Why I Plan Financial Strategies the Way I Do
Financial planning is what I enjoy most. It’s the challenge.
I earned my Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation almost 40 years ago. Much has changed since then. Computers are much more useful. Affordable, too. But they’re no substitute for a planner who understands your dreams.
One thing that hasn’t changed, at least with me, is the importance of listening.
A cookie-cutter approach is not the way to handle financial planning. In my work, I take the time to understand the client’s needs. So, what I do is sit down with people and a legal pad and my calculator and I literally write up everything step by step. How much money do you have in your retirement account? How much money do you have personally? How many houses do you own? Are you able to save money from your take-home pay? We work through a lot of questions because the answers will drive everything we do.
We don’t just stop with each answer. My goal is to get clients thinking about their goals and how their actions day to day until retirement can impact those goals.
This illustration might help:
Suppose you have a big, metal warehouse in your backyard. Inside that warehouse are hundreds of shelves. They're stacked from the ground to the ceiling, and there are cans lined up in rows on every shelf. Every can is labeled for a certain purpose. There's a can labeled “money for lunch today.” Our goal is to be able to pick up that can and have exactly the amount of money in it that you're going to spend for lunch today. There's an amount of money in another can for dinner. A can with cash for going to the movies. There are cans holding money for the kids’ college tuition, their weddings. Your vacations. A can with money for that boat you’ve been dreaming about.
It may seem daunting to think about a lifetime of finances in such detail, but the math is done for you. That’s my job.
The basic goals of financial planning are twofold: maximize returns while minimizing risk. By knowing your needs in such detail, we are better prepared to craft a plan that works for your unique situation. We cover everything that’s specific to your life. You get a plan of action, not a generic form a computer grinds out. And because the only certain thing in life is uncertainty, I understand that your goals may change. So, we will adapt your plan to the new objectives. Because you’ve already considered your hopes and dreams in some detail, you’re in a much better position to understand how an evolving financial plan is essential to keep you on track.
This is how I help you.
*All investing involves risk including loss of principal. No strategy assures success or protects against loss.