One of the best things about having little ones around is they teach you all about the small joys in life. Picture the last time you were with your grandkids, or even think back to when your kids were just little tikes playing their favorite game, finally getting the toy they always dreamed of on Christmas morning, the comfort they took in being rocked to sleep, or getting an “A” on their math test. Kids remind us of many things; but mostly they remind us that there is still a kid inside each and every one of us.
We hope you have a special little one to remember. We’ll get back to them shortly, so don’t forget who you’re thinking about!
As we look at financial planning, it seems as though many of us think of it as a “necessary evil.” There’s filing paperwork, understanding all the documents, trying to remember your passwords, and sometimes one too many phone calls to handle. If done properly and with the right financial planner, it will be one of the most rewarding things you can ever take the time to do!
Now back to what really matters, your grandkids.
If you’ve ever gone shopping with a child, you know that persistence is key to getting what you want. When you want something badly enough, you will do whatever it takes to get it. Sometimes it takes convincing that you need it, and other times well… you may have to kick and scream to get what you want.
With financial planning, the only person we have to convince that we need it, is ourselves. Too often we have so much going on that financial planning takes the back burner; and we think depositing into our savings account and 401k will do the trick. The first step in financial planning is selecting an advisor; which begins by setting up an appointment with a few financial planners. After your first few meetings you’ll start to get a grasp of what you’re looking for in a financial planner. This is where the “kicking and screaming” comes into play. During your meetings ask as many questions as you need to, especially in this initial phase. Don’t leave the meeting until all your questions have been answered or the advisor promises to follow up on any outstanding items. The more information you get, the more informed decision you will make on choosing a financial planner.
Years later, when you look back on the work you put into planning and how far you’ve come, it’ll all be worth it. You’ll finally get the retirement you’ve always dreamed of. You’ll feel like a kid on Christmas morning!
Practice Makes Perfect.
What was your grandchild’s favorite game? Maybe it was Old Maid, Dolls, or Legos. Maybe it was something a little more rowdy like Duck Duck Goose, Hide & Seek, or jump rope. Whatever the favorite game was, they played it as often as they could and worked to get better and better each time they played.
Know that financial planning is never a one-and-done event. Even after your plan has been put into place, you will want to meet with your advisor at least once per year. A lot can change in a year and consistently communicating with your advisor will only make your financial plan more stable. You’ll learn something new each time and work to make it better and better.
You need to rest.
Now, picture rocking your sweet little ones to sleep… watching their eyes slowly shut after fighting for what seemed like hours to stay awake. Then ever so carefully placing them in their bed for the night. This satisfied feeling after a “day-well-done” is the same feeling many of our clients get after leaving a meeting with us. Their feeling may not stem from running around the yard or spending all day pretending you are an elephant; but it comes from realizing “wow, we finally did it.” Financial planning does take time and it takes work; but after each step toward your financial goals, you deserve to kick back in your recliner and relax.
Your Legacy: you’re doing this for them.
We started this with “what your grandchild can teach you about financial planning?” At the end of the day, who are you planning for? For many of us, it is to carry out our legacy, which often means our kids and grandkids. Keep your family involved with your legacy goals so they are well aware on how to carry out your wishes long after you are gone. Communicate what is important to you and listen to what is important to them. Working together with the right financial planner will help everyone be on the same page when it is time to carry out your legacy.