Finance Made Simple

Estate planning is a fairly daunting task, which is why so many people don’t tackle it at all. In fact, estate planning is one of the number one financial tasks that people put on the back burner. This is true for several reasons:

  1. It’s uncomfortable to think about our own mortality.
  2. Nobody wants to imagine a scenario where they’re physically unable to make decisions for themselves after a tragedy or accident.
  3. It can be upsetting to try and figure out how to care for your spouse, partner, kids, pets, and assets if you haven’t considered it before.

Luckily, estate planning doesn’t have to be as complicated as you might think! Estate planning is not just for the old and wealthy.  Privacy laws make it very difficult for family members to take care of loved ones if the worst should happen. You can get a relatively solid estate plan in place in a few hours or less by following these steps.

Building a Budget that Matches Your Values

Budgeting is never easy. As you move and grow through life, your budget will evolve and change over time. They can be tough to stick to, and all too often we fall off the budgeting bandwagon not because we’re incapable of sticking to a budget, but because our budget just doesn’t fit our lifestyle anymore.

So much of our lives are dictated by time, everything from business to personal fits into its ephemeral framework: planning travel time for road trips, scheduling time for work meetings, letting time slip away with old friends. Our world revolves around time-- chasing it, grasping it, using it.

Starting a relationship later in life can often be both exciting and fulfilling. However, for retirees who are falling in love again, getting married may not be the best next step for either of you financially or otherwise.

Talking about your finances with your children can be uncomfortable, especially if those aren’t conversations you’ve initiated with your kids in the past. Now that your children are adults, and you’re starting to create your estate plan, it’s wise to have a conversation with them about your finances. Before you dive into these discussions, it can be helpful to know what information your adult children need, the best ways to bring up your estate plan with them, and how to involve them in your ongoing planning process without giving up your financial privacy and independence.

You deserve to live a lifestyle that brings you joy - even if you outlive your partner. Creating an individual retirement plan is one way to safeguard yourself against financial scarcity during your years as a retiree, and help to prepare you for the possibility of facing retirement without your life partner by your side.

Relationships run through our lives every day. From family members to friends and coworkers, our daily habits rely on the relationships we cultivate. It seems natural for us to put work into maintaining the relationships we have with other people, but we also have relationships with objects-- tangible things that affect our lives sometimes as deeply as humans do. One of those objects we often forget we are in a relationship with is money.

Money and personal finance makes up a large part of our livelihood and influences our daily habits and decisions. Like any other relationship, our relationship with money can turn toxic if we don’t pay attention.

There seems to be a myth floating around in the world of personal finance about retirement planning. Many finance professionals, and individuals who choose to DIY their finances, focus exclusively on developing a retirement plan that centers on savings - how much to save, what accounts to use for savings, and how to allocate your savings for maximum return.

The retirement savings gap is growing at an alarming rate. Many millennials are overwhelmed with student loans, consumer debt, and historically low pay. Unfortunately, this often means that retirement savings gets put on the back burner while other financial goals and dreams take up the spotlight. To combat this, and to help their younger employees prepare for retirement, many companies have started to implement an opt-out workplace retirement plan.

Most people are working toward creating an estate plan that aligns their money with what they value most in this world. They want to take care of their families, donate money to charities and causes they care deeply about, and support parts of their community they love. What many people don’t realize is that you don’t have to wait until you set up your estate plan to use your money in a meaningful way. Socially responsible investing, or SRI, can help you to invest in companies or organizations that are doing good work in the world - all while still keeping you on track to reach your financial goals.

When you’re in a committed relationship, you’re going to experience disagreements. When those disagreements are about finances, it can be especially uncomfortable because we all have emotional hang ups when it comes to money. Whether one of you is a spender and the other is a saver, or you disagree about where your “extra” money from bonuses or unexpected cash windfalls should go, financial disagreements can lead to tension in your relationship. Luckily, you can move through these difficult conversations with relative ease by following a few simple steps.

Many women run their households, have built successful careers, tackle a side hustle, and are actively involved with their family, friends, and local community. It’s not a secret that women are essentially superheroes without capes! So why is it that so many women struggle to discuss their finances? According to a recent survey, 61% of women would rather discuss the details of their death than their own money. That’s a daunting statistic, especially because many women will be solely responsible for their own finances, and potentially their family’s estate, at some point during their lives.

When you work with a financial advisor, you want to make sure that the advice you receive is always in your best interest. You don’t want to jeopardize your financial plan, or your ability to earn more in the long-term because an advisor sold you a financial product that you may or may not have needed.

For many, retirement can be a challenging time. Going from your set routine and schedule to having a dramatic lack of structure in your life is jarring. Though many people have a vision for how they’d like their retirement to look, others might find that pursuing a secondary “retirement career” is the answer they’re looking for.

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Finance Made Simple

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