What Should a Financial Plan Include for Alaska State Public Employees?
Being a State of Alaska employee grants you access to great benefits and retirement planning options. However, you may find that understanding all your options and taking advantage of the best ones for you can be a challenge.
Your overall financial picture involves more than just managing your brokerage IRAs and your Empower retirement accounts. You may be concerned your public employee salary won’t be enough to help you meet your current spending needs and future goals. You probably want to make sure you fully understand your pension benefits and are on the path to maximize them.
As a public employee, you may have never thought that a financial plan was something that you needed. However, clarity over your financial situation can be invaluable to financial success. A financial planning process can walk you through your state or federal benefits and identify opportunities outside of your employer-sponsored options. The resulting financial plan should then lay out the exact steps to take to improve your chances of reaching your financial goals.
Here is an example of what a financial planning process should look like for State of Alaska employees.
When you are shopping for a trusted advisor, first make sure the financial planning process includes each of these elements:
Consultation Phone Call
The initial conversation is an opportunity to ask questions and make sure your situation and the advisor’s expertise are all in alignment. It also helps to get to know each other to ensure it’s a good fit personally.
A ‘discovery meeting’ is a more in-depth encounter where your finances will be thoroughly reviewed against your financial aspirations and long-term goals. Aside from establishing a clear-cut vision for your financial life, the purpose of this meeting is to walk you through all the steps to get to your financial plan.
Plan and Proposal Meeting
At this point, your goals are clear and documented and all your most important personal financial details have been reviewed and incorporated into your financial plan. During a plan presentation meeting, you should know exactly how a financial advisor will help you make the most of your money and the exact steps you need to take to improve your chances of financial success. This typically includes a planning proposal with feedback on your financial situation, specific recommendations, expected services, and the total planning fee.
What to expect in your Financial Plan
As a State of Alaska employee, your financial plan should address each of the following areas:
- Life Planning: Money is what helps you to build a fulfilling life and future. Therefore, your values, priorities, and overall vision for your life should be represented in your financial plan so that your dollars are directed to a clearly defined purpose.
- Data Verification through Balance Sheet and Annual Cash Flow: All this means is that your financial life is verified and that your financial plan is based on your actual numbers not rough ideas. You don’t want your financial plan developed on guesswork and speculation.
- Cash Flow Planning: Know where money flows in and out of your life so that you can determine how best to align your spending with your goals.
- Risk Management: Know what level of risk your financial life can withstand without causing irreversible harm to your financial future. Know how much risk you are personally comfortable with so you aren’t led into investments that cause you emotional stress. Even as a state or federal employee, you can have outside investments.
- Estate Planning: Estate planning is what ensures your financial house is in order in the event you are injured and cannot voice your decisions or pass away. Estate plans include your healthcare directives, living will and trusts, and are for anyone who wants to provide security and stability for their loved ones like a spouse and children.
- Retirement Planning: As a public employee you have retirement accounts and pensions, but those things alone are not a retirement plan. A retirement plan will factor in your retirement benefits as a public employee. It will also identify additional opportunities outside of your public employee benefits that can help you reach or exceed your goals in retirement. How much money do you need to retire the way you want to? Where do you want to go? That is what retirement planning is sure to address.
- Tax Planning: Public and private sector employees alike have taxes to account for when it comes to financial planning. No one can escape them. Public employees can benefit greatly from tax planning to ensure that their retirement income and pension benefits aren’t taxed more than necessary.
- Investment Planning: Investing is how you grow your money. Knowing which elections make the most sense within your public retirement account only scratches the surface of what a thoughtful investment strategy can mean for your financial reality.
- Insurance Review: Having the right insurance coverage is critical to protecting your financial interests. You can be over or underinsured, vulnerable in some areas and not others. Your financial plan should take a closer look at your insurance needs and current insurance coverages to make sure you have what you need and understand your options.
- Review of State retirement benefits: As a public employee, your financial plan should include an area devoted to making the most of your unique retirement benefits.
Here’s a recap of what the process and financial plan should include for public employees:
Shopping for Advice- Here’s what to expect:
- Receive a Consultation Phone Call.
- Share your situation and goals at the Discovery Meeting.
- After an analysis of your finances, take-home a customized Plan and Proposal.
Elements Your Financial Plan Should Include:
- Risk Management
- Estate Planning
- Life Planning
- Net Worth Review
- Cash Flow Planning
- Tax Planning
- Retirement Planning
- Investment Strategy
- Insurance Review
- Review of State or Federal Retirement Benefits
You need more than a cookie-cutter plan. You need a financial plan designed for State of Alaska Employees just like you.
As an Alaska state public employee, you need to know that you are choosing what’s best for you, your family, and your future. Simply, you need a plan that makes the life you want not just possible, but predictably achievable. Before you dive into IRA’s, annuities, and all the other retirement accounts out there, working first with a financial advisor like Frontier Financial Planning to create a personalized financial plan might prove to be the best investment you could make right now.
Ready to see how we can help you? Schedule a call with us today and make sure your financial future is in good hands.