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Life Expectancy and Plan Duration

The duration of a client’s modeled financial plan – or of the client’s life for purposes of that planning – is a factor that often receives little thought or consideration when we are putting together a financial plan. After all, the software automatically calculates a life expectancy based on the client’s date of birth and gender or, if married, based on the dates of birth and gender of both primary persons. That life expectancy is set at or near the eightieth percentile of the mortality tables, meaning that using the default would mean that the client would be expected to outlive eighty percent of his or her peers.

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Planning with Client Debt

Debt takes many forms and is present in most client financial situations. This tells us that finding the best way to address that debt in our planning is an important part of our task. As a first step, it is useful to understand that debt is a tool and so there really is not good or bad debt, just debt that may have a variety of impacts, both positive and negative, on our clients.

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Updating Plan Cash Flows

While a great deal of attention may be given to setting client goals and cash flows in the initial planning process, we often find clients and advisors alike taking only a cursory look at those items when it comes time for a plan update. When the client’s goals and life have not really changed much over a few years, the plan may not be altered significantly beyond updating the account values and checking the results. If the plan remains in the comfort zone, everyone is satisfied and little remains to be done. If this describes your typical process, then both you and the client may be in for some surprises down the road.

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Plan Models and Asset Allocation Issues

One of the five major levers in a client’s Wealthcare plan is the client’s asset allocation. When we put together a plan with its cash flows and the dates and amounts specific to each of the major and minor goals it is critical to not overlook the role asset allocation plays in the calculation of the plan results and determination of the reasonably expected confidence level for our clients.

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Wealthcare Business Models

Working with Wealthcare | A Business Model Comparison

Determine which model suits your practice.

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Branch Office Blueprint

If you’ve ever contemplated starting your own advisory firm with a vision
toward reaching a billion dollars of assets under management, Wealthcare
Advisory Partners LLC (Wealthcare) is looking to partner with you.

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Goals-Based Investing by Wealthcare

Short video describing the benefits of Goals-Based Investing. Watch Video

Monitoring and Advice

MONITORING AND ADVICE

Planning vs. Plan

Creating a plan is just the a beginning.  Become indispensable to your clients by providing ongoing, life-relative advice. 

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Understanding Goals-Based Wealth Management

We don’t think you have to maximize clients’ risk tolerance to achieve their goals.

 

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Why Wealthcare

WHY WEALTHCARE

Grow your business. Scale your practice. Add more value.

Wealthcare is the originator of the Goals-Based Wealth Management (GBWM) movement. We continue to
pioneer the evolution of goals-centric guidance and financial advising.

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Interview and Discovery

INTERVIEW & DISCOVERY

The Wealthcare process fosters deeper conversations and offers insight into your clients’ life goals and
priorities.

 

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Introducing Clients to Wealthcare

INTRODUCING CLIENTS TO WEALTHCARE

Show your clients how their dreams take on real meaning within the Wealthcare Process.

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Wealthcare Capital Management Client Brochure

Life + Investing

Aligning Assets with Goals for Achieving a Fulfilling Life

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Planning for Special Needs Persons

A special needs person is one who has mental or physical disabilities which prevent the person from enjoying life fully. Clients who have a special needs person in their family – and there are many – often seek advice and assistance in making appropriate provision for the special needs person. Whether a minor or an adult, the special needs person can be benefitted significantly by gifts from their family members or through planning for their own assets.

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Planning Considerations with Inflation

One interesting aspect of planning for your clients’ future is how inflation plays into the overall financial plan and its results . This seemingly minor factor can have an enormous impact on the client’s confidence level and if misused can cause serious problems as time passes.

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Wealthcare Capital Management Expands National Footprint; Launches Mid-Atlantic Headquarters in Philadelphia

Demand for Goals-Based Investing Fuels Growth

Wealthcare Capital Management a nationally recognized wealth management firm today announced its continued growth and the launch of its Mid-Atlantic regional headquarters, in West Chester, PA. The new location will enable Wealthcare to capitalize on both the continuing demand for its offerings and the overwhelming market opportunity for traditional, strategic investment counsel.

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Interview & Discovery

IT ALL STARTS WITH A
GREAT CONVERSATION...

A conversation that helps you visualize your most important goals and helps your advisor create a life plan for achieving those goals.

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What's Wealthcare

Wealthcare is a financial advisory platform that aligns your money with what matters most to you, empowering you to make better decisions to help you achieve your life goals.

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Including Adult Children in Your Plan

Family dynamics are an important influence in the process of discovering a client’s goals and objectives and creating a wealth plan designed to support those goals. What clients want for their adult children, as well as what those children need, is an important subject for discussion and planning attention with your advisor.

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When Should I Retire?

For those of us still working, choosing a retirement age is likely to be an issue we think is important but equally likely
to be something we have not really decided. Probably the most important thing to know about this decision is that it
will be – or should be – unique to you and your life. Usually, though the conversation about retirement starts with…

…What everyone else is doing

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A Primer On Section 529 Plans

The section 529 plan – named after a section of the Internal Revenue Code enacted less than twenty years ago – provides an effective way to save for college expenses. Today over ten million investors participate in these plans with more than $200 billion invested. If you have children or grandchildren with college plans for their future, it might be beneficial to look into the section 529 plan as a part of your funding strategy. Of course, you can contribute to a section 529 plan for your own higher education, too.

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What Financial Issues Do You Worry About?

One reason people seek financial advice is to become more comfortable with a variety of issues related to their finances. “I want to be able to sleep at night” is how one client described her focus on getting a solid wealth plan in place. Another client approach to financial issues has been to ask “what things should I be worrying about and what things do I not need to be concerned with in my finances?”

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Always Put the Oxygen Mask on Yourself First

If you’ve ever flown anywhere, you’re familiar with the pre-flight ritual where a cheery flight attendant explains how to use a seat belt and where the exits are located. They also explain that in the event of an emergency, you should put the oxygen mask on yourself first before helping your children or others.

With that in mind, let me ask you a question:

Would you take money from your 401(k) to pay for your child’s college education?

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The Wealthcare Effect

Wealthcare advisors pull back the curtain to explain how Wealthcare has changed their lives, their businesses, and the relationships they have with their clients.

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Monitoring & Advice

Wealthcare advisors explain how the Wealthcare Planning process is about far more than just creating a financial plan. Our system of ongoing monitoring and consistently updated advice helps advisors stay on point and clients stay on track.

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Interview & Discovery

The first time a Wealthcare advisor talks with a client is more than a meeting to discuss finances. It is the start of a Goals-Based relationship that transcends the advisor-client experience for all parties involved.

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Why Wealthcare

Wealthcare advisors discuss how Wealthcare has affected their lives, and why Wealthcare is the right choice for them going forward.

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Principled Wealth Solutions

Learn more about our disciplined investment choices that are

1) cost-effective

2) risk-managed

3) goal-connected 

4) aligned with investor preferences

We believe this is the most effective way to help clients stay the course, and remain committed to their chosen investment strategy; thus avoiding behavioral missteps, and enabling them to confidently fund the goals they value most.

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Planning Small Business Succession - The Next Level

Many of our wealthier and more successful clients are involved in some form of small business, sometimes inherited but often built up over a lifetime of hard work and entrepreneurship. Small is a relative term here since a small business could be a multi-million dollar firm with dozens of employees or a one-person shop. When we build a wealth plan for such clients, the business usually plays an important role, providing substantial income in the years up to retirement and the expectation of ongoing income or a lump sum in retirement. This information is factored into the plan and helps define the range of goals the client hopes to accomplish over the years. In some cases, the small business is what makes the entire client financial plan work, based on the client’s reporting of the income they’ve experienced in the past and predict for the future.

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Vacation Home or Second Home Planning

A goal for many clients is the acquisition of a second or vacation home, often in another state from the primary client residence. When a client asks for advice – hopefully they do this BEFORE telling you they have made the purchase – there are many considerations worth addressing. 

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Planning for Client Rental Property – The Next Level

Clients sometimes pursue the ownership of rental property – business or residential – as an investment approach and source of income before and during retirement. When we are building a financial plan, we likely include the estimated value of the property as a non‐investment asset and enter an income figure representing net income (after expenses and either before or after taxes) as a cash flow in the plan. Interestingly, there is a lot more to the ownership of property and its treatment in a client’s financial plan than these simple, ballpark entries. If an advisor is to provide the best advice to a client owning (or considering purchasing) rental property and to model it effectively in the financial plan, there are specific questions to ask and develop with the client.

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Life Insurance Planning - The Next Level

A standard question we raise with our clients asks about life insurance they may have in place. To accurately model life insurance needs, we need several pieces of specific information. Of course, when we are assuming clients living to their life expectancy most term policies will have no impact.  Permanent life insurance on the second to die can be helpful in estate planning and coverage on the first to die might also be used here.

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Modeling Health Care Costs

The cost of health care continues to be an important part of our lives and, as such, is a factor to be considered in our clients’ financial plans. As advisors we need to be aware not only of how the client is currently addressing these costs but also of the individualized situations that drive the level of care and cost. Traditionally, the Wealthcare approach avoids budgeting – itemization – of ongoing costs in the years prior to retirement, although one-time events financed from client assets will be specified in the plan. Even so, it is important to be aware of the role health care costs play and to model them where necessary to the plan.

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Planning Options with a Primary Residence

A client’s home – primary residence – may be one of the most valuable assets a client possesses and the client may wish to have the home included in the financial plan. Advising the client on the options available and how the home may affect the client’s financial and related goals is an important task for the advisor. Here are some considerations for the discussion with the client and including the home in the plan.

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The ABLE Section 529A Plan

We all are probably familiar with the college savings technique called the Section 529 plan. Now a new flavor of the 529 plan – the ABLE plan authorized by Section 529A – has arrived to provide a savings option for the disabled. The acronym stands for Achieving a Better Life Experience and the new legislation, passed in December 2014, allows states to sponsor plans under which disabled persons may save contributions which are allowed to grow tax-free and may be withdrawn tax-free for qualifying expenses.

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Client Rights In Irrevocable Trusts

Many clients have one or more trusts as a part of their financial plan or, more particularly, an estate plan. Where the trust is one created by the client – the grantor of the trust – the type of trust and the identity of the trustee are important to how the trust works in the plan and how the client may be affected. Where the trust involved is a revocable trust, the client grantor is typically also the trustee and so there is no real opportunity for conflict while the client is alive. In planning with such a trust, we look through the trust to the client and model the trust as an asset of the client, with the same tax ID and income tax implications as any other client asset.

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College Aid and the Expected Family Contribution

When clients with college‐bound children examine their options for funding that education, the financial aid available to a child may be an important part of the picture. Whether and how much federal student aid is available may be determined through the free application for federal student aid (FAFSA).

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Issues With Parental Purchase of a Home for Child

Parents often desire to help their adult children in a variety of ways. Where a child is starting out or has encountered difficulties with life, including such setbacks as divorce, the loss of a job, illness or disability, a major gift such as a home is often contemplated by parents willing and able to help. The offer of a home may be to ensure that the child lives in a better neighborhood or residence than the child might be able to afford, to preserve the independence of both the parent and child from each other, to provide proper housing for a grandchild, or other similar reasons.

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Master Limited Partnership Interests Held in an IRA

Master Limited Partnership (MLP) interests are typically investments in the oil and gas industry and are complex in nature. The complexity is such that MLPs are not often understood by investors. Further, MLPs carry high expense for the investor and high commissions for the sellers. That is something to think about before signing on the dotted line.

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Planning for Excess 529 Plan Balances

The popularity and effectiveness of Section 529 plans as a vehicle for funding higher education has led to some cases where the beneficiary has completed their higher education goal and a substantial balance remains in the 529 plan they used. Depending on the particular circumstances of the client owner of the plan, there are a number of options available.

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Life Tenant Rights and Responsibilities

As an advisor, you may occasionally come across a client who is a life tenant in real property, a person holding a remainder interest in a property subject to a life tenancy or even as a person who desires to establish a life tenancy for another in property he or she owns. In any of these cases, the advice you provide the client will necessarily be affected by the existence of the life tenancy interest and its interplay with the client’s wealth plan.

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Clients and Prenuptial Agreements

With the U.S. averaging one divorce for every two marriages each year, it is no surprise that prenuptial agreements have been receiving increased attention in the media, among clients and with advisors. Whether your client already has a prenuptial agreement in place or is considering one for a planned marriage of the client or perhaps a child, it is important to have a basic understanding of the concept.

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Division of an IRA Due to Divorce

An IRA may be one of the most important and valuable client assets you manage and a central part of a financial plan. It comes as no surprise that in the event of a client divorce, the division of assets pursuant to the divorce may include a division of a client’s IRA. Fortunately, the Internal Revenue Code provides for a tax‐free transfer of IRA assets in the context of the owner’s divorce (Title 26 US Code Section 408(d)(6)). However, it is important to know that the spouse receiving the IRA assets related to a divorce remains subject to the 10% penalty for distributions taken from that transferred account prior to the spouse attaining age 59 ½ or qualifying for another exception.

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Planning for Future Sales and Purchases - The Next Level

Most financial plans include major inflows or outflows the client expects will occur in the future. These items might include the purchase of a vacation or second home, an expected inheritance, the sale of a business, downsizing into a smaller home, implementing a gifting plan and the like. These events are important to your clients and to you. How your client understands each event – and how you model them – will have a significant impact on the plan and the likelihood client will achieve his or her most valued goals.

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Primer on Section 529 Plans

The section 529 plan – named after a section of the Internal Revenue Code enacted less than twenty years ago – provides an effective way to save for college expenses. Today over ten million investors participate in these plans with more than $200 billion invested. If you have children or grandchildren with college plans for their future, it might be beneficial to look into the section 529 plan as a part of your funding strategy.

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Basics of Modeling Charitable Trusts

A comprehensive financial plan sometimes will need to consider charitable trusts and how they affect a client’s financial situation. A client may have already implemented such a trust or may be contemplating using one as a part of an estate plan. Whatever the reason, understanding how these trusts relate to the overall financial plan is necessary for that plan and our advice to really work. This article is not intended to be a primer on charitable trusts, though necessarily many aspects of those trusts will be addressed. Instead, the focus is on the way to model the pieces that affect the financial plan and to gather the appropriate information for that modeling.

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Distribution Options For Inherited NQ Annuities

Annuities are one of the predominant products sold to individuals by insurance companies. Purchased with after‐tax dollars, these annuities are called non‐qualified to differentiate them from qualified annuities (e.g. IRA account) which are typically funded by pre‐tax dollars. A common client question about these annuities is what options might be available when a client beneficiary inherits an annuity purchased by another.

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Saving Taxes With Recharacterization Planning

A recharacterization is an IRS approved technique to undo a prior transaction in a Roth or Traditional IRA and redirect the money from that transaction to a different Roth or Traditional IRA. With the widespread use of Roth conversions beginning in 2010, much interest in the workings of recharacterizations has arisen. The technique also has proven useful over the years in recharacterizing a taxpayer’s contributions (as opposed to conversion) to one type of IRA as contributions to another.

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Wealthcare Capital Management ETF Asset Allocation Analysis

This tool features sample asset allocations utilizing benchmark unmanaged indices.

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The Wealthcare Client Questionnaire

Understanding your clients' life goals and their priorities among the goals means understanding your clients. By rethinking risk in terms of meeting specific goals-such as retiring early or traveling the world--rather than using mathematical risk tolerances, you are better able to understand your clients' needs and to create investment strategies that meet those needs. Our Wealthcare questionnaire is the first step in this process.

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