You get to make a choice about every dollar that passes through your hands. It can be used for spending today or it can be saved to reach tomorrow’s goals. Being in control of your hard-earned dollars means that you can make conscious choices between what’s important to you right now and what you plan to achieve in the future.
If planning for the future means saving a little more than you are now, together we can look at where your money is going to decide what’s important and what can take a backseat your goals. And if it’s accountability that helps you stay on track, I’m here to help you reinforce your decisions.
You’ve put in your time at work. Maybe you’ve raised the kids. It’s your time now. What will that look like? What will it mean? How much will it cost? Why does it seem so complicated?
It doesn’t have to be that complicated.
It is said that our later years have three phases: the go-go years, the slo-go years and the no-go years. In the years before retirement, together, we can articulate what you want your life to look like in each phase and discuss how to maintain quality of life as you slow down. We will create and execute an individualized strategy to determine how much you need to be saving in the years before retirement, how much you can spend in each of those retirement phases, and how much investment risk you need to take to reach your goals.
As you get closer to those glorious years of freedom, we will plan for pivotal decisions such as social security claiming options and how to meet higher health care and long term care expenses in those slo-go and no-go years. We will also create a strategy to pull money from various accounts in a way that minimizes taxes.
With a plan in place, we can cast aside that really scary feeling of starting to spend those dollars that you’ve worked so hard to save and invest and grow. You can spend your time and energy doing retirement your way.
It’s your money and you must understand what your options are for making it work for you. Let me step on my soapbox for a minute… It’s fine to hire someone to manage your assets. You’ve probably got better things to do with your time. But it’s not ok for you to blindly hand over your future security. Stepping down now…
Your experience here will be different. I will not see you as merely the number at the end of a net worth calculation. As a partnership, we’ll talk stocks and bonds and IRAs in terms you understand. You’ll get perspective when CNN is screaming headlines about the Dow drops and discipline to keep emotions out of investing. I encourage you to ask questions and bring ideas to the table. Together, let’s build an investment strategy based on reaching your long-term goals and funding your lifestyle, not chasing market returns. And while we’re at it, let’s shift the conversation from looking at money as a bunch of numbers to tools to accomplish something greater.
Auto, homeowners, life, long-term care, umbrella policies. That’s just to start. What should my deductible be for comp and collision? Does it matter if my homeowner’s coverage has actual cash values or replacement values? Do I need life insurance and should it be whole life or term? Should I start looking into long term care and what on earth are ADL’s? Do I need all this insurance anyway?
It’s an awful lot of effort and expense to transfer the risk of something catastrophic to someone else. But that’s what insurance is for… to cover us when the “really bad” happens. Depending upon where you are in life, some of it is necessary and some of it is not. Let’s have a common-sense discussion about what types of financial risks might jeapordize reaching your goals and whether we can protect against them.
Taxes are a fact of life. But you’re under no obligation to pay more than your fair share. Worse yet, if you receive a refund, what you’re really doing is providing an interest-free loan to the government for the year. Isn’t it smarter to estimate what your actual tax bill is, make sure you are taking advantage of any opportunities available to you, and adjust your withholdings accordingly? Then you could use those extra bring-home dollars as you need to – pay off high-interest rate debt or increase the contribution to your employer’s 401k so you get the full matching contribution. Whichever it is, take back the choice to use your money wisely.
If you happen to own your own business, the tax advantages are tremendous – from write-offs to very generous tax-deferred retirement plans. Even though the tax code is complex, there’s almost always something to ease the tax burden for the business owner. Let’s make sure you are getting what you deserve.
Neither death nor incapacity is easy to discuss but we really need to. No one wants to consider who will make financial and healthcare decisions for you should you be unable to do so. But at least we can visualize incapacity as being temporary. Our eventual demise is pretty permanent and it’s one of the most emotionally-charged concepts to ponder.
How will our loved ones be financially secure without us? Can you make sure the wealth you’ve sacrificed to build will be used to bring them security and happiness? What if it’s not enough?
If you think making these decisions is tough right now, consider about how difficult it would be for your loved ones to make important decisions in the midst of either a medical or family crisis. We can discuss ideas, options and strategies to plan for these eventualities. Once the correct legal documents are in place, I can facilitate the discussion with involved loved ones to convey the plan, along with having the discussion of the roles and responsibilities any loved ones might play. We can also articulate your hopes for the legacy you wish to leave behind.
Debt used smartly has a place in today’s financial life. Wasteful and expensive debt does not and it can be crushing. In most cases, debt didn’t accrue overnight and there’s no magic wand to make it disappear. With a smart plan, let’s diligently work to pry that freeloading monkey off your back in the most efficient way and push it out of your life. Then you can move forward climbing your mountain rather than clawing out of a hole. And since debt puts the rest of your financial life on hold, there will be lots of accountability to make sure you stay on track.
A start-up business may start with passion and a good idea but it takes much more to be successful. Maybe it takes some outside funding. It definitely requires planning and financial forecasting. What legal structure do you choose? What are the tax ramifications and benefits? Employees or consultants? Insurance? Retirement plans? Growth and expansion? As the owner, you get to make all of these decisions and more. But it doesn’t need to be intimidating. Advice from someone who has been there can make all the difference between success, mere sustainability and closing up shop.
Life is already complicated for women. We are daughters who may be caring for aging parents. We are climbing the corporate ladder or heading up our own businesses. Maybe we are carrying the financial load all by ourselves. Maybe we are partners managing a household or mothers working to instill in our children everything they need to be fine out there in that big world. Regardless of which hats we are wearing this minute, money does not have to be one more thing on that never-ending list of what causes us to lose sleep at night. Let me help you simplify your finances and view money as a tool to help you achieve all those more important things in life.
There are a lot of people out there willing to sell you financial advice. What’s different with me is that there is no judgment, there are no silly questions. And honestly, there won’t be much sugar-coating either. There will be listening, there will be understanding, there will be education. It’s a long-term relationship and we’ll get to know each other pretty well. And together as a team, we will create a realistic, balanced approach to managing your financial life with confidence. There will be peace of mind.