Lifetime Planning Q&A


Howard Essner, JD, Managing Director, Family Wealth Advisor

With the recent combination of Ancora and Inverness (see press release) “Lifetime Planning” will become an integral part of the services we provide to our family clients. In the conversation that follows, we discuss how we approach Lifetime Planning and why it helps our family clients.

Q. What does “Lifetime Planning” mean?
A. “Lifetime Planning” is an individualized process that helps our family clients identify their financial goals and then develops a roadmap to achieve those goals and overcome the risks that might stand in their way. We believe that no two families are the same, so we customize our approach to meet each family’s circumstances and concerns. Lifetime planning can cover such topics as retirement income planning, college education planning, charitable giving strategies, insurance reviews, income tax reviews, estate reviews, and social security optimization, among many others.

Q. How does comprehensive, Lifetime Planning help clients achieve their overall goals?
A. Achieving financial goals starts with articulating and establishing what those goals might be. So the first part of any planning engagement is a detailed discovery process that helps our clients develop their goals and identifies their concerns. This discovery process allows our planners and clients to work together to develop savings goals, an appropriate investment risk profile, proper income and estate tax strategies and legacy planning, all done in coordination with a client’s trusted tax and legal advisors. We will develop reporting on all of the client’s assets, not just those managed by us, for a comprehensive overall net worth picture. A customized investment portfolio can then be developed around these goals and plans. Success is defined in terms of achieving goals, not an artificial portfolio benchmark. Most of our clients have different tax “buckets” of assets, and we help identify the optimum withdrawal strategy from a tax efficiency perspective.

Q. Can you describe how Ancora Inverness’ Lifetime Planning approach is different than the typical financial plan?
A. Ancora Inverness’ depth of experience, team approach and level of customization is unique in our opinion. A client’s Lifetime Planning team draws on the capabilities and experience of our professionals with backgrounds as attorneys, accountants, Certified Financial Planners®, Charted Financial Analysts®, and accredited insurance specialists. Our only goal is to help clients understand and achieve their goals.

Q. Who is a good candidate for adding Lifetime Planning to their overall wealth management picture?
A. Anyone with questions or concerns about their financial future is a good candidate to seek our advice, but here are some typical situations we deal with every day:

  • Younger families trying to develop college education and retirement savings goals and evaluate insurance needs.
  • More established families thinking about retirement and future income and health care needs.
  • Elderly clients who want to maintain a lifestyle while providing a legacy for their family in a tax-efficient way.

All of this has to be coordinated and measured against a plan in our opinion, in order to optimize the probability of achieving lifelong financial success.

For more information on how you can begin your Lifetime Planning process with Ancora Inverness, please contact your Ancora Inverness relationship manager or Howard Essner directly at

Howard Essner, JD, is the General Counsel at Ancora Holdings Inc.

The mention of specific securities, types of securities and/or investment strategies in this newsletter should not be considered as an offer to sell or a solicitation to purchase any specific securities or to implement an investment strategy. Please consult with an Ancora Investment Professional on how the purchase or sale of specific securities can be implemented to meet your particular investment objectives, goals, and risk tolerances. Past performance of these types of investments is not indicative of future results and does not guarantee dividends/interest will be paid or paid at the same rate in the future. The data presented has been obtained from sources that are believed to be accurate and credible. Ancora Advisors makes no guarantee to the complete accuracy of this information. The indexes discussed are market performance indices and are not available for purchase. If you were to purchase the securities that make up these indices, your returns would be lower once fees and/or commissions are deducted. Past performance of these indices is not indicative of future results of the securities contained in these indices.

Ancora Advisors LLC is a registered investment adviser with the Securities and Exchange Commission of the United States. A more detailed description of the company, its management, and practices are contained in its “Firm Brochure” Form ADV, Part 2a. A copy of this form may be received by contacting the company at: 2000 Auburn Drive, Suite 300, Cleveland, Ohio 44122, Phone: 216-825-4000, or by visiting our website

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