“I wish I had someone teach me about money when I was in high school”
I am sure that many professionals who work closely with clients in helping them with their financial, tax, or estate planning have heard them say, “I wish I learned this years ago”. Obviously, there is nothing we can do to turn back the clock, except move forward. When it relates to planning it is easy to look back and wish that if certain things were done when they had the opportunity their financial state might turn out differently than had they done nothing at all.
When engaging with clients that are in the early stages of their career part of our sales process involves educating them on the importance of financial planning, and the rationale behind our strategies. One reason we do this is so they feel a level of confidence and learn first-hand about the sales process. One of the key components that I share is that it’s part of a coordinated effort between the professionals that are involved, and tools used to accomplish their goal(s) – planning is not done on an ad-hoc basis.
When engaging with older clients I have heard them share sentiments such as, “I heard about the retirement options at my job, but didn’t think I couldn’t afford putting money away” or “I have been working at the job for 20 years, and never got around to opening a 401k plan”. While it does bother me, and knowing there is nothing I can do at that point to turn back the clock, I tend to think how much better of a financial place they would be in had they listened to any recommendations a professional may have made, or saved money in their retirement plan regardless of how much or how little.
After having our initial consultation, I can see signs of regret on their faces because they only wish someone explained how all of the different aspects of their financial picture, while working in sync, can ensure a comfortable retirement or accomplishing a specific financial objective.
Recently I have been referred to a couple that had interest in purchasing long-term care. While they had an abstract perspective of what it does and how it works, the couple’s ages made the premiums more than what they were willing to spend for what they needed. They told me in our discussion that they were going to purchase long-term care 10 years earlier but didn’t get around to doing it. Now that they are 10 years older, they are taken back at that nobody explained how much more it would be to purchase long-term care, and wished they did when they had the chance.
To plan for the future does not involve any sort of linear progression of events – it’s not a sequential process. When positioning your finances in a particular order or even learning the concepts of how to save are skills that can be learned from a very young age. Imagine what it would be like if your parents gave you an allowance but took out “taxes” to teach you the difference between gross income and net income.
Just like when growing up we develop habits to sustain a healthy lifestyle, developing important habits of managing your finances is just as important.
Registered representative of and securities offered through Hornor, Townsend & Kent, Inc. (HTK), Registered Investment Advisor, member FINRA/SIPC, 600 Dresher Road, Horsham, PA 19044, (215) 957-7300. HTK does not accept time-sensitive or action-oriented messages delivered via e-mail, including authorization to “buy” or “sell” a security or instructions to conduct any other financial transaction. 2527319AL_MAY21