Have you ever tried to find the answer to a financial question yourself? Perhaps you asked a couple friends how they prepared for retirement. They likely gave convincing reasons for what they did.
Or maybe you Googled how much should be in your retirement account before you retire. That search returns over 300 million results, each with their own convincing reasons.
Or you might have read a few books to determine when to take Social Security. Amazon has pages of books that have convincing reasons, titles, and reviews claiming they are right.
Whatever route you took to get your answer, I’d bet one thing was true no matter the question—you found a ton of conflicting advice. Everyone has their own convincing reasons. But their advice might not work for you.
Whether it’s investing money in stocks or bonds, insurance needs, or financial planning, there are a million and one opinions out there. No matter what someone says, our experience shows that there is no one right answer, no matter what convincing reasons they give. What worked for your friend may not work for you. What worked for your parents probably isn’t your solution either.
We’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: You are unique. Your situation is not the same as everyone else’s situation. “Retirement” has a uniquely personal definition for everyone.
Even if you have lots in common with your friends or parents, what you want and what comfortable means to you might be worlds apart. I know a woman who lists dog grooming as a necessary monthly expense. Another insists on two trips to the beach a year. Those things might be splurges for one person, and necessary for another.
And let's not forget medical conditions. One person's expenses on doctors visits, medications, and other health-related costs could be radically different from your own, especially if you have a preexisting condition. Your financial guidance needs to take all of these differences into consideration.
There are people in the world that still believe the Earth is flat. They would argue this point with passion and their own brand of logic. Their conviction doesn’t make them right. Plenty of advice out there is similarly flawed (though perhaps not to the extent of flat-Earth theory.)
You can be a smart, accomplished person and make the mistake of believing the wrong person, article, or book. It’s easy to do when the so-called expert claims to be right and presents convincing reasons with passion and offers up moving tales as proof. And let’s face it, we all secretly want a definitive easy-to-execute solution to our every problem.
But consider your financial life. Think about your credit cards, investment accounts, banks accounts, loans, mortgages, and every single bill you pay. That feels like a lot… because it is. Your finances are complex, which means planning for your future will be complicated. But that complexity doesn’t have to land on your shoulders.
An experienced professional can help you simplify the process so you don’t miss a thing. Someone with years of planning experience on their side can guide you through the twists and turns, smoothing your path to a more confident financial future.
Let’s back up a moment and talk about those questions I mentioned at the start of this article. We hear these, and other similar questions, from our clients all the time: “When should I take Social Security?”, “How much do I need to retire?”, and “How do I prepare for retirement?
I would guess that you wonder about the same things. Guess what, they aren’t the right questions. Your reason for asking is convincing, I’m sure. But you aren’t starting in the right place. You aren’t asking the right questions—the ones all other answers hinge on.
The first question we need to answer is where you are right now, in terms of your finances. Then you need to decide where you want to go. Where you see yourself after retirement can change your picture dramatically. Think about it, if you plan to retire in the home you already own, live snow-bird style in Florida, or even tour the US in an RV the amount of money you will need to pay your bills will probably be drastically different.
If you don’t ask the right questions first, any information or answers you find have the potential to be based on an incorrect or incomplete assumption. This could lead to a cascade of failure, or a missed opportunity. And when money’s involved, can you really afford to make mistakes?
If you want to get this right, you need a financial plan. The free ones out there are not true plans, they are a sales tool meant to persuade you into buying an annuity or life insurance, or some other expensive product. Financial plans examine every aspect of your finances, and that takes time. Our financial plans often take our financial planner twenty hours or more to complete.
If you want a custom financial plan, book your free Blueprint call with us today.
We break our Custom Financial Blueprint process down into five bite-sized pieces. Our experienced financial planner will ensure you start in the right place, ask the right questions, and customize your blueprint to give you the best chance of achieving your financial goals. For all the convincing reasons that matter to you.