By Debbie Placke, Vice President and Manager, Financial Planning Strategies and MarketingPrint This Post
Most of us have been cooped up inside the walls of our home more than we would have liked since March. With cooler weather, there are boundless opportunities to enjoy some time outside of those walls. With Halloween around the corner, October is known for scary events and movies. Whether it is a haunted hayride, or an evening visit to a family fun farm, scary things are all around us. During the month of October, we are going to be talking about scary financial mistakes; we’ll begin by taking a look at your financial plan and continue with some of the pieces that make up that plan.
Do you have a cohesive financial plan for your future, or are your goals and resources spread out like the candy being dumped from the trick-or-treat bags? Having a bunch of segmented pieces can not only be scary but very stressful as you begin to reach goal milestones. If you haven’t talked with a financial advisor about a plan, it’s time to do so. A cohesive financial plan looks at all the pieces of your financial life together. All your goals, expectations and concerns should be looked at in conjunction with your investment, business and personal assets. Just as important, don’t forget about your risk tolerance. A financial plan will lay the groundwork for steps you can take to reach certain milestones in life.
Can you imagine making a quilt without a pattern? You would have hundreds of pieces of fabric but no idea what belongs where, or how you can sew it all together into one beautiful creation that can keep you warm on these cool fall evenings. Having a plan or pattern – in addition to each one of the pieces of fabric – is important to achieve that goal. The same applies to your financial life.
One of the most important goals that everyone has is to be able to retire and live comfortably. You may think that since you are contributing to an IRA or company retirement plan that is all you need to do in order to achieve that goal. But that’s not necessarily true. So many other factors impact whether the goal is achievable, and this is just one piece of your future. Will you have children to send to college before then? Will you have the need for home or auto repairs? What about travel? Will you be paying for weddings for your children? How will the cost of health care affect your retirement goal? All these things are important to consider when looking at your “big picture” and they highlight the need to work with a financial advisor rather than rely on an online retirement calculator of some sort.
Planning can not only provide peace of mind, but also help take away the fears and give you more confidence in your future. During the month of October, enjoy learning about potential mistakes that could be affecting your financial plan. Reach out to your Benjamin F. Edwards financial advisor to get started with putting the pieces together.