Middle Age really needs a more realistic name than Middle Age. Martyr Age seems more appropriate. Between managing the demands of your career, possibly teenage kids and probably aging parents, it’s easy to start making expensive mistakes that can impact your long-term security.
You probably feel like you can’t even get organized. You may feel like there is an abundance of information out there, so you should be able to manage this on your own. Or maybe you realize you could benefit from having a financial partner, but are also aware that the financial services industry is very sales oriented and you are not interested in being “sold”. We were going to write a how-to article about how to get your life together and gain control over your financial future, but we realized if you had time to read that article, you’d probably already have control over your financial future. So instead, we’re going to acknowledge what you know (our industry is broken), and tell you how we work with high income couples like you to get you the results you want. That being said, if you still want to give it a go, we’ll share enough that you can try on your own first if you are really trying to be a do-it-yourselfer.
Once we know where the stress and opportunities are for our high-income clients, we focus on organization. If you are like most of our clients who come to us in this stage, you may have multiple advisors, investments, insurance products, bank accounts, unfinished legal work, little to no idea what you are spending, etc. The commonality is that there is often no strategy, and in the hurry of life, it has just been easier to add stuff than to analyze everything you have to determine what is working for you and what is not.
As we walk you through this process, we are considering risk management, benefits and resources, your career plan, your life goals, and of course your tax consideration and estate planning. Everything you already have in place will be analyzed to determine its value to you. We will maximize the good stuff and get rid of the bad- but it will all depend on your needs- not random guidelines from the internet and certainly not sales quotas.
After we decide what goes and what stays, we work to automate as much as possible – including a review process so that things don’t accumulate again. If you don’t establish automated processes for managing your financial life, it’s going to be easy to fall back in the same spot you are in now. It needs to be as automatic as flossing your teeth each night and not as hard as getting up to go to the gym in the morning!
All of that is what you should expect from a professional partnership, but we always try to do more. At this point, we’ll incorporate dealing with your aging parents, your launching children, and even your career planning. Your career at this stage of the game is key to your future income and assets and we want to make sure you are putting the right energy into thinking about next steps and not letting exhaustion make your decisions for you. Your parents and children are part of a higher risk management strategy that we incorporate to help make sure they don’t take you out along the way.
Finally, the biggest benefit comes from long term benchmarks and accountability that is put in place by our review process. You won’t come in for a quick “investment check” meeting once a year. Each meeting in the review process is designed to help you dig deeper into your plan each time and enable you to continue to grow and make progress.
Our high income professional clients run themselves crazy (as do we). We understand this life stage completely, as well as the challenges and opportunities it presents. We work closely with clients to help them talk about issues that could easily be ignored and to hold them accountable to themselves. We set goals with benchmarks, document progress, and use our community to help move these amazing people forward. We strongly believe in not trying to go it alone. A partnership can provide far more than an online calculator or an assortment of salespeople can. Let us know if you are ready to get the help you deserve.