My Uber driver was from Afghanistan. He moved to the United States with his wife and two young children to escape the atrocities and horrors of his former country. He was an animated character.
On my drive from the airport to my hotel, I learned much about this gentleman. He is attending school to become an aeronautical engineer. His goal is to make $150 a day from driving in between his other job and his studies. He has a plan and he’s driven to succeed so he can provide a better life for his family.
To succeed as an investor, you need goals – specific goals. Your plan should be unique to your situation and reflect your intentions.
Here are a few suggestions to help you get started with your plan so you can move closer to your goals.
- Define your goals. What items are vital to you and your family? Do you need to save for college? Retirement? Write your goals down and commit them to paper. Be specific.
- Take an inventory of your assets. List your investments by account and type. How much money do you currently have in stocks, bonds, or cash? What percentage of your assets are in retirement accounts? Taxable accounts? How much money are you saving monthly?
- Take an inventory of your liabilities. Do you have a mortgage? Credit card debt? Auto loans? Student loans? List how much you owe for each item, including the rate and term.
- Identify your insurance coverage. Life, disability, and long-term care insurance policies will help protect you and your family from unfortunate events. Don’t forget to include your home and auto policies. Also, do you contribute to a Health Savings Account? Your HSA can play an essential role in both your health and retirement planning.
- Do you have children? Setting up a 529 plan as soon as possible helps offset the cost of college. Automate your monthly savings and invest for growth because the cost of college continues to rise – unchecked.
- Update your estate plan. A Will or trust is paramount to help your family honor your wishes once you’re gone. What will happen to your family and assets? A Will or trust will also provide guidance to your families and doctors on medical issues if you’re incapacitated.
- Review your corporate retirement plan benefits. Do you have a 401(k) or 403(b) plan? Does your company offer a pension or cash balance plan? These accounts will probably constitute most of your assets so it’s essential you manage them correctly.
- Identify your beneficiaries. Your retirement plans and insurance policies will transfer to your loved ones by beneficiary designations. It only requires a few minutes of your time to check the beneficiary designations on your accounts, so do it today!
- Prioritize your goals. Your financial plan will list several items, so it’s imperative to identify those goals that are most important to your family.
- Contact the Social Security Administration to review your future benefits. Review your annual income amounts to make sure the data is correct because your income will determine your benefits.
The financial side of your plan is easy to compute because it’s just math – you either have the assets to achieve your goals, or you don’t. The emotional side of your plan is more challenging. What will you do in retirement? What are your hopes, dreams, and fears? How will you spend your days?
Before you’re ready to retire or pursue a goal, spend time thinking about the emotional side of your plan. You’ll be prepared to move forward when your financial and emotional plans are in sync.
I’m confident my Uber driver will succeed because he’s committed to his plan. If you follow his lead, you’ll probably thrive as well.
A dream without ambition is like a car without gas…you’re not going anywhere. ~ Sean Hampton
November 20, 2019
Bill Parrott, CFP®, CKA®, is the President and CEO of Parrott Wealth Management located in Austin, Texas. Parrott Wealth Management is a fee-only, fiduciary, registered investment advisor firm. Our goal is to remove complexity, confusion, and worry from the investment and financial planning process so our clients can pursue a life of purpose. Our firm does not have an asset or fee minimum, and we work with anybody who needs financial help regardless of age, income, or asset level. PWM’s custodian is TD Ameritrade, and our annual fee starts at .5% of your assets and drops depending on the level of your assets.
Note: Investments are not guaranteed and do involve risk. Your returns may differ from those posted in this blog. PWM is not a tax advisor, nor do we give tax advice. Please consult your tax advisor for items that are specific to your situation. Options involve risk and aren’t suitable for every investor.