As a lawyer, you understand the importance of acting in your client’s best interests. And you devote an enormous amount of time and energy to providing them with sound guidance. But who do you turn to for advice that falls outside of your areas of expertise?
With the time demands of your practice and family life, you don’t have a lot of time to devote to financial goal-setting and planning. An independent Bridgeworth advisor—who, like you has a fiduciary responsibility—can help you avoid unnecessary setbacks, and maintain momentum towards your long-term financial goals.
It is understandable that you may be more comfortable giving advice than receiving it, but there are tangible benefits to collaborating with an experienced financial planner. Having an objective and informed voice at the table is vital to creating and maintaining a solid financial plan.
Carve out an hour to speak with a Bridgeworth advisor. We can help you create a custom-tailored, One-size-fits-none™ financial plan just for you.
Decide to Own Your Financial Future
Everyone has a financial plan, whether it has been carefully and thoughtfully planned out, or it is just happening by accident. Deciding to own and be intentional about your financial future is the first step to having greater peace of mind. Once you make that decision, we can help you get on the path toward making your goals a reality.
You are the only “you” there is. Your financial plan has to be as unique as your fingerprint.
Start an Ongoing Conversation
Even the most high-achieving among us needs a good sounding board. Having someone to really listen to you and ask the right questions can help bring your financial goals into sharper focus.
We realize that revealing your entire financial life to another person is not something you do every day, so it is reassuring to know that the guidance and clarity your Bridgeworth advisor provides comes with zero judgment and zero pressure. And, you can be confident in the fact that your advisor is bound ethically to act solely in your best interest.
As the conversation continues, you will make all of your financial decisions. Our role as your financial advisor is to keep you focused and informed on the choices available to you so that you understand how every financial choice you make impacts your goals.
Financial Personal Trainers
To put it plainly, our role is to listen to you to understand what you want your future to look like, and then, coach you all the way there. In fact, that is the best way to think about our role. We are personal trainers who encourage and coach you into a better financial future.
This case study reflects the combined experience working with hundreds of clients over the past 20+ years. It does not represent any one Bridgeworth client, but serves as an example of the benefit of planning. As Dwight D. Eisenhower said, “plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.”
Mark, age 54, is a health care lawyer at a large firm. He is divorced and has 2 adult children, Liz, age 26, and Ben, age 23. Liz is a physical therapist and Ben is working as a software developer. Now that Liz and Ben are finished with college and financially independent, Mark is interested in reviewing his financial situation to see if he can afford to change careers. He’s taught some classes at the law school over the years and would like to teach full-time, but this change would involve a significant pay cut. Mark may be willing to make less money to no longer have the stress of billable hours. However, he wants to understand the long-term financial impact of this decision prior to making a job change.
Mark understands the benefit of planning because of an experience early in his law career where he had not set aside money to pay taxes. Mark gained peace of mind after implementing a plan to set aside 30% from each distribution check from the firm to a separate bank account earmarked just for taxes. Mark then writes checks from this account each quarter to pay his estimated income taxes. He is diligent about not paying any other expenses from the tax account.
After Mark’s divorce 18 years ago, he made some lifestyle changes to increase the amount he was saving for retirement. He bought a smaller house outside of the “best” school district as his children were living with his ex-wife. He also decided to keep his cars for at least 10 years rather than getting a new car every 3 years as was his prior custom. Mark’s big indulgence was a kayak and a few week-end trips every year with his kayaking group.
Through his firm’s retirement plans, Mark maximizes contributions to his 401k and cash balance plan account. He believed strongly in having access to cash in the event of an emergency and built up his savings account to cover 12 months of expenses. Mark also inherited some money from his Mother, but had not invested that cash.
As we reviewed Mark’s goal of changing careers, we ran different scenarios assuming the job change took place in 1 year, in 2 years, and in 3 years. Mark wanted to understand the impact of additional retirement plan contributions on his ability to maintain his standard of living after taking a teaching position. We then ran additional scenarios to test the impact of different rates of return on Mark’s ability to accomplish his goals. He has been a fairly conservative investor and questioned whether he needs to take more risk. Ultimately, Mark decided to work for 2 more years as a lawyer before transitioning to a full-time teaching position. He plans to work for 10 more years once he begins teaching and will have health insurance through that teaching position. We reviewed Social Security claiming strategies and recommended that Mark delay claiming his benefits to age 70 to maximize his monthly income. Mark’s financial plan showed that he can afford to remain a conservative investor; he does not need to take more risk. These results were in line with Mark’s risk tolerance so he was comfortable with keeping a higher allocation in bonds than in stocks.
Because no one was financially dependent on Mark, his life and disability insurance needs were minimal. We did spend time reviewing long-term care insurance. While our projections showed that Mark should be able to pay for care he may need out of savings, he decided to buy a long-term care insurance policy through an independent agent as an additional safety net. It is important to Mark that he not be a burden on his children, Liz and Ben.
We will review the financial planning projections annually to make sure Mark remains on track to accomplish his goals. We will also continue to review how his investments are performing and whether his ability or willingness to take risk has changed.
Bridgeworth can be a resource to provide objective information and analysis to give you peace of mind about your financial condition.