Charting the Right Course for Financial Planning







Multi-ethnic couple handshake with consultant at home

The daily headlines about inflation, stock market turmoil and the risk of a recession are creating a lot of angst.

And get this: Those with a normal life expectancy will likely experience three bear markets in retirement, according to Dallas Lee Whittaker, senior vice president of Marine Bank, which has 11 locations in central Illinois.

“One thing I always tell people when they look at a market like we’re in right now is that it’s a time that tests the mettle of your overall retirement plans,” says Whittaker.

There is a need for a financial plan for those who are still working as well as those who are already retired. Young parents need to plan for their children’s education. Self-employed individuals and even those with side businesses need business planning experience.

Unfortunately, some suffer from a lack of communication with their current advisors. The advisor only offers recommendations, but not the reasoning behind them and how they work.

“A plan without understanding these things can create stress,” says Whittaker. He likes to start by understanding the client’s goals and their complete financial picture so they can discuss what they own, why they have it, and how it works to achieve their goals.

“A discussion about risk tolerance is imperative,” he says. “I want people to stay engaged and be able to sleep at night. We have a process we walk people through creating a risk profile and a strategy to obtain the best return for the risk they are willing to take”.

Whittaker brings more than 20 years of experience in wealth management and financial services. He is a certified financial planner and has special designations as a mutual fund advisor and authorized life insurance underwriter.

The team at Marine Bank can not only design a comprehensive retirement plan, but also help with legacy planning and generational wealth management.

Marine Bank offers all types of stocks, bonds, mutual funds, annuity programs, and insurance programs.

Marine Bank takes an active management approach to help protect clients from a falling market. That opposes the common strategy of just hanging on.

Marine Bank’s wealth team includes Annette McClure, Executive Vice President and Certified Fiduciary and Financial Advisor, in addition to four other members of the Fiduciary team.

Marine Bank’s fiduciary services are in the same department as their investment services. “Most banks separate them, which doesn’t create the right kind of synergy,” says Whittaker. “When you work with advisors who focus on trust and investment, you are also looking at long-term goals and how to pass assets on to the next generation.”

Marine Bank can also help with estate management

Whittaker remembers reading a statistic that it takes an average of 18 months for someone to spend an inheritance. This is a key consideration when designing an estate plan.

It’s also important to understand changes in tax laws, such as the Federal Security Act, that guide distributions from legacy IRAs and 401(k)s. One strategy is to leave more in these accounts to minor children or grandchildren to minimize taxes and delay distributions beyond the new 10-year requirement.

Building wealth is important, but protecting it is important too, which is why Marine Bank has added an insurance department, says Whittaker. “Everyone always has their sights set on retirement and building up in their accounts, but people often forget about the hidden risks of their plan. As you focus on the horizon, those risks are like an iceberg, and it’s what’s below the waterline that sinks ships.”

For more information, visit ibankmarine.com.

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