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Include A Life Plan In Your Financial Plan

Life Plan

 

Financial advisors are always preaching the importance of a financial plan, and I believe they are important too.  Mitlin Financial’s belief is that a financial plan is paramount to reaching and exceeding your financial goals.  Most people spend more time planning their family vacations than they do their financial lives.  Having a life plan is an important factor when designing and developing your financial plan, and it is frequently overlooked by financial professionals.

What is a life plan?  How does this integrate and/or affect my financial plan?  Essentially, a life plan is having a plan for what you are going to do with all the free time you will have when retired. 

As a firm, we spend a considerable amount of time having these types of discussions with clients when we begin the planning process.  This conversation continues as they approach their retirement date.  We all have different ideas as to what our ideal retirement is going to look like, or what it means to us.  In some cases, retirement may mean never working another day in their life, while others may look at retirement as the day they wake up in the morning and know they do not “have” to go to work, but may continue anyway.  Some may simply slow down and maintain a part-time job.

The fact is that most people are preparing themselves financially for retirement, but not thinking about the emotional and life fulfillment aspects of retirement.  Many of us will spend upwards of forty-plus years working, and raising a family, and we do not have time to develop hobbies and outside interests to keep us busy during retirement.  In most cases, people do not view their ideal retirement as not going to work and sitting home all day to watch television and old movies; there has to be something more meaningful than that.

When thinking of retirement, most people still want to be productive members of society.  It is for this reason that you must begin to think about a life plan as part of your financial plan.  It is imperative to think about how you will spend all of this free time that you will now have since you will no longer be going to work.  You may decide that golf, fishing, travelling, watching after your grandchildren, consulting or having part-time employment may be your life plan, and these are all great things.  It is important that you know what your plan is and refine it as time goes on.

Thinking about your life in retirement is the equivalent of using a telescope to look out and see how you would ideally like to be spending your time in retirement, and what you will need financially to support that.  Then, it is important to dial the telescope back and use a microscope to see what you can do today to help you get there.  This may mean adjusting your priorities to begin getting involved in some of those activities you plan on taking part in now so you have the knowledge, the ability, and the social circles to support your involvement.  You will also need to make sure that you are in the right financial circumstance to support it as well.  As an example, if you plan on retiring and travelling around the world sailing for a few years, you need to make sure that you have the skills and the desire to embark on that type of trip.  In addition, you need to make sure that you have the financial wherewithal to support it.

We find that those that have their life plan and retirement plan in place are the most successful at having an enjoyable retirement.  People who have addressed a retirement plan from a financial aspect- which is a minority- typically have not explored their life plan, and this is a recipe for disaster.  Imagine retiring and having the financial ability to sustain yourself for the rest of your life, but you have no idea what you are going to do with that time.  This is a major contributor to why we are seeing people working longer and later in life.  Although some of these individuals have no other choice than to work, for financial reasons, many of them continue to work because they failed to design their life plan for after work.  Not having a life plan for retirement has caused them to continue working so they can still be a productive member of society, and not someone that is sitting home doing nothing.

Mitlin Financial assists our clients in addressing both the financial and life planning they need to be successful in retirement.  We are here to help you instill these concepts within your own family.  Feel free to contact us, Mitlin Financial, at (844) 4-MITLIN x12 if you or someone in your family needs assistance in getting started on their plan today.

This article represents the opinion of Mitlin Financial Inc. It should not be construed as providing investment, legal and/or tax advice.

 

Mitlin Minute: It's Not All About The Money

In this edition of Mitlin Minute we discuss how retirement planning is not all about the money.

The financial aspects of retirement are as important as the non-financial aspects.  Planning to have enough money to retire and live the lifestyle you want to live is simply one part of retirement planning.
 
You also need to plan for how you will spend the 40 plus hours per week you will now have as a result of not working.
 
It is important with both to begin planning early.  You want to get an early start to build the nest egg you will need and to make sure you have hobbies, charitable endeavors and other things to take up your time.  You cannot expect to retire and immediately be able to fill all those hours without any planning.
 
You should start well before you retire to look to get more involved in the areas you want to pursue in retirement and meet others with similar interests that you can build relationships.

 

 

 Disclaimer: This article represents the opinion of Mitlin Financial Inc. It should not be construed as providing investment, legal and/or tax advice.  Past performance is not indicitive of future results.

Mitlin Minute: Life After Work?

In this edition of Mitlin Minute we discuss life after work.  Do you have a life plan?  We hear about the importance of a financial plan all the time, but not many discuss a life plan.  You will be in a great position if you are set financially for retirement, but how rewarding will it be if you have nothing to do for forty plus hours a week.

Listen in and learn more about why it is as important to have a life plan as a financial plan for retirement. 

Disclaimer: This article represents the opinion of Mitlin Financial Inc. It should not be construed as providing investment, legal and/or tax advice.

Mitlin Minute: What will you do with your free time?

 Retirement is a huge step for many and you need to have things in place that will allow you to keep busy during your new found free time.  Who wants to retire and simply sit on the couch watching television all day, no one. 

Make sure you have the infrastructure in place before you retire.  Work on getting involved with hobbies, volunteer work and other meaningful ways to use this time.  By getting things in place beforehand you will increase your likelihood of creating a happy and meaningful retirement.

You can also read one of the blog articles we wrote covering this topic too: Include A Life Plan In Your Financial Plan

 

 

This article represents the opinion of Mitlin Financial Inc. It should not be construed as providing investment, legal and/or tax advice.  

Wedding Bells and Your Wallet

 Wedding Bells and Your Wallet

 

One of the best times of our client’s life is when they or their kids have decided to get married. It means they are embarking on a new chapter in their life, either their own or through their children. This life event typically comes with a hefty price tag. According toValuePeguin, the average cost of a wedding in the US ranges from $12,000 (in Mississippi) to $88,000 (in Manhattan). The cost of a wedding can certainly take a bite out of your financial life.

Traditional wedding ceremonies and celebrations can be hugely expensive, as outlined above, and detrimental to your financial plan. We would recommend that you take a few minutes with your advisor and have them assist you through this financial juggernaut. It is key to determine what type of celebration is in your budget or to what degree you would be able to help your children. This is an expense that you would want to have as part of your overall financial plan. Hopefully it is part of your overall plan and you have a separate savings where you have been setting aside money for this momentous occasion. This would certainly help you reach your desired expectations while not forcing you into debt and hindering your financial goals.

Helping out children tends to be a bit more difficult conversation than speaking with a client that is planning their own wedding. We all want to help our kids and provide them with the best. We have seen some parents sacrifice their own financial stability for the pleasure of their kids. It is important to educate yourself on what you can and cannot afford. We have had our clients use us as the bad guy and inform their children that they only have a certain amount of financial resources, a dollar amount, available to contribute. These are not easy conversations, but ones that will help keep you from making a financial misstep.

There are many ways to celebrate a wedding and it is definitely a matter of preference. Spending tens of thousands of dollars for a several hour celebration may not be the best use of your financial resources. It is important that the happy couple or the parents and children sit down and outline what the expectations are for the cost of the wedding or what they will contribute to the event. Recently, we had a client who asked if they could take a deduction for the expenses they are incurring for their son’s wedding. This is not an option, but it makes you think if they would spend more if it were deductible. There are certainly ways to make a memorable event without bankrupting the family’s financial situation.

Every marriage should start out on the right foot and being in a financial hole does not help a marriage one bit. Please feel free to contact us, Mitlin Financial, at (844) 4-MITLIN x12 if you or someone you know is planning on paying for a wedding, their own or for a child. We look forward to helping you, and them, make the decision that is best for all.

 

This article represents the opinion of Mitlin Financial Inc. It should not be construed as providing investment, legal and/or tax advice.