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So far Mike McCann has created 58 blog entries.

Managing Cash Flow from Multiple Incomes

McCann-WEBManaging cash flow from multiple incomes can be complicated, and individuals often don’t differentiate the incomes in their financial planning, either from a tax standpoint or in retirement planning. Because their cash flow is often inconsistent, many people believe they can’t consistently carry out any financial planning.

Case Study

For example, several of my physician clients, especially those who are members of specialty partnerships, receive two types of income. One is a traditional salary or hourly wage received for direct patient care and is addressed from an income-tax-standpoint with W2 withholdings. The second might be self-employment income or profit-sharing distributions based on the net profitability of the group; this may be distributed annually or throughout the year, and it is treated differently with regard to taxes.

The Strategy

Inconsistency of cash flow is actually a key factor that makes financial planning all the more necessary. Ongoing review and planning can help bring a level of financial stability that in turn helps bring peace of mind.

One challenge to managing multiple income sources is that some physicians may view their partnership distribution each year as a windfall and end up not saving or not planning with that money. Conversely, they may get discouraged in a given year if there are no profit-sharing distributions from the partnership, and they were counting on that income.

Finding a balance and managing the proper lifestyle to the variable income helps both in the short term and long term. Prioritizing goals is an important initial step in that direction. While most people’s goals may be similar (investing for retirement or college, buying a new home or vehicle, paying down debt, saving up for a dream vacation), each goal may have a different rank depending upon one’s age, income, dreams and priorities. Which goals will be funded first with the reliable income? Which will be funded last (or less), in the event the variable income does not meet expectations in a given year?

The Action Plan

The key to remember is that everyone’s situation, and therefore solution, will be a little bit different. Working with a professional to create a comprehensive personal plan can be the first step in managing multiple employment income sources. Periodic review, adjustments and fine-tuning of that plan and your investments will help foster peace of mind and maintain a path of ongoing financial stability.

Creating flexibility within your financial plan helps to ease the discomfort of inconsistencies in cash flow from year to year.

By |2019-08-14T13:59:57-07:00May 17th, 2016|Client Stories, Financial Planning|

365 Days of Gratitude

McCann-webThanksgiving came and went. We all said our thanks and then moved on to prepare for the next round of holidays – Hanukkah, Christmas, New Year’s Day. Yet, wouldn’t it be great if we embraced the spirit of giving thanks all year long?

Many of us take time in December to review goals and make plans for the coming year. That’s an important part of achieving success. At the same time, let’s plan to take a moment every day to reflect on our efforts and give thanks for what we’ve experienced.

A few years ago, I read a slim memoir by John Kralik, 365 Thank Yous: The Year a Simple Act of Daily Gratitude Changed My Life. The premise was simple. Kralik was facing the end of a terrible year and bleak picture of his life – a failing business, two divorces, distant relationships with his adult children, health issues due to being 40 pounds overweight. He knew something needed to change, but he didn’t have the wherewithal to take on anything big.

Inspired by a simple thank you note he received in the mail, Kralik committed to a simple experiment. He would write one thank you each day in the coming year.

He began by writing thank yous for Christmas gifts he’d received. Easy enough. As the year progressed, however, he struggled to find something daily for which he could be thankful. He had to dig deep. He wrote a note of gratitude to a client who paid her bill on time. He penned a thank you to the barista who greeted him with a smile. He sent a note to a friend who met him for a Friday lunch after a hard week.  Kralik realized over time that thinking about small blessings each day improved his attitude and made life’s challenges easier to overcome. His life improved in ways he never expected.

The connection between gratitude and success has been touted by many – from John F. Kennedy and Oprah Winfrey to Charles Schwab and Willie Nelson. It’s something we all can embrace.

“Develop an attitude of gratitude,” said Brian Tracy, international entrepreneur and best-selling author, “and give thanks for everything that happens to you, knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than your current situation.”

By |2019-08-14T13:59:58-07:00January 4th, 2016|Advisors, Books, Current Affairs|

What is Your Big Picture?

McCann-webWe talk a lot about the importance of having a financial plan. But financial planning is not the big picture. It is just one piece of the puzzle.

Financial planning is an important tool that can help you articulate and organize your goals, and create and implement a strategy to achieve those goals. It goes hand in hand with your personal investment policy statement (IPS), which puts your investment goals and strategies in writing and helps you commit to a disciplined plan. Once those pieces are in place, you’re free to focus on the true “big picture” – enjoying life.

This broader perspective is central to everything we do for our clients. While we keep a close eye on your investment portfolio and stay up-to-date on news and events that may impact your investments, you can go about your daily business and focus on the things most important to you — family, friends, career, education, hobbies, community.

If and when your focus shifts, let us know. Change is inevitable. Your financial plan was designed to be flexible and fluid to adapt to life changes both big and small. Whether you’re considering a career change or a new car purchase, we can be a sounding board for ideas on how to make your ambition a reality.

In the 20 plus years I’ve been working as a financial advisor, I’ve had the pleasure of working with and knowing clients as they’ve launched new business ventures, gotten married, welcomed babies into their families, taken dream vacations and embraced hard-earned retirement life. I’ve also had the honor of assisting as they’ve dealt with illnesses, unemployment and the loss of loved ones. The personal fulfillment that comes from that interaction is an important part of my big picture.

Have you thought about your big picture? What makes you happy from one day to the next? If you feel like a piece of that big picture is missing, let’s work together to fill in the blanks.

By |2019-08-14T14:00:01-07:00February 24th, 2015|Financial Planning|

Seeing the Big Picture and Defining Success

I’ve always believed successful financial management was more than crunching numbers, researching the analytics, and applying market principles and applicable tax laws. While there are certainly prerequisites to financial success, the real key to successfully managing your finances is knowing and managing yourself.

Poor financial decisions often the result of not being able to see the big picture, looking at the short field rather than the long horizon, of not having proper perspective. This is certainly true with our personal lives, as well.

Last month, I gained a new perspective on my world when I served with a medical mission team in rural Guatemala. Excited for a new adventure, I agreed to participate without knowing much detail (and without having any medical training or speaking any Spanish). At a pre-trip meeting a few weeks out, we were told not to bring anything that would be upsetting to lose, to pack light, dress down, don’t walk alone or at night, and “try not to look like money.”

Upon arriving, a four-hour drive immersed us into a new reality — heavy air pollution, dilapidated housing, chaotic traffic, loose livestock and an endless stream of people walking on the side of the road all carrying various supplies on their backs, heads and arms.

We set up temporary medical clinics each day in small villages. The typical venue was a rectangular hall in which we strung up rope and tarps to make a couple private exam rooms. We had two doctors, some local translators (Spanish and K’iche’, one of the Mayan languages), and a suitcase pharmacy stocked with basic needs. Guatemalans trust American doctors far more than their own, and for the most part this was their only doctor visit for the year.

One of our team members, a Guatemalan native who immigrated to the United States in the 1970s, helped collect 14 suitcases full of clothing, shoes, hats and toys to distribute. Additionally, we had our 16-year-old “eye doctor” who had collected glasses over the last year and was prepared to test vision and provide a best-effort fit. Both were very popular. Many of the people in these villages do not have running water and electricity, much less these basic daily necessities.

Traditional (Mayan) garb was worn by most women and girls. Boys wore ragged jeans and t-shirts. Most shoes were quite worn, typically with holes. Despite my best efforts, wearing plain gray t-shirts and brown hiking shoes, I still looked like money.

Lots of children hang around unsupervised during and after school. My job on the team soon became keeping the kids out of the way and entertained. Many of them got to throw a Frisbee and (American) football for the first time. We also joined them for soccer, and clearly gave up any competitive advantage.

Our success in life, and how we define it, can often be found by stepping back once in a while and taking in the big picture.

By |2019-08-14T14:00:07-07:00May 27th, 2014|Advisors, Charitable Giving, Company News|

Planning for the Uncertainty of Health Care Reform

Those working in the health care field are being impacted on multiple levels when it comes to health care reform, as the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a Obamacare) touches both your personal and professional lives. Yet, so many of the changes and their effects are largely out of your direct control.

With the tremendous uncertainty of the long-term effects of health care reform, you may do better by looking within — control what you can to help bring peace to your world. Begin by taking inventory of your assets, liabilities, income and expenses. Understanding where you stand financially will help you respond to changes and make decisions based on facts rather than emotions.

Focus on protecting your income. Network and talk with your peers to learn what they may be doing. Evaluate your alternatives and consider ways to diversify your revenue where possible. Purchasing disability insurance is essential, as well as life insurance if others depend on you and your income.

Following are four areas of your financial life that you can control, even in the face of broader uncertainty.

Cash Management

If you have steady employment, set aside at least three months of your after-tax expenses in a checking or savings account as an emergency fund. If you are self-employed with a variable income, increase this number to at least six months.

Debt Management

Debt and stress are often correlated. Reducing your debt can help reduce the financial stress caused by uncertainty in other areas. For existing debt, look for ways to consolidate loans and reduce interest rates. Pay down loans where possible.

Do not take on new debt for depreciating assets such as cars and vacations. If you don’t have the excess cash, you may want to reconsider whether the purchase makes sense for you at this time. Also, if possible, avoid taking on new debt to upgrade your house (whether for a remodel or a move), particularly if you are 50 years or age and older.

Expense Management

Many people cringe at the suggestion of creating a budget, but the truth is that a budget can bring tremendous peace of mind.

Review your current and ongoing expenses to evaluate those items that are no longer important to you (subscriptions perhaps). Trips that are normally planned on late notice can be less expensive with more advance planning. And many entertainment choices can be pared back financially by 10 to 20 percent without reducing their enjoyment.

Asset Management

Do you have your nest egg taking the appropriate amount of risk for your situation? Greater uncertainty in your income could be offset by more certainty with your investments.

Working with a qualified financial planner can help you determine your personal and financial goals, needs and priorities; outline a time frame for achieving results; and understand your tolerance for financial risk. An advisor with a comprehensive knowledge of diverse financial issues — such as taxes, investments, retirement planning, estate planning and insurance — can help you understand long-term planning and the big picture, which in turn can help put your mind at ease.

By |2019-08-14T14:00:09-07:00December 17th, 2013|Financial Planning, Health Care, Insurance|