As a guy who loves football and many other sports, I generally like to use analogies when I work with my clients, especially if they are sports fans themselves. It often helps them understand a topic that they may be unfamiliar with. If they are in the medical profession, I may put it in medical terms. If they are educators, I’ll put it in that context. But let’s talk about football here for a minute. We all know that the coach on the sidelines generally is the play caller and is there to motivate his players, but the quarterback of the team is the true, on-the-field leader of the offense. The coach may call the play, but it’s up to the quarterback to implement that and relay the play to the offense in the huddle. Sometimes, however, because of what he sees from how the defense is lining up, he may have to change that play at the last minute, or make adjustments after the play is called. 

Let’s talk about what a Financial Advisor’s role in the day-to-day interaction with his or her clients:

  • They are to help coordinate the complete financial planning process for that client
    • This means to communicate with the client’s other professionals that they are currently working with or provide them if they don’t have them in place already. This could be a trusted CPA, estate planning or business attorney, etc. 
  • Act in the role of the client’s Decision Coach, where they all come up with a game plan of what to attack first in their finances. 
    • This could be coming up with a plan to pay off non-mortgage debt right away, a “Debt Snowball” of sorts, to speed through the process of freeing up much needed discretionary monthly income to put somewhere productive
    • It could also be figuring out what percentage to put into a client’s 401K, how much to put into a Roth IRA (if the client qualifies, based on their income), and how much to save for college for each child.
    • Figuring out how much life insurance the clients need, based on income levels, debt, health, longevity, etc. 
    • If the clients are closer to retirement, start figuring out how they will pay for rising healthcare costs, what their Long Term Care needs are and how they will pay for them, and how they want to pass their wealth on to the next generation in the most efficient manner. It could also be figuring out the appropriate time to take Social Security.
  • Help invest client’s funds in a prudent and research-oriented manner, making it easier on the client, so they don’t have to figure all of that out on their own. 
    • This also involves helping to educate clients on how investing works, and to help coach them during the good and bad times of the market. They have the heart of a teacher. 

The Financial Advisor acts as the quarterback of the client’s financial situation, coming up with the game plan and helping them to implement the “offense.” Having a team of Financial Advisors, CPA’s, and Estate Planning attorneys can help you on your financial journey to the ultimate prize: a healthy and independent retirement.

Action Items:

  1. It’s springtime and with it comes spring cleaning. 
    1. Take a look at your own financial house and see where the holes in the offense might be.
  2. Don’t be complacent with your future
    1. Plan now, as the earlier you start, the easier the road will be 10-20-30 years from now.
  3. Seek out the advice from a Trusted Financial Advisor to help coach and guide you towards a successful retirement. 
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