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Life Planning & Money Strategies

Financial Advisor

1.  Three of my favorite but little known “Life Truisms” are:

  • Nobody plans to fail, they just fail to plan.
  • Plan Your Work and Work Your Plan.
  • What is popular is not always right, and what is right is not always popular.

How do they apply to our finances?

2.  Do you have access to money when you need it?  Life is a series of both expected and unexpected events.  Lifetime financial success requires we make a plan and then work our plan so we have successful financial outcomes regardless of the storms or events that occur during our lifetime.  It is important we identify and plan for both the expected and unexpected.  Expected events examples are saving for a new down payment on our next bigger house, college educations, retirement, financially helping our grandchildren.  Unexpected events examples are Storm Sandy – we want to rebuild and homeowners insurance falls short, the disabling car accident, or sickness that stops our income, a sudden opportunity to start the business we’ve dreamed about for 25 years.  What % of your income are you saving in a place that you can access at anytime with no/minimal cost?

3.  Are you screaming about paying too much in income taxes?  Consider the 1975 income tax brackets.  According to the Tax Foundation, a couple filing jointly with an adjusted gross income of $100,000, adjusted for inflation, were in the 50% marginal tax bracket in 1975.  That same couple today is in the 25% marginal bracket.

4.  Are you using a professional guide?  People who climb Mt. Everest are true adventurers.  They test life to its limit.  The smart climbers use a professional guide and meticulously plan their route, water and food usage.  The guides greatly increase their chances of a successful journey, and they know the true danger locations on the mountain.  Consider using a professional guide with your money.  Someone who has the skill to deliver strategies that grow and protect your assets in a safe and secure method regardless of whether the sky is blue or grey/black with a hurricane on the way.

5.  The knowledge you acquired might have an expiration date!  We are in an information explosion era.  New technology allows us to Google anything and everything.  The information you grew up thinking to be true may NOT actually be true.  Popular expressions such as “buy term and invest the difference”, “all debt is bad debt”, “you should never have a mortgage at retirement”, “I save taxes by contributing to my 401(K)”, are not necessarily right and should be re-examined to see if, in fact, it is the undeniable truth.

6.  What is the role of a corporate Chief Financial Officer (CFO)?   Their role is to first protect and avoid threats to company assets, fulfill obligations, and help the Chief Executive Officer seize opportunities to grow and expand the company and its profits.  Our role with our own money is exactly the same.  Who is the CFO of your family’s finances?  Are they paying close attention or are they too busy doing “other things”?  Would your long term financial success be improved by employing a part-time professional CFO?  To achieve long term financial success we must plan our work and then work our plan.  The first step in that plan is to protect our income.  Growing our assets and fulfilling our obligations comes next.

Keep your eye tuned for more on what’s popular versus what’s right, as well as more “Life Truisms”.  I hope this information is thought provoking and will help you build a better tomorrow.

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