updated May 1, 2018
For many people, there is a point where things change financially. It’s at different stages of life for different people, but at that point, it’s time to get serious about personal finances. If you’re not sure you’re there yet, here are some signs you may be ready:
- Success in your career is not reflected in your personal financial statement. For many, professional success precedes personal financial success. You may feel like you are behind the curve, and did not responsibly save prior to now. Stress and anxiety bears down upon you when you think about savings or retirement. In this situation, you need to give yourself a break. Forget about what didn’t happen in your personal financial life previously, and be grateful for the opportunity your professional success is giving you right now. The success you have had in your career will provide the vital resources you need to get serious about your personal finances. All you need now is some coaching from a financial planner who can put you into a process that points you toward your goals.
- Debt is under control and paid off so now what? For others, it’s not procrastination but debt that sucks all of the wind out of our personal financial sails. You may have struggled for years under the heavy burden of student loans, revolving debt, car loans, and mortgages. You have now learned how to responsibly manage debt, only to realize that your savings towards retirement and other financial goals has suffered from inattention. If you do not quickly build up savings, there is a risk that some emergency or unforeseen expense will throw you back into the debt cycle. A financial planner can help you transition successfully from a borrower to a saver so you can move into a better phase of financial success.
- You now realize poor financial advice has severely mitigated your personal financial success. Early on, you sought out professional help, but your adviser has been planning his own success at the expense of yours. It has now become evident, the return potential on packaged products that were sold to you cannot overcome the sales charges and expense loads. Likewise; your investment statements read like a Who’s Who of mutual fund companies who provide the most lavish broker incentives. At this point, it may be difficult to trust anyone, but you must understand not all investment professionals fall under the same tree. Fiduciary advisers are required to do what is in your best interests, and charge the same regardless of what investments are used. Many people, when it’s time to get serious, ditch their commission sales broker for a registered investment adviser.
Do any of these scenarios sound familiar? The sooner you decide to get serious the better, because time marches on. We don’t judge based upon past financial struggles, or even current circumstances. Rather, to us it’s all about commitment, engagement, and hard work toward a shared goal of personal financial success. Contact me if you have comments or would like to discuss further.