All in the Family’s Personal Finances
No, not the TV show. I’m talking about your family.
When asked by the local daily newspaper, The Patriot Ledger, about my economic commentary for the month of December, the question threw me. The question was: what was my personal financial resolution for 2015? Being a financial professional, this caused me to think hard and long. I believe that I’ve come up with two that are going to be great.
The first is to have my entire financial house reviewed by one of the professionals at our firm. Just like every client analysis and financial plan receives many sets of eyes for quality control purposes, so should my personal financial plan. So in 2015, someone in addition to my wife and I will be managing our financial affairs. What a sense of relief I feel as I envision a trusted and independent financial professional looking over every aspect of my financial life. In fact, I’m so excited about this, that the review will probably be complete by year end and not even make it to the 2015 to-do list. But the ongoing monitoring, changes and maintenance will continue for many years and will be shared with another professional.
The second part of this 2015 financial resolution is to be sure that the financial house of my family members is in good order. The joy of having children emancipated from our homestead and off the college dole is so exciting, that we feel like celebrating every day with our newfound cash flow. But the reality is that they are now in the real world, and need real world attention to their finances as well. From saving and spending to investing, beneficiary elections and wills; young adults need financial planning help too.
Most young adults commit a ton of financial sins without even knowing it. They have improper beneficiary designations on their 401K’s, poor asset allocations within those plans, no disability insurance and they buy expensive stuff like homes and cars jointly with their boy or girl friends only to learn later that a proper legal agreement may have made the break up a lot easier.
At this point, my goal is to lead the horses to water and have a series of financial planning conversations with all of my children. I want to make sure that they have the mandatory bases covered and can think critically about making financial commitments before the point of purchase.
Wish me luck! If it doesn’t work with me at the helm, I’ll hire one of the advisors from the office to do it with them. If it does work, maybe I’ll nudge the rest of the family to be sure that they too have their entire financial house in order, and strive to keep it that way forever.