By Michael J. Searcy
There’s a big difference between making a good living and making a good life. Making a good life, for me, means I get to help people pull together all the pieces of their current situation, and show them how each piece impacts the others, creating an organization to the chaos to help guide them through the life they desire. I’ve met countless people who make a great living, but make no time to really live. Having a financial plan is crucial to getting the most out of life, and beyond. Following that financial plan could be the difference between “I’m so glad I planned and prioritized,” and “I shoulda, coulda, wish I woulda.”
A financial plan is often thought of like a roadmap, but it’s more like an overarching plan for your entire trip, not just meant to focus on your current and final destination. A financial plan does guide you between destinations, but it’s not static and can account for things that come up along the way. If you decide or are forced to take a detour, it can be your guide to getting back on track.
In road trip terms, your plan could include: your overall budget, where and how you’ll spend money along the way, goals you want to accomplish on your route, a plan for emergencies and detours, making sure your insurance is up-to-date in case of trouble, an “emergency cash” buffer for things that pop up, and much more.
From Folded Atlas to GPS
How many people do you know that still use a folded atlas to reach their destination?
Sometimes there’s just a comfort or nostalgia in holding the printed copy of a map that’s going to lead you where you want to be. But what if you left your map at home or had it locked up somewhere and nobody else knew how to get to it?
The great thing about technology these days is, if you need a backup map, you can pull up your destination on a mobile device and be on your way. It’s the same with your financial plan. Having cloud-based access to your plan keeps it safe from misplacement and natural hazards, and you can grant access to others for when you’re not around.
When You’re No Longer the Driver
When you’re no longer living or are incapacitated (think dementia), what type of situation do you want to leave for your family? Do you want their grieving process to include frantic searches for your end-of-life wishes, insurance accounts, and financial statements? Do you want them facing this situation alone with no idea where to get started? Probably not.
Working with an advisory team allows you to have people that know the fine details of your plan and can help your passengers navigate when you’re no longer the driver. They can also help set someone else up to drive, which means if you leave a spouse behind, someone is there to take care of them and get them back on the road to success.
If you don’t have a plan, get one immediately. Don’t let yourself travel from Florida to California and look back wishing you’d stopped at the Grand Canyon. Remember, a financial plan can get you from point to point, but its true value is that it guides you to live and enjoy life along the way!
Please remember that different types of investments involve varying degrees of risk, and there can be no assurance that the future performance of any specific investment, investment strategy, or product made reference to directly or indirectly in this content, will be profitable, equal any corresponding indicated historical performance level(s), or be suitable for you or your portfolio. Due to various factors, including changing market conditions, the content may no longer be reflective of current opinions or positions. Moreover, you should not assume that any discussion or information contained in this newsletter (article) serves as the receipt of, or as a substitute for, personalized investment advice from Searcy Financial Services, Inc.
The content of this letter does not constitute a tax or legal opinion. Always consult with a competent professional service provider for advice on tax or legal matters specific to your situation. To the extent that a reader has any questions regarding the applicability of any specific issue discussed in this content, he/she is encouraged to consult with the professional advisor of his/her choosing.
Originally published for Johnson County Lifestyle magazine. Published for the blog on July 24, 2019 by Searcy Financial Services, your Overland Park, Kansas Fee-Only Financial Planner and Investment Manager.