Creating Financial Plans

Bad Decisions in Old Age

What if you lose your mental capacity in later years and make irrational financial choices? How can you safeguard your assets from that threat?

After three decades as a financial planner, I see more and more clients reach, not just retirement, but their final years. An issue that becomes especially important at this stage of life is how to protect your financial resources from an unexpected threat – yourself.

$ Decisions: Small Is Better

I spend a lot of time helping people make financial choices, sometimes about business and sometimes about personal life. In both cases and in many more, breaking huge issues and questions into smaller choices makes problems much easier to manage.

Don’t Understand an Advisor?

What if you don’t understand what your financial advisor tells you? When the advisor uses abstruse (to you) financial or legal terms, you’re left in the dark. That is obviously not good for you in planning your finances. Here’s how to get clarity on the advice you hear, and pay for.

One of my staff members several years ago drove the communications problem home to me with this useful bit of advice: “Rick, your clients don’t understand half as much about investing as you think they do.”

How to Be Independent

The major objective in comprehensive wealth planning is financial independence. But true independence in life means not only good finances, but health and relationships.

Advisors: Plans, Not Fads

Will you ever stop underperforming your own investments? The rollercoaster market naturally spurs you to chase trends and lose sight of what you really ought to do: Stick to a well-advised plan of long-term payoffs and goals.

Winning by Losing Less

To reach your financial goals, you don’t have to outperform every benchmark every year. For long-term investors, avoiding and mitigating losses is a key factor in achieving ultimate success in your portfolio.

Setting the Right Goals

The first step of successful investing is setting goals. Right goals. Having a long-term stable income for retirement is a right goal. Accumulating $1 million is not.

Avoiding Crisis After a Death

Most women understand too well the odds that later life might find them alone financially. Among baby boomers, for example, an estimated seven out of 10 wives will outlive their husbands. If you’re one of these women, how do you prepare?

Protecting Special-Needs Kids

More than 56 million Americans have some type of disability, according to the Census Bureau. Autism, for example, affects one in 50 children. For parents of a child with a disability, the great fear is: “What happens when we’re gone?” One answer: Set up a trust for the child. Here is how.

To support a special-needs child during and beyond your lifetime requires truly special planning. Not only are there more costs and uncertainties but also heavier emotional weight.

What Can You Delegate?

There are things in life that you can, and should, delegate. Financial planning is one of them.

Each of us has 168 hours in a week. After subtracting the time you work, sleep, eat and bathe, you are left with only a few precious hours to do whatever pleases you. If you spend 10 hours a day working and commuting, two hours eating, and eight hours a day sleeping, that leaves you 48 free hours. So how do you choose to spend your time?

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