financial planning

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For all these years you have been faithfully putting money into your retirement accounts. At first it was hard, but then it became a habit. Then it just became a part of who you are…you’re a saver. And you feel good about that.

But then comes the day you’ve been working for – retirement – and they say you’re supposed to do the very thing that was anathema to you as a saver – take..money…out!

If you are a true, died in the wool saver, it just feels weird. Kind of…risky.

Exit Planning

Apr 11, 2018
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You own a business…together. 

Most couples that are in business together know that in order for them to retire, they’ll have to do something with the business. You’ll either have to sell it to a third party or pass it on to the kids…assuming they have more than a passing interest in the business.

If you’ve been married long enough to have adult children (and you’re still together), you’ve figured out that incessant nagging isn’t a good idea. So, congratulations there.

Dogan Kokdemir / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/legalcode

Financial planning is very important at any phase in life.  It becomes even more important when older adults have to make crucial decisions relating to long-term care.  Pre-planning helps when the time comes to seek long-term care. 

Jordan Smith, a financial planner for senior citizens, explained that many times people may suddenly enter a long-term care facility without any financial pre-planning.  In those instances, financial advisors for senior citizens could provide crisis planning.

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You are a very normal, average American.

You know financial trouble is down the road – even a cursory look at what you’ve got in the bank and in your 401K proves that. But the thought of what it would take to fix things is just too much to fathom.

So instead of dealing with it, you put it off…again.

You put off thinking about it in your 20s because, hey, you had your whole life ahead of you.

You put it off in your 30s because you were having kids and stuff.

And you put it off in your 40s because now putting stuff off had just become a habit.

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How much money do you need to save?

The answer: enough.

What other answer makes sense?

OK. But “enough” to do what?

Enough to make you financially free during your working years and enough to make going to work optional as soon as possible.

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The Law of Diminishing Intent.

Even if you’ve never heard of it, you’ve probably experienced it.

I first ran across this idea when reading a piece by consultant Duncan MacPherson.

As he explains it, “In simple terms, the Law of Diminishing Intent states that, when it comes to finishing a task that seems absolutely crucial one moment, our motivation wanes at about the same rate as the task’s significance. This is largely due to the fact that the emotion associated with the action dwindles, causing the motivation required to finish the project to fade.”

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You are retired. You live comfortably. Sure, no one would say you are rich, but you have more than you need; and whatever assets you may have left once you are gone, you’d like to leave to your children. Maybe some to the grand kids.

Do folks like you…need a will?

Yes, I believe you do.

First, let me offer a very clear disclaimer. I am a financial planner, not an attorney. So anything I say is simply my understanding of the law and should not be considered legal advice. For legal advice, see an attorney.

Secondly, if you have wills, make sure they are valid.

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Many of the really smart people I knew in high school or college are now doctors. I can’t think of any single profession filled with more exceptionally bright individuals.

And yet, what if I told you doctors do no better with their money that the average Joe?

You be the judge.

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How many mutual funds do I need to own to be properly diversified?

A lot more than you think.

Sometimes we think about diversification in a very one dimensional sense. Maybe we need to diversify our thinking … about diversification.

First of all diversification is fancy language for not putting all your eggs in one basket. It is the art and science of embracing variety over specificity for the purpose of reducing the risk of significant loss.

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I ran across an article some time back with the headline, “When a million isn’t enough: why bankers struggle.” The million wasn’t their savings – it was their annual income. And (fighting back sniffles here), it apparently isn’t enough.

“It’s really not that unusual to find Wall Street bankers who are close to declaring themselves bankrupt,” said Gary Goldstein, co-founder of U.S. search firm Whitney Partners. “Some people are really struggling.” And on and on the story went.

I know, I know…my heart is breaking too…

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