There are a number of reasons we ask you to meet with your wealth advisor on an annual basis. The most basic reason is that things change more than we might think over the course of a year, and even minor changes can have big impacts on our lives – and our financial plans. A less-than-expected bonus or raise, or a higher-than-expected bonus or raise, can really effect financial projections, and hence our investment advice to you. Major expenses, such as a wedding, lifestyle purchase (boats, vacation house, expensive trips, etc.), changing employment conditions, unexpected medical situations, and more can put larger-than-expected dents in our budgets, and will want to be accounted for in your financial plan. By sitting down once a year, it gives us a chance to review all of these life changes and make necessary adjustments to your financial plan. It also gives us a chance to review overall market and economic conditions with you, and allows us to ascertain if your current investment objectives are in line with your current strategy.

By meeting with us annually, you also help us meet our Fiduciary obligations to you. A Fiduciary is someone who must always act in your best interest, which means that we need current, relevant information in order to make those Fiduciary decisions on your behalf. We cannot continue to offer you investment advice based on out-of-date information. So that means that we need to be continually updating your information with the latest, most relevant, information. And an annual meeting is the best way to do that.

We know meetings are time consuming, but we can be as efficient as need be based on your time constraints. We are also flexible in how and where to meet, offering meetings in our office or in your home, video meetings via a variety of platforms, or even old-fashioned phone calls. Though if you do come into the office for your annual meeting, you leave with an SBC cookie, and having eaten a number of these over the years, I can assure you that they are worth the trip.

However you choose to satisfy your annual meeting obligation, please know that this meeting is an important component of what we do, and a vital way that we help meet our fiduciary obligation to you. So the next time one of our Client Service Associates calls to set one up with you, please keep these things in mind, and accept our thanks in advance!

Ho! Ho! Ho! The end of the year is quickly approaching, and Santa will be here before you know it! As you’re making your financial list and checking it twice to prepare for a new year, consider:

  • Are you or should you consider contributing to a College Choice 529 Plan? Indiana taxpayers can get a state income tax credit equal to 20% of their contributions, up to $1,000 per year. The deadline for making 2022 contributions is December 31.
  • Have you taken your Required Minimum Distribution (age 72) from your Retirement Account(s)?  Remember, there is a 50% penalty on any portion that hasn’t been satisfied by December 31. 
  • Ever thought about making a Charitable Distribution? By making a Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD), you may reduce the amount of taxes owed. You may be able to donate your Required Minimum Distribution to the charity of your choice (or a portion of it) and not have your adjusted gross income affected, depending on age. These funds need to go to the charity directly from your retirement account. You may donate up to $100,000.
  • When was the last time you reviewed your 401K and IRA contributions? By maximizing the contributions, you benefit from compounded interest year after year. Keep in mind investing is a marathon, not a sprint.
  • Anything major or life changing that you’re aware of for 2023? Planning any big purchases?  Preparing for retirement? Getting ready to change jobs? Will you be relocating? Are you planning for a wedding? Saving for surgery? Planning ahead will help reduce stress when the time comes.
  • Have you updated or do you have an estate plan? Have you heard the saying that if you don’t have a plan for your life, someone else will? Do you have beneficiaries on your investment accounts? Do you have a Will or Medical Proxy? Life can throw curveballs; be prepared.
  • Look at your insurance policies to make sure they are up to date. Has the Fair Market Value gone up on your home? If so, make sure you have enough homeowner’s insurance. What about life insurance? Have you reviewed your auto insurance recently?

At SBC, we help keep you on the path to financial success through careful planning and preparation. We are passionate about helping you reach your financial goals. As the end of the year approaches, please keep the above things in mind. Reach out if you need help in planning—we’re here for you!

Happy Holidays!