LifeCycle Planning


So Much of the Time, We Exist in a Vacuum…

… only looking at this exact moment in time. On the other hand perhaps the wise pathway is to plan with forethought so that we can understand the entire spectrum that is in front of ourselves, our families, our businesses. Now some would say that too much planning interrupts and even thwarts growth. At SG&C, we believe that it’s not a matter of micromanaging your life but understanding the ebbs and flows, always balancing safe moves with developing opportunities.

You may have heard about LifeCycle planning before. Some trusted advisor organizations perform it to a degree. But most give lip service to the notion of planning around life events… or better yet use it to churn business or sell products. We know that sounds cynical, but it is actually our clients who are telling us this after we describe our proprietary philosophy around LifeCycle planning.



LifeCycle Planning… it’s Very Simple.

Many of our clients are business owners. And anyone who doesn’t think that the business and family finances are inexorably linked is only looking at half of the picture. Births, confirmations, graduations, college, engagement, marriage, home purchase, relocation, grandchildren, estate planning, second homes and even death are all intertwined with the cyclical nature of business ownership: emerging businesses, profit expansion, profit stability and exit or generational transition. Even careers run a similar course, because there are transitions: prime earning years and retirement, for example. Charting a course to try and predict as many life events as possible makes it less difficult to handle the unsuspected surprises that inevitably are part of one’s typical lifespan. If you know how to handle 80% of the situations that arise, the other 20% is much easier. That’s our philosophy.




So How Does LifeCycle Planning Work?


It’s a process that begins with understanding the different stages of both business/career and personal life and builds toward planning for the ones you can predict, as well as contingency for the aspects that you know are probably going to happen, but you just don’t know when. Is this a detailed process? Absolutely:

  • From the business standpoint we need to look at each stage of the business and what the needs are to move through it. For growth a business needs cash flow, capital/debt/expense management and sales. To expand profits it’s all about being more efficient with better systems, policies, internal controls, and HR.

  • If you work for a company and have a vibrant career, some of the issues are: finding the right opportunities within the organization, maximizing your compensation, knowing when to transition to another company or another industry based on intel or organizational limits and understanding the cost of retirement.

  • Now take either of these situations and mix in the family, lifestyle, etc. to tackle questions like where do you live, what kind of home is suitable, how to plan for college costs, will you be responsible for a wedding or three, will you be able to help your children get started in life, where are they going to live, how to minimize taxes and maximize investments, how are you going to plan your legacy?

  • And finally, since life itself is a moving target, it is important to be able to make this LifeCycle planning nimble enough to pivot at a moment’s notice to handle the instantaneous challenges that are thrown your way, personally and with business.

Make no mistake, all of these issues impact each other, but with the right recognition that they are coming (or have already arrived) you begin the path to managing your LifeCycle so you can actually take advantage of the opportunities that life gives you… instead of missing the boat.

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