Achieving the five fundamental financial desires that most people harbor often appears elusive. Let’s delve into each of these aspirations to determine if you’re on the right track. Ideally, a person’s financial journey should encompass the following five objectives:
- Long-Term Wealth: Long-term wealth signifies our pursuit of financial security, which is the very reason we work and save. We endeavor to allocate our income wisely to ensure it continues to grow steadily over time. Most of us prefer a stable and reliable approach, steering clear of volatile market swings. However, despite our best efforts and the guidance of financial advisors, we often find ourselves concerned about unforeseen downturns or market upheavals that could derail our long-term wealth goals. As we accumulate wealth, unforeseen challenges can sometimes force us to backtrack, potentially leading to a scenario where many individuals outlive their wealth and must supplement their income with part-time work, a daunting prospect as we age.
- Retirement Income: Our aspiration for retirement is to enjoy a similar income to what we earned before retiring. Regrettably, achieving this can be elusive due to the limitations of financial products marketed to us. When financial professionals prioritize products over processes, consumers often lose out. Building retirement income should involve a broader wealth-building approach, rather than a singular focus on retirement income. Fixating solely on income growth can be counterproductive, as it may inadvertently expose you to external factors like taxes, inflation, opportunity costs, planned obsolescence, market fluctuations, and numerous other hidden erosive factors.
- Minimizing Taxes: Taxes, as mentioned in point #2, can be unpredictable and detrimental to your wealth. Minimizing the tax burden is essential for sustainable long-term growth. It entails focusing on both “People at work” and “Money at work.” Neglecting either can compromise your financial objectives. “People at work” refers to diligently working to fund your retirement without losing sight of the importance of “money at work,” which must be strategically structured to limit erosion and ensure your money grows unencumbered.
- Lasting Legacy: Many of us strive to leave behind a meaningful legacy, the culmination of our life’s efforts. The goal should be to “enjoy our wealth now, continue to enjoy it later in life, and pass it on to our children.” Legacy is a common desire, yet it often falters when individuals retire and find themselves outliving their wealth, necessitating a return to work. Even those who have accumulated significant wealth may compromise their lifestyle due to inadequate planning.
- Reduced Cost and Risk: Regrettably, the financial industry’s primary focus often leans toward selling products for commissions, rather than addressing the critical aspects of reducing costs and risks. While utilizing financial products can be beneficial, it’s vital to ensure they are well-suited to your specific needs. Building a comprehensive model to visualize your entire financial landscape can help you understand how these components interact. Reducing costs and risks is paramount for sustainable wealth growth, safeguarding against erosive factors that can erode your financial progress.
These five desires underpin the aspirations of those committed to preserving their hard-earned income. With over 30 years of successful client engagements, we continue to strive toward empowering everyone with a genuine desire to optimize their financial potential.