Are the demands of a successful career cutting heavily into the time you have available for non-work-related tasks like managing your personal finances? If you are unable to give your investments, taxes, and other financial affairs the attention they require, the result can be missed opportunities — for growth, for tax savings, and for planning your financial future. The following suggestions may help you simplify your financial life and, at the same time, capitalize on the potential that your earning power provides. Take Advantage of Professional Help As in business, investing decisions require that you analyze needs and resources, make reasonable choices, track results, and make adjustments as market and economic conditions require. Performing all of those tasks well demands considerable time and specialized knowledge — and more commitment than you may be able to give. Putting your portfolio in the hands of an investment professional may be a prudent move. While no financial professional can guarantee investment success, some “comparison shopping” will help you identify firms that have built a record of reliable performance under varying market conditions. Our organization, for example, has the professional skill and knowledge necessary to act effectively on your behalf. We match our clients’ risk preferences with custom-designed portfolios. We keep our clients well informed and involved in decisions — to the extent that each client wishes. And, we minimize the time our clients need to spend on their investments. Because investment and tax decisions are intertwined, we take each client’s individual tax situation into consideration whenever we make an investment decision or recommendation. Create a Backup Your financial plans should anticipate and minimize potential future problems. For example: The risks of aging include various disabilities, such as a stroke or Alzheimer’s disease. A well- structured trust established in advance can assure that your assets are consistently managed if you become disabled. A trust is a flexible, legal arrangement used to separate the ownership of assets from their benefits in an advantageous way. The trustee owns and manages the trust’s assets according to guidelines you have set and has a strict obligation to use the assets for the benefit of the trust’s beneficiary — in this case, yourself. The trustee can begin managing the trust assets as soon as you create and fund the trust — a living trust. Or, the trustee can take over full-time management only when you no longer want, or are unable, to control the trust’s assets — a standby trust. Either way, you are always in control because you are free to revoke the trust at any time, for any reason. Plan for the Future Your financial plans should also address the eventuality that your family will have to continue their lives without you. Regardless of your age, you need to have an estate plan in place that fits your family’s needs and your financial situation. For example, would your spouse be able to handle your financial assets without you? You can reliably protect your spouse by setting up a trust in your will. A testamentary trust can assure prudent professional management of your investments and any retirement assets you leave behind — for as long as needed. Many trusts pay a life income to the surviving spouse and, afterwards, transfer the remaining trust assets to children or other heirs. The specifics are up to you. Through a trust, you will be able to more closely determine the future of your financial assets. Please call us if you want to discuss how we can simplify your financial management and free more of your valuable time. We would be happy to help.