Business Planning

Integrated 360˚Personal and Business Planning

Turn your life's work into your legacy


You’re a business owner who has everything on the line with your business. You’ve sacrificed family time, a load of money, and plenty of sleep for the promise of financial freedom and security for you and those you care about.

It’s your dream to build a legacy that you can put your name on.  You want a due reward for your efforts, to see your business and people thrive, get your succession plan in place, and exit feeling proud of your hard work and sacrifice.

We’ll help you secure your future through our Business Pioneer Advisory and Solutions Suite.

Many WestStar Advisors advise business owners. We understand that time is never on your side: you want answers you can trust, guidance that fits your schedule, and a financial partner to help shoulder the load.

Our advisors have helped business owners balance their business and personal goals over many years. As business owners ourselves, we bring our own financial and business experience to helping you and your business.

We understand your frustrations and challenges.

We also understand your unique financial planning needs, and that a large proportion of your personal wealth is tied to your business performance. You may have everything on the line with your business, and this risk must be mitigated.

 “Business Owners are fully invested in their business. They do it all, but don’t have the time to dive into taxes, retirement plans, and exit strategies. We help them understand the important details so they can make educated decisions that fit their goals.”

Michel Smith: CRPC®, Financial Consultant

Many business owners come to us seeking answers to these questions:

  • What is my business worth?
  • How do I go about funding it?
  • Am I maximizing the tax mitigation opportunities?
  • How should I attract, retain and incentivize my employees?
  • How will the sale of my business affect my retirement?
  • What’s my succession plan if something unexpected happens to me?
  • Who can I trust to guide me through all the layers?

If you’re looking to answer these questions, then let’s talk about how we can help you.

A Holistic Plan for Today and Tomorrow

For the business owner looking to create a holistic plan that spans every aspect of their financial life, it’s always most beneficial to divide financial planning into business and personal plans.

At WestStar, our clients rest easy, knowing their business and personal interests are aligned, and that they have the path to prosperity clearly road-mapped.

We do the groundwork and help you gain clarity on your goals and options, plus real confidence and assuredness in your decisions.

How do We Protect Your Business and Your Personal Wealth?

WestStar Advisors provide for your long-term success through a holistic financial planning framework that aligns your business and personal financial plans and includes regular strategy sessions, close mentoring, monitoring and blended advice.

Our 360° integrated plans build, balance, and protect your all-around prosperity and provide you with predictable financial outcomes and real assurance.

The journey we take together is mapped out on your personalized 360° Roadmap, with a dashboard that makes progress toward your goals transparent.  Beneath the dashboard lies a simulator that measures your plan in multiple scenarios. We can measure your probability of success and create scenarios that show you your trajectory based on our recommendations.

Your Navigator 360° Roadmap is an incredible tool that incorporates your personal and business goals, pinpoints your priorities, and maps the journey ahead. It also serves as a communication tool that articulates our strategic thinking in a clear, understandable, and actionable way.

It allows us to target your goals with maximum efficiency and the highest level of certainty.

Navigator brings your overall prosperity into focus: personal planning, business planning, investment planning, savings, Social Security income, pension information, insurance, retirement and more.

Navigator 360° makes a complex journey simple, easy to follow and perfectly clear.

We’ll guide you and coach you through the processes that center on the following financial planning imperatives.

  • Personal Financial Planning
  • Investment Planning
  • Investment Strategies

  • Tax Planning
  • Retirement Planning
  • Estate Planning

  • Buying or Selling a Business
  • Risk Management

Personal Financial Planning For Business Owners

Your business is a key asset in your individual financial plan. Understanding what happens to it when you’re gone is essential both to meeting your financial goals and building your confidence.

We help you to determine an accurate valuation of your business, and incorporate it into your personalized financial plan.

While your business plays a major part in your life, planning for your own retirement ─ and things like saving for your kids’ education, and minimizing taxes ─ are all brought into play.

Investment Planning

Most of our business owner clients have self-financed their businesses and it’s not unusual to find that the business is its owner’s major (or sole) investment.

When owners have extra capital to invest, they often choose to invest in the business. Control of your own money is a powerful motivator, but far-sighted planning requires diversification to offset the concentrated risks that business owners take.

We carefully evaluate and select outside assets for your personal portfolio, which may be protected from bankruptcy and creditors, so all your eggs are never in a single basket.

 Investment Strategies

In developing a plan that fits your needs, we will discuss any appropriate strategies, as well as your goals and risk tolerance.

Our open architecture affords us access to an extremely broad spectrum of professional money managers and funds.

Once we’ve agreed on your priorities and milestones, we develop and employ the most appropriate investment, compensation, risk, and tax strategies.

We provide top tools and technology to make your investment strategy dynamic and transparent. Plus, our professional direction and guidance gives you confidence and clarity in your decision-making.

Investment Portfolio Management

When developing your investment strategy, we focus on your unique circumstances, goals and values, instead of sales and products.

Some of the many questions we’ll seek to answer are:

  • What goals do you want your funds to accomplish?
  • What time horizons will govern their deployment?
  • What expectations do you have for risk and reward?
  • How do you want your portfolio to be balanced?
  • Are your funds qualified for tax deferral?

We understand that your goals and priorities will change over time and we’re here to guide you in adapting your roadmap to fit your needs.

Your WestStar Financial Advisor will review progress with you regularly, and evaluate your portfolio to keep you on track towards your goals.

Proactive Tax Planning for Business Owners

Tax planning is an essential part of running a successful business. Business owners need proactive advice – astute planning can save you taxes and provide more money to invest in your company and personal plans.

Business ownership affords all sorts of tax-advantaged ways to save for retirement, along with the option to put aside amounts far larger than those allowable to non-business owners.

When many business owners first come to us, we’ve found that they’ve taken practically no tax deductions against their incomes.

Others have not optimized their Retirement Plan for the largest pre-tax contributions, and are missing out on larger tax deductions and a lower overall tax bill.

We provide a deep analysis of your tax advantaged investment and Social Security options.

Your WestStar Advisor will provide retirement income planning strategies, help you decide the best time to take benefits, and show you how to stay within tax brackets.

We’ve helped business owners benefit by amending their existing 401(k) plan to ensure they can make the maximum contribution each year.

Retirement Planning for Business Owners

Most of our business owner clients get a real kick out of what they do. They often assume they’ll never retire, and they view their business as an adequate retirement plan in and of itself. These assumptions need testing – we find that business owners are likely to need more retirement planning, not less.

It’s crucial to prepare for a time when the business owner is either no longer able to – or no longer wishes to – work, or the business can no longer provide for their financial needs.

“I help individuals plan for retirement by building a strategy that allows them to aim at retiring when they want, and not when the market allows. I like to say: “Let’s create a strategy so it doesn’t matter if the Dow is 40k or 10k – we’ll have a strategy in place for a variety of market conditions.

Jarrod Haynes CRPC®, Financial Consultant

Estate Planning For Business Owners

When a business grows to become a valuable asset in your estate, simple wills or family trusts may not be adequate.

More sophisticated financial planning techniques may be necessary to ensure aspects like business continuity after death, the reduction of estate taxes assessed for the business, and provision of liquidity to your heirs to pay those taxes. WestStar is here to make sure your business transfers smoothly.

WestStar is here to make sure your business transfers smoothly.

We consider the pivotal roles of insurance and charitable trusts; we reorganize the business when necessary to create alternative types of ownership for family members.

We also make full use of IRS-approved discounts in valuing the business for purposes of gift and estate taxes.

Buy & Sell Agreements

Your business continuity is important, especially when multiple partners or equity holders are involved in the running of your business.

Buy and Sell Agreements are commonly used by sole proprietorships, partnerships, and LLCs to effect transitions in ownership when a partner dies, retires, or decides to exit the business.

Buy and Sell Agreements stipulate how a partner’s share may be transferred in the event of a partner’s death or departure. They may also establish the method agreed for determining the value of the business.

The most common agreements are cross-purchase agreements (allowing remaining owners to buy the interests), and entity-purchase agreements (requiring the business entity to buy the interests). Some agreements will combine the two.

Many WestStar Advisors have great experience in helping owners buy, sell and exit their businesses. We assess business succession funding and estate planning aspects, seeking to structure income tax and estate tax free vehicles.

Risk Management for Business Owners

While it’s important to focus on how to grow and secure your business’ future, it’s just as crucial to put protections in place from the risks that could impair your financial situation.

Business Risk Management

As a business owner, your risks escalate to include the interruption of your business due to the death or disability of those who are essential to its success, or due to a natural disaster.

We have advisors that handle Group Health Insurance, Group Dental & Vision Insurance, FSA & HRA Programs, Group Life & Disability Insurance, Business Insurance, and Cybersecurity Insurance.

Personal Risk Management

We all need to plan for the financial risks of early death, disability, illness, and long-term care.

 Life Insurance

We assess business succession funding and estate planning aspects, seeking to structure an income tax and estate tax free vehicle.

Disability Insurance

We look to protect your income should you become unable to work before you have gained financial freedom.

Long-Term Care

We evaluate your options for financial support should you require adult care, respite care, or assisted living.

Knowledge and Networking

As business owners ourselves, our insight and experience make us valuable sounding boards for clients who wonder if they’re making the best decisions.

We also connect our clients with other professionals, as well as groups like Vistage, YPO, and EO, to give them perspective and grow their knowledge beyond what we offer as their financial mentors.

Diversification disclosure from section 12.14 of the Communications with the Public Guidelines: “A diversified portfolio does not assure a profit or protect against loss in a declining market.”

Relationships Built on Trust

At WestStar we believe that trust is earned. Our relationships are real, honest and candid. We say what we do, and we do what we say.

Our personal touch and care is evident in all of our relationships, many of which have served business owners and their families’ best interests for decades.

If that sounds like a relationship worth pursuing, then we would be delighted to partner with you in turning your life’s work into your legacy.

Meet Our WestStar Advisors