San Diego Office

2221 Camino Del Rio South,

Suite 307
San Diego, CA 92108

Law Firm Partners: Planning for the Day of Financial Independence

You work hard and someday would like to reduce the stress, and stop running by the hour!  Unfortunately, planning for retirement or gaining financial independence can be overwhelming, confusing and a time-consuming journey.  You are faced with many important and crucial decisions:

  1. Am I in position, financially and emotionally, to stop working?
  2. When I stop working what investment accounts should I draw from? How much should I draw and when?
  3. Can I afford that second home? Help my kids get started? Support my aging parents?

To successfully tackle these issues, ask yourself 3 key questions:

  1. Do I have the TIME it requires to adequately evaluate my investment, retirement plans and alternative choices?
  2. Is my TEMPERAMENT such that I can avoid reacting to market volatility and the daily or weekly noise from events that constantly show up on the news, emails and from friends?
  3. Do I have the TALENT to understand the complex tax, investment and financial planning issues that will enable me to make smart financial decisions?

If you answer yes to those three questions, then you are ready and able to tackle the challenging issues you will face in preparing for, and will encounter throughout, retirement.

Often, we find our attorney clients are running so hard they do not make the time to understand all the nuances of their retirement plans.  They are not able to keep up with the changing markets or the changing income and estate tax laws.  They don’t fully comprehend the discipline needed with planning strategies.  Therefore, if they don’t have a trusted advisor to turn to, they are inclined to quickly react to the situation at hand and make decisions based on limited information and emotions.

Through experience we have learned how to assist our attorney clients in ways that make their lives easier and less stressful.  Here are several examples of how we assist our attorney clients:

Firm retirement plans: Law firm retirement plans are notoriously complex and confusing. Given these plans represent a primary portion of your income and assets after you stop working, it is essential to understand and leverage their value. We work with your firm benefits personnel to unwind the timing, pay-outs and tax ramifications of your firm retirement benefits in a discreet manner which does not disclose your personal exit strategy.  We can then explain and project the benefits available so you understand the financial implications of leaving at different ages.

Messy savings/spending data: For most attorneys, firm income distributions are sporadic, uncertain and lumpy. Balance sheets tend to be messy when they come to us.  We help clean up your records and create order to your income and expenses.  Short-term: we help strategize on how to even out monthly cash flows.  Longer-term: we help create scenarios for the future and lay out a game plan for financial independence with your goals in mind.

Less on your plate: Most of our attorney clients are used to doing it all.  They are smart and hard-charging.  But at some point, the complexity of assets and debt, taxes and investments gets to be too much to manage – especially given their “day” jobs. We go that extra mile to systematically look at all your wealth areas, your goals, your income, your retirement and benefits, your insurance, your estate planning, etc. and communicate to you in a succinct, effective manner. Having someone you trust that not only advises, but rolls up her sleeves to get your personal wealth plan in order, can really provide a sense of relief.

Hidden savings: We often find pockets of ongoing expenses that can be easily reduced or cut such as investment fund fees, over-priced insurance plans, lost tax deductions, etc.

Don’t forget taxes! When and how you invest your money, take distributions, etc. can have a big impact on your tax bill.  With our internal tax expertise, we look at every move through a tax lens to make sure you retain as much of your hard-earned money as possible.

Creating your dream: You work hard to achieve financial independence, and you want to give back to your family and maybe even your community.  We can help by connecting you and working with professional resources to help structure trusts, set up charitable foundations, etc.

Succession planning: We can also help with succession planning to ensure that the right agreements are in place so that when you retire, your capital, your clients and your family are well cared for.