Financial Planning

Financial planner and wealth advisor Stephen Grochol of SGC Financial Services presented at the Executive Forum Silicon Valley in 2021 about all major six areas of financial planning: Current financial position, retirement planning, insurance protection planning, investment planning, estate planning and tax planning. 

To put all pieces together AND to accomplish one’s retirement goals, these steps need to be taken:

  1. Identifying goals
  2. Gathering data
  3. Analysis and planning
  4. Develop solutions
  5. Implement strategies
  6. Review (quarterly)

Current financial situation

“You don’t know where you are going if you don’t know where you are…” said Mr. Grochol.  Whether an individual or a couple, the first place to start is a current year’s balance sheet that breaks down assets and liabilities, as well as percentage for asset types such as cash, taxable investments, qualified retirement, life insurance and real estate. This first step is to:

  • Determine current income and expenses
  • Determine current and projected net worth
  • Establish an emergency fund

Retirement planning

To prepare for retirement, you need to 

  • Estimate retirement income and expenses
  • Determine retirement savings needs
  • Determine how to distribute your retirement funds

To determine if an individual or a couple have enough funds for retirement, projections will be made for possible retirement preferences such as 

  • When you can retire: early, late, or on time
  • Spending levels during retirement
  • Risk analysis for various market conditions
  • Remaining assets for your estate

Insurance planning

The purpose of insurance planning is for

  • Providing for your family in the event of death
  • Protecting your income in the event of disability

For most of the aging retirees, long term care costs can be significant without adequate long term care insurance. In the event of disability, not only will there be substantial draining of wealth, but there is also the opportunity cost as the lost investment growth on the money used for paying for care from income or from existing investments. It is important to do the following planning long before retirement:

  • Longer term care insurance planning
  • Life insurance effect on protection planning and estate transfer
  • Long term disability
  • Health insurance
  • Liability insurance

Investment planning

One important way of wealth accumulation is through investment, which requires one to 

  • Assess your risk tolerance
  • Design an asset allocation strategy
  • Evaluate investment strategies
  • Fund college education or a home purchase

Asset allocation depends on each person’s risk tolerance. Mr. Grochol presented this question for members of the Executive Forum to determine their own risk tolerance:

Which of the following statements would best describe your reaction if the value of your portfolio were to suddenly decline by 15%?

  1. I would be very concerned because I can’t accept fluctuations in the value of my portfolio.
  2. If the amount of income I receive was unaffected, it wouldn’t bother me. 
  3. Although I invest for long-term growth, even a temporary decline would concern me.
  4. Although I invest for long-term growth, I would accept temporary fluctuations due to market influences.

Estate Planning

The purpose of estate planning is to:

  • Transfer your estate according to your wishes
  • Minimize estate taxes and expenses
  • Fund estate taxes

To avoid costly and prolonged probate, these documents need to be prepared in advance of one’s death:

  • Trust
  • Last Will and Testament
  • Power of Attorney
  • Health Care Directive
  • Charitable Remainder Trust

Tax planning

  • Project federal income taxes
  • Evaluate tax-minimizing strategies
  • Investigate tax-favored investments

With every financial decision and recommendation in a financial plan, tax planning needs to be strongly considered in all areas and at every phase.

Please email Stephen Grochol at, or call: (650) 227-0380


At Executive Forums Silicon Valley, selected business owners and leaders work together to gain clarity, insight and accountability to ignite their leadership engines, grow their businesses and improve their lives. If you are interested in learning more about Business Owner Advisory Boards, Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS), Stages of Growth, Value Builder System or becoming a member at Executive Forum Silicon Valley, please contact Glenn Perkins or call 408-901-0321. For more information visit

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It’s All About Assets!

Business owners are often fully devoted to running and growing their companies that they hardly pay attention to both business and personal assets’ acquisition, accumulation, protection, and transition.

In March 2020, Executive Forum Silicon Valley (“EFSV”) members had a great educational discussion with Nico Wiborg of the New York Life Insurance Company around a holistic view of how business owners and leaders should think about, protect and plan for business and personal finances. The educational discussion was segmented into four key areas: 

  • Sources of Income
  • Threats to Income and Assets
  • Application of Income and Assets
  • Legacy Choices

As business owners and leaders, we are often expected to provide the right answers to our customers, teams, and employees. At Executive Forums Silicon Valley, we often focus our peer groups to make sure that leaders also are skilled at asking the right questions. It is through asking the right questions that the best and correct answers often emerge. 

Income and Asset Protection, Retirement and Estate Planning

When it comes to Addressing the Six Key Areas of Capital Accumulation and Protection, it is necessary to ask the right questions. Nico Wiborg led the group through a comprehensive review of the six key areas with thought-provoking questions that resulted in a rich discussion between the business owners. Questions that were covered and addressed with the business owners are shown in the table below.

Asset AreaKey Questions to Ask
Income Protection(Source)When will you be finished accumulating assets?How many assets will be required to replace future income?What other sources can provide the necessary income?
Income Tax(Threat)Are you trying to predict future tax rates?Do you know how to tax-diversify for the best flexibility?What strategies do you have for a rising tax rate environment? 
Capital Risk(Threat)Do you have a specific strategy to grow your assets (not income)?Do you monitor, review, and adjust your strategy on a regular basis?How are you using your business for income now and legacy later?
Asset Protection(Threat)Are you aware of the impact of creditors, lawsuits, and judgments?Do you have assets that you can shift to a different owner?Have you integrated insurance into your asset protection plan?
Retirement Plans(Application)Do you have enough assets to allow your income to completely stop?How much do you need and now much more needs to be set aside?Where should you put the assets for growth, protection, and income?
Estate Planning(Legacy)Do you have a proper inventory and accounting of your assets?Are you directing your assets or letting the existing law dictate your plan?How do you want your heirs to receive your legacy? 

Get a holistic picture of your assets and planning ahead

Sometimes as business leaders we are so focused on leading our teams and serving our customers that we neglect to rise up to 50,000 feet and take a holistic view of our assets and establish a strategy that covers all of the sources, threats, application, and legacy issues. If you think you have answers but are unsure if you are being asked the right questions, I would highly recommend that you contact Nico Wiborg ( 408 655-5964) and have a great discussion about how to build and protect your assets to create the legacy that you deserve. Wouldn’t you feel better if you did that right now?

About EFSV

Executive Forum Silicon Valley (“EFSV”) is a platform where successful business owners, CEOs, and executives act as their fellow collaborators, co-inventors, partners and even “co-conspirators”, in getting a clear picture of where they want to go, what stands in the way, and how to achieve their respective growth goals. Forum members share resources, conduct self-assessment, and identify opportunities.  Members get clarity about the way forward,  obtain strategic insights to overcome their leadership blind spots.  They hold each other accountable with support and encouragement. If you are interested in learning more about becoming a member at Executive Forum Silicon Valley, please contact or call 408-901-0321. For more information visit 

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