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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
For more sophisticated investors who are interested in opportunities beyond publicly traded stock and bond markets, alternative investments can play an important role in diversifying your portfolio through broader exposure.
Alternative investments can be tangible assets like precious metals, art, or wine, but are usually financial assets like private equity, private credit, hedge funds, or private real estate.
They can be a powerful tool to help achieve greater portfolio diversification, add protection in falling markets, cut down on volatility, and have the potential to generate higher yields over the long term.
Northwestern Mutual offers a variety of alternative investment products, including interval funds, hedge funds, private credit funds, private equity funds, private real estate funds, and opportunity zone funds.
However, because alternative investments tend to carry a high level of risk and low liquidity, they aren’t right for everyone. Let’s talk about if they make sense for your investment strategy.