For most people, the topic of money, saving or retirement can be a lot like learning a second language. You may recognize words or phrases here and there that you’ve been taught by parents or colleagues. You know that you should invest in a 401k, or maybe you think you’re in good shape because your money is going into a Roth IRA. But what most people don’t know is why or if they are doing everything they should and could be doing now to set them up for success in the future.
Questions that I often ask my clients are:
1. What do you want from your money?
2. When do you want to retire?
3. Do you have children and/or pets?
4. How long do you plan to support your children/pets financially?
If you can’t easily answer these questions, among many others that financial advisors throw your way, my guess is that you’ve been faced with a grueling (seemingly unattainable) task. You must learn to speak money.
I get it – ignorance is bliss. BUT what your facing is not as daunting as it seems.
The first few steps are really very simple – take an hour (or two) to lay out your annual income, your expenses, any big life changes you foresee taking place over the next few years, and then ask yourself, “what is the ultimate goal?”.
A financial advisor can then take what they’ve learned about you (and what you’ve learned about yourself!) and provide a comprehensive step by step plan for your future. All it takes is a few meetings and he/she can have you on track, will help you avoid financial mistakes, and ensure you maintain your retirement plan.
Before you know it, you will find yourself saying, “I’m saving enough money in the right buckets to make sure that I can live comfortably, take three vacations a year, pay for my two kids to go college, and stop working at the age of 60.”
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