July 17, 2009

Are You Doing Enough? Is Your Family?

It is sometimes great to get out of the office to hear what other people think. Along those lines, I spent Thursday at a conference in Atlanta discussing various client issues that other advisors face. A topic that kept being brought up was that frequently people wait until just before/after a "life-changing" event to find out what they should be doing.

If you have been reading this blog for any length of time, you know that I usually try to "push" you to think ahead and not get behind. From my posts on contributing to your retirement (i.e. your 403b/401k), organizing your finances, and planning your power of attorneys and will, it is about preparation before and not after something happens that allows you to avoid frequent and usually costly mistakes.

We have all been late for some appointment and rushed out the door only to find out later that we left our cell phone, sunglasses, wallet, purse, checkbook, or keys behind (yes, I’ll admit I ran out one time late for work to notice that I had just locked myself out of my house... my wife laughed at me). Had I been ready 15 minutes earlier, I doubt that would have happened. Planning for the future and the unknown is somewhat the same.

I find it interesting that I hear clients and neighbors plan for six months or more for some fabulous vacation, but if you ask them about how they are doing with their retirement plan, they look at you as if you are speaking a foreign language. Which is more important – the week of vacation at the beach now or the 30 years of “vacation” we all want?

Take a moment to review your personal finances and plans. Talk to your family (parents, children, etc.) about what things they have planned. Please, do not force the issue with your family, but make them aware that you care about them and their future. You just want to know that they have moved in the right direction and made some plans and decisions.

All of this brings us to my little conference on Thursday. After hearing person after person talk about the various issues, I want to help all of you avoid the same mistakes.

If you would like for me to help review your personal finances or those of a family member or friend, I am offering to review them for free. Yes, free.

Whether you have a 403(b), 401(k), IRA, brokerage accounts, etc., I will review it, discuss it with you (by meeting, phone, or e-mail), and essentially, let you know what I think. I cannot make it much easier than that. You simply need to tell me about you, send me the statements (by e-mail preferably or fax), and let me know how to contact you.

That’s it. I have thrown it out there, so it is up to you to decide what is important. Are you going to worry about the weather for your next vacation or take a small amount of time to get a handle on that LONG, 30 YEAR vacation we tend to call retirement? You can always worry about the weather later.

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