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Personal Financial Planning

Personal Financial Planning

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CliftonLarsonAllen Wealth Advisors, LLC

Effective February 25th, 2012, Clifton Gunderson Wealth Advisors LLC is providing Investment Advisory Services through CliftonLarsonAllen Wealth Advisors, LLC (“CLA Wealth Advisors”), an SEC Registered Investment Advisor. On January 2, 2012, the accounting and consulting firms of Clifton Gunderson LLP and LarsonAllen LLP combined to form a new firm, CliftonLarsonAllen LLP. CLA Wealth Advisors is a separate legal entity that combines advanced techniques and tools in tax, estate, retirement, financial, and investment planning with the insight and experience of our wealth advisors. Our national wealth advisory practice is among the top five in the accounting profession with nearly $3 billion in assets under management. More

These days, it seems everyone is calling themselves a financial planner. But as you are probably aware, many of their services come with strings attached – commissions, loads, ties to certain types or sources of investments, and so on.

At Clifton Gunderson, we feel it is important for your future well-being to use financial planning resources that are competent and objective; resources that put your best interests first. Our financial planning professionals will concentrate on drawing up your financial “blue print” so that you are able to choose where and how you implement our objective recommendations. The advantage to working with Clifton Gunderson is that our experts are compensated by salary only as we believe this work should happen in a conflict-controlled environment.

At Clifton Gunderson, you benefit from the experience and trust that a Certified Financial Planner™ professional brings to the table. CFP® practitioners have completed the rigorous education, examination, experience and ethical requirements of the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards certification process. CFP® professionals are committed to providing competent, ethical financial planning.

In addition, you gain access to our nationwide network of financial professionals and consultants with advanced designations, including –

  • Personal Financial Specialist (PFS) – Identifies a CPA who also provides financial planning services. The designation is authorized by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants
  • Certified Divorce Financial Analyst™ (CDFA™) – Professionals trained to help individuals make important financial decisions during the divorce process.
  • Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) – Specialists committed to providing comprehensive financial planning
  • Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) – Provides expert advice on a broad range of financial planning and insurance topics
  • Masters of Taxation
  • Masters of Business Administration
  • Juris Doctor (law degree)

Our financial planning process can be structured as a comprehensive project or can be broken down to the sections that only apply to you and your situation. Our detailed process includes the following components:

Cash Flow Planning

Some will recognize the more “painful” term of budgeting, but we prefer the term cash flow analysis to determine the simpler aspects of how much money comes in and how much money goes out. We work with you to determine strategies for the best timing of some of these events as well as areas for opportunity to increase inflows, if possible, as well as reducing the outflows. This section also helps determine success in many of the other sections. Getting a handle on where all the money goes is often times a critical exercise for many people.

Estate Planning

We will show you how your estate will act under current legislation and point out any and all reasonable solutions so that when you are ready to work with your attorney you will have the confidence that all practical remedies have been addressed. Whether your estate is simple or complex, our experts will work with all of your current advisors to find the best available solutions for you. We will help your legal advisor understand your entire situation so that the best remedies may be applied the first time, thereby reducing the need to possibly correct some very expensive mistakes in the future.

Retirement Planning

Our professionals will show you how your current plan might look between now and the time you want to retire so that you can make educated choices to attain your goals. We will calculate any and all contingencies necessary to explore the likelihood that your retirement plans might allow you the freedom you seek. In some cases, we discover that actions must be taken to attain these goals. We have found that it is better to address these issues as early as possible in order to be able to attain your unique goals.

Portfolio Analysis

We will work with you to determine your tolerance for risk, as well as discuss your capacity to undertake risk. We employ several methods, including a psychometric profile, to gain the best understanding of your unique ideas about investing. We will then work with you to construct an appropriate investment portfolio and work with you on the monitoring and evaluation of your future success.

Risk Management Planning

We show you how decisions about how much risk to undertake and how much to transfer have differing effects on your estate and retirement projections. We specifically address exposures in life, disability and long-term care insurance and show you the impact of each category on your estate and retirement plans. We also help you develop strategies for owning and holding title to all of these various instruments so as to have the smallest possible tax implications in your plans.

Tax Planning

Our professionals will work with you to explore every reasonable tool available to take advantage of the current legislation to maximize your returns and minimize the effect of taxes. We show you how the timing and receipt of income in any given year can affect your decisions about the ultimate distribution from various sections of your portfolio as earned income is reduced in retirement. We work closely with your tax accountant to ensure that you pay no more than your fair share.

College and Specific Purpose Planning

With college planning it is important to plan out not only the accumulation phase but also the distribution phase to ensure that penalties and taxes do not eat up your funds. For your children, or even grandchildren, we will work with you to plan for the known and projected costs of almost any college in the country so that you can remove some of the stress from this important goal. We will help you explore every available tool under current legislation in order to take the most advantage of available situations.

You may also be contemplating any number of “large ticket” expenses; from a vacation to a remodel of your current home to the purchase of that dream vacation home. We will help you construct strategies to account for these items while having the smallest possible impact on your retirement and estate planning goals.

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