1. Investments
Build an investment plan that “fills the buckets,” identifying how much you need allocated to an income strategy to YIELD the income you need in retirement so you are not basing the success of your retirement plan on the outcome of equity returns and the stock market’s success. The income portion of the portfolio is built with assets that are highlighted HERE (Investing for INCOME). The assets that are not needed to fill the income bucket are rolled to the “Growth Bucket.” These assets are invested with a long time horizon in mind with the ultimate goal of capital appreciation. These assets will be invested in a fashion noted in “Investing for Growth.” The goal is for these assets to grow over time in a tax-efficient and strategic manner so that as inflation occurs, clients can move some appreciated assets to the Income Bucket to account for inflation and growing needs. Even before the INCOME bucket is filled, we must determine what amount of cash you need to cover emergency needs, short-term cash funding needs and SWAN (Sleep Well at Night) cash.

2. Cash Flow Management
The basic question to all investment planning is, “How much is coming IN vs. how much is going OUT?” Matching your income needs with your current income cash flow, including Social Security, pensions, etc., is crucial to understanding how your investments will meet your income goals. This is more than a budget, it’s an understanding of how you are going to match your income needs with your cash flow sources.

3. Tax Planning
Capital Investment Advisors (CIA) will work with your tax professionals (and ours) to ensure that all investment strategies are being used in the most tax-efficient manner. Municipal bonds vs. taxable bonds, individual MLPs vs. ETFs with 1099s, dividend stocks or interest-bearing bonds – these are just some of the considerations that should be discussed to maximize a plan’s effectiveness. Other tax strategies need to be understood as part of a total wealth management plan including:

4. Estate Planning
CIA works with our own network of estate planning attorneys or our client’s own trusted team to make sure that account structure and plans are married properly with the estate plan. Decisions such as what types of accounts to hold assets in (trusts, JT tenancy, individual, etc.), as well as proper beneficiary designations are crucial to carrying an estate plan out from a will through passing assets on to heirs. If a plan has not been put in place, we will work with our clients and help them communicate their larger goals and wishes to a professional when the drafting a document process begins.

5. Insurance Analysis and Planning
It should be noted that CIA does not sell insurance nor is compensated for recommending you purchase some. We analyze and help our clients make decisions regarding insurance objectively with regards to their entire financial picture, without concern or thought of compensation.

6. Retirement Plan Management 

Making sure that the allocation of your retirement plan assets are correct based on the investment plan above is crucial to claiming success on the official retirement date.