My husband and I updated our financial plan some months ago, which was a long time coming. Truth be told, there were a few lingering topics that I just didn’t feel like arguing with him about.
There, I said it.
And it’s a heck of a lot of work, gathering statements, having conversations about the budget and what not. As much as I love my work and know its benefits, it’s difficult to tackle money. It’s also difficult for people to admit they need help, and perhaps my colleagues – fellow financial planners – are the worst at admitting that (and you thought it was just your spouse, the engineer, who was like that).
A colleague I greatly admire, Rick Kahler, frequently talks about how important it is that financial planners hire their own financial planners. Dentists don’t do their own dental work, after all! I took a page from Rick’s book and am really glad I did.
I drafted an email, blind copying my colleagues, and put in the subject line “Your Most Important Client: YOU.” This is what it said:
Good afternoon financial planning colleagues, I wanted to share something with you.
I recently updated our personal financial plan. This was a long time coming, as I last updated it about 5 years ago, just prior to starting my business. Thankfully I’ve been very busy – so busy in fact that I put our finances on the back burner (on autopilot). Through this process I realized three things:
1. It’s really hard creating or updating your financial plan. It brings up all kinds of emotions as well as realities. Our clients must really like and trust us to go through this.
2. It’s good to take your own advice, especially if you know what you’re doing and
3. If you don’t tend to your finances, you’re vulnerable to failing, and that won’t be good for your personal life or your business. You know the value of having a second set of eyes on things.
So with these revelations fresh in my mind, I wanted to extend an invitation to you to hire me to create or update your financial plan.
My husband said “It’s easier to confess your sins to a priest you don’t know,” but you know me and the quality of my work – and everything’s of course confidential.
This plan would include an analysis of cash flow and net worth, and, if desired, a review of your income tax situation, a recommended asset allocation, retirement projections, a review of your disability & life insurance programs and succession and estate planning.
If you’re interested, just email or phone me.
Peace & abundance,
Amy Jo Lauber, CFP®
Of course I parked the email in my draft folder for three whole days, afraid to send it out.
I imagined (at least a few of) them thinking to themselves,
“Who the hell does she think she is?”
By day three I took a giant breath and pressed “send.”
Then I exhaled like I was blowing out my birthday candles.
Then, I waited.
You’d be surprised how many took me up on the offer.
But a few did say to me, “That took some __________” (I’ll let you fill in the blank).
Yeah, it did.
But do you know another reason I was glad I did reached out to my fellow professionals? To bring the spouses of my colleagues into the money conversation; because they naturally and understandably rely on their financial planner spouse to manage everything; they may not chime into the conversation about their own finances!
The spouse who “isn’t interested in all that financial mumbo-jumbo” could be very vulnerable, should something happen to the “money” spouse.
Unfortunately there are people in the financial services industry who do not act ethically. And sometimes they don’t really know what they’re talking about; they just talk a good game.
If you’re the spouse who handles the money, consider hiring someone like myself to be your back up.
If now is the time for you to create a workable budget, pay off debt, set up a savings program, learn how to invest your money, determine when to retire and take Social Security, or anything else financial, just contact me for your free initial consultation.