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IFA Financial Planning: MoneyGuidePro Joins Expanded Platform

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As part of our holistic investment and wealth management process, IFA continues to upgrade its advisors' arsenal to build comprehensive and complementary financial plans for our clients.

As a result, we're now adding an interactive software suite from developer PIEtech, MoneyGuidePro. It's ranked as one of the two most widely used "core" financial planning programs in wealth management.

Long-time clients of IFA might recall that in 2015, we introduced the other industry heavyweight among dedicated financial planning programs, eMoney.

So why double-down, so to speak?

Technology to help our advisors gain a more complete picture of their clients' personal finances – from household spending trends to uncovering new savings opportunities – continues to evolve. Along those lines, IFA keeps monitoring innovations in the field.

As a result, we've decided to expand the IFA Financial Planning platform to be powered by both eMoney and MoneyGuidePro. (Clients can click here to access either suite.) Now, our independent registered investment advisors will have even more flexibility to analyze each individual client's unique financial situation.

Of course, MGP aims to achieve much the same as eMoney. But our newest addition does differ in some ways in terms of look and feel, providing alternatives for our advisors in deciding how each client might benefit from working with a different set of interactive tools.

Here's a brief overview of some of MGP's main features:

MoneyGuidePro My Snap Shot
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After an advisor and client have developed an individualized investment plan, information collected is displayed on the main page as "My Snapshot." (See above screenshot.) When clicking on this page, a sort of dashboard is created, reflecting topics of interest to each person.

Notice that at the bottom of this page is a tracking graphic of each person's total assets, or net worth. What's interesting here is that rather than depicting some market performance-related charts, MGP prefers to track personal assets against liabilities. Those include things like home and car loans, credit card debt and business loans.  

Just as importantly, at the top left of the Snapshot page is someone's probability of success in reaching their plan's goals. And that can fluctuate based on changes in asset values. Likewise, a tab in this same area also allows investors to make sure their portfolio allocations are on-track.

MoneyGuidPro Play Zone
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From the main Snapshot page, investors can tap on the "Play Zone" tab to adjust their overall financial goals. (See screenshot above.) These include: retirement age, basic living expenses in retirement and savings.

Under each of these broad measures are more specific "goals" that can be added into the program by clients after consulting with their advisors. These might be items relating to health care costs, college expenses, a new car, travel and other discretionary types of expenses.

As part of the savings portion of a plan, MGP can show how much increasing contributions to items like 401(k) plans and taxable brokerage accounts can raise the probability of reaching a person's planning goals. 

MoneyGuidePro What Are You Afraid Of
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Under the Play Zone is a stress test option called the "What are you afraid of" tab. (See screenshot above.) This is another tool for clients in tandem with their advisors to consider things like how a major correction, concentrated positions, inflation and not living as long as anticipated might impact an investor's long-term goals.

Also, in the "Scenario Result" section is a tab for clients to compare their original portfolio plan to a set of recommendations put into place by an IFA advisor. Previous reports created for clients and a "Star Track" tab to follow someone's progress are also offered.

MoneyGuidePro Health Care Goal
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One of the most popular features of the program, according to PIEtech, is a set of screening tools which advisors can apply to help analyze individual health care needs. (See screenshot above.)

Factors used in such an analysis include: modified adjusted gross income during retirement; gender; age; and state of residence.

A table depicts projected health care expenses over the length of a plan. For the couple used as a planning example here, the first period depicts a time when "Heather" has left the workforce before reaching age 65. Meanwhile her husband, "Tyler," remains employed and uses his workplace health insurance coverage. The wife in this example is also using Tyler's health plan, but both are expecting to file for Medicare in 2027.

The concept here is to breakdown annual health care costs through different stages of life. The software is dynamic, meaning an advisor can set up for their clients a range of different cost scenarios across various periods and retirement-oriented events.

Clients alongside their advisors can also change any of those health care cost estimates under an "Assumptions" tab at the bottom of the page. Changes can be made to tailor planning for specific expenses by: Medicare Part B; Medicare Part D; Medigap policies; Out-of-Pocket expenses; private insurance prior to Medicare; age; and healthcare inflation (set at 6.5% per year by the program).  

MGP also includes a module for helping to analyze timing of claims for Social Security benefits and long-term care insurance. The program also incorporates life insurance and disability insurance planning into the mix.

It also allows advisors to pose "What If?" scenarios relating to: early pension distributions; withdrawals from qualified retirement accounts before 59.5 years; moving money from qualified accounts to a Roth; net unrealized appreciation for those owning their employers' stock in a 401(k) plan as well as situations related to personal or business debt payoffs of loans and selling a business.

"The program can help analyze what might happen in the event of almost any type of personal financial situation or business outcome," says Matt Thompson, head of training at PIEtech. "And it's all created to integrate together into an investor's total financial plan."

 IFA wealth clients can go here to log into MoneyGuidePro.