By Ryan Turbyfill, MBA Financial Advisor

We tend to focus a lot of our conversations and articles on the economy, the stock and bond market and as Lindsey jokes, I could talk for days about the Yield Curve (don’t get me started).

While we take our responsibility and your trust you have placed in us to manage your hard earn money, especially in times like these, we feel our real value may even lay outside of just the investment management. Don’t get me wrong, I think we do a great job, thanks to all in our Investment Committee and dedication to our data driven analysis and decisions, but there is so much more.

For a few years now, we have implemented a new financial planning tool, called the Financial Fingerprint. With that, we can see with your assets, savings, social security and pensions what it would take to meet your goals in retirement, buying a vacation home or whatever they may be and what needs to be done to get there. We incorporate the risk in your accounts, rate of return required on your assets and even inflation. If we haven’t created or gone over your Financial Fingerprint, please reach out; I believe you’ll find it to be an invaluable tool.

Social Security timing and strategy is something we really dive into. It can have a large impact on your retirement as it’s a set income that you paid into that you’ll receive the rest of your life. Many common questions we answer are, should I take it at Full Retirement Age or wait later to get an 8% increase per year? If I wait, how do I fund my retirement until I get there? My spouse has a social security benefit that is higher or lower than mine, does it make sense to start them at different times? Then it gets even more complex if there is a claim on an ex-spouse or especially so if it’s combined with a government pension such as Colorado’s PERA. These questions are what we are here for to work through and help you decide.

With the unprecedented change in interest rates over the past 18 months, we have met with a lot of clients about refinancing and what makes sense (before rates went up) and now with higher rates, is it worth paying down those debts or if it is a variable rate, how to navigate a spike in payments. A lot has changed on this front since fall of 2021, and we have continued to look at what’s going on and help with our recommendations.

Another area we help with too is tax strategies. While we are not CPA’s and can’t give tax advice, we sure can help with tax strategies. A few of these include tax loss harvesting which is something we do every year to help eliminate or minimize capital gains.

Charitable giving comes up a lot as well, especially now that the IRS Standard Deduction is so high. If you’re over 73 years old, does a Qualified Charitable Contribution from your IRA make sense? Does giving appreciated stock or opening a Donor Advised Fund work for you?  What about a Roth conversion in a year of low income or before starting Social Security?

If you’re self-employed, there are a vast number of options for retirement plans, working on cash flow fluctuations in your business and so forth. Do you have kids or grandkids that you’re concerned about being able to afford education and does a 529 or other vehicle make sense? The laws continue to change with many of these strategies including the Secure Act 2.0 that just passed at the end of 2022.

At Capstone, the financial planning, including the above and much more, is included with your relationship with us. Call us today to see if we can dig deeper into the holistic financial planning approach, not just on your investments, but your overall financial health and goals.