Fee-Based Financial Planning
Ensure your goals and unique financial needs are prioritized and planned with the expertise of a credentialed fee-based financial planner.
Fee-Based Financial Planning
When you want a financial plan developed with your goals and interests put above all else, it’s a good time to engage a fee-based financial planner.
Fee-based financial planners design unique personal financial plans and are compensated for their time and expertise. Under this fee structure, the planner is a fiduciary and has a legal and moral responsibility to place your interests first.
Of course, your planner’s role goes beyond just providing expert guidance in the creation of your financial plan. A fee-based planner can also help you with the implementation of your plan through a combination of appropriate and innovative insurance, brokerage, advisory and/or private client platform solutions.
In the end, your planner is paid to work with you to make sure your financial needs are met with care, with expertise and with an understanding of your unique circumstances and individual goals. Together, you will agree on the appropriate fee structure based upon those needs and the specific services required.
Making great decisions about your wealth, whether you are deciding to grow it, protect it or both, starts with sound thinking – thinking that makes sense. Here’s how our thinking starts when it comes to helping you make important financial decisions.
The Planning Process
With financial independence, family legacy and social capital solutions in place, wealth optimization becomes the focus of the planning process. Your planner will use a unique and disciplined values-based approach to help you make wise choices and to help ensure that your plan is focusing on what you value.
The planning process consists of four quadrants or phases, each one representing one planning cycle: Discovery, Creative Solutions, Strategy Deployment, and Results Management.
- Discovery: Identify and think about the problem. The first phase begins by thinking clearly about the problem. This is called the Discovery phase, and this is where clarity on your goals is achieved and planning gaps are identified.
- Creative Solutions: Think about the solution. The second phase is the Creative Solutions phase, in which you think clearly about the solutions and make decisions regarding closing the planning gaps.
- Strategy Deployment: Implement the solution. The third phase is the Strategy Deployment phase, in which you implement the solution that helps you achieve your desired results.
- Results Management: Manage the results. The final phase is the Results Management phase; we establish a plan to manage and implement the results. This assures that you have confidence your plan will work over time.
Working with a knowledgeable and experienced planner who has access to current technologies and a thorough understanding of tax rules and financial planning techniques is important. Working with an advisor who takes the time to understand your unique desires and goals is critical.
Your planner will take the time to help you make that assessment, develop a plan that works for you and provide you with the tools and strategies necessary to successfully implement that plan.
Life Insurance Planning
A well-constructed life insurance policy should be a valuable part of your overall financial security plan.
Life Insurance Planning
You work hard to give your loved ones every advantage. But would your family have the financial resources to maintain its lifestyle if you died?
While nothing can replace you, a life insurance policy can help ensure that your loved ones have the financial security necessary to live out their dreams. Life insurance benefits can help:
- Pay the mortgage or any other debt.
- Maintain your family’s standard of living.
- Keep your children in their current school and fund college.
- Pay for final expenses.
- Leave a legacy.
Life insurance can also be more than a safety net. Depending on the type of life insurance, it can also be the foundation for a sound financial strategy. With permanent life insurance, for example, as you pay premiums, the policy accumulates cash value that grows tax deferred and can become a source of funding you can utilize to help meet your financial goals.*
That’s in contrast to term life insurance, which does not build cash value but is one of the more affordable types of insurance you can buy.
If you’re a business owner, offering life insurance as part of a comprehensive benefits package will help to recruit and retain valuable employees and give them the financial security they need while contributing to the success of your business.
Life insurance can also minimize the financial impact felt by the death of a key contributor to your business. Its proceeds or cash value can be used to cover the potential loss of business or recruit a successor.
Risk Management Solutions
When your financial plan includes wealth protection and risk management, you’ll be helping to ensure your family is secure.
Risk Management Solutions
When your financial plan includes wealth protection and risk management, you'll be helping to ensure your family — and your vision for the future — is secure.
We'll work with you to develop strategies to:
- Provide for your family in the event of death.
Life insurance policies can be designed with different needs in mind. They can provide temporary protection, cash accumulation or may be utilized as part of an estate plan. Through our association with Northwestern Mutual, we have access to Northwestern Mutual's high-quality, competitively priced life insurance products, including permanent, term, combination and variable policies.
- Provide for you and your family in the event of a disability.
Disability income insurance helps to protect your most valuable asset, your ability to earn an income. But what if the unexpected happened and you suddenly weren’t able to earn a living because of illness or injury? Not only would you have the stress of meeting everyday living expenses, but you might also have to put other goals, like saving for a child's college or for retirement, on hold.
- Provide for long-term care.
Long-term Care events can have a significant impact on your financial security. Planning for long-term care events can help provide options on how to fund and receive care, should you need it.
Long-term financial security doesn’t happen by chance. Take control of your future with customized financial planning services.
If you live for it, we’ll help you plan for it.
Our version of financial planning isn’t just a plan for your money, it’s a plan for your life. That’s because my team and I start with you—your life, your family, and your priorities. Then we tailor your unique plan from a range of financial options using multiple strategies designed specifically to help you reach your goals.
What you get with a plan from Northwestern Mutual
Financial strategies tailored to your life
You’ll have multiple strategies within your plan, built from financial options specifically selected to help you reach the goals you have for right now and later on.
A wide range of financial options
Get access to more financial options designed to reinforce each other so your plan can work its hardest for you, including investments for growth, insurance for protection, and annuities for help with income in retirement.
Your go-to financial expert to guide you
Your advisor listens to what’s important for you to do today and down the road and designs a plan, with personalized recommendations tailored to your life, to help make it happen.
The flexibility to pivot as your priorities change
When your priorities shift throughout your life, we’ll work with you to shift the strategies in your plan. So your plan stays flexible, and you stay on track to meet goal after goal.
A real-time digital plan personalized to you
You’ll see where you are today and how you’re doing over time, tracking your goals to reveal the progress you’ve made, any gaps you might have, and any opportunities we find.
The confidence to know you can live the life you’ve always wanted
Because your financial plan is based on your priorities, it’s uniquely designed to help you do the things you’ve been dreaming of. So you’ll always know you can.
A personalized education funding plan with saving and investment strategies can help keep your other goals on track while ensuring one of the best gifts for a child.
If one of your financial goals is to pay for a child’s education, the earlier you establish a college savings plan, the better. A personalized education funding plan will not only help you save more, it will also give you more time to ride the ups and downs of the financial markets if you choose to invest your savings.
Two of the most common college funding vehicles are 529 Plans and Coverdell Education Savings Accounts, though there are many ways to save for a child’s education.
And although your wish may be to fully fund your child’s education, don’t allow that goal to put your own retirement at risk. It’s much like the instructions you’re given by flight attendants when you travel by air: In case of emergency, put your oxygen mask on first before putting it on your child. If you don’t take care of funding your own retirement, you may end up weighing down your kids with that responsibility later in life. Children have options for funding their education, such as loans and scholarships. Retirees don’t.
Working together on your education funding strategies, we can help you better understand your options to meet all of your financial goals.
One of the greatest financial challenges is preparing adequately for retirement. And now more than ever, strategic retirement planning is crucial to help meet your goals.
Now more than ever, retirement planning is critical. Gone are the days when pensions and Social Security provided all of the income you needed for retirement. The new reality is that you are responsible for managing your own retirement, and that starts with making sure you're strategic in your planning.
We can help. At Northwestern Mutual, our approach to retirement planning is designed to help you get to—and through—retirement with a greater level of financial confidence, so you can relax knowing you have a road map to achieve your goals.
You'll want to start by considering how much to save for retirement and where to save it. By accumulating as much as you can as soon as you can, you can put time on your side—time to plan, time to weather the ups and downs of the market and time to let your money grow.
And then, as you zero in on retirement, you'll need a different set of strategies to manage risk and make your money last through retirement.
Coordinated investment strategies are necessary to build an effective portfolio that meets your unique financial needs.
Your goal to achieve financial security will undoubtedly include investing for your future.
We can offer you the expertise you need to ensure your investment strategies are aligned with your goals, time horizon and tolerance for risk.
Northwestern Mutual offers investment advisory services, private client services and trust services. Within these levels of service, we may recommend that your portfolio include one or more of the following investment tools.
Signature Choice is an investment advisory program that allows your wealth management advisor to provide advice concerning asset allocation, security selection and rebalancing. Your advisor can utilize a wide range of securities including mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and individual equity and fixed income investments to help implement your investment strategy.
Signature Managed Accounts is an investment advisory program that utilizes third party asset management and portfolio manager selection to assist in providing you with a comprehensive investment solution.
Signature Portfolios is an investment advisory program that utilizes select mutual funds and/or exchange traded funds to construct well-diversified portfolios for your needs.
Signature Annuities is an investment advisory solution that utilizes investment options available within the NM SelectTM Variable Annuity to construct, comprehensive, well-diversified investment portfolios for your needs.
We also have access to offer you the following products and services through Northwestern Mutual Investment Services, LLC (NMIS):
- Cash management services
- Money market funds
- Mutual funds
- Treasury bills
A personalized wealth management strategy is necessary to sustain and grow your long-term wealth, meet your financial goals and align your comfort with market risks along the way
Our wealth management services go above and beyond what you might expect from a financial services provider. Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Company offers:
Investment advisory services, designed to:
- Provide high-quality investment services and products.
- Build and monitor diversified portfolios.
- Develop objective, personalized plans.
- Focus on long-term results.
Trust services and partnerships, designed to:
- Provide continuity of stewardship that can last multiple generations.
- Preserve family harmony when carrying out your intentions.
- Carry out detailed record-keeping and accounting.
- Calculate taxes and file returns.
Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Company serves as trustee on Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts. In addition, through our Trust Alliance Program, we partner with nationally-recognized trust administration firms that offer a broad range of services to revocable trusts, charitable trusts, endowments and foundations.
Online access to your account, so you can review:
- Comprehensive monthly statements.
- Performance reporting.
- Account access on a secure website.
- Current account balances on your investment holdings.
- Detailed transaction records on all accounts.
Qualified plan benefits are most effective when they are thoroughly understood and properly utilized by plan participants.
- Qualified Benchmarking
Understanding how your retirement plan compares to industry benchmarks for expenses, performance and design is not only a good business practice, it is becoming a regulatory expectation. Based on our experience and industry resources, we will provide you with comparative data to document a sound due diligence process.
- Qualified Design Assistance
Sponsoring a qualified plan is a critically important step toward achieving retirement security for you and your employees. Choosing the right plan design elements will allow you to balance your goals for tax deferred wealth accumulation with the cost and complexity involved. Together with our plan specialists, we will help you to evaluate multiple plan design options and understand the impact they will have on you, your employees and the bottom line.
- Qualified Employee Education
Qualified plan benefits are most effective when they are thoroughly understood and properly utilized by plan participants. Quality benefits education is not a one-time event but rather a long term program to build awareness, understanding and appreciation. we will work with you to develop and deliver a comprehensive education plan across multiple media to help produce positive results.
- Qualified Fiduciary Education
As a retirement plan sponsor you face a sometimes bewildering array of regulations and responsibilities. It is important to find a source of trustworthy information to help you to manage your responsibilities and mitigate the associated risks. Let us help you to understand your options to develop an approach that works for you and your plan.
Your business is unique, and it takes a personalized business planning approach to help you create, grow and protect your business’s value.
Whether you’re thinking about launching a new business or hoping to expand an existing one, we can help you create, grow and protect your business’s value with comprehensive business planning services.
We’ll work with you to develop a personalized financial plan with solutions designed to meet the unique needs of your business, with strategies to:
- Integrate all aspects of financial planning for your business and your personal life to ensure success on both fronts.
- Minimize risk by being prepared for the unexpected.
- Safeguard your business with coverage to help offset the loss of cash flow if you become sick or hurt.
- Recruit and retain employees with competitive benefits programs.
- Enhance your benefits programs to reward employees who are key to the success of your business.
- Transition your business smoothly with a properly designed and funded business succession plan.
Employee Benefits Planning
A well-designed benefits package can give you a competitive advantage in the war for talent. Our team can help you with benefits planning to help attract and retain top talent.
Employee Benefits Planning
One of the biggest challenges faced by business owners today is the need to recruit, retain and reward talented employees. Good benefits planning can help you get the top talent.
We can help you design a quality, affordable benefit plan that may include features such as:
- Group health insurance
- Group life insurance
- Group disability income insurance
- Dental insurance
- Vision insurance
- Flexible spending accounts
- Qualified retirement plans such as SEP IRA or 401(k) plans
Group health services are offered through an independently owned and operated company, which offers access to comprehensive employee benefit services and is not affiliated with, nor a subsidiary of The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company.
Executive Benefits Planning
As a business owner, it’s important for you to recognize the dedication and commitment of your most important contributors.
Executive Benefits Planning
We can help you design an executive benefits package that provides additional compensation to selected employees, which may include:
A supplemental executive retirement plan that allows you to promise to pay additional income to yourself or your key employees at a later date, which is usually retirement.
An executive deferred compensation plan that allows you or your key employees to forgo receipt of a portion of current income until a later date, which is usually retirement.
Bonus plans that provide you or your key employees with additional income that can be used to purchase insurance, annuity or investment products.
A will or trust are just one aspect of a broader estate planning strategy necessary to fully protect your family and assets, and build a lasting legacy.
Most people associate the phrase "estate planning" with having a will – a legal document that names your beneficiaries and spells out who gets what when you die. And while the transfer of your assets is an important part of estate planning, a will or a trust is just one aspect of a broader estate planning strategy to ensure your wishes are known, honored and carried out as efficiently as possible when you're no longer able to articulate them.
We work with a team of estate planning experts at Northwestern Mutual. Together, we can help you develop an estate planning strategy that may include the following:
- A strategy to help reduce or eliminate gift/estate taxes for your heirs
- A plan to protect your estate from mismanagement or from claims of creditors or ex-spouses
In addition to the expertise our team can offer, you'll want to work with an estate-planning attorney to establish:
- Health care directives and a living will that specify the extent to which you want health care professionals to treat you if you become ill or incapacitated.
- Powers of attorney that grant people you trust the legal authority to act on your behalf in case of sudden accident or illness.
- A will or trust to ensure your assets are transferred according to your wishes. And Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Company can serve as trustee, co-trustee or successor trustee in a wide range of situations.
- The naming of a legal guardian for children under the age of 18.
Disability Income Planning
Don’t let an unexpected injury or illness put your financial future in jeopardy. Disability income insurance may be an option to help protect your finances should something happen to you.
Disability Income Planning
Most people understand the need for health insurance, life insurance, homeowners insurance and car insurance. But what if the unexpected happened and you suddenly weren’t able to earn a living because of illness or injury? Not only would you have the stress of meeting everyday living expenses, you might also have to put other goals, like saving for retirement, on hold.
Disability income insurance can help you protect your most valuable asset – your ability to earn an income.
If your employer offers a comprehensive package of benefits, you may have access to group disability income insurance at work. That’s a great starting point, but most group plans cover only a portion of your income. Could you survive a 40 percent cut in pay? For that reason, you may want to consider supplementing group coverage with individual disability income insurance.
If you’re a business owner, you also need to think about whether your business would be able to continue without you. Disability overhead insurance reimburses certain business expenses, and key person disability insurance helps to minimize the loss of a key contributor due to disability.
Whether you own a business or not, consider disability income insurance a fundamental layer in your plan to secure your financial future.
Long-Term Care Planning
Help minimize the financial risk of a chronic illness or a disabling injury with long-term care planning.
Long-Term Care Planning
Most people hope to enjoy a long and healthy life as long as it’s on their own terms, which likely includes the desire to live as independently as possible. But life doesn’t always happen according to plan.
An unexpected accident, illness or injury can profoundly change your life — sometimes suddenly. And if it does, you may find yourself needing help with the tasks of everyday living.
Long-term care planning may be one of the most important steps you can take to ensure the future financial security of you and your family.
It takes a team of experts to navigate the complexities of special-needs planning. Our specialty financial professionals work with you and your family to create a financially secure future.
For the family of a person with special needs, financial planning is a necessity. Well-designed and properly executed special-needs planning can have a profound impact on your loved one’s quality of life and can help turn your dreams for his or her future into reality. A comprehensive plan can also help you avoid some common mistakes and oversights that could jeopardize the lifetime support of your loved one with special needs.
With so much at stake, it’s vital to work with professionals who understand the complexities of planning for a person with special needs. In fact, getting advice from someone without this expertise may do more harm than good.
That’s why it’s so important to seek help from a team of advisors who are experts in special-needs planning. In our experience, the most valuable teams include an attorney, a financial professional and a social services professional, as each brings specific areas of expertise to the table that are needed to develop a comprehensive special-needs plan.
We can help you build your team of experts and coordinate efforts on your behalf. With our collective guidance, you’ll be empowered to make informed decisions, take appropriate actions and help provide the highest possible quality of life for those who depend on you.
Business Succession Planning
Make sure the business that you’ve worked hard building will continue to move forward once you’ve decided to step back.
Business Succession Planning
Whether it's a few years from now or decades away, there will come a day when you’ll want to step back from your business. Succession planning will chart a course to move your business forward after you leave. And having a plan in place can also give your business a competitive edge while you’re still calling the shots—employees, clients, and suppliers will have greater confidence in the stability of your business.
Our team of experts can help you develop a strong succession plan by helping you:
Set your goals: We start with what you want for your business and yourself after you step away. If you’re not sure what that might be, it’s ok. We’re experts in helping people discover their goals—big and small.
Build your plan: A recent survey1 found that the top concern of business owners is who will take the reins when they leave. We’ll help you identify the right successor and create a personalized plan based on what you want.
Evaluate your risk: Life is unpredictable, and everything can change overnight. We can design risk management strategies that will help account for the unexpected such as if you become disabled, pass away, or get divorced.
Value your business: Many business owners don’t understand how much their business is truly worth. We have access to proprietary technology with patented algorithms that take the guesswork out of business valuation.
Review your plan: Our advisors will be your trusted partner at every step of the process and provide you with expert advice should your personal or business goals shift today, or down the road.
Now more than ever, people are putting their money where their values are. As part of your financial plan, charitable giving can help support the causes and organizations that are important to you, while maximizing tax efficiencies.
Planning for charitable giving
Now more than ever, people are putting their money where their values are. As part of your financial plan, charitable giving can help support the causes and organizations that are important to you, while maximizing tax efficiencies and defining your legacy.
There are many ways to give back. Our experienced team will work with you and your family to help identify philanthropic goals and develop your charitable giving strategy, which could include some of these options:
Cash: Transfer directly to the charity(ies) of your choice
Stock: Donate shares of stock you own
Other kinds of property: Donate items such as clothing, computers, cars, even life insurance
Donor-Advised Fund: A charitable investment account that offers flexible and efficient ways to manage donating to charities
Private Foundation: A charitable organization funded primarily by a single donor or small group of donors
Charities in your estate planning: Create a legacy of giving by including your favorite charity in your will or trust
Charitable Trusts: Transfer assets out of the estate with the goal of using them for charity
No matter if you’re just starting to craft your philanthropic vision or need help with more complex giving strategies, we have the expertise to help you make an impact.