Building Your Financial Team

Thanks to everyone who attended the February 12th session ‘Building Your Financial Team’! We appreciated all of the questions and contributions that made for an interesting discussion. An extra note of gratitude for our presenters, Marisa and Aimee! They dropped so much knowledge during our last session that we couldn’t possibly capture it all. Luckily we’ve included the session recording below, along with a summary of key points and some additional resources. 

But first, we’d like to share Marisa and Aimee’s contact info:  

Aimee D. Griffin, Esq.

Marisa Bosovic, CFP®, RICP®, ChFC®, CLU

Organizing Your Financial Information

The first step to meeting with a financial planner or estate attorney is organizing your financial information. Here are a few calculators you can use to get started.

Budget Calculators: You Can Deal With It | Voya

Net Worth Calculators: NerdWallet |

Key Financial Planning Takeaways

  • Work only with Certified Financial Planners, who must act in your best interest.
    One of the most significant factors in the 2008 financial crisis was people relying on advice from stock brokers and other professionals whose main concern was promoting investment options that would result in more money for them rather than focusing on the client’s best interests. 
  • Start your financial planning search by visiting and
    These websites provide more info about the people you’re considering working with.
  • Life insurance and real estate are the top two mechanisms for wealth transfer in the US.
    Remember that life insurance and burial insurance are two different things. Burial insurance is mainly geared towards covering funeral costs, whereas life insurance is intended to provide tax-free income for loved ones and future generations.
  • Don’t assume that you can’t afford a financial advisor, or or that you don’t have enough assets to warrant one.
    If you don’t own a home/property, don’t have a lot saved up, or haven’t done other basic things (like getting insurance to care for your family), don’t let feelings of embarrassment about not being where you think you should be keep you from taking action. You won’t know the cost or minimum asset amount until you ask. Visit and to identify financial planners who work with people in similar situations. 
  • Paying for a financial planner is well worth the investment in the long run.
    If you want to create generational wealth, work with a CFP who can take your information (monthly income and expenses, what you have in terms of investments, assets, insurance, pensions, and other retirement accounts, etc.), evaluate your entire financial landscape and work with you to develop a plan that has concrete steps you can take toward financial security. They can help minimize your tax burden, ensure you have enough funds to last throughout your retirement, and maximize what you leave behind for your loved ones. 

Key Estate Planning Takeaways

  • Find a lawyer specializing in estate planning, which includes many aspects, including wealth creation and management, Health Care Proxy, succession planning, life insurance, and more.
    Aimee’s Family Legacy Pyramid lists factors to consider when you want to ensure there’s enough money to protect your lifestyle, ensure your family is OK after you pass, and enable giving back to your community or the charities of your choice.
  • Understand the difference between a will and a trust and the implications for both.
    Wills are processed via probate court, are public record, and your assets will be subject to court fees, taxes, and/or claims from creditors (e.g., utilities, hospitals, etc.). Trusts are a private contract that enables you to maintain privacy, shield assets from taxes, court fees, etc., and maximize the amount left for your loved one. It also allows you to restrict when money is distributed and how it can be used. 
  • There are two approaches to Legacy planning: Centralized and decentralized.
    The centralized approach puts all the assets into one trust and creates an entity that distributes money to your beneficiaries (e.g., $900k supporting three different beneficiaries). A decentralized approach distributes assets to each beneficiary according to your rules (e.g., $900k split evenly so each beneficiary gets $300k).
  •  Do not put your kids’ names on the deed to your property–it could have negative implications for capital gains tax!
    For example, if you purchased your in the 1950s for $50,000 and now it’s worth $550,000, your child would have to pay capital gains taxes on the difference between 50,000 and 550,000 if their name is also on the deed. If you transfer that property upon death instead, your children could receive a tax break (Step Up In Tax Basis), meaning no capital gains tax.
  • Consider getting life insurance policies when your children and grandchildren are young.
    Over time it’ll build equity and become an asset they can borrow against for college or buying a first home. If structured correctly, you can set things up so they never have to worry about paying premiums and so that those assets are added to the trust to accrue non-taxable income to support future generations.

Business owners: Make sure you have a succession plan! This will ensure that everyone is clear on what will happen in the event of you becoming disabled, getting a divorce, departing or dissolving the business, or upon your death. 

Check out the session recording below to hear about other topics that came up, including how to talk to parents about estate planning, the difference between revocable and irrevocable trusts, and how to leave money for loved ones without incurring taxes.


Previous Sessions

Tax Strategy 101

Thanks to everyone who joined our first Onyx Wednesday session–and a special shout out to Kevin Ozenne for all the

Read More »