Financial Planning for the Next Chapter of Your Life
Why are you reading this?
These words did not appear on your screen or arrive in your inbox unbidden. The fact that you clicked on “Download” suggests that you may have some concerns about your financial future. Or maybe there are some things you want to be sure you can afford to do in the next chapter of your life. Maybe you simply want some confirmation that the steps you’ve taken thus far to prepare for what comes next were the right ones.
Not everyone has the in-depth knowledge to do their own financial planning, manage their own investments, or ensure their financial legacy. And those who do usually know they can benefit from an objective expert opinion.
But before you get to that point, there are certain questions you need to answer so that you can make informed decisions about your finances.
The next few pages will walk you through a model—a way to look at your priorities, concerns, and goals—that is probably different from the way you’ve dealt with them in the past.
You’ll then find some questions that will help guide your own planning and provide the basis for working with a financial professional, should you choose to do that. If you do choose to work with a professional, you should be able to save some time and perhaps some money by already having thought through the major issues that must be considered in financial planning.
With a little planning now, you can have the freedom and resources to make the next chapter of your life what you want it to be.
Dare to Dream
Where to From Here?
Sooner or later, usually in mid-life, many people begin to have thoughts like:
- Is this what the rest of my life is going to look like?
- Am I going to have the time to do what I want to do, not just
what I have to do?
- And when I do have the time, will I have enough money?
- Do I even know what I’d like to do with the rest of my life if I
do have both the time and the money?
Do you ever find yourself wishing for some breathing space to reflect on where you are at this point in your life and where you
would like to be a few years from now?
Do you sometimes feel that things are moving a bit too fast to keep up with everything requiring your attention?
It would be surprising if you didn’t.
Even people who appear to have their act together often privately yearn for more control over how they spend their time. (The term “work/life balance” comes to mind!)
So, here’s a question for you … What would give you a greater sense of control?
- What do you think is out of control in your life?
- What aspects of your life seem to be out of balance?
- Is there anything that seems overwhelming to you?
- In what ways are things simply too hectic?
If all of those issues could be fixed, would that restore some order?
Or, if you’re one of those people whose life has never been very orderly, would relieving those pain points create some order for you?
That’s the first priority—establishing some control over whatever is spinning out of control.
That’s the only way to get off the hamster wheel and address whatever is standing between you and financial peace.
Find Financial Peace
Once you have the emergencies under control, you can give some thought to:
- Managing your cashflow (money coming in and money going out) to support your current and future lifestyle without being
- Positioning your investments in alignment with major market trends and allocating them to guard against large losses
- Adjusting your tax planning strategies in accordance with the ever-changing U.S. Tax Code while minimizing your tax liability and keeping more money in your pocket
- Preserving your estate to protect your legacy and provide for your heirs and/or beneficiaries
What are your major planning concerns in each of these areas? What changes need to be made
to give you financial peace?
You may need or want certain professionals, such as a tax specialist, CPA, or attorney to help
with the planning and/or execution of solutions addressing your cashflow, investment, taxation,
and estate planning concerns.
Realize Lifestyle Goals
Regaining control and addressing your pressing financial concerns will give you the luxury of
being able to envision what your life will be like when you retire. For some people that probably
should be “if” they retire, not when. Not everyone is temperamentally cut out for a life of
So let’s refer to your vision of the future as “lifestyle goals” rather than retirement goals.
These are the important questions at this point:
- What would you like to have in the future? These are your tangible goals that include things like money in the bank, an investment
portfolio of a certain size, a vacation home, a boat, a new business – you name it.
- What would you like to be in the future?
Perhaps you want to become an entrepreneur or get involved in nonprofit work. Or maybe you have a second career in mind. These are your conceptual goals.
- What would you want to do in the future to achieve your tangible and conceptual goals?
Perhaps you want to accumulate enough wealth to retire early. Maybe you want to find a franchise to buy or go back to school to prepare for that second career. These are the freedom goals that will enable you to have what you want and be what you want in the future.
What's The Plan?
Goals aren’t achieved by accident. It takes planning and preparation to get what you want, become what you want to be, and do what you want to do in life. It’s the folks who don’t do much planning who end up worrying whether they’ll outlive their retirement funds or regret
not having done what they wanted to do on this earth.
If you have some financial issues that are keeping you awake at night, you’ll need a plan for getting them under control and restoring some order to your finances. Some fixes may be a higher priority than others, but every one of them should be treated as a “need to do,” not a
“nice to do.”
Then you can tackle your most pressing current financial concerns in the same manner, though perhaps with a bit less urgency, and find the financial peace you’re seeking.
This process is cyclical and can be repeated if and when it becomes necessary. It’s impossible to anticipate every event that could conceivably have a negative impact on a person’s finances at some point. If something goes sideways, the same approach can be used to restore order and find financial peace once more before continuing to work on achieving lifestyle goals.
A Business Plan for Life
Once you have nailed down your lifestyle goals (tangible, conceptual, and freedom), you’ll need to figure out where you stand today, map out a plan to reach those goals, and come up with a way to make sure you stay on track. The best laid plans don’t work unless we stick to them!
Think of this as creating a business plan for the rest of your life. That certainly deserves all of the care and attention you’d devote to developing the plan for a new business venture that could make or break you financially.
Even when you have the help of a professional financial planner, there is a lot you can do up front to make sure that the financial steps you take will be the right ones. It all begins with an honest self-assessment of where you currently stand, because that’s the starting point for
putting your financial house in order.
The answers to questions like the ones that follow provide the starting point for financial planning. Bear in mind that if you have a spouse or domestic partner, questions asking what “you” think about “your” financial situation apply to both of you as a couple.
Finding Financial Peace
1. Cash Flow Management
2. Investment Positioning
3. Tax Planning
4. Estate Preservation
5. Which of these is of the greatest concern to you?
Achieving Lifestyle Goals
Working With An Expert
Working with the right professional financial advisor can prevent these mistakes commonly made by people approaching retirement age:
- Focusing on the short term rather than taking a long-term approach
- Hoping for the best rather than planning well enough to retire on their own terms
- Not having a coordinated income plan for their future
- Claiming Social Security benefits at full retirement age or sooner
- Not taking advantage of tax planning strategies that could save them a lot of money in
- Refinancing their home and taking on a new 30-year mortgage close to retirement
- Prioritizing paying for their kids’ college education or lavish weddings over their own
- Taking on more risk than necessary to meet their long-term needs
- Underestimating health care costs in retirement
Choosing the right financial advisor is key to avoiding such mistakes. That requires a little due diligence to make sure that each candidate under consideration:
- Has verifiable credentials and experience
- Has the right specialties (e.g., cashflow management, investment positioning, tax planning, estate planning)
- Is able to articulate an investment philosophy
- Does not claim to be able to beat the market
- Explains how they are paid for their services (Fee Only) usually is best for clients.)
- Always acts in a fiduciary capacity, putting the client’s best interests above all other considerations
- Has working relationships with other financial professionals (e.g., investment advisors, tax experts, estate planners, insurance professionals, attorneys with appropriate areas of expertise, etc.)
How We Can Help
Still have questions? Not sure what’s best for you? Need help getting started? We’re passionate about
helping pre-retirees—each with unique goals and objectives—plan for retirement. Call or email Calamita
Wealth Management today to find out how we can help you achieve the comfortable retirement you’ve been
working and saving for.
This is what you’ll get when you choose to work with us:
- Oversight and guidance in the four critical areas that are necessary for a successful retirement: Cash Flow Management, Tax Planning, Investment Positioning, and Estate Preservation
- Construction/realignment of your investment portfolio to match your investment objectives, time horizon for the assets, cash flow needs, and other factors specific to you
- Proactive and personalized guidance from a boutique firm
- The same care we would give to family members
- Portfolio management by a team with over 35 years of putting financial science to work for investors
- Competitive, transparent fees that put your best interest first