Financial Planning is the evaluation of your current and projected financial situation in order to develop a series of steps necessary to successfully achieve your financial goals. Financial goals vary from client to client but typically include things such as planning for retirement, paying for higher education, minimizing taxes, and providing for family in the event of disability, incapacity or death. Importantly, as every client is unique, Caratel’s plans can easily incorporate all factors that may impact your plan. The financial plan is a work-in-process and needs to be monitored and updated on a regular basis. Constituent parts of a financial plan typically include:

Development of Financial Goals

Planning without knowing your goals serves no purpose. Therefore, the first step in the planning process is to set your financial goals. These goals can be as simple as maintaining a desired lifestyle in retirement, providing for a child’s (or grandchild’s) higher education, and ensuring the family is taken care of in the event of death or disability. Typically you will have several simultaneous goals and they will change over time. Financial planning addresses all of them.

Financial Review

We evaluate your current and projected financial resources to determine their ability to allow successful achievement of your financial goals. Items reviewed include your net worth (assets and liabilities), cash flow (income and expenses), insurance coverage (life, disability, and long-term care), and your estate documents.

Portfolio Review & Design

For most, the foundation of their financial plan consists of their savings including IRAs, employer-sponsored retirement plans, and other tax-deferred accounts.  We review your existing portfolio in light of your financial resources, goals, and risk tolerance.  We then create a portfolio of investments that match your financial goals and improve the overall risk/reward relationship of the portfolio.

Retirement Planning

Retirement Planning analyzes the wealth you have and will need to achieve and maintain your retirement. It incorporates your financial resources, the age you plan to retire, your desired retirement lifestyle, how long you expect to live, and the expected rate of return on your investment portfolio. Social security and other pension assets are incorporated in the analysis.

Estate Planning

An estate plan allows you to decide how your assets are handled during your lifetime and at your death. Your estate plan should be structured to achieve your personal objectives and maximize wealth passed on to heirs and charities, while minimizing taxes and other expenses. Estate Planning is not a legal review of your existing documents (if any) but, rather a review to ensure the practical aspects associated with the handling of your finances at incapacity or death are as you desire.

Insurance Planning

Life does not always go as planned.  We evaluate your life, disability and long-term care insurance needs to ensure financial goals can still be achieved even if things awry.  We work with licensed insurance representatives to ensure you obtain the best insurance for you.

Education Planning

The benefits of a post-high school education are well documented. Unfortunately the cost of that education becomes more expensive every year. We evaluate the anticipated cost of higher education and incorporate a savings strategy into the overall financial plan to ensure the necessary resources are available when needed.

Other Needs

We are financial experts. We recognize that clients have situations that are unique and need to be factored into their plan. Regardless of your situation your plan will incorporate those components that are necessary to help ensure success in achievement of your financial goals.

Ongoing Relationship

The best financial plan in the world is worthless unless the recommendations made are followed. We encourage all clients to maintain an Ongoing Relationship with Caratel to help ensure the recommendations made are implemented. Caratel’s Ongoing Relationship is an all-inclusive service including unlimited access to a financial expert, regular plan updates, and frequent portfolio reporting.


Financial planning is a process. We take the time to completely understand your current financial situation and your financial goals as well as what you anticipate will occur. We then use financial modeling software to evaluate the likelihood of your achievement of those goals and suggest action-items that will increase the likelihood of success. Additionally, as we are unable to accurately predict the future, we work to ensure success even if things don’t go as planned. We present our findings and recommendations to you for your approval. We then offer to implement, monitor and update your plan on a regular basis.