In today’s skeptical and cynical world, we believe little that we read or are told until we have a chance to try it for ourselves. The car looks great in the magazine, but we have to take it for a test drive. The TV is supposed to be great, but we want to see how the image looks on the screen in the store before we buy. Yet as planners when we deliver financial plans to our clients, we don’t just fail to give them a test drive; we actually make it onerous to even try!
The President’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board (PERAB) recently released its recommendations on how to simplify the tax code and improve the implementation of tax policy. Embedded within the report are numerous recommendations that would impact our so-called “retirement crisis” in the U.S., and a few of the report’s solutions highlight a surprisingly simple yet important reality: we’re not always very rational about the decisions we make regarding retirement.
We often find great value and pride in owning things – yet the reality is that in many situations, we actually don’t get a lot of use out of much of what we own. Which starts to beg the question – maybe we should spend more time renting stuff we want to use (loanership) when we want to use it, rather than buying it (ownership).
A new blog video post by financial planner Tim Maurer makes an interesting point – the very essence of our 6 step financial planning process includes a conflict of interest that we as financial planners must navigate: that while gathering information and setting goals may be the most important step for a client, it’s not the step where we get paid.
Most planners think of college planning as accumulation planning – contribute to a 529 plan, invest properly, and start spending in 5, 10, or 15+ years; and if you don’t earn much income nor have a lot of wealth, you can apply for need-based financial aid. In reality, though, it’s never too late and you’re never too wealthy to keep doing good planning for college funding… but the strategies are different!