Finding some quiet time in your life, I think, is hugely important. – Mariel Hemingway
As originally appeared in The Jerusalem Post on March 16, 2017.
Many of us lead very busy lives. Finding the right balance between furthering your career and finding more time to spend with family, adding some leisure and relaxation can be a daunting task. In fact it’s a very hot topic around the world right now as individuals try and figure out a way to have their cake and eat it too. In this quest to try and find the right work life balance, an important casualty turns out to be attention paid to finances. Earlier this week I finally held a meeting with a couple to go over their entire financial situation. They deserve applause that they persisted and came in for a meeting. Why? Because we had been trying to schedule the meeting for more than a year! Between their busy work schedules, vacations and running to various dentist and doctor appointments with their children the meeting had been postponed 5 times.
I’ll do it in a minute, dear
We never seem to have enough time to deal with issues of importance. How often do we push off important household chores because we just don’t have time? Believe it or not even I am guilty on this one! Eventually the dishes do get washed and the garbage gets taken out—just not necessarily within the same hour or two that I was asked to do the chore. The same is true when it comes to discussing ones financial situation. How many of us put off reviewing our investment portfolio’s or fail to ever get started because we can’t find an hour or two to get organized and understand what our goals and needs are, and then how to implement a strategy to achieve those goals.
Expensive not to
The more time not getting your finances in order, the more expensive it will be down the road. The more time you delay in getting down to business, the harder it will be to marry off your kids without taking loans. Do you want to have to move in with your children when retired because you don’t have enough money? We promise that we will ”get to it soon”, but never do. We all find the hour or two to go to the doctor if we are not feeling well; meeting with your financial advisor takes about as long, and will help ensure that your financial health is in order. And just like the doctor, continued cooperation with your financial advisor will ensure that your investments remain consistent with your goals. An annual financial checkup should be scheduled to review your portfolio, and make sure that it is still consistent with your needs. On the same note, make sure that your investment strategy remains current. If there is a change to your financial situation, consider whether your strategy needs to be reevaluated
Prepare for the meeting
Before you meet with an investment advisor, broker, or other investment professional, prepare. The best financial planning meetings that I have are the ones when the client spent some time preparing for the meeting. Map out your financial goals. Using an expert will help you decide how to invest your savings, but you should first have a firm handle of your short and long-term goals and needs. How much income you will need to supplement your existing pension, Bituach Leumi, or Social Security, to meet fixed expenses? Do you have children or grandchildren to marry off? Are your elderly parents in need of care? You need to determine your own budget needs and your ability to tolerate risk first, and then ask your advisor what kinds of investments would best fulfill these goals. Use your advisor as a sounding board. The advisor can tell you if your goals are realistic, and if not, you can work together to come up with goals that can be achieved.
Find the time to get your finances in order. The sooner you do so, will mean a future that you can enjoy doing the things that truly bring you pleasure.
The information contained in this article reflects the opinion of the author and not necessarily the opinion of Portfolio Resources Group, Inc. or its affiliates. Aaron Katsman is author of the book Retirement GPS: How to Navigate Your Way to A Secure Financial Future with Global Investing (McGraw-Hill), and is a licensed financial professional both in the United States and Israel, and helps people who open investment accounts in the United States. Securities are offered through Portfolio Resources Group, Inc. (www.prginc.net). Member FINRA, SIPC, MSRB, FSI. For more information, call (02) 624-0995 visit www.aaronkatsman.com or email email@example.com.