The Nesbitt Law Firm seeks to establish a comprehensive and wholistic plan for each client’s specific financial needs and capabilities. Simply because you have reached out for a specific, immediate legal need does not mean that your attorney should ignore the forest for the trees. Through our specific one-on-one intake process, our firm will assist you in reviewing your complete financial picture, now and as we can anticipate in the future based on advice and your choices pertaining to that advice. From there, we will suggest not only current legal advice but a complete financial solution that allows for financial success on a going-forward, long-term basis. In representation that includes future planning, some things you will discuss with your attorney at The Nesbitt Law Firm include meeting current and future financial goals:
Examples of short-term financial goals, which are generally goals that can be accomplished within the next 1-3 years include: Create a Budget: Creating a budget plan and tailoring short-term financial decisions toward spending only as much as or less than your average monthly budgeted expenses is the most important short-term goal. The ability to create and learn to live by a budget will allow all of your other financial goals to move forward on the timeline you designate based on your personal financial circumstances. Without a budget, you are simply living paycheck to paycheck. If your life feels that way, it’s time to buckle down and start here with the first building block of your successful financial future. Generally, a detailed financial analysis of your budget is one of the first steps you will after you engage services at The Nesbitt Law Firm. Eliminate Debt: Reducing and eliminating credit card debt, high-interest loans and other short terms personal loans is an important and worthwhile endeavor. Making this a short-term goal that you actively work to accomplish will not only alleviate stress but will free up future resources for future savings, investments, and lifestyle improvements. There are several strategies, techniques, and tools you can use to pay down and pay off debt. What options you chose to implement this goal is an important decision that will likely have a long-term impact on finances. Therefore, it is important that you speak with a debt relief professional who is familiar with all options available to you to assist in accomplishing this vital goal. Arguable, debt relief is one of the most important steps in being able to accomplish all other short-term, intermediate, and long-term future planning goals Build Liquid Savings: Building a liquid savings account is another important building block that ensures other short-term and longer-term goals are feasible. Retaining enough cash in a liquid savings account is like an insurance policy that gives you a stronger likelihood of being able to stay on track with all your other financial goals in the event something unexpected happens. Because your liquid savings account will help relieve temporary budget shortfalls and act as emergency fund pool, other goals (such as retirement savings and investments) have a better chance of remaining unchanged and unaffected by temporary financial setbacks. Reduce tax attributes: It is too often overlooked that you can have more money than you do now without any type of pay raise, bonus or commission check. It’s like finding money, and all you needed to do was make a few adjustments to reduce how much of your current income is taxed. The less you pay in taxes, the more you can keep in your pocket. Great news right? But it is not always simple and at times it does require a short term shall change that can make a big difference over time.
Acquire income-replacement insurance policies: Investment and insurance products such as life insurance, disability insurance and long-term care insurance (life insurance, disability insurance) can help to temporarily or permanently reduce the impact of lost income. The more income you are making, the more important it becomes to insure against income loss with products that are tailored to your needs. While we do not sell or advise on insurance products here at The Nesbitt Law Firm, we can review and analyze any policies you may have in place and make suggestions and referrals to the proper investment professional to help with your current and anticipated future needs. Pay off long term debts: It is difficult to live on a fixed income, such as retirement, when you are still paying off loans. Ideally, once you retire and are living off your retirement income, investments, and savings without any outstanding debt that requires monthly repayment. Too often that is not the case for many Americans. The reason is often failure to plan or failure to identify the important goal of eliminating all debt prior to retirement. This may sound like a lofty-or unrealistic goal when staring down a six-figure student loan or mortgage, however, despite the balance owed, these long-term debts have a term of repayment. If the term length is concerning because it is too long to meet your retirement age goal, now is the time to start identifying planning strategies for a quicker repayment. By identifying and calculating the time it will take to accomplish this goal, you will have a better idea of how close (or far) you are from a comfortable retirement. Moreover, you will have a better indication of how much you should be budgeting to pay down long-term debt, whether a re-finance is beneficial, and how much you can afford to invest in your retirement or toward other long-term goals.
Retirement planning: The money that an individual earns in his or her lifetime is limited. We are not given an infinite amount of time to earn money, nor do we want to remain at work in perpetuity without the ability to take a break – whether that is a week’s long vacation, a longer sabbatical, or permanent retirement. Many of the decisions you make today can affect how often and how long you can break from employment (voluntarily or otherwise) while still maintaining your budgeted expenses, and whether you will be able to retire comfortably. You have likely heard the saying “it is never to early to start investing in your retirement.” I agree with that wholeheartedly. However, if you are thinking in your head while reading this, I will never be able to retire – it’s time to change that thought. You are not a lost cause for retirement at any age. However, the closer in age you currently are to the age you wish to retire, the more important it is to get planning in place right away. Living the Dream: In addition to retirement, which may not always include a complete cessation of work, but perhaps, scaling back and only taking on the work that you truly enjoy, you may have other goals that seem like accomplishing them is almost a dream come true. This is a very personal and individual look into what you truly want. You may not know what that is right now, and these types of goals will likely change over time. Still, it is important to work to identify these things to get you closer to the lifestyle you are working so hard for today. Perhaps you have always wanted to own a sailboat and sail for a month or so out of the year. Or maybe you want a vacation cottage in Montana where you can snowshoe around the forest all winter and fish on the lake in the summer. More likely, many of us would just like to at least have the freedom of finances to be able to travel to or even move to the city where our grandchildren are growing up, with time to visit often and money to spoil them enough that your children kindly ask you to bring one less box of cookies next time. Whatever your long-term goals look like now, or in the future as you reassess, it is important to consider them and most importantly to consider the actual financial planning that is necessary to accomplish those goals. Estate Planning – Wills & Trusts + other Wealth Transfer Considerations: Your future financial planning goals are not complete without consideration of your intentions for wealth and property transfer after your death. This can be a difficult subject-area to encounter at any age and often individuals with growing families and limited resources or assets fail to see the valuing in having a last will and testament in place early on. While I consider this a long-term planning goal, the truth is, we never know how much time we have to commit our last intentions into a legally binding document. It is also important to understand, regardless of the economic value of your assets, a last will and testament ensures that your final wishes and intentions with perhaps sentimentally valuable property or more importantly, with the care of your minor children, are addressed and followed after your death. As part of our holistic approach to a complete financial solution for our clients, The Nesbitt Law Firm is available to engage in estate planning and drafting of your last will and testament. Keep in mind that we at the Nesbitt Law Firm are attorneys and legal professionals and are not certified financial planners nor investment professionals. However, once you have completed the future planning process to our firm, we will be able to provide a tailored referral to a certified financial planner who can best work to help you put your future planning goals into action.