September will arrive later this week, so will our semiannual review meetings. I learned years ago that attempting to squeeze all planning items into a single annual meeting was unproductive. This didn’t allow time for clients to share personal updates or urgent planning needs. Always pursuing a better process that empowers our clients, it was time to make a change.
We test drove many approaches before selecting our current approach of two meetings a year. Our annual plan review takes place each February to May where we benchmark retirement readiness and goal clarification. Surprisingly, what you want in your 40s and 50s may change by the time you arrive in your 60s. By your 70s and 80s you have repurposed your time and are doing things on a schedule you set (hopefully with a smile as you enjoy each day 😊). These annual meetings, like all our meetings, are not about being right today as much as they are about being less wrong overtime.
Taking stock of what you own and owe as priorities are refined and cashflow is reviewed is critical to achieving what you want. Ultimately, where you arrive or continue traveling to is determined by what you spend, invest, and save. Three small words with an enormous influence on your tomorrow. Not a bad idea to set time aside once a year to check the destination you are traveling towards is truly where you want to be.
September to November provide another window to check in and see on how life is playing out. Change is constant so evaluating the foundation your financial plan rests on is necessary. A great plan stays great by assessing the support systems that make it possible. Identifying cracks in your safety net, estate plan, and tax considerations are a few items covered in our semiannual meetings. This proactive approach helps ensure that small stuff doesn’t slip by and become a bigger issue later.
Adopting an online calendar was a gamechanger two years ago. It puts our accessibility in the hands of our clients. In several clicks we’re connecting when our client’s want to. Our calendar is the “bat phone” to answering questions or assessing opportunities throughout the year, not just at review time. Accessibility leads to better communication and a repeatable process. A repeatable process builds trust.
The most successful businesses and enterprises rely on good people and a repeatable process. When you invest the time to update where you are heading, good questions and dialogue develop. Revisiting these conversations overtime establishes and strengthens relationships. Knowing there is a repeatable roadmap to follow manages everyone’s expectations and helps avoid surprises. No one can successfully predict the future so following a process is the next best thing.
If you are looking for a first or second opinion on the destinations available to you, reach out below and we’d be happy to introduce ourselves. Spoiler, it’s rarely about the money and more about what purpose and behavior the money provides you as you go about your day.
Advisory services through Cambridge Investment Research Advisors, Inc., a Registered Investment Advisor. Cambridge and Flowerstone Financial are not affiliated.