Advisor's Guide to Family Financial Planning

Family financial planning goes beyond saving for college. There are many different factors and elements that investors and financial advisors need to address in order to create a holistic approach for securing a stable financial future. Make sure you have these important categories on your planning checklist when working with your financial clients:

College Savings

With rising education costs, saving for college early is a smart move for growing families. Proving your children with a quality education can help them take steps towards their own financial security and removes their dependence from you later in life. Families have plenty of tax-advantaged financial planning options such as:

  • Custodial accounts
  • Coverdells
  • Savings bonds
  • 529 savings plans
  • Prepaid 529 tuition plans

The College Savings Calculator from FINRA is a great place to start for both investors and advisors to get a good idea of how much they'll need to plan on saving.


Every family should consider investing a portion of their income to see growth long-term instead of relying on just on checking and savings. As a financial advisor, it's up to you to serve as an informed professional to help guide investors on which opportunities are the right choice for them. Some options for long-term growth include:

  • Bonds
  • Certificates of Deposit
  • Mutual Funds
  • Real Estate Investment Trusts
  • Stocks

SII Investments offers helpful tools like the Mutual Fund Analyzer and the Accrued Interest Calculator to make these decisions easier for advisors.

Life Insurance

Having kids can put important decisions into perspective, especially when it comes to life insurance. This should be part of every family's financial plan including how much coverage is needed, when to start and when to readjust. You should work with your financial clients so they understand the importance of this safety net.

Tax Benefits

After adding on to the family, there are plenty of tax benefits to take advantage of including dependent exemptions. Advisors should be aware of the various deductions and tax credits available to avoid missing out on major savings. Work closely with your investment clients to understand all of their financial assets, plans and goals so that you can keep them informed on all applicable tax laws and benefits.


Even though kids and college seem far removed from retirement, planning for this future stage of life is incredibly important as your income and investment strategies are shifted to serve a growing family's needs. Financial advisors should actively include this as part of the approach towards a financial growth and stability.

Have more questions about family financial planning? Check out the SII Investments Investing as a Growing Family FAQ to get answers for commonly asked questions. In addition, learn more about our comprehensive, process-driven approach to investing to help you increase the overall value of your financial practice.