Wednesday, July 6, 2016

My Dad and the Value of having an Appointment with a Financial Advisor

Welcome to "The Finance Gym Action Plan for a Better Life with Money" video series. My name is Stacey Powell and if you're ready to not just know better, but do better your money, then you've come to the right place.

The last several videos, I've been focusing on Chapter 7 in my book, which is the grown up stuff.
All the stuff which is for most of us not really fun to do. Making decisions about insurance. Hiring a financial planner. Do I hire a tax accountant or not?

One of the things I try and do in that chapter is I try to help people make a decision about: is this something that I can learn on my own, and make decisions for myself? Or is this an area where I should go hire a professional?

And so today I'm going to share a story with you about my Dad, may he rest in peace, and sorry Mom, if you're watching this, but you know it's true.

I love my Dad, and anyone in my family will tell you: I'm just like my Dad. He was super smart, he was highly capable, and he loved learning. It's really unfortunate that he lived in a time mostly before the advent the internet until he got into his later years. He was also a little mistrusting of salesmen, even though he was kind of a salesman.

What all of that meant for him was he would not seek the advice of a financial planner until he had studied everything he needed to study to learn to make his own decision. Then, maybe, he'd go see someone. The same thing about insurance. And not just simple things like car insurance, but complicated insurances like long term care insurance.

When I started getting more and more into financial stuff and realized my parents had two long term care policies, I asked "Why do you have two long term care policies?" His answer? "I haven't done all the research I need to decide which one to keep." So he just kept them both. There's many of those stories that my brothers and I chuckle about from time to time.

Why didn't he make decisions? Because he hadn't fully studied everything he needed to study to make a final decision.

Here's what I like to teach people using my Dad as an example: sometimes the best reason to hire professionals is to have an appointment and a deadline.

For my Dad, a deadline would have changed everything. He put stuff off because he was such a perfectionist and he was so smart that he wouldn't get to the point of making a decision. If he had just hired a financial planner and put a little bit of trust in that person, or simply had an appointment he had to show up to, it would have been an impetus for him to get all that reading done, go see that person and make a decision.

Left to our own devices, we all walk around thinking, "Hmmm, I should get my estate planning done; I should probably buy life insurance; I should probably take care of that long-term care insurance." But we don't have a deadline.

Hiring a financial planner provides you an appointment and a deadline to get it done.

On any given day, what are we going to do? Do you want to go to swim practice with your kids or stay home and make decisions about insurance? It's a no-brainer.

When I started the firm Creating Answers, a financial coaching company, providing consistent accountability was one of the core objectives. Once a month, clients have an appointment to get on the phone or walk in the door and talk to us about their money.

Are they getting value from that conversation? Absolutely. But I'll tell you what they're really getting value from: every single month having an appointment to talk about their money.

So take a lesson from my Dad. If you don't have an appointment with someone in your world to talk about your finances, go make one.

If you'd like to talk about this more, come join us over at our Facebook group, Team Do Better, signup for the videos below, or go sign up for our weekly newsletters at Finance Gym

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