Episode 36: Financial Checkup for 2023
Jan 31, 2023
You know how important it is to get a checkup on your health, but what about your wealth? Have you saved enough for retirement? Could increased taxes impact your lifestyle? If you’re not sure of the answers, then now is a good time for a financial checkup!
On this episode, Isaac Wright, CFP®, ChFC® and Ricky Lafon, MBA, CFP®, RICP®, WMCP®, discuss the importance of conducting a financial checkup to start off the new year. Take a few minutes to review the downloadable checklist and speak with one of our financial planners today if you have any questions.
Here are just a handful of the things that we'll discuss:
- Income as cash flows
- Medical and health care
- Advanced financial planning
- Risk management
- Tax-efficient strategies
Isaac Wright: Well, welcome back to Write Money Tips, January 2023, top of the year. A lot of you have goals that you’re trying to accomplish. Financial goals, specifically in today’s conversation that I’m going to have with you, along with Ricky, is covering what a financial checkup is. Things that you can really use to make progress on those goals and some of the things here that we’re doing at our office to take advantage of helping you along the way.
So, first of all, let me introduce, if you haven’t met Ricky Lafon. Ricky is one of our senior financial planners here at Financial Dynamics. Ricky, I think we have a really good show lined up today. You know of course at the top of the year; everybody has financial resolutions. I know we did this in 2022. But for all of you today, this is going to be a new and improved year and we want to see that for all of you here. So, Ricky, welcome to the program.
Ricky Lafon: Thanks for having me. Appreciate it.
Isaac Wright: Let’s go ahead and start by just talking about, when we say, and I know for those of you who haven’t been on or haven’t seen us recently, we’ve been on channel 12, channel 8. We’ve been talking about our financial checklist. We have developed a really nice, consolidated way for you to go to our website and download the checklist. Or you can just call us, and we can provide it to you one way or the other. But let’s talk about the checklist and the importance of the checklist that we’ve put together.
Ricky Lafon: You know, when you’re talking about getting ready for retirement, you have to have a game plan. So, if you have that checklist ready, and our checklist has 34 different areas on it for you to go down through and see if you’re ready for retirement, and that’s the ultimate goal. Are you ready?
Takes into account things like income, medical and healthcare cost, the what ifs, risk tolerance. Let’s talk about taxes. That’s going to be something that we’re going to have to talk about over the next couple years since we do expect taxes to rise through people’s retirement. So, having that checklist is a good starting point saying, what have I done to this point and what help do I need moving forward for that retirement plan?
Isaac Wright: You know, as you said, all of that and I want to be clear, you know, when you said there’s 34 points, I want you to realize this is not a book report. It is 34 topics, but there’s short, concise ways for you to be able to basically say yes or no to get the ball rolling on prioritizing what makes sense for you.
So, you know, Ricky, when we created this, you’re right, it’s going to cover not just retirement, but again, financial improvements, how to maintain your lifestyle. That’s our tagline. So, we’re just really excited to bring that to the table for all of you. Again, let us know if you would like to have our financial checklist.
Maybe more importantly on top of the checklist if there are concerns, what are some of the ways when somebody thinks about whether they want to use a financial planner, what does a financial planner mean for someone?
Ricky Lafon: You know, that’s a great question and the way we view it here is we’re a quarterback of the financial plan, and what that means is we’re going to look out for shortcomings or anything that’s overlooked as far as estimates of expenses go. We are going to look at risk a little bit differently than other firms, or maybe even you look at risk. We want to make sure we have those guidelines to stay within as far as the risk plan goes, but we’re also going to coordinate with other professionals, whether that be a CPA, tax planner, attorney, whatever the case may be. We’re going to bring in those professionals and if you’re already working with someone, we can coordinate with them to make sure your plan is as holistic as possible.
Isaac Wright: Yeah. I think a lot of times people misunderstand the term financial planner and, you know, a financial planner if they’re doing their job correctly. At our office we take pride in the fact of everything you just said, it’s more than just picking an investment. And, the world that we live in today, and for all of you too, I think you all probably get this if you’ve done any research or just really looking at the fact that there’s more than one way to skin the cat when it comes again, to selecting an advisor. You know, there’s more to it than just investments.
And I’ll also add this about being a financial planner, the legitimacy of ongoing education. Everybody here at our firm really prides themselves on getting designated in specific areas that are focusing in our practice. You know, whether it’s a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PROFESSIONAL™ (CFP®), Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC®), Retirement Income Certified Professional (RICP®), these are all ongoing ways to show you that we’re committed to helping you along the way.
You know, I would say maybe when we talk about the checklist, they look at this checklist, what are some high level, let’s just keep it high level, common concerns that people have towards their finances and retirement?
Ricky Lafon: You know, that’s a great question. I think number one is income. And I call that cash flow. What is my cash flow going to look like? Should I retire? And then we have to look at the economy as well. You know, what happens if we have another downturn? A recession and the economy. And here at Financial Dynamics, we don’t say what happens if, but what happens when that’s going to happen. Can your financial plan overcome that and come through that on the other side and everything’s okay?
But you’re also famous for saying, what if you wake up tomorrow and your life is just completely different? What if there’s a health event? What if there’s a disability or a death? What does your financial plan look like at that point? Have you thought about that? Those are some of the overlooked areas that people come to us and say, “You know what? I’ve got a plan. I’ve got investments, but I’ve got some blind spots as well.” What happens if I’m disabled? What happens if my spouse is disabled? There’s more capital outlay there for care. What does tomorrow look like if that happens?
Isaac Wright: And I know you and I specifically over the last end part of the year during the holidays when everything, you know, people want to have a good holiday. I know stress can come into play, but we’ve had two family members recently that have had to deal with both a child and a parent that equally needed help in different ways.
But what I’m trying to say is for people that are in their, let’s call it this, a transitional period of in their forties to maybe even late sixties, whenever you decide to retire again, people are living longer today. Sometimes your financial plan needs to include the loved ones that are around you, not just your spouse or your kids. It’s just our world and being financial planners, there’s plenty of work to be done and I don’t see that going away anytime soon.
Ricky Lafon: Yeah, I couldn’t agree with that more. And I think this checklist is a good foundation for people to start those conversations. And sometimes those are hard conversations to have. And that’s also a part of what we do as well, is quarterback that conversation to make sure those blind spots are addressed properly.
Isaac Wright: Well guys, listen as we get off for January 2023, the beginning of the year. Not a lengthy podcast episode today. Really just wanted to kind of make sure that you all are aware that we do have a financial checklist that we’re very proud to be able to provide to you. Gives you a lot of good insight, a lot of material for you to be able to start looking at the world that you’re in and realizing number one, do you need help? And number two, the benefits or whether or not you want a financial planner and how does that look?
We can talk to you about all of that. So, just going to be direct with you today. Ricky, I don’t think there’s anything else to add. But ladies and gentlemen, we’re just always excited to help you in any way we can. Feel free to reach out to us, hit our office, and until next month, we’ll talk to you soon.
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