Partnering with a financial planning professional offers much more than just the Financial Plan itself. Taking the time to invest in this relationship creates strength in many ways that you may not often times associate with engaging a financial planner, and in today’s article we are going to look at a few of those ways.
They get a second view of your situation
“An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure”
Ever hear the saying that someone was “too close” to the situation in order to see everything (clearly) at the time? This is one case where many times the second set of eyes like a good proof-reading can smooth out some edges that were overlooked or save an unforeseen consequence that may have been going unnoticed. This can be like an annual medical physical but for your finances – much like the physical, you aren’t going because you’ve noticed a pain or discomfort you are going to ensure everything is working properly. Furthermore,just as the medical professional would tell us not to wait until there’s higher discomfort and/or symptoms the same is absolutely true when it comes to financial planning and investing. Remember: An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure
A good planner will involve your most important network
Remember playing the telephone game in school? Don’t play those games with your most important plans.
What is your most important network when we think about your financial planning? This is a question that too often goes overlooked as we get lost in the numbers of planning as investors. However, these are some of the most important parts of financial planning – the “why” we are investing and who should be involved. Lets start with the most natural answer that comes from that question on face value: Q:“Who should we involve as part of the planning?” A:”I handle the investments primarily so just our one on one covers it”. Sometimes that answer includes “Well I’d like to have my accountant involved because he/she brings up things that could make some sense”. Although the inclusion of an accountant is certainly getting warmer in involving your network lets not forget about the closest ring in the circle of your family or most trusted partner. It is worth at least the hour once a year to bring the most important people into a meeting and these can include: Spouse, Children, Grandchildren, Power of Attorney/trusted contact, Accountant, Estate Planning Attorneys and Elder Care Attorneys. Without bringing these people into the meeting you are having to deliver the message much like the telephone game out to each of these parts of your network, furthermore there is a lost chance for all of these most important parts of your network to collaborate along with you. The satisfaction and comfort of individuals who have a planner that brings these people together around them are unmistakably higher in my experience than those who don’t. This also allows for familiarity between all parties involved while putting everyone on an agreed approach to work towards the best outcomes of your wishes. Most importantly, it doesn’t leave our spouses or loved ones sorting things out while having to build trust with a planner during an already emotionally trying time should there be any instances of incapacitation or inevitably your passing.
They help to keep you accountable
“Education without implementation is merely entertainment.”
Its one thing for us to have knowledge and another for us to take action, hence why many retirement savings are automated and why automation is one of the 5 Simple Things You Can do to Save More. Think about personal health as we previously touched upon earlier with our annual checkup reference. You may get told that you need to change your diet, exercise more, reduce stress, increase vitamins etc. but how often are those instructions only followed on the peripherals of what was recommended or perhaps not followed at all? Most shockingly in contrast these were deliberate instructions tailored to your current health assessment that took no more than a call to action on your end, but the actual action steps never got done. Now, if as a part of this process you were to be working with a nutritionist or dietitian and networked into the equation was a personal trainer, you’d have a few people to answer to if you considering wavering from your goals. These same human behaviors apply to financial planning as well, and a good financial planning relationship will have both parties keeping accountability towards pursuing your goals. An old college profession of mine used to quote: “Education without implementation is merely entertainment” meaning that if we simply learned something without its practical application (or implementation) we were simply being entertained for the hour by his lecture.
They tailor advice for your specific goals, values and situation
Your values, goals and experiences should be the foundation of your planning – not the numbers.
Wildly successful individuals have been quoted many times with sentiments that sound something like “I didn’t get into this profession/start this company/invent this product for the financial rewards it might bring, the money is just a byproduct of working passionately and relentlessly on something I care deeply about.”. What you should take away from that is these people identified why it is they took up the work they do. To some it could be a greater calling based off a life experience (e.g. a world renowned oncologist who pursued the field after loosing a loved one to Cancer at a young age), others may have found that passion along the way and ‘fallen’ into that mindset once they realized what impact their work has on others, as if a fire was ignited around what they do and who they do it for. The same applies to investing and planning, doing so simply for the ‘paycheck’ is an unfulfilling experience for most. You should take the time to think about what it is that you have experienced both in the market as well as in your life that make certain things important to you before you sit down to plan. A part of our process includes an hour discovery meeting just to talk about these things like family, healthcare,fears, concerns, experiences, goals, aspirations and personal values so that the bar can be set from these deeply important considerations. A skilled financial planner will take you through this process to help uncover these things and through collaboration your goals will be set with actionable steps to take. Without laying this foundation your previous planning may have only told you what you can afford by doing what you are now. Planning properly with a professional will not only tell you if you’re “on track” but it will also allow for all the needs, wants, wishes and concerns of your plan to be specifically addressed. Finally, this process will set your true benchmark to success: your goals; see our previous article Why Your Goals Are the Only Index to Measure Against.
They are not only planning for your savings;they are planning for your distributions too.
Planning to only climb the mountain can lead to big dangers on the way down
Your long-term goals are a wonderful analogy when compared to climbing a mountain. At some point you set a goal that is worthy enough to start saving (or accumulating) cash and investments; it could be one of our most common goals that both you and others reading can relate to: retirement.The accumulation phase of retirement both visually and metaphorically is like the climb up the mountain as your saved balance grows while you move towards the peak (or the top) of the mountain to plant your flag. But that is only half of your journey, now you need to make it back down safely. An interesting article from Business Insider covers a Mt. Everest record-holder who says more people die on the way down the mountain than up because they “inadvertently push their bodies past their limits.” The same can be said with Investment Savings (Accumulation)vs Investment Distributions (Distribution Phase), it is sometimes the distributions coupled with weaker than expected or negative markets that can lead to inadvertently pushing past your portfolio’s limits. It is not enough to only plan for the “goal” as a finish line, it is an ongoing process where conditions will change such as life events, potential tax code changes, market swings and the like need to be evaluated along the way. A financial Planner is calculating for both the accumulation as well as distribution phases of your journey while taking all life event and market conditions into account along the way. In some instances, they can uncover hidden efficiencies for your plan that you may have been unaware of or overlooked. In addition to this, they have experience and insight in helping individuals like yourself in the distribution phase.
They will educate and empower you
“Success without reason is luck, and luck is hard to replicate.”
The process of working with a Financial Planner should be collaborative and educational. It is important just as we spoke about bringing your network together to communicate what we are doing and why that you too are given insight into your plan, its action steps and what parts of your goals or concerns are being addressed with each part. This is critical because it creates continuity and contingency for you and your loved ones. The collaborative and educational process never leaves a spouse unaware of what was going on, or who to talk to in the event of an emergency. To that same effect, by educating and empowering you as well as your other trusted professionals a good financial planner gives you the tools to continue on successfully in the event anything were to happen to them. An old investing adage goes “know what you hold and why you hold it”, we look to bring that level of insight to you on both your holdings and your planning.
Howto Get Started:
It never too early or too late to get started! If you are interested in speaking with a Financial Planner here at Coastal Wealth Planners you may choose from the following:
You can always reach us by phone as well at (732)554-1099 or [email protected] .
Looking to keep up to date on news, blog posts and other important information from us?