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Know when to get help

We get this question tons and tons of times. When should I get help from a planner, money manager, or financial advisor, and what's the difference between them? Should I wait until I have about a million or two to get help? We'll touch on these and hope to give you more clarity and understanding on what be right for you.

First and foremost, it's never too early or too late to get help. Of course, if it's the latter, we may have limited options. As far as too early, well, I'm not so sure that exists. At times we get prospects sent to us from existing clients, friends, colleagues, etc. who might be younger and think they're hopeless because they don't meet firm minimums, etc. The fact is, if there's not much we can do to manage the assets right now, there are still small behavioral shifts that can be tweaked to get them set up for success. Think about building a foundation, a roadmap, a blueprint for your future financial picture will look like.

Far too often we see just the opposite. A prospect schedules a meeting, has ample assets but has done no planning. Throwing money into your 401(k), keeping cash stashed in the ashtray or under the mattress is not exactly giving you the kind of insight you need to know if you're on track, off track, or don't even know where the track is. If you can't see a target, how do you know how close you are? You don't!

A good sign is a trend we've been seeing as of late. More and more often we're seeing younger clients scheduling a meeting to be sure they're doing all the right activities, putting their money in all the right places, and have the protection in place to keep their family safe. These meetings are more like a strategy session and involve more conceptual planning and looking at the entire picture. It's this newest generation of early planners that will fair the best when it comes to retirement. Just a little bit of work upfront can go a long way.

Some of the points we touch on in the early phases of planning are:

  1. Budgeting

  2. Where and how to save

  3. Estate Plan

  4. Health Insurance

  5. Life Insurance Protection

  6. Risk tolerance

  7. Objectives

  8. Goals

  9. Time Horizon

Like anything else in life, the sooner you identify what you want and plan for it, the better off you are. The trend seems to be sooner and more frequent than the generation prior. The "Baby Boomers" tended to work hard, stay loyal and rely on a company pension and social security to fund most, if not all of their retirement.

So what about the other end of the spectrum? When we have prospects schedule a meeting and they're entering or already in retirement. Well, those can go well, but chances are, they're scheduling a meeting for a reason - and it's not usually good. Let's face it, asking for help when it comes to finances is typically causational; meaning, you ask for help at the last minute - when you absolutely need it!

By all means, asking for help, even later in life can help. We've been able to help clients with late-stage planning. There may be tax savings, income security, or asset management that make a world of difference for these folks. It could also be along the lines of asset protection, survivor benefits, or estate planning. We all work hard throughout our lifetime and you certainly don't want to goof things up when you've actually accumulated the money and "stuff" you've always dreamed of.

I get asked quite often from prospects or people not familiar with the firm; what do you have for sale? The answer is nothing. There are no product shelves filled with goods on the verge of going stale. No sales targets, gimmicks, or firm thresholds to meet. We are consultative and thrive only when clients remain clients; forever. In fact, we hope you're so thrilled with our services you never want to leave and hopefully brag about us to your friends and family. There are no commitments or penalties if you feel the need to sever your relationship with the firm. We are owners, care about our clients, and have no moves to make up the corporate ladder. The fact is, we're already at the top and fortunate to have loyal clients that continue to hire us throughout their lifetime.

So, schedule an initial consultation, fill out our new client application, and learn more about our process. I assure you there will be some takeaways regardless of where you are in life. We look forward to meeting you soon and wish you well until then.

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