Planning Principles

At Shunk Financial Group, we work with clients to develop a plan that is specific to each client’s individual financial picture. The following principles represent our core beliefs about what constitutes a strong financial plan. While not every one of these action items will apply to every client’s roadmap, the following are elements we consider when developing a plan.

    Have a Plan

  1. Visualize your destination. Dream. Imagine an amazing future for yourself and your family. Discover what your financial goals really are. “Be able to smell the grass.”
  2. Make a map to get there. Create a dynamic financial plan to enact your vision.
  3. Protect Your Family

  4. Protect your income. Consider appropriate life and disability insurance.
  5. Protect your assets. Check to make sure you have health, home, auto, and umbrella insurance.
  6. Save for emergencies. Plan to reduce or eliminate all credit card debt and maintain 3-6 months of living expenses in an emergency fund.
  7. Specify your wishes in the event of your death. Establish wills, power of attorney, trusts, etc.*
  8. Help protect your children’s future insurability. Purchase life insurance on each child or grandchild.
  9. Pay Yourself First

  10. Get in the habit of saving. Live on what’s left.
  11. Capture all "free" money. Take advantage of employer matching, incentive plans, etc.
  12. Guiltless debt reduction. Commit to a debt reduction strategy that balances paying off debt and saving for your future.
  13. Build Wealth

  14. Put your money to work. Harness the power of compound interest to help achieve your goals.
  15. Fill the right buckets. Take advantage of tax-efficient strategies.*
  16. Construct a diversified portfolio. Avoid market timing by investing systematically. Pursue a rate of return that is appropriate for your risk tolerance.
  17. Retire with Confidence

  18. Retire to something, not from something.
  19. Have an efficient distribution strategy.
    1. Tax-bracket sensitive. Create a distribution strategy customized for your individual tax situation.*
    2. Multi-dimensional. Account for different income streams such as investments, Social Security, Medicare, RMDs, pensions, cash value insurance, cash reserve, etc.
    3. Hedged for longevity. Consider long-term care planning options and annuities to defray the risks associated with living a long life.
  20. Plan Your Legacy

  21. Never underestimate the impact you have on others. Don’t wait to be intentional about the distribution of your wealth.
    1. Plan. Leverage the expertise of a team of professionals you trust.
    2. Implement. Details matter. Coordinate beneficiary and transfer on death designations, trusts, and charitable giving.
    3. Communicate. Make sure the planning you’ve done is accessible to the right people.
    4. Review. Revisit your plan regularly.

* This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal, or accounting advice. You should consult your own tax, legal, and accounting advisors before engaging in any transaction.