Financial Planning in San Antonio

IS DIFFERENT THAN IN OTHER PLACES.... TAX LAWS ARE DIFFERENT..... THERE ARE DIFFERENT RETIREMENT PROGRAMS AND SERVICES..... THE COST OF LIVING IS DIFFERENT

Whether you’re a college graduate starting your first job, a professional looking towards retirement, or an individual wanting to leave a lasting legacy for your loved ones, proper financial planning can play a critical role in your ability to pursue your goals.

Fortunately, if you’re in the San Antonio area, a wealth of resources are available, including this comprehensive guide to financial planning in San Antonio, Texas.

In the Quick Guide, we’ll discuss important topics such as:

  • Financial fears
  • Components of Financial Planning
  • Financial Planning Based on Life Stages
  • Specific Considerations for Financial Planning in San Antonio
  • Choosing a Financial Advisor in San Antonio
  • The Benefits of Working with a Local Financial Planner
  • How Financial Advisors are Compensated
Chapter 1

Financial Fears

Why is financial planning so important? Money doesn't guarantee happiness, but it can provide security, stability, and the freedom to pursue the things that matter most to us. 

Then why do many of us feel ill-equipped to make informed, objective financial choices?

Lack of Financial Education: Financial literacy is not often taught in schools, meaning most people are only introduced to basic financial principles once they are adults. This means you must learn about complex topics like compound interest, credit scores, investment risk, and tax law mostly on your own.

The Complexity of Financial Products: Many financial products, such as mutual funds, insurance policies, and mortgages, are complex and difficult to understand. This complexity can make it hard to choose which products are right for you.

Information Overload: In the digital age, we can access an overwhelming amount of information. While this could make us more informed, it often confuses us because of conflicting advice, misinformation, or the sheer volume of data.

Behavioral Biases: Humans are not always rational decision-makers. We are subject to cognitive biases that can cloud our judgment and lead to poor financial decisions. For example, the availability bias might lead us to invest in a popular stock just because it's in the news, even if the company's operations are poor.

Lack of Time: Managing your finances effectively requires time - time to learn, time to plan, and time to monitor your investments. Many people, especially those struggling to make ends meet, simply need more time to manage their finances effectively.

Psychological Factors: Money and finance can be emotionally charged topics. Fear, shame, or stress about money can cause people to avoid making financial decisions or to make decisions based on emotion rather than objective facts.

Lack of Trust: Given recent financial crises and scandals, many people need more trust in financial institutions and advisors. This can make them reluctant to seek professional help with their finances.

PAX Financial’s Focus: To overcome these barriers, it can be helpful to seek assistance from a trusted San Antonio financial advisor, such as PAX Financial. We take time to understand your specific biases and emotions related to money.

 

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Chapter 2

Components of Financial Planning

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While there is no one-size-fits-all financial planning process, here are the top components that a comprehensive financial plan should include. 

A. Financial Goals

Financial goals form the foundation of any financial planning. These are the specific, quantifiable objectives one aims to achieve over a set period. They can range from short-term goals like saving for a vacation or buying a new car to long-term objectives such as purchasing a home, funding your child's education, or building a retirement nest egg.

Setting clear, measurable, and achievable financial goals is a crucial first step in financial planning. It gives a sense of direction and purpose, serving as a roadmap for your financial journey. This roadmap guides your investment decisions and helps measure your progress.

PAX Financial’s Focus: We offer all-encompassing financial guidance to our clients to facilitate the most efficient realization of their financial aspirations. Our San Antonio financial planning professionals will devise a detailed financial strategy encompassing the following steps:

  1. Discovery - Determining your financial objectives
  2. Design - Tailoring a personalized financial strategy for you
  3. Regular Reviews - Evaluate the plan consistently to ensure its effectiveness
  4. Execution - Implementing recommended investment strategies
  5. Monitoring - Keeping a vigilant eye on both the financial plan and investments.

B. Cash Flow Planning

Cash flow planning, often also called budgeting, is another key component of financial planning. It involves understanding your income sources, tracking expenses, and managing your savings. This process helps ensure you live within your means, helps identify wasteful expenditures, and strategizes ways to increase savings.

PAX Financial’s Focus: Proper cash flow management allows you to align your financial resources with your goals. It also helps in mitigating financial stress and in preparing for financial emergencies.

C. Risk Management

Risk management in financial planning involves identifying potential personal and financial risks and taking appropriate steps to mitigate them. These risks include health issues, disability, property loss, liability risks, and even death.

One of the key ways to manage these risks is through insurance. Life insurance, health insurance, disability insurance, property insurance, and liability insurance are common examples. 

PAX Financial’s Focus: Risk management helps protect your financial plan from unforeseen circumstances and ensures the continuity of your income and financial goals even in adversity.

D. Investment Planning

“Time in the market beats timing the market.”

Investment planning is a strategic component of financial planning that helps you grow your wealth and savings. This involves understanding your financial goals, risk tolerance, and investment horizon. You can select appropriate investment vehicles such as stocks, bonds, mutual funds, real estate, and other alternatives based on these factors.

The key to effective investment planning is diversification – spreading investments across various asset classes to minimize risk and maximize potential returns. Regular monitoring and adjustments of your investment portfolio are also important to ensure it remains aligned with your goals and market conditions.

PAX Financial’s Focus: As your wealth and assets flourish, the importance of having a robust strategy to effectively track, strategize, and allocate your resources in alignment with your risk tolerance escalates. Our financial advisors at PAX Financial Group are highly experienced in handling affluent clients' assets, offering services that may likely appeal to them.

E. Retirement Planning

“Retirement is not the end of the road. It’s the beginning of the open highway.”

Retirement planning in San Antonio is about preparing for life after you stop working. It involves accumulating sufficient funds to provide a regular income during your retirement years. This component of financial planning is very important, given the increasing life expectancies and the desire for financial independence during retirement.

PAX Financial’s Focus: At PAX Financial, we view retirement not as a conclusion but as the onset of a fresh, thrilling journey. We term this shift as PIVOTING. We aim for you to transition, or PIVOT, into an exhilarating new phase of your existence rather than just retiring.

Our unique PIVOT Retirement Planning™ approach is designed to assist our clients in doing more than merely laying out a retirement plan. We strive to equip our clients to handle all aspects of retirement, be it financial, emotional, or physical. We are committed to making our clients' retirement the most enjoyable period of their lives and a time they eagerly anticipate.

F. Estate Planning

Estate planning involves deciding how your assets will be distributed after your death. It can include creating a will, setting up trust funds, and naming an executor for your estate. Good estate planning ensures your assets are distributed according to your wishes, can help reduce estate taxes, and can avoid potential legal complications for your heirs.

Estate planning isn't just for the wealthy; everyone with assets – whether it's a home, investments, a business, or other valuable belongings – should consider an estate plan to protect their loved ones.

PAX Financial’s Focus: Navigating the uncertainties of life can sometimes be overwhelming, especially during difficult changes. Our San Antonio financial advisors can help you create an estate plan to have an effective plan in place to transfer your wealth when you are no longer here.  Our team stands ready to support you.

G.Tax Planning

Last but not least, tax planning is vital in financial planning. It involves understanding the tax implications of your financial decisions to minimize your tax liability. Strategies for tax planning include taking advantage of tax deductions and credits, making tax-efficient investments, and considering the tax impact of buying or selling assets.

Tax planning not only helps to reduce your tax burden potentially but also assists in aligning your financial plan with the existing tax laws. 

PAX Financial’s Focus: As tax laws often change, our team of San Antonio tax planners conduct ongoing reviews, and adjustments to your tax planning strategies are essential. We help you keep more of your wealth.

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Chapter 3

Financial Planning at Different Life Stages

Financial planning is an ongoing process that helps you make sensible money decisions. The strategies you employ, the risks you're willing to take, and the areas you prioritize may change as you progress through different life stages. Let's dive into how financial planning varies from early career to retirement.

Early Career: The Importance of Financial Planning at a Young Age

In the early stages of your career, time is your biggest asset. The power of compounding works best when you start saving and investing early. At this stage, you're laying the foundation for your financial future.

  • Starting a Savings Plan: Set a budget, track your expenses, and create an emergency fund. Start saving a portion of your income regularly. The habit of saving is just as important as the amount saved.
  • Basics of Investing: Understand different investment options such as stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and retirement accounts. Learn about the principles of risk and return, diversification, and the importance of investing for the long term.

Mid-Career: Future Planning, Retirement Savings, and Investment Portfolios

As you reach mid-career, your income increases, but so do your responsibilities. This is the time to review and modify your financial plan.

  • Future Planning: Prioritize your financial goals, be it purchasing a home, funding your child's education, or planning for a comfortable retirement. Allocate your resources accordingly.
  • Retirement Savings: It’s crucial to begin or maximize contributions to retirement accounts. Look into employer-sponsored plans, like a 401(k), or individual retirement accounts (IRAs).
  • Investment Portfolios with the Help of Financial Advisors San Antonio:  Managing your investments may become complex as your wealth grows. You might need the help of professionals like Financial Planners San Antonio, who can guide you through asset allocation, tax strategies, risk management, and more.

Pre-Retirement: Comprehensive Financial Plan and Retirement Planning San Antonio

The pre-retirement years are a critical period for your financial plan. A comprehensive plan is necessary to ensure a smooth transition into retirement.

  • Comprehensive Financial Planning: Reassess your retirement goals and ensure you're on track. Consider the impact of life changes and market conditions on your financial plan.
  • Retirement Planning San Antonio: Retirement planning involves more than just investing. It includes estate planning, healthcare planning, and income strategies. Retirement Planning San Antonio offers services to help with these complex tasks, ensuring you're prepared for the years ahead.

 

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Chapter 4

Retirement: Sustaining Wealth, Managing Estate, and Legacy Planning

Finally, retirement is a significant shift from wealth accumulation to wealth distribution.

  • Sustaining Wealth: The primary goal is ensuring your savings last throughout retirement. This may require adjusting your investment strategy to balance income generation and risk management.
  • Managing Estate: Estate planning involves determining how your assets will be distributed after death. This process includes drafting a will, naming beneficiaries, and considering potential tax implications.
  • Legacy Planning: Legacy planning goes beyond just financial considerations. It's about the impact you'll have on future generations. This might involve charitable giving or setting up educational funds for grandchildren.

PAX Financial’s Focus: Financial planning is not a 'set-it-and-forget-it' task. As your life changes, your financial plan should evolve too. Whether you're just starting, in the middle of your career, approaching retirement, or already retired, having a plan and seeking professional advice can help you live the life you envision.

 

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Chapter 5

Specific Considerations for Financial Planning in San Antonio

There may be specific financial planning considerations that should be considered if you reside in or around San Antonio.  

Cost of Living

San Antonio, Texas, has a relatively low cost of living compared to other major U.S. cities. This affordability can significantly impact your financial planning process. Generally, the cost of goods, services, and housing in San Antonio is below the national average.

This might encourage more savings toward your financial goals.  

Tax Implications

Texas is one of the seven U.S. states that doesn't impose a state income tax, which can be an attractive aspect of financial planning for those considering San Antonio as their residence. However, Texas offsets the lack of income tax with relatively higher property and sales taxes.

The state sales tax rate is 6.25%, but municipalities can add up to 2% extra, making the maximum possible rate 8.25%. In San Antonio, the sales tax rate is typically at this maximum.

Texas property taxes are some of the highest in the U.S., with rates varying by county. Bexar County, where San Antonio is located, has a rate slightly above the state average. 

If you plan to buy a home or own property in San Antonio, consider these tax implications in your financial planning efforts.

Housing Market Trends

The housing market in San Antonio has historically been stable and affordable, but recent years have seen an increase in both housing prices and demand. San Antonio offers diverse housing options, from downtown condos to suburban homes, suitable for various lifestyles and budgets.

While this growth in the housing market can mean higher prices for buyers and renters, it also presents potential investment opportunities. Appreciation rates for real estate in the city have been favorable. However, conducting thorough research or consulting with a real estate professional is crucial, as trends vary by neighborhood and property type.

Local Investment Opportunities

San Antonio's economic landscape is diverse, with key sectors including healthcare, military, tourism, and a growing tech industry. These sectors provide unique local investment opportunities for residents.

The city's thriving tourism industry, built around attractions like The Alamo and River Walk, can present investment opportunities in hospitality-related businesses. The tech industry is another growing sector in San Antonio, attracting startups and larger companies and opening possibilities for tech investments.

A robust military presence in San Antonio, with several major bases, can create opportunities in defense contracting and related industries.

PAX Financial’s Focus: Investments involve risk, and it's important to thoroughly research and understand any investment opportunity. Consider consulting with our San Antonio financial advisors, who can assist you in making informed decisions.

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Chapter 6

Choosing a Financial Advisor in San Antonio

Finding a competent, reliable financial advisor in San Antonio is one of the most important decisions about your financial future. Here are some of the primary things you should look for:

Credentials: Look for someone who has solid credentials like the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER ® (CFP ®) or Accredited Investment Fiduciary (AIF), or Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC ®) designations.

Experience: Advisors with many years of experience will better understand the market and various investment strategies.

Specialization: Some advisors specialize in areas like retirement planning, tax planning, or estate planning. Your needs will dictate which specialization is best for you.

Fiduciary Responsibility: Fiduciary Advisors are legally obligated to act in your best interest rather than their own or company's.

Communication: You want an advisor who listens, understands your needs, and communicates effectively.

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Chapter 7

The Benefits of Working with a Local Financial Advisor

Choosing a local financial advisor in San Antonio offers several benefits:

Personal Interaction: Local advisors can provide a level of personal interaction and familiarity that is hard to replicate if using a remote advisor.

Understanding of Local Economic Conditions: Local advisors are likely to understand better the local economy, which can be valuable when making investment decisions.

Convenience: Meeting with your advisor in person can be easier when they are local, saving you travel time and effort.

Remember, what's most important is finding an advisor that fits your financial situation and goals.

PAX Financial’s Focus: To optimally cater to your needs, we have assembled a team of advisors who are deeply committed to investing in your future. Our group comprises CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professionals, Accredited Investment Fiduciaries®, and insurance professionals, all equipped to handle your distinct requirements.

 

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Chapter 8

How Financial Advisors are Compensated (Fees, Commissions, Fee-Based, Fee Only)

How a financial advisor is compensated can affect their recommendations and your costs. Here are the main types of compensation structures:

Fee-Only: Many advisors only charge a fee, typically a percentage of the assets they manage for you. This model aligns the advisor’s interests with yours, as their compensation grows as your assets grow.

Commissions: Some advisors earn commissions from selling certain financial products. 

Commissions for financial advisors are usually a certain percentage of the value of the investments they handle for clients or a fee for each transaction they facilitate. While this can be lucrative for the advisors, it may only sometimes align with your best interests. 

An advisor who works on commission may be incentivized to recommend investment options or transactions that yield a higher commission, even if they may not be the most suitable or profitable choices for the investor. 

You must understand the compensation structure of your advisor and ensure that it aligns with your financial goals and risk tolerance.

Fee-Based: Fee-based advisors can earn a combination of fees and commissions. They charge a fee for their advisory services and also earn commissions on products they sell.

PAX Financial’s Focus: Understanding how your financial advisor is compensated before entering into a relationship is essential. Make sure the structure aligns with your comfort level and financial objectives. One of our core practices is to have transparent, honest communications with our clients.

 

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This material is provided by PAX Financial Group, LLC. The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. The information herein has been derived from sources believed to be accurate. Please note: Investing involves risk, and past performance is no guarantee of future results. Investments will fluctuate and when redeemed may be worth more or less than when originally invested. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty. This is neither a solicitation nor recommendation to purchase or sell any investment or insurance product or service, and should not be relied upon as such. All market indices discussed are unmanaged and are not illustrative of any particular investment. Indices do not incur management fees, costs and expenses, and cannot be invested into directly. All economic and performance data is historical and not indicative of future results.

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