If you had a 1,000 piece picture puzzle with the pieces dumped on a table in a disorganized pile, what is the most important part of that puzzle? Most might say the corner or edge pieces. As a planner, I would say . . .
The picture of the puzzle on the top of the box!
Through a process of discovery and asking questions, we help clients create a cohesive picture out of the thousands of pieces of information available, whether on the internet, nightly news or conversations around the water cooler. In today’s over saturated information age, it’s often hard to discern whether a great idea is a good fit with your overall picture.
I often tell clients, I’m not being nosy, it’s just helpful in forming a recommendation to have as much information as possible so we are taking as many aspects into account as possible. For example, if a client wants to sell a rental, retire, help pay for college or embark on a kitchen remodel, there are several ways to make any of those goals happen. Depending on the market, tax rules, their individual tax situation this year vs next, other larger expenses planned, interest rates, ability to adjust timing, etc. we form personal recommendations based on an individual client situation and the various factors.
Much like a puzzle, there are nuances to financial planning. For a puzzle, you’re sure a piece should fit but it doesn’t. In planning, it can be the same way – where a solution that seems like a good fit, isn’t. For example, sometimes paying cash for a new car can be easy and the best way if you have the cash sitting in savings. But if you must withdraw funds from a retirement account, then consideration of factors such as tax impact, Medicare income limitations depending on age, and allocation of the account might conclude financing part of it as the better way to go.
At Johnson Bixby our goal is to help you paint the most vibrant and clear picture of your goals. Sometimes the pieces are in a pile and we help make the picture clear. Other times, the picture is clear and we’re there to help you efficiently put the pieces in place. Either way, thank you for the privilege of sharing the journey.
Written By Heidi M. Johnson Bixby, CFP®