This New Year, Resolve to Re-evaluate your Financial Plan
January not only marks the start of a new year, but also the beginning of Financial Wellness Month. January has always been a time for new beginnings and setting goals. And what better time for high net worth individuals to pause to reassess your financial plan? The start of a new year is the perfect opportunity to take some time out of your busy schedule to evaluate your situation and to ensure it is aligned with long-term goals that, very often, are impacted by life events and economic realities.
Here are some questions you should be considering with your wealth advisor:
What steps have you taken to proactively sustain your wealth?
In order to make intelligent financial moves, you need to know where you stand, and what financial plans you and your advisor have put in place to sustain your wealth. This is especially relevant in turbulent markets, where volatility has become the rule. Take a look at where you stand, and make sure you are satisfied that whatever happens in the broader market, your wealth will be there for you and your family at retirement and beyond. This requires a proactive planning process – one that assumes changes in markets are inevitable, and which will allow you to be nimble if necessary.
Have you re-evaluated your financial plan against current realities?
It’s important to revisit your financial plan each year because not only is your financial situation changing, but the realities of the marketplace are never static. Big financial changes can occur, both in your life and in the marketplace. And while nobody can predict the future with absolute certainty, it is important to make sure you revisit your financial plan regularly, to be comfortable that you have allocated your investments in the best possible ways for your individual situation.
Have you taken the steps necessary to allow you to use your wealth as you intend, both now and through retirement?
In addition to growing and protecting your wealth for the future, it is equally as important to see to it that you can use your wealth to maintain and enhance your present lifestyle. Situations are always changing – family members move out (or sometimes back in), health issues arise, and unforeseen events occur. Not only that, you’ve reached a point in your life when you may want to enjoy some of the finer things that you may have aspired to in earlier years. Don’t fall into the trap of looking only to the future in discussions with your wealth manager.
Have you communicated any financial changes with loved ones?
Communication with your spouse and close family is an important and often overlooked factor in planning. It’s highly common for one spouse to handle all the finances in a household. Be sure to share your financial situation, priorities, and goals with those who need to know about them. This is especially relevant in times of economic turbulence, and as you and your spouse age. Communicate any changes in your situation, and make sure that those closest to you know your financial goals. Finally, be sure that they have access to any necessary documents they may need in the event of an emergency.
Far too many high net worth individuals believe they can simply “set it and forget it.” But situations and markets are always changing. Don’t let inertia be your financial enemy. If you have any questions about your financial goals or retirement plan, you can contact me at [email protected].