A wise person once observed: it is not how much money you make, but how much you keep that matters. We earn reward points on our credit cards, store coupons on our phones, and search for bargains to "save” money. Why then do we resist calling on professionals who offer significant assistance that helps preserve more of our hard-earned money?
As Americans age, their financial needs constantly adjust to meet different lifestyle goals. Therefore, CPA Israel Lowery, of Scalisi, Myers & White, cites the importance of financial planning in every stage of life. "An estimated 10,000 baby boomers are turning 65 every day and this trend will continue for the next ten years, according to a recent Pew Research Center study.This shift is leading to many small business owners selling the companies that they’ve operated for decades to members of younger generations, and figuring out how to deal with the accompanying income tax issues, the complexity of managing retirement assets, and navigating Social Security and Medicare.”
It’s intimidating to find yourself drowning in a sea of acronym and symbol soup. Terms like deductibles, 401(k), IRA, 529, Schedule A, probate, beneficiaries, or credit scores can be overwhelming. Life preservers are available from various types of financial planners -- accountants, insurance agents, mortgage brokers, investment counselors, estate planning attorneys, and even medical billing advocates. Costs vary, depending on the type of planner, and some financial planning is free, available as an additional service by some financial specialists.
For example, Shayna M. Laughlin, State Farm agent, explains that most insurance agents are financial planners without the certificate on the wall."We don’t just look at one or two aspects of a person’s life. We take the elevator to the top floor so that we can look at a complete picture of their personal and financial situation.Our sole purpose is to protect our customers and their families from financial devastation, while showing them appropriate and diverse ways to save for retirement.”
Assurance Financial banker, Jessica McBride, further notes we often fail to consider the importance of decisions like home-buying in long-range financial planning. "You have to consider how to prepare for buying a home by putting aside money for down payments and keeping up your credit scores.Home ownership has so many financial advantages, including potential tax deductions and appreciation in some cases.”
Peter J. Pohorelsky, with Scofield, Gerard, Pohorelsky, Gallaugher & Landry, explains that estate-planning attorneys draft legal documents that serve as long-term planning vehicles.
"For instance, I draft trusts into which a client can place an annuity, which, because of unique state and federal laws, can grow virtually tax free inside of the trust for generations. Estate planning with an attorney can create legacies which may last multiple lifetimes, provided the appropriate asset or investment and legal instrument are matched together.”
Financial Consultant Trina Duhon, owner of Duhon Wealth Management, agrees, reminding clients that retirement is hardly a static event. Dire warnings from financial prognosticators predicting major changes in government programs such as Social Security and Medicare add unknown factors to the mix. She says the default position -- putting one’s head in the sand -- is shortsighted and dangerous. "Workers who are now in the early-to-midpoints of their careers tell me they need more, not less money in retirement. Therefore, I am amazed that they believe establishing a tax-deferred 401(k) is both difficult and unnecessary. Do you really want your plans dashed because you left them up to government bureaucrats or politicians? Surrendering control of your financial future today is not a realistic or wise path to economic freedom tomorrow.”