Wealth management, including retirement and estate planning, can be complicated, especially in uncertain times. For wealthy individuals, especially entrepreneurs and business owners with different types of assets, it can be hard to know where to start.
Here are four considerations when building and maximizing your wealth as well as creating financial security for you and your family:
1. Create a financial roadmap
Anyone who has ever driven to a new place without a map knows how confusing and potentially risky the trip can be. Where will you stop if you need food and gas? What if you need a doctor or a mechanic? Or, on a more positive note: Where can you find some entertainment?
It’s the same with wealth planning: You need guidance to successfully navigate towards and through your retirement to enjoy the journey and plan for potential emergencies.
“The most effective wealth management plans lay out where a client is today and where they want to be in the future, providing the best roadmap for how to get there,” says Jeff Young, regional vice-president at National Bank Private Banking 1859 in Calgary.
A wealth management plan is particularly important for business owners with both a company and a family to take into consideration, Mr. Young says, as their landscape tends to be more complex.
Mr. Young says a plan ensures your business and personal assets are protected and your wishes are met, including how and where to transfer assets.
2. Start planning your succession now
Most wealth management plans include instructions on how to transfer wealth to the next generation in ways that are both responsible and rewarding.
For instance, an estate plan might provide children with an inheritance through a trust distributed periodically, instead of in one lump sum, which could spur overspending. The goal for most parents is to ensure their children are educated about wealth and are able to continue the family values, Mr. Young says.
“Clients today are much more conscious about the impact of their wealth on the next generations,” he says.
A plan also helps keep the family peace by laying out who gets what, instead of leaving it to your family members to sort out when you’re no longer here to help.
Mr. Young and his team always take the time to get to know each client and their family personally, have in-depth conversations assessing their current financial situation and goals before putting a client’s bespoke plan in place.
“We take a more holistic approach to private banking that involves multiple generations and all of their financial needs,” Mr. Young says. “Our goal is to make a plan that will help all family members be successful, now and in the future.”
3. Keep the plan relevant
The best wealth management plans are kept current, recognizing that change is inevitable.
Mr. Young says his team ensures their clients' plans evolve alongside their personal and business lives. It requires always being open-minded about how the plan may have to be adjusted.
For example, a client may come in wanting to update their estate plan if they have a new grandchild. However, after a thorough discussion, Mr. Young and his team may discover that the client is better served by first addressing a liquidity issue with their business as that can also inform the estate plan.
Mr. Young and his team try to put one piece of the financial puzzle in place at a time “as not to overwhelm clients.” The end result will likely involve many different aspects of the client’s financial life.
“The ultimate goal is to have a plan that reflects what you want to have happen which, as we all know, can often change like we’ve seen in the past few months,” Mr. Young says.
4. Find the right team
To build and implement a successful wealth management plan you need the right team of experts to execute it well. The goal is to let the team handle everything from banking to investments, to estate and tax planning, as well as business succession and philanthropy, as needed.
Mr. Young says Private Banking 1859 is “a one-stop shop” for clients' personal and business wealth planning needs. Each client is appointed a senior private banker as their primary point of contact, who then gathers the best team of experts to advise on everything from tax and estate planning to investment and legal advice, and more.
On the business side, for example, Private Banking 1859 helps owners think about the best structure for their companies, including ensuring shareholder agreements are in place and reviewing insurance strategies to help mitigate risks, such as unexpected events, critical illness or death. It also offers discussions around succession planning when it’s time to sell or transfer the company.
His team’s mission is to provide not only expert advice and services, but also to give clients comfort that their wealth is being appropriately managed, with their short- and long-term goals in mind.
“Having that key element of trust with your advisor is key,” Mr. Young says. “Our goal is to bring the client peace of mind, so they can concentrate on what’s really important to them.”
Advertising feature produced by Globe Content Studio. The Globe’s editorial department was not involved.