Everyone faces hassles in life. We can’t escape them completely, but if we can minimize them, our quality of life improves. There are hassles in managing your finances and wealth, too. Here are five tips that will help you get financial aggravation under control.
The Key Takeaways:
Minimizing hassles helps reduce stress and improves the quality of your life.
Managing your finances and wealth in a simpler way can alleviate unnecessary annoyance.
The Five Tips:
Consolidate banking, debt, investment and insurance providers. The fewer people and institutions you have to deal with, the more productive you will be.
Instead of working with individual professionals, work with a group that operates as a team. Individual professionals have to make recommendations without knowing what others are advising you to do, so you are likely to have either inadequate or overlapping planning. A team approach—where members bring their own areas of expertise and resources and work together on the “big picture”—is more efficient (fewer meetings, reports and explanations), saves time and money, and provides more complete solutions.
Organize your financial documents in a logical way, especially your life-planning documents. Think about the information your family will need if something happens to you. Obvious documents include your will or trust, health care power of attorney, health and long-term care insurance policies, life insurance policies, bank and investment accounts, loan documents, titles and safe deposit box. Organizing this information, and showing your family where to find it, will greatly reduce their hassle when the time comes to implement the plan.
Evaluate new investment opportunities once each quarter. This is often enough to stay current without getting distracted. If you read or hear about something that interests you, make a note to discuss it with your investment advisor at the next quarterly meeting.
Use just one or two research sources. While I realize that we all live in the information age, where we are constantly bombarded by a plethora of stimuli almost constantly, it is hard to tune out the noise. However, this author believes that multitasking is a great way to get a large amount of tasks started, which results in nothing getting done—at least not well. I do not know about you, but when I turn on the TV and there are ticker tapes and flashing messages running across the screen, I find it hard to focus on anything I am being shown. Because of these factors, we recommend finding a couple of reputable research sources and stick with them. You do not want to waste hours researching sources that may be contradictory and, worse, are not reliable.
What You Need to Know:
Simplifying your financial life may take some time and concentrated effort. Every six months, take the time to assess how you’re doing in making your financial life more efficient and consider areas that could be improved. For example, if you are working with different professionals, schedule the various update meetings close together so your attention will be focused for a known amount of time. If you are working with a coordinated team, set your update meetings ahead of time so you can know the schedule and not worry about finding dates at the last minute.
Other Actions to Consider:
When organizing information for your family, remember to provide access to computer files and online accounts. Clean off your computer desktop and make it easy for someone you trust to find your accounting files and other important records.
Make a list of your professional advisors, friends and associates who should be contacted in the event of your illness, injury or death. A list of your doctors and any medications you take can also be helpful.
If you want to ensure that your family is cared for after you have passed away, please call our office at 415-625-0773, to schedule your free consultation with San Francisco’s premiere estate planning attorney, Matthew J. Tuller.