Drafting Your Team
The annual NFL draft recently took place. As a Houston Texans fan, it has been a bleak few years of fandom. I closely monitored the draft in hopes the Texans would acquire some much needed support toward building the foundation for a winning team. If you have never watched the NFL draft, it is quite the spectacle. Teams are feverishly negotiating trades of their designated picks, up or down, to better position their chance to win the elusive Super Bowl. Months of analysis go into the decisions of what positions the team should draft based on weaknesses within the team. Just like in football, it takes all the right people to put together a winning team for your financial success. This same due diligence should be used in drafting your team of professionals to win your own financial Super Bowl. The three key professionals you should have on your financial planning team are a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and an attorney.
Accountants and tax preparers can be found anywhere you look. Consider locating a professional who has earned their Certified Public Accountant (CPA) designation to be on your team. For many people, this teammate should be providing more than just tax preparation. Make sure this draft pick will provide you with guidance and recommendations on your taxes. They should also be working with the rest of your team to help ensure that your financial plan is successful. Find someone who is annually reviewing items such as retirement contribution options and ensuring your financial plan is carried out most tax efficiently.
Similarly, if you perform an internet search for financial planner, the volume of results are overwhelming. Narrow your searches by finding a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ to be on your lineup. This professional has a fiduciary responsibility and is required to act in the best interest of their clients. This teammate should not only keep up with your investments, but also prepare a plan for your financial goals and estate planning. They are an integral part of the team.
Lastly, make sure to have an attorney on the roster. Find an attorney who practices estate planning and administration. These professionals have a specialized focus on the nuances within the world of financial planning. Have the attorney draft and/or regularly review your already existing will and Power of Attorney documents. This teammate should consult with both your CPA and CFP® professionals to make sure current legislation and estate tax considerations are taken into consideration.
Just as the teams do in the NFL draft year over year, review your team to make sure you have strong teammates in all three positions. If any of the positions on your financial planning team are currently vacant, consider drafting the positions as soon as possible to better your chances of financial success. Last, but certainly not least, GO TEXANS!
Published in the Victoria Advocate
Christopher Laughhunn CPA/CFP® is the Tax & Accounting Principal for Keller & Associates CPAs, PLLC and an Associate Advisor for KMH Wealth Management, LLC.