The difference between planning and counseling

Traditional approaches to planning are often numbers-driven, dwelling on financials absent the people at the heart of the plan. They reduce life-after-working-years to a mathematical equation, taking your total net worth and dividing it by the number of years ahead. This is retirement as a straight line.

Counseling is people-driven with assets in prudent support of your dreams. It brings leadership, coaching and thought-provoking questions to your planning table. It’s an approach that celebrates life, business and retirement as an active and participatory adventure. It’s joyful and fulfilling instead of rigid and restrictive: the extreme opposite of a straight-line approach.

Importantly, focusing on solely one aspect – financial or relational – limits your outcomes. Our approach integrates the prudent understanding and use of your tangible resources with the people at the heart of the plan. We celebrate who you are alongside what you have.

Financial Planning

Many families we meet have accumulated assets over multiple decades, in a variety of holdings or vehicles, based on life stages and events. The financial picture is strong, yet each bucket of wealth is set apart as its own milestone, lacking integration.

Often there are accounts that have been left untouched, or plans put in place in the early days of growing your family, that no longer apply. The gaps in clarity and integration leave your wealth operating shy of its full potential.

We begin with contemplative discussions regarding your desires for the use of your wealth – alongside a thorough audit of your financial picture including investments, insurance, real estate, business ownership, tax and charitable contributions. This thoughtful inventory of your total wealth picture aligns resources and vision, such that each asset and goal purposefully relates to the next.

Working from a documented play book of action steps and timelines, we operationalize your vision. Finally, decisions have a clear set of criteria, providing unprecedented freedom and control. Overtime, your plan is a living, breathing document, transforming aspirations to tangible reality.

Opportunities for lifetime giving

Traditional financial planning suggests that you hold off on giving until after your lifetime, which means you’re no longer here to experience the impact of your generosity. Many of our clients have a core value of contribution – to family, faith or community. Our model analyzes and verifies that you have ample resources for your lifestyle, so that you can give freely and confidently during your lifetime.

Read More

Estate Planning

There’s a traditional tendency to think of estate planning as something you complete once and move on with life. This perspective can inadvertently reduce the effectiveness of your planning and create disconnects between what you envision, and what actually happens long-term.

The estate planning decisions and documents that were executed in the past may not have kept pace with the people and complexity of your wealth. The documents may not reflect your current perspective, and your wealth may have outgrown the planning mechanisms that were previously put in place. 

The chance to create and operationalize your vision

Perhaps like many established families, your original estate planning focused on foundational legal documents. At this point in life, career and business, you may find yourselves ready to peer broadly into your vision for the use of your resources. We facilitate your thinking around The Impact Culture of your family and create a written vision statement.

This vision becomes a clear path for all of your advisors to collaborate in the context of your intentions. Importantly, legal documents are a subset of the total picture. Their effectiveness increases when complemented by and integrated with multi-disciplinary tools and techniques.

Even for families who don’t think they have enough to worry about estate taxes, operationalizing your vision creates ease through life transitions, maintaining privacy and preserving relationships.

Let market pressure maximize opportunities

Estate planning is a constantly evolving field beholden to changing economic and political environments. Our government is under constant pressure to raise fiscal revenue and estate assets have long been a target. Market pressure both creates and removes opportunities.

When our political system shifts, families are left with new rule sets. Previously executed documents often rely on outdated scenarios. The documents may lose their power to achieve original intentions, and new opportunities may be left untapped. Also, the financial industry is constantly evolving. Newer hybrid techniques and tools can often serve multiple purposes, creating substantial efficiencies.

Taxation and philanthropy

Much of estate planning suggests you live life with wealth in consideration of the present. Whatever’s leftover can be harvested for heirs and charities. When planning takes great prudence to steward your lifestyle, you get a clear, current picture of your excess resources. Our clients find immense joy in watching their charitable goals materialize, bearing witness to the impact of their generosity.

Keeping it current

Overtime, we consistently revisit your documented vision to help ensure it reflects your current perspective. Then we reconcile your vision against your documents, tools and techniques to sustain alignment and therefore effectiveness.

Read More

Investment Planning and Management

Investment planning often uses retirement as a focal point. There’s a sense of holding your breath in anticipation of a giant exhale. The focus is logical, yet it’s also limiting. The methods we use to manage your investments should be as dynamic as your life path leading up to and during retirement.

Any solid investment approach will address risk tolerance, time horizons and cash flow needs. Many address these factors as a single lump sum. We believe they’re more effectively managed uniquely in five distinct life phases. 

The Five Phases of Impact

  • Phase One: building wealth to protect your lifestyle in your post-working years.
  • Phase Two: allowing tax benefits to compound the growth of your Phase One assets, and exploring an earlier start to active philanthropy.
  • Phase Three: the first phase of post-retirement, typically quite active.
  • Phase Four: the more restful period of retirement.
  • Phase Five: the phase in which care needs may increase.


Tactical, flexible management

We quantify how much liquidity you need or desire in each phase alongside the amount of deviation you’re comfortable with for that particular period of your life. This phase-by-phase specificity increases clarity and confidence for decision-making while maximizing your quantifiable results.

Values-based portfolios

Throughout all phases, we can use a values-based investment approach that directly correlates your beliefs and passions to the companies and causes that comprise your investment portfolio. Investing this way has a multiplier effect: safeguarding and growing your assets while simultaneously backing things that matter to you personally.

Allocation vs. location

We believe that successful investing is as much about location as allocation. As such, our approach is broader than the financial markets. We utilize a combination of market-based investing, non-market solutions with guaranteed outcomes, and tools to hedge and buffer downside risk.

How much is enough, and the joy of lifetime giving

Families at all levels of wealth wonder if they have enough to preserve their lifestyle during their lifetimes. They also contemplate how much is enough to leave to heirs. We create detailed cash flow projections that attach a clear number to your personal and family goals.

This specificity reveals the confident surplus that can be allocated to philanthropy. Legacy becomes an intentional journey instead of the more common what’s left over at the end approach. Also, early-stage philanthropy has the power to redirect assets – from taxation – to the causes and communities you wish to financially support.


Read More

Life Insurance Acquisition

There’s a common yet outdated perception that the only role of life insurance in planning is to produce cash flow at death. This traditional perspective substantially limits the vehicle’s potential.

Like other financial instruments, life insurance can be a tool for achieving planning goals. We begin with understanding your concerns and aspirations for your overall wealth journey. Then, we consider whether life insurance offers a hand-in-glove fit, or if another solution offers better alignment.

To optimize the potential of life insurance, it must be designed and acquired in context of all other facets of your wealth. Purchasing it in a vacuum of your bigger picture can dramatically limit its impact.

Read More

Life Insurance for Wealth Building

Life insurance is often most effective when combined with other vehicles, in anticipation of multiple uses. Many times a single policy can serve a variety of life stages.

These strategic uses require active management of your insurance portfolio. We review policies every year and reconcile their performance against original projections, as well as your evolving planning goals. 

The elegance of tax protection

Families in their key earning years may find themselves in the highest marginal tax bracket. Life insurance offers a flexible means of sheltering gains while retaining liquidity should a need arise. Using after-tax dollars to purchase a policy, the internal Cash Value grows tax-free. Because there’s no tax on gains within the policy, there’s a compounding effect: your wealth has the potential to grow faster.

For many families, retirement years don’t necessarily come with a lower tax bracket. With assets harvested inside of an insurance policy, you can access liquidity tax-free.

The journey to diversify risk

Traditional approaches to diversification suggest purchasing a variety of market-based securities with liquid wealth. Beyond stocks and bonds, some insurance vehicles offer built in guarantees, or performance that can be uncorrelated to the volatility of the financial markets. Insurance can complement your traditional portfolio, offering greater diversity – as well as potentially lower risk – for similar returns.

Life insurance as long-term care coverage

Shifts in longevity mean that more than ever, families may need substantial health care funds later in life. Historically, there were two options to covering these needs: self-fund, or buy a traditional long-term care insurance policy.

Today’s options are more flexible, designed with later-in-life healthcare funding in mind, yet maintaining flexibility should your needs change. They offer three distinct components.

The first component is the traditional access to Cash Value – a direct withdrawal of accumulated assets. The second component functions like traditional long-term care insurance by providing a suite of health care benefits. The third component is a traditional death benefit.

Read More

Life Insurance for Wealth Deployment

When established families find themselves considering life insurance as a tool in their overall planning, the recommendations can feel like a foregone conclusion rather than strategic, or unique to your situation.

When we’re invited in to discuss life insurance with a high-impact individual or affluent family, it’s typically driven by a desire to safeguard someone or something – livelihoods, families or companies. We seek first to understand: what is your broader vision for protection? Then we evaluate whether life insurance makes sense, or whether a different solution offers better alignment between need and strategy.

Read More

Life Insurance Management

Many of the savviest people we meet aren’t aware that – just like invested assets – life insurance requires diligent post-purchase management. Life insurance illustrations are hypothetical assumptions based on what may occur in the financial markets, and legal and tax environments.

During our thorough annual review process, we analyze your original intentions. These include both your vision and the financial projections embedded in the policies at the time of purchase. Then we review your policies’ historic performance over the previous twelve-months as well as their projected future performance based on current market conditions. We confirm your policies are on track to be there when you need them. If not, we make prudent adjustments.

Read More

Meet the Team