So, it's official. It is the end of January, and any resolutions we’ve made, though begun with the best of intentions, have ended. Through extensive research (I googled it), I have found that most resolutions fail because we like the idea of our resolution but have not included why we are resolving to do that thing, how we plan on doing it, who will do it, and what we will need to do to make it a reality.
You can thank me later, but together we will start a new tradition this February. It will be the I will get it done resolution. Since I am the inventor of this event, I get to pick our first resolution.
Please say this out loud with me “I resolve to create financial security for myself and those I care about.” What did you expect from your financial guy, something lame like weight loss?
First, the why. When we reach a sense of financial security, all kinds of good things happen. Our stress goes down. When our stress goes down, the quality of our lives improves. When the quality of our lives improves, the stress and quality of life for those we care about will improve (it’s one less thing they worry about).
I don’t know about you, but there is plenty of stress going around without each of us creating self-inflicted stress because of our finances. It doesn't have to be that way, and each of us can fix the problem.
I want to make sure we are clear about financial security. It has nothing to do with being wealthy. What it does have to do with is having an understanding and control of your financial life.
How do we do this?
We take our financial life and break it down into manageable pieces.
- What money do I have coming in?
- Social Security
- Retirement plan (401(k), 457, IRA, Roth 403(b) etc.)
- What money do I have going out?
- Fixed (Rent or Mortgage, Utilities, Insurance, Food)
- Nice to have (Cable, Mobile Phone, Car, etc.)
- Lifestyle (Grooming, Trips/Vacations, Dining Out, Entertainment etc.)
- Emotional (Supporting someone, Charitable, etc.)
- What happens if I am sick or disabled?
- Care (Medical Insurance, Guardianships, Long Term Care, Disability Insurance, Life Insurance, Power of Attorney, Health Directive, etc.)
- Continued running of household (Ability to pay bills, Access to passwords, Key Individuals to provide support)
- I am dead. Have I taken the steps to make sure life goes on as smoothly as possible without me?
- Legal (Will, Trust, Special Needs, Health Care Directive, Accounts have been set up with proper beneficiaries, Transfer on Death, Payable on Death, etc.)
- Key individuals (Do they know where passwords are, how to pay bills, what you want to do with the (boat, cabin, timeshare), who they should reach out to for help and guidance?)
That’s the how. We gather information. Do it at a pace that works for you. Making each area a bite-size task potentially done over time will set you up for success. Each of us will take a different track regarding what we do with the information. You could be someone who scans every time into a computer and keeps track of the information on a spreadsheet. You could be the person who collects the information and puts it into a grocery bag or a plastic box. There is no right way to do this. What is important is to begin and continue collecting the information until you have what you need.
Remember: Perfect is the Enemy of Good
Our goal is to get this done. Don’t let perfect stand in your way.
Who will do this?
The collection of data will be your responsibility. When I say your responsibility, that could be you alone, you and a significant other, you and your kids.
What will we end up with?
Each of us will have a collection of items that, when assembled, will provide you and those you care about with a road map of your financial life. We will have a collection of information that will, I promise, provide you and those in life that are important to you, peace of mind, stress relief, and the knowledge that you truly care about those around you.
I have a complementary workbook that will guide you through this process or together, we can make your document a reality.
I was with a client the other day and they decided to share a story with me about their father.
The client shared that they were with their father, who was very near the end of his life. As they talked the father wanted to make sure my client would take care of the father’s wife, and he said he was sorry he had not done more to make sure the family would be all right when he was gone.
None of us wants to worry about the care of those left behind or concerned that they have not done enough today or right before we die. We or you can fix these problems. I have the tools and the knowledge for you. Let’s make this resolution one that we not only fulfill but have a payoff many times larger than what we put in.
I can’t wait to start this project with you. Call me or send me a note, so we can make this resolution a reality.
Let me know what you think,
612-895-5400 or firstname.lastname@example.org