How many of you have used a broker or “financial planner” to make 401(k) decisions, pick the right stock, or draft a financial plan? Many Americans have who they refer to as their “planner”. If this is you, pause before reading on, and ask yourself these questions:
- Did your planner spend as much time discussing goals as they did asset value?
- Was the discussion of your financial “plan” centered on a series of conversations or a 1 page risk assessment?
- When was the last time your “plan” was reviewed, or better yet updated to reflect the changes in your life since your plan was created?
Chances are, you are a different person today than when your plan was designed. You may have had an addition to the family, started a new career, or noticed you are spending more (or less) money. Certainly your account values have changed. If your financial plan is a document or binder on a bookshelf, it likely represents the “old” you and not the “new” or “current” you. Things certainly have changed.
If you have transformed, so should your plan. As wealth advocates we do not believe a financial plan is a static object on a shelf. A financial plan has to be a process. The document must be a living document that gets updated as changes in your life occur. Making conscious choices is a critical element to achieving prosperity. A planner should be there to assist you in making those choices. Does purchasing a more expensive home sideline your retirement? If your plan is a process you will answer that question before making the purchase. This ensures that the choice does not change the trajectory of your prosperity, which hopefully is upward!
Over the next few months you may engage in some spring cleaning. You might even come across something once called a “financial plan”. I encourage you to dust it off and turn the plan into a process. Get back in touch with the advisor if you like, and see if goals become a part of the conversation or if it is still dominated by terms like dollars and return. We at Mackey Advisors™ believe that an investment in planning should never be a mere document and that the return on the investment should increase over time as your life continues to change, yet with the peace of mind that wherever you are, you are on track.