You wouldn’t leave your house on a 1,000 mile journey without first consulting a map (I’m showing my age) or a GPS app on your phone. You would likely put in the destination and look at the options, determining that one route may be faster but takes you through potentially bad traffic. Or another takes a bit longer but goes near an old friend, and you can stop in to say hello. The goal is to make the journey as efficiently and safely as possible, with laughs and memories along the way.
Why should your approach to your financial life be any different? In your 20’s, you get that first job. Retirement seems a million years away, but it needs to be in your plan. You stand at a crossroads needing to decide on saving versus spending. Soon after, you get married and start a family. You are likely making more money, but life just got a whole lot more expensive. Time for a bigger home and saving for kids’ college.
In your 40’s and 50’s, the kids head to college, and you need to take a “halftime” break to see where you are on the journey. Perhaps the big bills are gone and the house is paid off—time for that big trip or time to supercharge your retirement savings to catch up.
As you enter your 60’s, it’s time to start thinking about retirement. How well has your plan worked out thus far? Did you save enough and weather the storms in your investments to do the travel you want? Retirement can last a long time; do you have adequate funds put aside? Do you have an estate plan in place for the next generation? Are there charities and other organizations that you want to memorialize? And then, you take the leap and begin harvesting many years of thoughtful saving and investing.
Life happens around us despite our best efforts to manage it. Give yourself a fighting chance and start the planning process as early as possible. And if you have not started or just want to have someone take a look to see how you’re doing, let us help you. Wealth management is as much about creating wealth as well as preserving it. Let our Wealth Management team help you reach your goals.
Tim Lootens, CFP®
Laura Genung, JD
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