The day to file your annual financial report with Uncle Sam is just around the corner. For
some, it’s the day to write a big check; for others, it may mean a refund. Farmers have already performed this annual ritual.
Careful preparation and examination of your taxes is important; however, your annual
report to Uncle Sam represents only a part of your story.
Even more important is careful consideration of your overall financial picture and its
workings. Unless you’re a financial wizard and/or someone who keeps up with all the latest
investment opportunities and tax codes, enlisting a financial advisor can reap many rewards,
including peace of mind – especially as we consider implications of recent tax code changes. It might also open doors of financial opportunity – including ways to support your charitable
passions – you had never considered.
It is important that you trust your financial advisor and feel comfortable working with
him or her. Realize that the relationship is a partnership. Choosing the right partner for your
circumstances can make a huge difference in the long run.
Here are some things for you to think about as you begin this process:
1) Articulate the financial future you want and need to build, complete with details of
why, when, and for whom: What are your short-term goals (home purchase, education…)?
Long-term goals (family expenses, retirement, charitable/legacy provisions…)? Make lots and
lots of notes! Format those notes into goals, and prioritize.
2) Survey your current situation and your financial tools. Carefully assess your current
financial situation: what you’ve already built, current cash flow and liabilities, and what
financial plans you already have in place.
3) Select a trusted advisor. Be thorough in your search: after all, you’re entrusting this
person to help you turn your financial dreams into reality. Talk with your friends and co-
workers. Check the advisor’s credentials as well as their areas of focus and expertise. Does this person fit what you need? Will he or she be open to your input as well as knowledgeable enough to offer new opportunities that fit your goals? Is the advisor willing to work with other professionals in your life (tax accountant, attorney, etc.) to maximize your potential?
4) Work with your advisor to draft and implement your plan. Now that your goals have
been articulated and your financial situation put into focus, you and your advisor can examine such things as uncontrollable risk (life, health and disability insurance, e.g.), and investment, retirement and estate planning.
5) Monitor your plan. Life isn’t the same at 60 as it was at 40 or will it be at 80. Your
financial plan is a basic blueprint for a secure future; but as situations and goals change, the
blueprint may need updated. Remember that your financial advisor is your partner, so if life
changes, keep him/her in the loop and you can, together, make necessary adjustments to your plan.
Financial planning would be a lot simpler if life was predictable – but it’s not! A sound
financial plan, however, carefully designed, can provide peace of mind for you and your family. Careful financial planning can open up worlds of opportunity, providing many ways for you to achieve your financial goals.
Your Community Foundation of White County is honored to work with many attorneys,
tax accountants, and financial planners in our White County community who are sincerely
dedicated to the well-being of their clients as well as to our entire community.
For more information about financial planning or about your Community Foundation of
White County, contact Director Leslie Goss at 574-583-6911.