It is an honor for MtM to serve so many of you as our clients. It is also true that we serve those of you who are not clients, but in different ways. It is our intention to give everyone as much quality information as we can to help you enjoy the best life – financially and in every other way.
To that end, I’ve assembled a list of a dozen or so items that belong on everyone’s “to-do list.” Many of you will wish to tackle these as a DIY project. Excellent. Many of you will see the list and know that you will need assistance with some or all of the items. Excellent as well. MtM and our More than Money advisors stand ready to assist you in 2022 and beyond.
- Check your progress. For many of our client’s, retirement is one of their most major goals. Are you on track to confidently retire? How do you know? In our More than Money World Headquarters, we have a retirement planning (and assessment tool) called JourneyGuide. Within an hour, you will know if you are on track and what actions you need to take to stay on track. You can evaluate different options and choices in a matter of minutes and compare the results side-by-side. This is a free service.
- Check your investments. For many folks, their investment “portfolio” is largely a mystery. Their monthly statements tell them very little beyond “up or down.” They may have pieces of their investments in a number of different places (401(k)s, IRAs, banks, etc.). How do they know how they’re doing or if they should make changes? Our MtM advisors will provide you with a free second opinion review of your investments and concrete recommendations to improve your investments where appropriate. Some folks need a major overhaul. Some find they are right on track. Where are you? This is a free service.
- Check your retirement plan contributions. For many of you, your retirement plans (401(k)s, IRAs, etc.) are the heart of your future financial security. Are you using your plans to your best advantage? Are your investments the best you could be using? Are you contributing the correct amounts to reach your retirement goals? An MtM advisor will review all of these questions while performing a retirement plan review with you. This is a free service.
- Check your income tax plan. For many, income tax planning and tax return preparation fall into the category of the mysterious. Or a necessary evil. Or a pain in the . . . The IRS tax code is thousands of pages long and written in a combination of ancient Sanskrit and the beautiful language of the Pueblo tribe. The only thing worse than translating this mess is paying more in taxes than you are required by law. Our MtM tax clients (we have a tax preparation and planning division – headed up by Diane) receive a “Super Important Tax Email” each year to guide them in the actions to take to ensure they are filing their tax returns efficiently. Additionally, our advisors can provide you with a review of your tax returns to determine if there are tax saving opportunities available to you. This is a free service.
- Check your financial files. Most folks keep far too many pieces (stacks, boxes?) of paper. Determine what you need to keep and shred the rest. Do you wish an easy way to shred your old documents without spending hours of your time and burning up your personal shredder? Bring them to the More than Money World Headquarters in the Holy Lands. We’ll have our shredding company complete that for you. This is a free service.
- Check your paperless status. Most people would benefit by moving as much of their financial life to paperless as they can. Most identity theft is enabled by stealing paper documents. If you wish to move some/all of your MtM financials to paperless, please let us know. This is a free service.
- Check your estate plan. If you have one. The vast majority of Americans have not drafted a simple will. Many who have a will haven’t looked at their documents since they were drawn – 30 or 40 years ago. Estate planning includes both the proper documents and the coordination with your beneficiary choices (life insurance, IRAs, 401(k)s, etc. all pass by beneficiary). Our MtM advisors work with our trusted estate planning attorney, Keith Strohl, to review estate and beneficiary plans to ensure they do what you want them to do. This review is a free service.
- Check your long-term care plan. Most folks don’t have one. The most common “plan” we see is, “I know my daughter will take care of me.” Ouch. Long-term care plans can be challenging, but knowing your options is crucial. Our trusted partner in crafting long-term care plans is Mike Pompei. Mike spends time with you to explain different ways you can fund your long-term care needs. This is a free service.
- Check your college plans. From infant to independent adult, raising children takes cash – plenty of cash. You can stretch your cash through the use of tax-advantaged college funding plans. In many families, college funding is a multi-generational effort. Starting a little late? Understanding college payment options is critical as well. MtM advisors can review your options and assist you in selecting the actions that best fit you and your family. This is a free service.
- Check your life insurance. Life insurance presents some of the most challenging questions we see in the financial lives of the clients we serve. Do you have enough life insurance? Or too much? Do you need life insurance at all? Are you paying too much for your coverage? Is it going to be taxed in your estate or tax-free to your heirs? Does your head hurt yet? Our MtM advisors will review all of these questions – and many more – with you, to answer them and design an insurance plan that fits you and your needs. This is a free service.
- Check your RMD. If you don’t recognize the acronym RMD, you are most probably too young to worry about it. Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) face Americans who have reached age 72. Beginning at age 72 taxpayers must (that’s the required part) begin taking out a portion (a small portion at first, growing quite large over time) of the money from their retirement plans and – most important to the IRS – paying income taxes on those funds. The IRS requires these RMDs be taken by the end of each year. Should you take yours early in the year, or late? Should you divide your RMD by 12 and take it monthly like a paycheck? Should you have income taxes withheld from your payments? Our More than Money advisors will review your RMDs with you, evaluate the options that best fit you and make the appropriate recommendations to keep you on the happy side of the IRS. This is a free service.
- Check your gifting. The vast majority of our clients are quite amazingly generous. Gifts to their families, their churches, Folds of Honor, Children’s Home of Easton, Laughing at My Nightmare, Through These Hands, and so many more are found in most of our clients’ plans. Are they in your plans? Do you know how to provide assistance to your favored charities in the most tax-efficient way possible? Do you know the rules about gifting to family and friends so you don’t get pinched by the IRS? Our More than Money advisors know all of these rules and are happy to help you better help those you love. This review is a free service.
Did you notice a common element in each of these checklist items? Our More than Money advisors offer all of these 12 checklist items as a free service to you. Over the years we’ve had folks ask why we offer so much service for free. The answer is really quite simple.
We meet some of our very best future clients while providing them with one (or more) of these free services. Not everyone who requests a free service is a good fit to become an MtM client. We accept about half of the people we meet in our World Headquarters. It is important to us that the clients we accept are those we will be happy to serve for at least twenty 20 years. For some of our younger advisors that number is 30 years or more.
Working with a prospective client on one or more of these services gives us – and them – the opportunity to determine if the chemistry is right. Are they a good fit for us? Are we a good fit for them? Will we be able to happily serve them for years to come? Will they appreciate the service, care, and friendship we provide? We’ve found the best way to give everyone a chance to evaluate these is with a free “sample.”
We invite you to sample our services. Perhaps we’ll be serving you in 2022 and for years to come.