Ready for Retirement?

You may not be ready for retirement yet, especially if you’re just starting out, but it’s never too soon to start planning for it. This check-up was with Roger Whitney (aka The Retirement Answer Man). Roger is a certified financial planner, a Screen Shot 2015-07-06 at 10.10.31 PMcertified investment management consultant, a certified private wealth advisor, as well as an accredited wealth investment fiduciary. Whew!

The Retirement Answer Man’s goal is to help people make smart decisions rather than trying to sell them financial products. Whether you’re on the brink of retirement or just thinking about the future, Roger Whitney is the go-to-financial-guy. Something we lawyers are not necessarily good at is thinking about our financial goals, but here it is.

As an attorney, you know the law, and you want to practice the law, yet you don’t have time to work through your finances with the same level of passion and due diligence. Whether it’s about your personal or small business/solopreneur financial health, having a plan in place alleviates a lot of pressure. According to Roger Whitney, it’s generally a good idea to run your business practices based on process and focus so it can run smoothly if you take time away.

Roger gave a great example: By keeping finances in an open dialogue you always know what going on. Plan for weekly meetings to process manageable tasks, have small conversations, make action lists, and timeline dedication. Having working systems in place helps the priorities along with fewer headaches. Often solopreneurs have to wear all the hats in a company, which makes prioritizing a little more complicated.

The Diagnosis

  • As small business owners, and attorneys, we’re always busy at something to drive the business forward, but the biggest headache can often be Billing, and after that Collections
  • Some clients don’t really want to look after their finances. Well, they actually do, but they’re either too tired to deal with it, or procrastinate.
  • Another big deal seems to be that most people don’t have a clear concept of what their net worth is, which is basically the sum of all their assets and all their liabilities on one page.

Remedies

  • Start with a net worth document. It may be a good starting point to get organized.
  • Keep track of billing so you’re not losing the time or having to recreate it from memory.
  • Little conversations lead to small adjustments, which in the long run do not lead to big financial headaches in the future. In a law firm, this idea keeps everyone on the same page.
  • Set priorities through budgets and keeping money separated for specific areas.
  • Focus on cash flow, keeping it in line with priorities.

 

If you repeat your processes over and over, it will become easier to manage. By setting these easier priorities, it will prepare you for things you cannot control like the markets or the economy.

If you think you’re still overwhelmed, and need some further guidance, Roger can be reached through his website for “The Retirement Answer Man” at rogerwhitney.com. He also has a lot of accessible information on his blog and podcasts (on iTunes), not to mention his Retirement Answer Library. But fair warning: Roger will tell you two things, there are no guarantees and he will tell it like it is, and give you solutions you need.

This is a transcript of a recorded live presentation. It is in spoken-word format. While we have cleaned up the transcript a bit for easier reading, it’s not in edited written-word format.

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