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Year-Round Financial Planning

Posted by Brad Bridgewater on Dec 30, 2016 12:29:39 PM
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year-round-financial-planningLast week, seeing as how I’d forgotten to replenish our supply at the grocery store, my wife stopped for coffee in the drive-through of our local Starbucks. When she reached the window to pay for her drink, she was told that the person in front of her had paid for her coffee and wished her a Happy Holiday.

Thinking it was a lovely gesture and not wanting to break the chain, my wife in turn paid for the coffee of the person behind her. She spoke of how good it felt to be able to display even a small act of kindness for the person in the car behind her, and how her actions might have changed their entire day for the better.

Surprising Insights During the Holidays

I bring this up for two reasons. The first is that the holiday season often touches many of us in ways we would never expect. Maybe this comes from seeing relatives that live far away or taking time away from the grind of our daily lives to relax and gain perspective. It gives us a chance to appreciate what a little kindness can do to lift someone’s spirit and provides an opportunity to pass that kindness to another.

The second reason I bring up this encounter and its positive impact on the people involved is that we often only see or talk about these gestures during the holidays. In many ways, we reserve these gestures for what we believe are special occasions. 

Many people take this same approach with financial planning. They limit their planning to an annual conversation with their advisor, as if it’s another box to check off as “complete” for the year. But financial planning is dynamic, not static. It is a constantly changing, multi-faceted part of your life that merits a year-round dialogue with the individual or organization with whom you’ve entrusted your financial future.

Changes in Your Financial Life Require Changes in Your Financial Plan

Any change in your financial outlook should prompt a look at your financial plan with your advisor. These changes can come in the form of new contracts or moving from the right seat to the left seat. Maybe you are considering how to allocate profit sharing proceeds or funds from a bonus. Tax season, open enrollment for benefits, or making decisions about going on disability all present compelling reasons to revisit and possibly adjust your long-term plan.

Whether the changes in your financial life are large or small, they can affect your goals and the way you go about reaching them. Just as we can all work on spreading a little kindness throughout the year instead of reserving it for the holiday season, so, too, can we ensure that our financial plan is relevant to our circumstances no matter what time of year. The right kind of relationship with your advisor will mean these conversations take priority and are easy to have any time of year.

If you are ready to update your financial plan, or if you don’t even know where to begin to create one, request a call from an advisor at Retirement Advisors of America to get started.

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Disclaimer: This blog is intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as individual investment advice. Actual recommendations are provided by Retirement Advisors of America following consultation and are custom-tailored to each investor’s unique needs and circumstances. The information contained herein is from sources believed to be accurate and reliable. However, Retirement Advisors of America accepts no legal responsibility for any errors or omissions. Investments in stocks, bonds, and mutual funds may increase or decrease in value. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Any of the charts and graphs included in this blog are not recommendations for the purchase and sale of any security. 

Topics: Financial Planning