The Aptus financial planning process includes three phases, focused on cash flow management, contingency planning and investment strategy, respectively. You are tasked with implementing our recommendations, but we provide detailed to-do lists, guidance and support.
Phase 1—Cash Flows
During the first phase of planning, we address your planning goals, big picture questions, income, expenses and assets. We’ll discuss how to use a cash flow system to make sure that you’re spending money in ways that bring you happiness and/or peace of mind. We’ll also try to sharpen up spending and saving assumptions to help us understand how your nest egg might grow and eventually support your retirement.
During the second phase, we talk about near- and long-term life contingencies that you need to plan for, save for or insure against. This includes cars, dream homes, healthcare, college tuition, start-up businesses, emergency funds, elder care, long-term care, disability insurance, liability insurance and life insurance.
Our final phase focuses on investments. Aptus recommends a simple, very effective investment strategy aimed at minimizing taxes and fees. We first help you follow our Waterfall of Tax-Efficient Investing to determine how to best utilize your available investment accounts, including employer retirement plans, HSAs, "backdoor" Roth IRAs and taxable accounts. We then help you appropriately allocate money between stocks and bonds. Finally, we recommend investing in low-fee, index funds to efficiently capture the returns associated with very broad stock and bond market indices.
Common Financial Planning Questions We Address
Should I contribute to a Roth or Traditional 401(k)?
Should I do a backdoor Roth IRA?
Should I refinance my student loans or stay in the PSLF?
Should I put my student loans in the IBR or REPAYE program?
Should I rent or buy a home during my medical residency?
Should I save for a down payment on a home or pay down student loans?
How should I invest in my 403(b)?
Should I use the 457 plan? How do I vet the financial viability of my hospital to determine if it is good to use?
How much should I save for college? How do I open and invest in a 529 plan?
How can I use individual 401(k)s with 1099 income?
How much do I need to save to retire or achieve “work optional” status by age 50 or 60?
How much home can I afford?
Should I use the HSA or the regular health plan at work?
Should I pay health expenses with the HSA or out of pocket?
How can I set up my own investment accounts?
Where should I invest my money?
How do I allocate accounts across a portfolio to keep bond income out of taxable accounts?
What is the best money management system that works for your clients?
How do you set up savings accruals to keep a money management system working?
Can you help me vet two job opportunities with different pay and benefits?
A Plan You Can Trust
Aptus Financial is committed to providing transparent, objective, and non-conflicted advice for a simple, fair hourly rate. The firm does not sell any products. We do not pay nor receive payment for referrals. We do not receive investment kickbacks or insurance premiums.
A Plan Tailored to You
At Aptus, you can expect more personal attention and guidance to help you reach your financial goals. We use a proprietary financial model that allows a customized and personalized analysis. It aggregates your goals, objectives and values in life, and then finds a path to get there.
A Plan With No Agenda
Aptus Financial makes financial planning the central focus of our services. We charge you directly for our financial planning services vs charging an annual fee formulated from a set percentage of total investments managed. You can choose from a menu of services or seek advice on an hourly basis.
Early career financial planning has a big effect on the quality of life you’ll enjoy in the coming years. Small decisions now – for good or bad – will have an outsized impact down the road. We help you make major financial decisions by running the cost of those decisions alongside saving and spending goals.
In the middle career stage, we simulate the performance of your current investments and how much you are saving each month to ensure that you are on track to retire when you want to retire.
Late career financial planning is the last stop to retirement and answers the questions “Can I retire and how?” We make a plan to use your remaining working years to fill in any savings gaps.