8 Steps to Financial Wellness
Showing how health and wealth awareness can come together for maximum wellness.
What follows are the 8 key considerations involved in achieving a cohesive, inclusive plan that takes into consideration the realities of life, especially as we age. Much that follow is posed in the form of questions that should be thought about and discussed with the people in your life, personally and professionally, to be able to create and implement the plan as things change.
Financial decision-making. If something happened to you, have you chosen who would make good financial decisions for you and your family? Are there detailed instructions on file? Think about what could arise if this hasn’t been taken care of.
Financial management. Who is actually making the investment decisions? Are there multiple advisors? Are they all on the same page? Do you have all of their contact information in one place?
Estate planning. Who do want your assets to go to while you’re alive and after you have passed? This is as much about your personal preferences as the assets, maybe more so. Make sure you have a written will or trust, and have other pertinent documents done. We always share with people that if you don’t have a will in place, the state has one for you, and chances are it’s not going to be what you want. Don’t wait until it’s too late.
Financial literacy. Are both spouses involved in the financial decision-making process? Are other family members? Is everyone on the same page? While it is highly unlikely that everyone has the same understanding of all things financial, your advisor should, so make sure you are in that situation.
Health care decisions and costs. How prepared are you for the uncertainties of needed care and the rapidly increasing costs associated with it? While obvious, it’s often not talked about. How convenient are the potential needed services and how might they change over the coming year? Don’t guess! Have a specific plan in place.
Living transitions. The majority of Americans would prefer to “age in place” in familiar surroundings, but is it possible as needs change and you need to be where there are needed services. Exactly what kind of care do you want?
Driving transitions. Have you even thought about this? For many, the car is key to feeling independent. Every day there are accidents caused by declining awareness and over confidence, coupled with the reluctance of families to intercede. Planning ahead for alternative means of getting around is critical for all.
Diminished capacity. This is true for virtually everyone, so make sure those around you have an understanding of the inevitability of this and hopefully are able to recognize the signs. Lack of awareness can lead to becoming a victim to fraud or identity theft, bad judgement, or impulse controls among other things.
Many of these subjects may seem uncomfortable to think about or talk about, but isn’t this all part of planning for the future, I certainly think so. After all, the kind of retirement you experience tomorrow depends on the strategies you put in place today. I would welcome an opportunity to discuss some or all of these points with you. Reach out to me at 480-513-1830. Let’s talk.
Charles C. Scott
The source of this is an article by Steve Gresham in the June 2020 issue of Financial Advisor Magazine.