A number of years ago, a man named “Charles”* came to see me with his wife “Felicity”*.
There was nothing out of the ordinary that I could see. In fact, their situation was pretty “ordinary”.
Their financial goals were like many I sit down with. They wanted a comfortable retirement where they could both stop working and do a little volunteer work. Felicity also toyed with the idea of starting a small business.
For them, retirement meant some annual travel (until they were no longer able), doing some hiking, and visiting their kids. Since they were both in good health and with a desired retirement age of around 65, that meant they could be around for 30 + years.
Like many folks of this generation, they were able to put their three kids through college and still manage to accumulate a generous amount in their retirement plans and savings.
Working together, we put in place a comprehensive financial and investment plan and have been monitoring it each year since.
Here’s where it got interesting. After our third or fourth meeting, while Felicity was using the rest room, Charles, moved his chair a bit closer to me and in a softer voice, said the following, “Rick, do you know why it was imperative for me to work with you?”
“Based on our conversations, I assumed you wanted to make sure your financial house was in order so you could retire and meet your other goals.”
“Well, yes, but there was another motivating factor. I wanted to make sure Felicity had an ongoing relationship with a professional like you in case something happened to me.”
I assured him that Felicity would be well taken care of if that happened.
After they left, I found myself feeling some emotions I hadn’t in a while. I thought back to the time when my dad died unexpectantly at the age of 53, leaving a wife who was only 48. At the time, I wasn’t sure exactly what my mom was going through but years later, when I began helping people with their financial lives, I thought how much easier it would have been, if my mom and dad had had a relationship with someone like me.
Someone that she already knew to guide her through things (and help her avoid some mistakes that I found out about much later).
Time seems to move faster and faster. And one thing I have learned, the sooner one puts a plan in place the better.
We all think we have more time and plenty of time to plan. (I think back to a Dana Farber patient I sat down with years ago that said those very words to me. I’ve been working with his family since he has been gone).
Ask yourself this question. "If I were no longer here, would my family be able to continue on seamlessly financially?" If you aren't sure, feel free to reach out to me and we can figure it out together.
Not currently working with a Certified Financial Planner™ practitioner?
I suggest you do so. It may be the best gift you can give someone.
As always, when making big financial decisions, it is always best to speak with and take the advice of a Certified Financial Planner® practitioner. Any questions, we are here to help you figure it all out.
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P.S. In case you are wondering, the photo is my mom and dad's wedding picture.
All the best.
Rick Fingerman, CFP®, CDFA™, CCFS®
*Not their real names
Financial Planning Solutions, LLC (FPS) is a Registered Investment Advisor. Financial Planning Solutions, LLC (FPS) provides this blog for informational and educational purposes only. Nothing in this blog should be considered investment, tax, or legal advice. FPS only renders personalized advice to each client. Information herein includes opinions and source information that is believed to be reliable. However, such information may not be independently verified by FPS. Please see important disclosures link at the bottom of this page.