October is Financial Planning Month, and yes, I am well aware that it doesn’t sound sexy AT ALL, but at some point we all may need a plan.
Is now a good time for you?
This is an ideal time of year to think about what we’ve done in 2018, how much we’ve accomplished and what we may have done differently.
I believe that if we are looking back and can’t seem to understand why we haven’t stayed the course or made a positive impact in our financial journey then maybe it’s time to hire a professional.
Some might say that it’s counter intuitive to spend money on an advisor when we are financially strapped or can’t get our financial house in order, but if what have been doing hasn’t worked then it’s probably time for some careful consideration.
After all, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.
The first thing we need to do is figure out where we are versus where we want to be. What does that look like?
At Divine we start with an exercise called Empiring.
It’s about envisioning the future we have created for ourselves and our loved ones. This allows us to really visualize ourselves in the coming years and we bring our future self into the present! We can then create goals and a savings, budget and investment strategy that has a positive impact and makes sense for our situation at whatever stage we’re in.
Once we know what a client wants then we start planning. The thing to keep in mind is that there are many pieces to the puzzle therefore everyone will have a unique planning experience.
Here are some things to think about when assessing if there is a need for a professional:
How does our cash flow look? Do we know where every dollar that comes in is going? Are we living within our means?
Savings - Do we have 3-6 months of expenses covered? Life happens. Are we ready for that emergency? Remember when the heating/AC unit goes it doesn’t usually give us notice.
Debt – Spending our life in debt can compromise other goals. Not only are we usually paying high interest rates, but then there is the lost opportunity of what we could’ve done with that money. And let us not forget the emotional effects debt can have on us. Structuring a debt pay down plan makes all the difference.
Retirement accounts – Do we have an IRA, pension, 401(k), 403(b)? Maybe we left an old account at a previous job and have no idea what’s in that account. Maybe there is an employee match you’re not aware of. By not knowing the contents or rate of return in these accounts we may be leaving money on the table.
Insurance - we should have all of our insurance bases covered – this includes life, disability, and health insurance. The probability of disability or premature death are low, but we must better insulate ourselves for the possibility of these unexpected occurrences along the way.
Having a financial partner to guide us on the journey makes us feel like we’re not alone. Sometimes we need someone to tell us whether we are on the right track or not. There is so much that goes into planning our financial future that the thought alone can be overwhelming. Not only is there the aforementioned, but other things to consider are college planning/saving, homeownership, children, and more. An advisor can help review and prioritize our goals and objectives with a fresh set of eyes.
An advisor can help bring order to our financial house, bring insight from the outside to help us avoid emotionally charged decisions, and help us follow through on financial commitments as an accountability partner.
To learn more about a financial plan visit us at www.divineasstmgt.com
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