Client File: Making the Right Decision
Several years ago, a couple came to us looking for assistance with their finances. They were in their mid-forties, had two children and were very intelligent professionals in their fields. There were some fairly complex financial decisions that needed to be made and they knew these decisions would have a lasting impact on their finances and their ability to achieve their goals.
They were primarily concerned about making the right choices and realized that the choices being made today would have a long term impact on their ability to retire early. Investment accounts were scattered across many different companies making proper management very challenging. There were rental properties to oversee and decisions to be made regarding executive benefits and pensions from former employers. There were several questions about the tradeoffs of saving for retirement versus saving for their children’s education. A risk management analysis was needed to make sure their goals would be met regardless of any unforeseen changes in their health. They both wanted to retire early and needed to know how realistic this was given the current state of their finances. They wanted to make sure they were making the right decisions now to be in a good position to achieve their retirement savings goal.
FOCUSING ON WHAT’S IMPORTANT
Most clients choose to work with us because they value the time they spend with family and they didn’t want to be bogged down by trying to tackle all of these complex planning issues on their own. We were able to organize all of their financial information and made specific recommendations on what we felt would work best for their particular situation. We also presented the positives and negatives of each choice, so they had some perspective as to why we made each recommendation.
MAKING A PLAN
Upon completion of our initial financial plan, we were able to develop and implement an action plan that served to ease the minds of our clients. They wouldn’t have to think, “Gee, what are we going to do when the time comes to decide on things like lump sum versus a pension, or should we be actively paying down our mortgage versus saving more in our retirement plans?” There's no right answer to these questions. It's more about what's right for our clients given their set of values and goals. As far as the lessons learned in this instance, there are a plethora of decisions that need to be made regarding ones finances. Instead of feeling overwhelmed by them, when most just defer the decision and ultimately taking no action, it's much better to have peace of mind knowing that everything is being handled properly. You will have an action plan and you will understand the pros and cons of your decisions. This way, you can make the decisions that work best for you and your family.