Financial Planning is often driven by personal events



Last month my wife Abby and I celebrated our son’s first birthday with family and friends. It was a blissful day filled with the customary happenings of a first birthday – smash cake, hundreds of photos and dreadfully large toys to bring home.


Reflecting on the first twelve months of Gus’s time in this world has supplied numerous memories I will always cherish. All the “dadas,” diapers and smiles, it hit me that last year went by extremely fast. So fast… I started to worry. Did I get everything done? Did I address many of the financial planning aspects of having a child? The first few months were such a whirlwind, Abby and I might get a pass.  But, Gus is now a year old!  As a financial planner, I am well past any acceptable time limit of getting my rubber duckies in a row.


Good news – my Certified Financial PlannerTM certificate can remain hanging on the wall. Fortunately, many of the financial planning concerns with having a child had been addressed (apparently a lack of sleep can affect your memory). Luckily, Abby and I are good record keepers and maintained copious notes; therefore, our worries were quickly abated.


While everyone’s personal list is different, here are five items that I needed to review:


5 Items on Jason’s Almost Forgotten To-Do-List

  • Re-evaluate Life Insurance Coverage
    • Forecast new expenses
    • Determine if death benefit is still appropriate
  • College Funding Plan
    • Calculate how much we need to save each month
    • Determine the best investment vehicle
  • Revise Estate Planning Documents
    • Gus needs to be added to our documents
    • Confirm we are still comfortable with potential legal guardian
  • Income Tax Consideration
    • Inform accountant of dependent
    • Record childcare expenses
  • Update Goals
    • How quickly will we outgrow our current home?


The celebration of Gus’s first birthday, and my minor panic attack, serve as a good reminder, financial planning is often event-driven. While it does happen from time to time, rarely does an individual randomly decide today is the day to engage objective advice from a financial planner.  Usually there is an event – a catalyst – which evokes one’s desire to engage in financial planning.


Life events can be personal experiences, or you may witness the circumstances of a friend or family member. Many of these catalysts are joyous occasions; such as starting a family, getting married, buying a home or receiving a promotion at work. Regrettably, some life events can also impose a great deal of stress – losing a loved one, caring for an aging parent or divorce.


One aspect of financial planning is helping those through life events; however, the value of financial planning is helping those prepare for life events.


If you or a loved one is considering hiring a financial planner in the future, please contact us to find out how we can personalize your experience.