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New Year, New Resolutions

Photo of author, Nicole Gabriel, CFP®.
Nicole Gabriel, CFP®
Financial Strategist

How Life Planning May Help You Reach Your Financial Autonomy Goals

Turning the calendar to a new year brings many thoughts and ideas to the forefront in people’s minds. We’ve said goodbye to the last year perhaps while watching the ball drop in NYC’s Times Square, and we may have begun reflecting on what we achieved in the prior year. Did we fall short? Or did we succeed and want to continue our momentum? For many, now is the time to create those New Year resolutions.

One “resolution” learned from the 2021 national Moving Forward survey, which was conducted by AIG, showed 70% of survey respondents wanting to work with a financial professional in the next year. Another 60% of respondents who said they already worked with a financial professional noted that they wanted to “work together more closely” with that person.

These types of resolutions, which may be difficult to start or even know how to start, can lead you toward the creation of a long-term life plan. And without a doubt, having such a plan in place will help guide you toward your retirement or financial autonomy.

Planning for Life’s Uncertainties with a Financial Guide Relieves Stress

Planning also helps to protect against or prepare for life’s (and the market’s) uncertainties. In the Moving Forward survey, 80% of the respondents cited healthcare costs in retirement as their biggest concern for the future, followed closely by social security and running out of money. Working with a financial advisor and building a financial plan, however, allows you to thoroughly think through these concerns and even visualize what those costs may be in 5, 10 or even 20 years in the future. While these expenses may feel daunting, having a plan in place that is reviewed and adjusted at least annually, can bring confidence and help remove some of that stress around financial issues.

Another survey recently conducted by Fidelity Investments indicated 26% of male responders and 36% of female characterized their relationship with money as "stressful." If making a resolution to work with a financial professional (and actually following through with it) can relieve some of that stress, why wouldn’t you do it?

A financial advisor will act as a guide through your financial decision-making and track your progress toward reaching your goals. As my colleague, Brian Gongaware, CFP®, author of “Missing Chapters in Your Financial Story” ebook writes, “We all have a story. Fortunately, your life story is completely unique. The path you are on
has never been walked before. You own this journey, the good and the bad. While your perspective of the world, humans, creatures, politics, and money may overlap with many in your circle, no one else is exactly like you."

He goes on to explain the importance of objective input regarding a situation, as often we only see our own perspective, especially when it comes to our financial situation. "As we accept that our perspective is unique and therefore different from others, we can also begin to accept that any person’s point of view likely differs from any other person’s point of view. I have a natural angle or direction from which I look at things. You also have an innate angle or direction to see the same things, but differently. When we introduce a second or third perspective, we begin to understand with greater certainty and dimension."

In his ebook, Brian then compares one’s financial story to the successful formula of any hit movie. First, there is a main character (you) that has a problem. Second, you meet a guide (an advisor) who gives you a plan with a call to action that is necessary to help you work toward success (i.e. financial autonomy). He also offers a variety of tools that will help you organize and assemble your resources and goals, giving you an even better chance of success in reaching your financial destination. You can download his easy-to-understand ebook, by clicking HERE.

If you are already working with a McKinley Carter Wealth Services advisory team, we welcome the opportunity to deepen our relationship with you this year and beyond! Our team's expertise includes not only financial and life planning but also investments, estate planning, succession planning for business owners, as well as insurance and banking services.

If you are not yet working with a professional financial advisor, please consider making it a resolution to kick-off your new year. We invite you to contact one of our financial strategists to start the conversation. We are prepared to be your guides on your journey towards Financial Autonomy!

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