Financial advisors often state that they can help you reach your goals and objectives (including myself) but what does that really mean? Well, it really depends. It depends what stage you are in your life and what you want to accomplish. As you get older typically your priorities change and therefore your goals will too.
Many of my older clients, those approaching their retirement age, want to be reassured that they are prepared for retirement and if not, what can be done to better improve their chances. At this stage of someones life, there is nothing better then the feeling of security and sleeping well at night. This generation (you Boomers!) have worked very hard to save for retirement, provided for their family and put up with horrible bosses. The movie Office Space is the mental picture I get of those clients who’ve worked in similar situations. So after many years of the rat race, they’re ready for some rest and relaxation. Honestly, I can’t blame them. My father retired early because he was sick of that daily grind. At one point, his commute was about 1 1/2 hours each way. You gotta do what you gotta do to provide for your family.
What about younger generations? Well, I’m part of the tail end of Generation X and I’d have to say our goals and plans are a lot different than our parents. We’ve seen the sacrifices that our parents have made for us so we want to put more emphasis on work/life balance. In our minds (at least in mine) we think that we shouldn’t have to sacrifice our dreams to be successful. It is less about the money we make and more about being content. A career that we enjoy commuting to and a family we love to come home to. Our goals won’t have us end up at a retirement community in Florida. Our goals are much different, like traveling the world to see things you’ve only seen on Bizarre Foods and doing so before the age of 40. Our generation doesn’t believe that we should start enjoying our lives after we retire. As the saying goes, life’s a journey, not a destination.
So how do advisors connect with this generation? Many financial advisors are set up in a traditional sense. They manage investments but don’t incorporate your personal goals. As I see it, everything is intertwined with each other. If you want to travel the world how do you manage your cash flow to make it a reality and if you hope to do this within the next 10 years then how do you invest your money appropriately? A financial advisor should work with you to create a plan for your life. Goals are dreams that become reality and the right advisor should help guide you there.