When selecting a financial advisor, you will likely compare credentials and accolades. How is your financial advisor different beyond experience and designations? Our Raleigh financial advisors remind potential clients that our team moves only in the best interests of the client. We accomplish this through personalized client education.
We share a few common situations below that illustrate how our role empowers clients to confidently make decisions about their finances.
What is a fiduciary?
Your fiduciary is an agent who is legally required to serve in your best interests. One of the most common fiduciary roles is that of trustee. When our advisors serve in this capacity, our fiduciary duty obligates us to make prudent and ethical decisions about your trust assets that procure the most favorable outcome for you. Over the past few years, the Department of Labor has released a revised fiduciary rule. As of this writing, the rule has been delayed and is forecast to take effect July 1, 2019. When the transition occurs, fiduciaries will remain accountable for their impartial duties. However, the classification of fiduciary will then extend to advisors providing retirement planning services, which means expanded application of our fiduciary duties.
How does a relationship with a fiduciary benefit me?
Your relationship with a fiduciary allows the fiduciary to comprehensively understand your unique assets and financial goals will shape the options and actions related to your asset management. When you work closely with a trusted fiduciary, your best interests are held in the highest regard under law. If forthcoming tax legislation could negatively impact your trust assets, it would be your fiduciary’s duty to act in a way to minimize or prevent tax consequences. In this situation, the fiduciary might change the tax situs of the trust to a jurisdiction with more favorable tax regulations.
What tax consequences should I plan for if I’m self-employed?
Our financial advisors regularly develop financial plans for self-employed individuals due to the unique self-employment (SE) tax, Social Security and Medicare taxes, and tax deductions they manage. Unlike employees on payroll, self-employed individuals must calculate and separately pay SE, Social Security, and Medicare taxes in quarterly estimate payments. We help entrepreneurs, solopreneurs, freelancers, independent contractors, and other self-employed business owners properly plan and budget for estimated payments. Beyond the taxes that apply to earned income, self-employed individuals also have tax deductions that can help reduce their taxable income. Depending on their industry, some self-employed persons have more tax deductions available than others. Our ongoing relationship with clients helps to identify optimal deductions so that clients can minimize their annual tax burden, which can provide substantial savings over time.
What are retirement options for self-employed individuals?
Self-employed individuals have several options when saving for retirement, ranging from SIMPLE IRA and self-employed 401(k)s to Simplified Employee Pension (SEP) and Keogh plans. Each plan has unique tax benefits, tax deferral options, contribution limits, and other variables. Many individuals transition from salaried work as an employee to starting their own business. In these situations, the newly self-employed individual might have a retirement plan sponsored by their former employer. Once they start their own business, the plan might need to be rolled over into a new one that allows the self-employed individual to make contributions on their own. Experienced with these situations, our advisors review existing plans and explain every available option for establishing a new one. We also help self-employed individuals start their first retirement plan.