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Who Needs Financial Planning?

Friday, April 22, 2016

Sheila Jamison and Rich Jamison

In our experience, the most common reaction to the words “Financial Planning” is similar to that in a panic attack. Eyes glaze, hyperventilation begins, pulse quickens and the fight or flight response activates. While the reaction is emotionally driven, it can be detrimental to your health … your financial health we mean. Numerous studies show that people take more time planning their next vacation or researching their next technology purchase rather than putting together a financial plan for their future.

Why?

At the risk of being a smidgeon too blunt, looking at finances can be worse than reading the fine print in an insurance policy. It’s laborious, usually boring – and it can make people feel frustrated, nervous and/or outright scared when trying to understand fully their financial situation.

So Why Bother?

Boring and complicated notwithstanding, here are a few reasons why you will WANT to invest the effort in your own future.

  • Gone are the days of pensions and defined benefit plans.
  • Gone are the days of low health care costs.
  • Gone are the days of consistently rising real estate values.
  • Gone are the days of affordable education. 

You pay out of your pocket things others provided to previous generations.* Baby Boomers, Generation X and Gen Y (Millennials) have NONE of these things. Skyrocketing health care and education costs, self-funded retirement plans replaced employer funding AND real estate that has experienced the biggest setback since the Great Depression are the new norm! This shift in expenses translates into a plethora of difficult decisions for us all.

Have we gotten your attention? Good. Now let’s focus on the good news. You have a choice in how you’ll meet the challenge. You can start taking control of your situation … or you can HOPE that social security will cover your expenses when you retire (which is not likely for most people). Hope is a very powerful and necessary emotion in life. However, hope isn’t something you can consume. You can’t put hope over your head for shelter. Hope isn’t a strategy.

Given that, it limits your choice to beginning to take control if you want to be prepared. While that may appear overwhelming, it’s manageable when broken down into chunks.

We’re Here To Help You

A first step is recognizing that the available options are different from what they were. The next is learning about what options exist.

A word of caution here – beware getting most financial advice from family, friends, and talking heads on the radio and TV. That generally doesn’t turn out as well as hoped (there’s that non-strategy word again). There is a saying that is applicable here; The most EXPENSIVE advice anyone can ever receive is FREE advice.

Becoming the captain of your financial ship can take many paths. Some study, books like Investing for Dummies for example. But be forewarned, it takes more than just a knowledge of investing to get to the destination. Nor do you need to become an expert on everything financial. You don’t! You’re an expert at your chosen profession – that’s exactly where you should place your focus.

But you do need to be interested in your financial situation. For example, we’re confident that you are interested in your own health. You still need a doctor. Finances are similar. Why not be interested in your financial health and work with a financial “doctor” to help you with financial planning?

Such an arrangement takes a lot of stress and fear from the process. Work with someone that explains things to you in a way that makes sense to you.

Here’s where we feel we can help. Once you’ve grasped both the challenge and the solutions to them in your terms, you’ll get a sense of your financial potential.

In a Nutshell

What Is Financial Planning?

It’s a look at your current financial situation and your future financial goals – then building a plan to achieve them.

Who Needs Financial Planning?

Have a spouse, children, grandchildren or anyone else depending on your income?

Want to start your own business?

Don’t have the time – or the desire – to manage your assets?

Taken an employment break to care for someone else?

In short, most adults need a financial plan AND it needs to be kept up to date.

When Is Financial Planning Needed?

You’ve never put a plan together but know you need to do one.

Your financial plan is several years old – it needs a status check.

Whenever something in your life changes, update your financial plan.

Examples:
New child in the family?
College on the horizon?
Received an inheritance?
Started a business?
Sold an old business?
Lost a loved one?
Divorce – actual or developing?
Income changed significantly? 

Why Use a Financial Advisor for Financial Planning? Studies have shown that people get better returns when using a Financial Advisor rather than trying to manage assets on their own. This Vanguard study that demonstrates this (click here).
How Can a Financial Advisor Help My Financial Planning?

Experience has shown Financial Advisors wear many hats: Interpreter, Educator, Coach, Guide, Consultant, Expert in securities (stocks and bonds) and insurance.

Financial Advisors also help you understand terms, products, services, and securities. And you need someone who understands compound interest, trusts, retirement plans, student loans, insurance, college savings plans, mortgages, annuities … basically anything financial.

 

Putting It Off Could Be Disastrous

Your future is precious. Life can change in the blink of an eye. You want to make sure that you and your loved ones are taken care of if you are not able to take care of them.

You’re good at what you do. You may not want to become an expert on finances but you are interested in your future and want to start taking better care of your finances today.

Give Jamison Financial Group a call today to begin feeling good about the next time you hear the words: Financial Planning. We can be reached by email, phone, mail, website, social media, appointment, carrier pigeon or message in a bottle – but the phone is the quickest! Feel free to call us toll free at (877) 534-3700. We would be delighted to help you on your journey.

“All you need is the plan, the road map, and the courage to press on to your destination.”
— Earl Nightingale

“The secret to getting ahead is getting started.” 
— Mark Twain 

*The “Greatest Generation” was the one born during the Great Depression and fought WWII. They were fortunate – certainly not for enduring either of those events, but because they had pensions, affordable (at least more affordable) health care, rising home values, much of their education paid by the GI bill or colleges that didn’t cost more than a house.

References:
TIAA-CREF Survey finds Americans spend less time planning their IRA investment than choosing a restaurant. TIAA-CREF 2014 IRA Survey. Tiaa-cref.org. March 13, 2014. Vanguard Research Quantifies the Value of Advice. Staff. Vanguard.com. March 19, 2014.


The data above were taken from sources deemed reliable. However no guarantee can be made as to their completeness and accuracy.
Interpretations of the data, views and/or opinions expressed are those of the Jamison Financial Group based on market and economic conditions as of the date of publication and are subject to change. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions of any other individual, group or organization.
Nothing in the above is meant to be, nor should it be construed as, investment advice or recommendations to buy or sell any security. Individual securities whenever mentioned are for illustrative purposes only and may not be relied upon as investment advice.
Tax and/or legal information contained herein is general in nature and for informational purposes only. It should not be relied upon as advice. Consult your tax professional or attorney regarding your unique situation.
Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

© 2016 Jamison Financial Group. Please feel free to distribute copies to individuals you feel may benefit from the information presented. Commercial use is prohibited.