By Jackie Heater
As a young married couple, money was always tight. We sat down with pencil and paper. We wrote down bills and expenses and tried to stretch our money to the end of the month. You may remember a similar scenario – two cups of coffee and a calculator on the table, maybe a few tears.
A few years down the road, you’re making more money. You probably have at least one child and you’re trying to budget for that first home purchase.
What do you do? You pull out the paper and calculator again. You list your bills and other expenses and look at what you can cut back.
At the next stop on your personal financial journey, you want to finally take a little vacation or maybe it’s time to upgrade to a new or second car. So you pull out the paper, start figuring out the budget and where to cut to make it work.
We age and we reach milestones in life. Hopefully along the way you’ve been promoted or changed jobs so that your income continues to increase, but expenses go up right along with it.
Now, you have more children and you’ve outgrown your current home, or you need to make improvements. For the young adults in your life, there’s cars and college and weddings. You find yourself back there again with the pencil, paper and calculator.
You finally reach the point where you’re comfortable. The kids are on their own, you’ve saved as much as possible, you’ve faithfully contributed to your company’s 401(k), you have a nice retirement nest egg. It’s time to retire and enjoy yourself.
Everyone is different, some seek out a financial advisor at a young age even though they think they might not have enough money to be of interest to an advisor. They still know the value in partnering with one early to help them with their personal finance journey, even if primary concerns at that point are only student loans and paying off credit cards.
Others wait until they’re nearing retirement to consult an advisor. They want help through this life change – to work out when to draw on certain accounts and how to avoid running out of money. No matter what stage you are in, a good advisor will talk through your financial goals with you, look at all your finances and help you build your financial plan.
A Case of the What-ifs
Once you get into retirement, guess what? Your financial plan doesn’t stop changing and neither will your goals. Let’s say you are a few years into retirement. Your retirement savings are invested in a manner that is not only giving you growth but it’s also providing you with a monthly income.
You can’t believe how wonderful your life is and you feel rewarded on a job well done saving all those years. Suddenly you’re worried, and you get a case of the “what-ifs.”
- What if we run out of money?
- What if we can’t leave a legacy to our children if we don’t cut back now?
- What if we can’t really afford to take all our kids and grandkids on that Disney trip we’ve all talked about for years or go on that family cruise?
- What if we sold our home and bought a house at the lake?
- What if we bought a motor home or travel trailer and just traveled for a while?
Beyond the Pen-and-Paper
In the old days, you would grab the pencil and paper and start working that budget. But now your situation is more complex. A financial advisor can help you along that personal financial journey, and the what-ifs you might encounter along the way. The technology available, and the techniques an advisor uses will give you much more clarity and confidence than the old paper-and-pen method. Money doesn’t have to be complicated.
At Gertsema Wealth advisors we have the technology to show you what can happen with those what-if situations. Our advisors can take your financial plan and your what-if goals and show you multiple scenarios of what is possible and what might put your retirement plan at risk.
Pre-retirement or at retirement, let us show you all the possibilities. Please contact Gertsema Wealth advisors for a free consultation.