Tighten up your game. Be an all-star.
It’s not that hard. Getting your financial groove on requires consistency. Knowing what’s happening in your financial life will make you a financial rockstar. I know this might sound a bit simple. However, I guarantee, it’s not that big of a deal.
Let’s Get Started!
Being alert will help you prioritize what’s important to you. Hmm? What’s happening in your life? Who’s in your life? Who’s not? What do you expect to happen in the short-term? You have to be alert—to changes in your needs and goals, and to changes in your personal or work situation. And, of course, check in at least periodically with domestic and global news.
Be open to opportunities. Be prepared for difficulties.
Our lives are fluid. There is so much happening just in the day-to-day process of living our lives. However, for all that is planned, there is a random element of our lives. You get a promotion. Your brother becomes ill. Your child has a wonderful opportunity. There is some sort of global conflict. Be prepared.
According to Leonardo da Vinci, “Blinding ignorance does mislead us.”
What does this mean from a practical perspective?
- Will you need more cash on hand in the coming months?
- Will you have the opportunity to save more or to pay off debt?
- Will you make a commitment to plan and change your financial behaviors?
What’s happening in your brokerage account, your retirement account, and your savings? Do you have sufficient emergency funds? Is your asset allocation appropriate for your risk/reward profile? Do it. Take a look… go online, or open the envelope.
Are your will and trust up to date? What about your insurance policies—are they appropriate for your life right now? What can you do immediately?
- Passwords? Are they written down?
- Key documents? Will and trust and insurance policies current?
- Beneficiaries? Check them. Please!
It’s wise to remind the important people in your life where key information and documents are kept, and to have discussions about how you expect them to be involved in your life if you become injured or ill.
This is in addition, of course, to your Durable Power of Attorney and Health Care Directive being complete and current.
Also, check in with family and friends regarding your goals for this year and beyond. Saying your goals helps you achieve them, right? I know, this can be difficult. This is not something that any of us are practiced at doing. Including me!
Families and friends usually have their own version of hectic lives. Just as you do. However, imagine if something happened, even for the short-term, and someone was needed to help you and your family? This way they’ll be ready.
Consider this a gift to your family and friends. They’ll love you for it.
Who’s on Your Team?
As you begin to review your statements, think about the last time you had conversations with your accountant or CPA, your estate planning and/or business attorney, and your financial advisor.
Reach out and make appointments with your advisors.
These are the other people you need to talk to beyond your family and friends. These are your team members. They are professionals who are vested in your personal and financial success.
These people are there to keep you on track. Remind you of key legal situations. Conduct assessments. Make recommendations.
Talk with your advisors to make sure you are on track to accomplish your short-term and long-term goals. Don’t be shy! These folks work for you!
You have reviewed your statements, accounts, trust documents, and powers-of-attorney.
You’ve had important conversations with key people in your life.
You’ve talked to your advisors. Your advisors might have indicated that all is good—you are all set. Awesome & congrats.
Or perhaps one or two of your advisors have made some recommendations: something to be updated, or a new approach based on your goals. Make these updates. Yes, go ahead and talk to your family and friends about the recommendations. However, please circle around with your advisor and let her know how you would like to move forward—or that you have questions.
As a financial advisor, I frequently see recommended updates not implemented, which can lead to unfortunate consequences. Don’t be that person. Make the needed changes now.