It’s Rarely Just One Question
I was chatting with a friend over the week-end and she asked me if she could pose a question about her personal finances. I told her that I would be happy to answer the question and help her if I could. Her question was important and simple (“As a percentage of my income, what is a good target for retirement savings?”) and after I answered that it raised another two, or three or four questions for her. We proceeded to discuss those too and then my friend laughed and said, “It’s rarely just one question, is it?”
We chuckled and moved on to other topics, but her insightful comment made me think. When it comes to personal financial matters, almost all issues are related to others. For example, a question about life insurance leads to questions about estate planning, cash flow and even personal finance for kids; a question about mortgage refinance leads to questions about retirement savings, college funding and taxes.
This is the reason that I am a holistic financial planner. While clients can hire me to look at one aspect of their personal financial picture and provide advice and recommendations, I feel duty bound to ask related questions. You might think about this too when you’re considering your personal financial progress. If you change one aspect of your plan, how does it impact other aspects? Like dropping a pebble in a pond, changing one aspect of your personal finances causes ripples in the total “pond” of your personal finances. Thanks for the observation Tammy. You are one smart friend.