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5 not-so-obvious times to call your advisor

Allworth Co-CEO Scott Hanson shares five kinds of life events when you should consult your financial advisor before making any concrete decisions.

 

If you’re a client of Allworth Financial (or, even if you aren’t), any time you have a question you should call.

We’re here to help and we always want to hear from you.

But aside those occasions when you need to address a pressing concern or worry, or for your regularly scheduled appointment, of course, when else should you call?

Some of the more common reasons I would recommend you put a call in to your advisor are pretty obvious: You’ve decided it’s time to retire, or you’ve received a large windfall such as an inheritance (very common), or you’ve won the lottery (not … quite so common).

Aside those? There are a bunch of important reasons to call your advisor that might not immediately jump to mind until after the fact.

Don’t wait.

So, as we embark on a brand-new year, I want to share a friendly reminder about five maybe not-so-obvious times when you should make the call.  

1. When you’re considering a home sale, purchase, or move

First, the sale and/or purchase of real estate are among the biggest, if not the biggest, transactions you’ll ever make.   

But there are other things to consider.

Are you buying more home? Less? Going to sell and then rent? Are you moving to another state?

Taxes on income, Social Security, and even retirement account withdrawals greatly vary from state-to-state.

And then there’s timing. You may be hurrying a move to a non-income-tax state to save money this year, but you need to legally establish residency in your new state, first, and that doesn’t happen the day you land. (Many states require that you spend at least 183 days there first. And states that are hemorrhaging taxpayers, like California and New York, will come after you and put the onus on you to prove residency.)

Whether you’re moving, buying, selling, or relocating to another state, make sure you have all the information you need first, so you don’t get taken by surprise.

2. When you get married or divorced

One of the most difficult meetings we can have is when a marriage is in trouble.

When emotions are running high is when people are most likely to make bad financial decisions. And it’s when things in your personal life are the most difficult that a good advisor makes a real difference in your financial life by offering objectivity and insight.

If you’re going to get married, or divorced, or even if either of those outcomes is a possibility, letting us know in advance so we can help protect you and develop a plan that supports your existing plan and goals is essential.

3. When you change jobs

This unfortunately would also include something many people have endured this year: Job loss.

You should absolutely be in close communication with your advisor so you can get guidance about everything from maintaining healthcare coverage, to properly handling the transition with your retirement accounts, to managing debt, to getting help analyzing and comparing the various benefits packages included in job offers or early retirement offers.

4. When there’s a birth, death, or a financial issue with your children

A large chunk of the time I spend with clients is devoted to issues they may be having, some good, some not so good, with children. Some folks who have saved well and have young adult children who are struggling are understandably concerned about passing away and giving their child a lump sum of money when maybe their child’s life is out of control.

There are lots of things you can do here to protect them from, frankly, themselves, and the burden of a lump sum of cash.

On the positive side, there are considerations such as setting up college funding for a child or grandchild, or, if you have a baby, or you adopt, we can evaluate whether your insurance coverage is adequate.

Lastly, we're here to help you navigate the complicated financial logistics in the terrible event that your spouse or partner dies.

5. Starting a non-profit, or buying, selling or founding a business

Boomers account for over half of all small business owners. And, while yes, small businesses took a horrendous beating in 2020, I have faith in Boomers. We’ll bounce back.1

2020 aside, for well over a decade there’s been a wave of Boomers “retiring” from their careers to open new businesses. And my experience has been that many business owners, especially first-time, older entrepreneurs, elect to use their own money to start these ventures (which may or may not be the best idea), rather than getting a small business loan.

Before you empty your retirement account to start a business (or non-profit), it’s important to speak with your advisor to, first, see if there might be some great small business loan opportunities that help you get your enterprise off the ground, and, second, to help make certain you’re covering your back (and your personal credit and savings) in terms of both a business organization and a tax perspective.

As the Co-CEO of Allworth Financial for almost three decades, I’ve seen the financial landscape become steadily more complex and difficult to manage.

Unlike in decades past, very few people (who aren’t trained in finance, insurance, estate planning, investing and retirement planning) can navigate this ever-expanding minefield all on their own.

That’s why you have us.

Happy New Year! Give us a call if you have any questions.