few extra moments of attention. One common need is specialized education. According to the government, 13 percent, or 6.4 million of public school students between ages 3 and 21 receive some sort of individualized education. This attention is most often free and can be an important part of your child’s learning.
Other needs your child might have will more than likely result in some sort of costs. These might include medical treatments, private tutoring, and specialized equipment. Educate yourself about the specific needs and circumstances faced by your child so that you can plan ahead for these costs and the steps you need to take. Most importantly, make your child feel loved and you will find the true rewards in raising a special needs child.
We are experienced in special needs planning and are equipped to help ensure financial security and protection for your loved one. We will coordinate with your team of advisors to ensure there is a reliable, long-term solution for your greater peace of mind.
It is an important day for your child; a new beginning, a new relationship, a new life. Though your child will be the center of attention on that special day, as a parent you too will have enormous responsibilities and experience life-altering changes. Just look at the wedding ceremony and reception. Parents are often an important part of the planning, offering advice, providing guidance, and making decisions. On the day itself, most parents are given specific roles such as walking the bride down the aisle, saying a toast, or receiving guests.
The cost of the wedding is typically not financed entirely by the newlyweds. Instead, much of this responsibility falls on the parents. There are a number of traditions that divide financial responsibilities among different individuals. According to these traditions, the parents of the bride pay for the entire reception, ceremony fees, and transportation. On the other hand, the groom’s parents might only be asked to foot the bill for the rehearsal dinner. However, realize that these are traditions only. Times have changed and so have these “rules.” Now the costs may be evenly divided among the two families or the bride and groom may pay for it all themselves. Tailor your plans to fit your situation.
After the wedding there will be other issues to consider. You may find yourself with an empty nest for the first time. Or, you may find your house crowded with people if the new couple needs to live under your roof until they find a place to live. Everyone’s circumstances will differ. The key is to think ahead, plan for your own situation, and above all, enjoy the day.
We can help refer attorneys to couples to discuss your child’s options or set up agreements prior to marriage. We also help tie your contributions to your financial plan and act as a financial advocate so that you can help your child make sound financial decisions.
When you first welcomed your child into your home so many years ago, the time for saying goodbye was probably the furthest thing from your mind. As time went on, you may have had moments when you thought your child would never grow up. But now it is time to say goodbye as he/she leaves home to begin college, marriage, a new job and life in the real world. Your nest is empty and your life is once again changed.
According to a Fannie Mae survey, almost 50 percent of American households fall into the category of “empty nest.” Each family has a different vision of the shape their empty nest will take and the lifestyle that will come with it. The first concern of many empty nesters is whether or not to remain in their current home (many look to downsize). Beyond housing concerns, an empty nest also raises questions about lifestyle and finances. Empty nesters often find new blocks of free time and unused income. Empty nesters are able to explore new hobbies, travel, and increase savings or investments.
But experts warn that an empty nest may not remain so for long as record numbers of college grads are moving back home. Nearly eight-in-ten (78 percent) of these 25-to34-year olds say they don’t currently have enough money to lead the kind of life they want… A Pew Research analysis of Census Bureau data shows that the share of Americans living in multi-generational family households is the highest it has been since the 1950s, having increased significantly in the past five years. Adults ages 25 to 34 are among the most likely to be living in multi-generational households: In 2010, 21.6 percent lived in this type of household, up from 15.8 percent in 2000 (the vast majority were living with their parents). The share of 25- to 34-year-olds living in multi-generational households was at its lowest in 1980 (11 percent) and has risen steadily since then, spiking upward since the recession started in 2007. This “boomerang generation” is expected to continue until the economy improves. This is just one issue to consider as you look forward to and plan for the exciting life changes ahead of you.
Baptisms, anniversaries, bar mitzvah’s, weddings, reunions…the list of important life events goes on and on. But the most important part of each event is being surrounded by family on the big day. These special family events can occur for a number of different reasons and can take many different forms.
One of the most common family events is the family reunion. An estimated 8 million people attend 200,000 reunions a year for a variety of reasons. Some go to solidify family bonds, while others hope to celebrate their roots or commemorate a family event. No matter what the reason, the average reunion can be quite costly. Based on a survey of reunion planners, 38 percent of respondents hold family reunions every year. Sixty-one percent of those holding family reunions every year spend less than $100 per person. Reunions can be large events, with 50 percent of those who hold a reunion every year having over 150 attendees. The world record for the largest family reunion is held by the Busse family in Illinois whose 1998 reunion reported 2,500 family members in attendance!
Even if you aren’t planning a record-breaking family event, most experts agree that making arrangements ahead of time and keeping the event well organized is the key to a happy, harmonious, and heartfelt day. Many urge planners to think about the number of guests, decorations, location, and activities for the event. With all of this and a budget to think about, it’s a great idea to get started today!
About half of Americans are unprepared for a financial emergency, with savings tucked away to cover less than three months worth of expenses if income was lost. In addition, almost a quarter of the country has no rainy day fund whatsoever, according to a survey for Bankrate.com. According to Bankrate, all Americans should strive to have enough money in savings to cover six months of lost wages. Only 24 percent of the nation meets that goal, the study shows.
As you might expect, those most likely to have sufficient savings were predominantly wealthier, older Americans. Among people aged 65 or older, 39 percent reported at least six months worth of savings – but 15 percent of this subgroup also said they had nothing saved at all.
For younger Americans, aged 18 to 29, the statistics were far more dire, with 35 percent reporting no savings at all, and a solid majority, 63 percent, saying they had enough to cover three months of expenses, at best.
Aside from being disabled, income needs could stem from an unexpected layoff, the desire to extend a maternity leave or pursue additional education, or even from a history of financial mismanagement. These circumstances can cause a long-term or short-term need, and the amount of financial assistance needed will vary as well.
Determining the level and duration of assistance requires assessing the family members need and considering your own financial resources. Needs and resources must also be assessed to determine if there will be any repayment expected.
In addition to financial contributions, a family member may also benefit from guidance on how to increase their income or minimize expenses. Plans can be made to overcome health issues, speed academic achievement, smooth the transition back into the workforce after a life event, or to change poor money management. Regardless of the circumstances, helping a family member with income needs could help them create a foundation for future financial success.
Believe it or not, relocating has become a more and more common occurrence. As companies grow both across state lines and over international borders, their employees are asked to move with them. Many families make both small and large moves to facilitate career changes. In fact, a recent survey showed that over 40 percent of all moving families were making the transition due to housing-related reasons. Employment opportunities are just one reason to relocate. Many welcome a relocation to be closer to extended family, change their surroundings, or simply for the adventure of it all.
Despite the diversity of reasons, all relocations have one thing in common: cost. Moving requires purchasing a new home; an expensive purchase which needs to be carefully planned. There are also the costs of the actual move. American employers estimate that relocating a current home-owning employee can cost the company an average of $90,081 (paragonrelocation.com). According to the Worldwide ERC, a workforce mobility association, companies spent $9.3 billion on relocations in 2011. Although costs are undoubtedly lower for those moving on their own, financial considerations are heavy issues that should be addressed as early as possible if you are moving to Thailand, Tennessee, or simply across town.
Your child will be leaving for college. Whether it’s your eldest, your only child, or the baby of the family, actually saying goodbye may be an emotional moment. It is time to get prepared for these emotions and time to think about the responsibilities and changes that both you and your child will soon experience.
Prior to the emotional parting, you will need to make certain financial decisions as you plan for the high cost of tuition and room and board. Here are average annual college costs (Tuition and Fees and Room and Board), according to data compiled from The College Board 2013-14 (collegeboard.org): • Public 2 Year (in-district): $3,347 • Public 4 year college (in-state): $9,139• Public 4 year college (out-of-state): $22,958 • Private 4 year college: $31,231. The good news is that most students receive financial aid. In 2013-14, more than $184.5 billion in financial aid was awarded to undergraduate students. The average amount of aid for a full-time undergraduate student was about $14,180, including more than $8,080 in grants that don’t have to be repaid. In addition to financial responsibilities, you will need to help your child make the emotional transition…preparing for a new life. Here your best assets are your love, guidance, and support.
A college education is one of the greatest gifts you can give. Starting with customized college projections based on your schools of choice, we will help you determine the appropriate savings rate to cover college expenses. We will also help you select tax-advantaged savings vehicles to help your savings compound more quickly.