This week, I want to take a bit of a detour from our usual conversation about investments, taxes, and estate planning, and ask you a simple question – What do you want?
Often, we spend so much time focusing on the specific needs of our life that we can lose focus of the things matter most to us. When it comes to financial planning, most discussions surround rates or return, income planning, and taxes, but there are questions we have found to be fundamentally more important than these specific details. Ask yourself the 3 questions below and be honest with your answers.
What do you want out of life?
I know the answer to this question changes dramatically over time, but it should always be the lens through which we make important decisions. In conversations with clients over the years, I have found the answer to this question to be the primary driver in the direction our investment planning conversations take. If you are not clear on where you are going, then how do you know if you are on the right path?
What do you want out of your finances?
Money is nothing more than a tool to help you live out the answer to the question above. Once you answer the first question, it is much easier to determine how you want your finances to serve you. Many people are looking for financial freedom. How are you currently positioning your assets to help you feel more free?
What do you want out of your relationships?
It has been said that no man is an island. This is especially true in the world of proper estate and investment planning. Most people have at least 3-5 financially focused relationships. The most common include their attorney, accountant, realtor, investment broker, and banker. I cannot stress enough the importance that all of these advisors be on the same page. Many people are missing a vital relationship. I like to refer to this relationship as the financial architect (or quarterback for the sports enthusiasts out there).
As your life progresses and fundamentally changes and transitions over time, having a trusted advisor to help manage the different financial relationships makes a tremendous impact in your overall success. Most professionals focus solely on their unique skill set, and this is what we want them to do. I would encourage you to begin a relationship with an advisor that can coordinate the different aspects of your financial life with these different professionals.
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