Who's on Your Dream Team?

Who's on Your Dream Team?

As you go through life, it’s wise to create a network of experts you can call upon for advice and assistance in managing the complex financial areas of your life.  We recommend including the following people on, what we affectionally refer to as, your “Dream Team”:

Financial Advisor

As “Captain” of your team, reviews your entire financial picture, discusses your goals and helps you manage and protect your assets to achieve those goals. Often a referral source and lead communicator with other members of your team to ensure your financial plan is carried out.  May have a CFP designation and may be an Investment Advisor.

Financial Planner/
CFP

Advisors who help with lifestyle spending, cash flow, saving, investment management, retirement planning, college planning, etc. are often call Financial Planners.  Their task is to make sure that your finances are structured so that you will be able to meet your spending goals at the appropriate time in the future.  A Certified Financial Planner (CFP) is the leading designation that is given to Financial Advisors.  He or she is held to a fiduciary standard when providing advice, which means he or she must act in the clients’ best interest.  Certified to advise on everything from taxes to insurance to estate planning, he or she is required to complete ongoing continued education requirements.

Investment Advisor/
Asset Manager

Chooses investments to work within an appropriate investment strategy.  Acting as a fiduciary, he or she works to build your investment portfolio based on several factors, including your life goals, risk tolerance and preferred investment vehicles.

Estate Planning Attorney/
Probate Attorney

An Estate Planning Attorney helps you prepare for the future, by offering recommendations and creating documents that outline the plan for the disposal of your estate, wills, trusts and powers of attorney.  A Probate Attorney handles the process of estate administration after a person has died, making sure assets are collected, bills and administrative expenses are paid, proper documents and notices are prepared and sent where they need to go, tax returns are filed, and the estate is divvied out properly and then closed out according to local law.  The attorney who writes the will can also be the probate attorney who handles the estate when the client dies.

Accountant/
Tax Professional

Needed in multiple facets of your financial plan. Prepares and files tax returns and offers advice on ways to reduce your tax burdens, including investment strategies and estate planning.

Insurance Agent

Is licensed in his or her resident state and offers many different types of insurance coverage, including health, life, hospital indemnity, Medicare, home, car and more.

Medicare Specialist

Is licensed in his or her resident state and has additional training and certifications from each of the Medicare Advantage plans he or she represents.  Provides program qualification and application expertise and manages outreach to government offices that process and adjudicate applications.

In addition to these important advisors, also consider adding the following experts to your team:

Real Estate Agent

Works with buyers and sellers as the catalyst for buying, selling or renting property.

College Admission Consultants

Helps students and parents navigate the admissions process to achieve educational goals.  May include assistance with exam preparation, as well as help filling out applications and writing college essays.

Senior Living Advisor

Helps find the best care and senior housing for an elder’s needs and budget.  Advocates for seniors with medical staff to help them get the safest care and helps families wade through all the dynamics that come with having aging relatives.

Certified Professional Organizer

Helps find solutions and systems for getting and staying organized so you can thrive in a functional environment. Often includes local move management and downsizing services.

Life Coach

Helps you take your life, career or business to the next level and reach your goals by  providing skills, structure, accountability and motivation. 

Sometimes advice and assistance you receive may overlap between one or more team members, so it is important to pick people who are willing to communicate and cooperate with each other.  Be sure to investigate any conflicting information you receive from members of your team.  Because your life can and will change throughout each year, you should be in touch with each member of your team annually, to update them on any changes to your situation which might cause them to tweak your plan, as needed.  Above all, remember they work for you, and should always have your best interests at heart.