The holidays can be tough financially. In fact, Americans will spend nearly $1,000 this year on holiday gifts alone. (1) Factor in travel and food and that’s a sizable chunk of your savings gone. Even though the markets have been soaring with record highs and many investors are enjoying significant gains, it’s never a good idea to get too comfortable, even during the most wonderful time of the year. It’s important to remember two things.
First, markets can shift quickly, so it’s imperative to have safeguards in place to help protect your savings from inevitable future downturns. Second, as you near retirement, it’s time to reevaluate your strategy to make sure your financial plan is in line with your retirement goals.
If you haven’t addressed these two points, a financial second opinion could make a world of difference. Does this sound like you or anyone you know?
A Check-Up For Your Finances
You can think of a second opinion as a financial check-up, just like an annual physical or eye exam you’d get from your doctor. When we meet with your friend or family member, we’ll take the time to get to know them and become familiar with their unique financial situation. We’ll ask them to outline their financial goals and review their current plan, 401(k), investment portfolio, insurance policies, and more. This allows us to get on the same page and start customizing a plan that will take them where they want to be.
We’ll also answer any questions they may have about the market, strategies, or basic financial tips and principles. Then, we’ll combine all their concerns, ideas, and dreams with their current plan to see if everything lines up.
The Benefits of a Financial Check-Up
Once we have the big picture of their finances, we can work together to evaluate and adjust. If we think everything continues to be well suited to their long-term goals despite market turmoil or personal life changes, we’ll gladly tell them so and send them on their way.
If on the other hand, we think their plan no longer fits their goals or their portfolio is too risky, which can easily happen during periods of strong stock market returns, we’ll explain why without resorting to complicated jargon. And, if they’d like, we’ll recommend some alternatives. It may be that minor adjustments are needed based on their age, current economic woes, or a change in priorities and plans.
It never hurts to have a professional take a second look at their financial plan to ensure that it is up-to-date, still applicable to all aspects of their life, and is designed to achieve their long-term dreams. Regardless of the outcome of our second look, I hope they will have full confidence in us, their decisions, and their financial plan.
Do You Know Someone Who Needs This?
Did you know that finance-related resolutions are the third most popular New Year’s resolution, following self-improvement and weight loss? (2) As we celebrate the holidays and start a new year, millions of people will vow to get out of debt, save more, or accomplish a financial milestone, whether that’s purchasing a vacation home or retiring. We believe that the best way to accomplish your goals is to partner with a trusted professional who can create a financial roadmap tailored to your unique needs. The best gift you can give your family and friends this holiday season is an encouragement to take the first step towards a healthy financial future.
If your loved ones have any questions, or if you think you yourself would gain from a financial check-up, we are here to help! Contact our office today by calling us at (323) 254-3072 for a complimentary second opinion.
About Mason & Associates, Inc.
Mason & Associates, Inc. was founded in 1989, specializing in Life Planning for individuals, families and small businesses. Life Planning places a person’s core life values at the heart of the advice process and focuses on the human aspects of financial planning.
As a client, your personal story is key to our planning process. That is why we strive to build a close relationship that will encompass every aspect of your life. Together with our team of professionals, we guide you through the process of identifying what is important to you, your goals, your dreams. We then put into place a financial road map to set you on your way towards achieving your objectives.
Our responsibility does not end there. As you encounter bumps in the road, changes in goals or any other roadblocks, we are there to offer advice and guidance. We are there to celebrate your successes and cope with your challenges. We work alongside your other professionals such as your attorney and your CPA to be sure all of your legal and financial needs are aligned.