Every family has multiple goals: savings for themselves, kids’ future education plans, avoiding risks due to disability, planning for retirement. Many parents today are considered the “sandwich generation,” concerned about their own children as well as their parents’ well-being. There is only so much money to go around, and as any special family knows, everything costs more.
The first step in meeting with families is to get an overview of the families’ life-situation. Basically taking inventory of current income and assets, what’s protected and not protected, what current expenses are part of the budget (with an eye on tax-deductibility), what the plans and current practices are within the existing budget and assets.
For many people, this is the first time they have actually taken the time to “see the big picture.” That’s our first step. We then discuss, in a perfect world where money is no object, what their life and family goals are. We then take an objective look at what real steps can be taken, within existing cash flow, to refine what can be done immediately, set priorities, and see what can be done for larger projects.
The special needs planning we help with needs to be integral and in proportion to other important family goals. Our several discussions help towards seeing the bigger picture more confidently.