Wealth Transfer Planning 1 of 6
In our business of comprehensive financial planning, “wealth transfer,” “estate planning,” “legacy planning” are all different words for the same process; defining and documenting how you will pass assets to others in retirement or at death so as to have control and leverage over these decisions.
I cleaned out my garage last weekend. I tend to accumulate things I don’t need or don’t often use. I pile up things that should just be thrown away. I stack tools on my shelves instead of putting them back where I got them. Instead of taking an extra minute or two out of my day, I end up creating what becomes a weekend long project each year – cleaning out my garage.
Last week we discussed some common financial planning mistakes that even financially conscientious people make. With as complicated as our financial lives can be, it’s understandable that we sometimes lose focus on the main parts of our plan and simple things end up slipping through the cracks.
Change can bring out a lot of our emotions, some at opposite ends of the spectrum. For some, change can be exciting. For others, it can be incredibly uncomfortable, even bringing out fear and anxiety. I think it’s true that we, as people, prefer order and predictability in our lives, which probably makes us naturally resistant to change.
We sometimes find it hard to get our clients to focus on the main thing. In this day in age, it’s so easy to track performance of an investment that some lose sight of the big picture. Sure, rate of return is absolutely important. But does your rate of return really tell the whole story? We don’t think so.
I was at a conference this week, where there were many different financial advisors listening to many industry leaders talk about how to give advice, what new technology is available to assist in giving advice, and what studies say about how clients want to receive this advice. Call me old fashioned, but some of this conversation is still missing the point; financial planning isn’t so much about numbers, as it is about conversation, process and follow up.