The biggest mistake we see is that the majority of families don’t know what they don’t know and have not really focused on their financial issues and coast through life hoping it will all work out the end. So financial planning is put on the back burner and not really a priority since the “tyranny of the urgent” daily pressures detract from longer term planning.
Many unfortunately wait to confront their planning needs only when certain life events that demand more attention like:
- The ultimate epiphany that in their 50’s they realize they don’t have near enough stashed away for retirement.
- Getting a windfall from an inheritance or other unexpected financial benefit
- Change in marital status
- Planning for the birth or adoption of a child
- Facing a financial crisis such as an illness, layoff or natural disaster
It’s really not that hard to get started with a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional. Make sure to first learn about their credentials and experience, their financial planning process, fee structures, regular review expectations and what kind of support team they have in place for the long term. They should have a clearly defined approach to helping you gain clarity on your goals, having an honest discussion on your current financial reality and a written plan for how to achieve your goals and reduce your risks. But ongoing accountability measures are the key to successful implementation. Having a plan and not executing it will not get the results you’re looking to achieve. Just like having a new year’s resolution to work out and not ever going to the gym. That’s why we like to joke that with permission, we can act in a “friendly nagger” capacity for our clients to make sure they follow through and help them accomplish their goals year over year.
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