“How much is enough?”

Since I became an investment advisor earlier this year I’ve had numerous conversations with professional women regarding similar themes: 

     - How do I know how much is enough?

     - When can I get off the corporate treadmill?

     - If I choose to pursue my dream job with less income, will I ever be able to retire?

It seems as if we are the proverbial shoemaker’s children!  We work hard, earn advanced degrees, diligently tend to our customers and our families while socking away money in our 401(k)s, but the rat race feels eternal and the end goal is nebulous, constantly just out of our reach. 

Why is that?

First and foremost, where are we going?  What is the goal and how will we get there? 

It’s ironic to note that we professional women have career plans, project plans for work initiatives, exercise plans for fitness, nutrition plans for healthy living and detailed travel itineraries for fabulous vacations, but many of us don’t have financial plans.  Some of us believe that a financial plan is only for the ultra-wealthy or only for those with families, and the list goes on and on.   

The thought of a financial plan can be daunting, yet a financial plan is simply a roadmap that shows where I am today and where I want to end up, with interim milestones and directions on how to get there.  Think of it as a cross-country drive.  If I leave NY on July 1st and want to be in San Francisco on August 1st there are many different paths I can take.  I will rely on the plan during my journey to determine whether I’m on schedule and make corresponding adjustments.  If I’m ahead, I may spend an extra day in Chicago.  If I’m behind, I may have to skip Reno.  

It can be overwhelming to identify and assemble the necessary information to construct a viable financial plan.  This is where it pays to outsource!  I’m amazed at the number of smart, talented women (especially those who work in the financial services industry!) who feel that they should be able to do this themselves.  It’s not a matter of ability – it’s a matter of time and familiarity with the process.  Invariably, this priority falls behind so many others that it never gets done.  One simple solution is to hire a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ (find one who meets your criteria at www.cfp.net).  After all, we outsource a variety of other functions that we ‘could’ do ourselves, including tax preparation, housecleaning, pet care, car detailing, etc!  Why spend days or weeks doing (or thinking about doing!) something a pro can do in hours?!?

Who knows?  With a sound financial plan established maybe you’ll be able to leap off that treadmill and pursue your passion sooner than anticipated!