Understanding People Before Numbers
We serve retirees, inheritors, olim, divorcees, professionals, entrepreneurs, dual citizens, and more. Here is a sampling of how we help people with different needs and goals.
Click on the green bars below to see how we help each of these different groups.
Ideally, retirement planning begins decades before R-day, but that doesn’t always happen. A recent retiree came into the office carrying pension plan and kupat gemel reports along with investment and bank account statements, and said that since he was now rich, he wanted to give big gifts to his grandchildren. We explained that although the sum of his total assets seemed rather large on paper, before he could give away his money, he had to make sure he and his wife would be fiscally secure without it.
We compiled a financial plan, taking into account the possibility of medical bills in the future, and determined a way to give him a secure income stream, as well as the best way to gift money to his family. We opened accounts for his grandchildren and were able to educate them about how to best use the unexpected financial windfall.
A woman came to us after her spouse died. He left a sizeable estate, but since he was in charge of the family finances, she wasn’t sure how to proceed. Furthermore, since she focused on the family and volunteer work, she didn’t have a pension or bituach minahalim (Israeli pension plan). We helped her understand how her assets were currently distributed, helped her clarify her goals and risk tolerance, and then worked to create a financial plan that would provide her with the income and sense of security she wanted and needed.
A teacher in the New York City public school system made aliya with Nefesh B’Nefesh. After she sold her American house, she came to us to invest the proceeds. We rolled over her 401(k) and 403(b) plans into an IRA, and we designed a portfolio that would provide her with regular income until she began employment in Israel. Later, after she began working and set up an Israeli pension plan, we helped her determine how her Israeli pension and savings plans (bituach minahalim, keren hishtalmut, and keren pensia), fit into her asset allocation model. We also advised her how she should manage currency risk, since she lives and earns in shekels while the majority of her investments are in dollars.
A woman came to us after an unexpected divorce. To complicate matters the family was deeply in debt. After referring her to a budget counselor, she gained focus on where she could cut spending. Armed with a budget, we created a financial plan that accounted for her returning to the workforce and funding an emergency fund for unexpected expenses.
We worked together to project future needs, and discussed the necessity of scrimping now even though she felt rather certain that an inheritance windfall would come her way in a decade. Even more important than creating a financial plan was the fact that we helped her understand the repercussions of all the financial decisions she was making.
The Professional Couple
A couple in their early 50s came to us in order to begin their retirement planning. They both worked and had pension plans through work. They were considering early retirement, but understood that if they wanted to give their children large cash gifts (in order to pay for weddings and apartments), they might need to work longer.
We discussed prioritization, and the couple listed their financial goals and the lifestyle changes they might need to make in order to realize their goals. We created a financial snapshot of all their current and future expenses, income, and goals, and then analyzed several different portfolio asset allocations and spending models to create sustainable spending and income levels.
The couple decided that although early retirement sounded nice on paper, they would prefer to work for a few more years and be able to support themselves and their children in the manner they wished.
A business owner requested a meeting because even though his start-up company was successful, his personal expenses were growing. Over the years he opened up different accounts at various financial institutions whenever they advertised a special product. He saved on a regular basis and understood it was important not to go into debt. Even though he “made the month,” he wanted to get a solid understanding of where his finances were going.
We consolidated his holdings and diversified it in one account to make it easy to review and monitor. We created an asset allocation model that took into account all assets, including company stock options, pension plans, bituach minahalim, keren hishtalmut, and real estate. After consulting with his lawyer and accountant, we worked on his estate plan to address the tax burden of leaving an inheritance to family members in different countries and different tax codes.
The Dual Citizen
A client received a lump sum distribution from a U.S.-based trust and was required to file tax returns in two countries. We worked with him and his accountant to structure the portfolio to produce income for him on which to live, as well as be tax-efficient in two jurisdictions.
We help dual citizens plan for currency risk and global diversification. When preparing a financial plan we consult with the appropriate tax and legal professionals about the potential tax implications of leaving inheritances in different countries.
Dual citizens have special needs due to the different tax codes in multiple countries. U.S.-based brokers may not know the questions to ask about the Israeli tax code. Our on-the-ground presence and years of experience means that we know the questions to ask…and can direct you to the answers. Additionally, having a U.S.-based brokerage account makes it easier for American citizens to comply with Uncle Sam’s reporting requirements on assets held abroad.
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