Everybody gets nervous when they see me put on the rubber glove. Let me tell you what the rubber glove delineates in a person's financial life.
People think when we are talking to them about finances, retirement planning, or money that we’re just talking about money under management. That is what financial advisors like to take a look at: money that’s under management, but if that is ALL your financial advisor is spending their time doing, you are missing out and they are missing the point.
A good financial advisor should be looking at the “whole of your life”. They should be looking at your automobile insurance, your homeowner's insurance and liability insurance. Why? Because someone could steal your money for just being in the wrong place at the wrong time. If you are sued, then all that money that you have been saving is going to go someplace else. What about disability insurance? They should be taking a look at what happens if you become ill or if there is an accident. What about your medical insurance? How could that affect things?
What about Social Security? How does that play into your overall plan? Should you be taking it now? Should you be taking it later? What is the age I should be looking at? What about your wills and/or trusts? We are not attorneys, but we work with attorneys who make sure that things like health care directives and financial powers of attorney (durable or springing) are put into place. What’s the difference between a trust and a will? How can it affect your life both while you are alive and otherwise? What about ownership? How do you own the assets that you have? If you own them incorrectly, it could be a problem later on. It could be a problem Now.
What about life insurance? What kind is the right kind? What does it do? How does it affect your life, long term and short term? What about your bank accounts, CDs, checking accounts, savings accounts, money market accounts, and US savings bonds? What about the tax-deferred money that you have in your life? What about the tax-free money that you have in your life? What about the tax-deductible money that you have in your life? Are the accounts that you have with your employer ‘pregnant’ with taxes that at some point in time you or someone else will have to pay the piper because they weren’t organized correctly? What about government, corporate, and municipal bonds? Is that an important thing? What does it look like? Do I have that stuff? Should I have that stuff? What about a brokerage account? What about mutual funds, Individual stocks, and bonds? How does this play into it? What about dividends? What about growth? What about real estate? Not where you live, but real estate investments. What about depreciation? How does that come into play? What about collectibles? What about things like limited partnerships?
We actually look for 234 potential problems that a person might have in their financial life. Maybe I don’t want to call them problems, let’s call them concerns because what might be a problem for one person may actually be an advantage for someone else. You need to be looking at every single aspect of your financial life, even if you think some of these things don’t have anything to do with money. In the end, everything has to do with money because money helps make dreams come true. Money can also make nightmares a reality, if not handled the right way.
This is why, if you are a current client, we ask for a lot of documents and statements when we get together and you might cringe a little bit. You may wonder why we want all this information and why it’s so important. It’s because we’re looking at the long game. Unfortunately, most people only look at the very, very short game. They just want to know what money they’ve made over the course of the last month, quarter, or year. We’re planning to make sure you have enough money and resources to last the whole of your life. We’re planning for a long list of possible concerns that could negatively impact your future. We’re watching out for you long-term.
If you didn’t know what you should know, when would you like to know? If you are not a client of ours, then perhaps it’s time to glove-up and schedule your Financialoscopy®.