Debra B. Freedman Personal Financial Planning, LLC is a fee-only firm offering broad-based and modular financial planning services at an hourly (currently $225/hour) or fixed project fee.
Broad-based financial planning services
Broad-based financial planning typically addresses all planning areas at the same time in a holistic, comprehensive fashion. Areas considered include cash flow, debt management, taxes, risk management/insurance, education funding, investments, employee benefits, retirement, and estate. This type of planning allows for a thorough analysis of your financial situation, takes into account the interconnectivity of the various aspects of your financial life, and provides a sound basis for formulating recommendations and strategies to help you achieve your stated goals and objectives.
Modular financial planning services
Modular financial planning involves analyses and recommendations that address one or more of the specific planning concerns of a client (e.g., an employer retirement plan allocation, education funding, estate planning issues, or the sufficiency of a current retirement plan). It can be an effective approach for someone who already has a good handle on his/her overall financial situation, but desires or requires professional review, guidance and/or recommendations in one or more specific areas. It is important to understand that when services focus only on certain areas of your interest or need, your overall financial situation or needs may not be fully addressed. The suitability or accuracy of specific recommendations provided in a modular financial planning situation may be affected by planning areas that have not been considered or evaluated, due to the limited scope of the engagement.
PLANNING SERVICES OFFERED:
Cash Flow Analysis and Debt Management
- Reviewing your cash inflows (salary, Social Security income, pensions, etc.) and outflows (spending, taxes, and savings) to determine if a surplus or deficit exists;
- Providing advice regarding how a cash flow surplus might best be utilized, or how a deficit might be addressed;
- Recommending appropriate levels of cash reserves for emergencies and other financial goals, as well as strategies to save desired reserve amounts.
Debt management planning typically includes:
- Reviewing and evaluating your existing debt;
- Advising on the prioritization of which debts to repay, and when and how to repay them, based upon such factors as the debt’s interest rate and income tax ramifications.
- Identifying and analyzing your exposure to major risks that could have a significant adverse impact on your financial situation, such as premature death, disability, property and casualty losses, or long-term care scenarios;
- Discussing ways to manage such risks through avoidance, reduction, transfer and/or acceptance strategies;
- Identifying and evaluating specific insurance and other asset protection strategies relevant to your particular needs and situation;
- Weighing the costs of purchasing insurance versus the benefits of doing so, as well as the potential cost of “self-insuring.”
- Reviewing the specifics of your available employee benefit offerings, including: health, dental, vision, life and disability insurances; pensions; stock options; profit sharing; 401(k) and/or other employer-sponsored retirement plan offerings; and additional benefits such as HSAs, flexible spending accounts, COBRA, legal services, tuition assistance, etc.;
- Ensuring you are taking appropriate advantage of workplace offerings in light of your specific financial needs and goals.
Personal Retirement Planning
- Identifying the primary sources of income that you have or should have at retirement;
- Reviewing expenses that will be, or are likely to be, incurred during your retirement;
- Creating a plan to eliminate any shortfall between anticipated retirement income and expenses;
- Calculating the savings required for you to retire at a specific age and achieve and sustain your desired lifestyle;
- Recommending a diverse range of tax-efficient financial tools (…IRAs, 401(k)s, after-tax investments, etc.) that are best suited to your age and retirement time frame;
- Creating appropriate strategies for preserving and growing retirement account balances;
- Using retirement projections to show the potential impact on the outcome of your plan due to changes in such variables as inflation, longevity, investment returns, timing of Social Security benefits, targeted retirement dates, spending/savings levels, etc.;
- Advising on appropriate distribution strategies to minimize the likelihood of running out of money or having to adversely alter spending during retirement years.
- Projecting the amount that will be needed to achieve postsecondary education funding goals;
- Creating a timely, diverse postsecondary education investment strategy designed around your financial resources, child’s age, risk tolerance and projected educational costs;
- Explaining various college savings vehicles (including the pros and cons and tax implications of each), along with tax credits and deductions that can help defray education costs;
- Discussing the impact of financial-aid requirements, and appropriate ways for parents and grandparents to contribute to educational funding in consideration of those requirements;
- Recommending ways for the student to become involved in the planning process and contribute to the funding of his/her own education.
Tax Planning Strategies
- Identifying the long and short-term tax consequences of your spending, investment and other financial decisions;
- Identifying investment-related tax efficiencies;
- Designing strategies you can follow throughout the year to reduce your taxes;
- Advising you on the steps you can take to reduce your future tax liability;
- Clarifying the impact of the latest tax laws, legislation and IRS rules on your tax liability.
- Collaborating with other team members (i.e., attorneys, investment managers, appraisers, insurance specialists, etc.) to ensure that estate planning-related issues are properly addressed by the appropriate expert;
- Explaining what estate-related documents may need to be drafted by a qualified attorney (i.e., wills, powers of attorney, trusts, etc.), the nature and purpose of each document, and specific issues to consider in thinking through each document;
- Reviewing the financial planning-related elements of existing wills, powers of attorney, trusts, and other estate planning documents and ensuring they remain up to date;
- Discussing various methods of property transfers and the implications of each with respect to probate issues, taxation, etc.;
- Helping to develop a strategy that fulfills your financial and personal goals while preserving assets for the next generation;
- Considering strategies for reducing estate-tax liability and providing for sufficient liquidity, if applicable;
- Discussing gifting strategies, including charitable giving and legacy intent;
- Explaining the impact of the most current estate-planning legislation and possible future changes in rules and regulations;
- Helping to ensure your final wishes with respect to the distribution of your financial resources and personal property will be honored at your passing, and that other important issues (e.g., incapacity, guardianship for minor children, desired end of life care, etc.) are appropriately addressed.
- Helping you better understand the divorce process and the various methods available to approach a divorce;
- Helping you evaluate your options in light of your unique financial needs, goals and situation;
- Providing you with a realistic financial picture so you are in a better position to effectively and efficiently communicate with legal counsel;
- Helping you understand the potential short-term and long-term financial implications of a proposed settlement so you can make informed financial decisions;
- Helping you to manage expectations during the divorce process;
- Assisting you in understanding and managing your post-divorce finances so you can realistically and confidently move forward into the next phase of your life.
- Discussion of fundamental investment concepts and principles, including risk/return, diversification, volatility, liquidity, time horizon, time value of money, etc.;
- Providing information on various forms of securities, investment vehicles, investment strategies, and ongoing investment management options, as well as explaining the potential advantages and disadvantages of each;
- Evaluating your assets, liabilities and cash flow, and determining how you might best meet your current and future financial needs;
- Developing an investment strategy that meets your short and long-term financial goals, is consistent with your risk tolerance and has the potential to generate appropriate returns during your investment time horizon.
OTHER SERVICES OFFERED:
Educational seminar sessions can be arranged for those desiring information on personal finance and investing. Topics may include issues related to general financial planning, educational funding, estate planning, retirement strategies, implications involving changes in marital status, and various other current economic or investment topics. The workshops are educational in nature and do not involve the sale of insurance or investment products. Information presented will not be based on any one person’s needs nor will individualized planning or investment advice be provided to attendees during general sessions.