Why Are You Raining on My Parade?

October 17, 2016

Posted in How We Work

As soon as I accepted the offer to join the talented team at Johnson Bixby, it was a flurry of activity preparing for my relocation from Kansas City. I initiated a well thought-out plan to sell my house, find a new one, pack, purge, donate, map the route, reserve hotels, and make time for sight-seeing along the way. I was excited to begin my new adventure in beautiful Vancouver!

Naturally, the people closest to me started asking some practical questions. What if your car breaks down in the middle of nowhere? What if you lose your keys (again)? How will we know where you’re staying during your trip? What if something bad or unexpected happens?

What? Why are my closest friends and family squashing my excitement and enthusiasm?

The truth is, they were right to bombard me with these questions. Despite my eagerness to begin my next chapter, I needed to slow down and acknowledge that some things could indeed go wrong. I should pause to ensure that I had measures in place to plan for a number of potential set-backs.

I enrolled in AAA, had my car tuned up, wore a spare set of keys around my neck for backup, checked in daily with loved ones, and carried paper maps in case my GPS or phone service let me down. . . just to name a few. It took some extra time and expense, but I had a backup plan for every imaginable scenario when I left Kansas and felt confident I was prepared for whatever lay ahead. At the very least, my family knew where to direct the National Guard if I took a wrong turn and disappeared.

Thankfully, I arrived safely in Vancouver after six days with only a few minor hiccups and adjustments. However, I know having those back-up plans was the smart thing to do and helped my loved ones worry less.

The process of financial planning is much the same way. Financial goals usually involve dreams and best-case scenarios: a comfortable retirement, weddings, educations, dream vacations, special experiences–goals that bring us happiness and joy. Seeing you accomplish those are the most satisfying.

As your financial advisor, it is also our responsibility to remind you that some things may not go as planned. What if the market takes an unexpected downturn? What if you lose your job? What if there is an unexpected illness or death?

While contemplating these scenarios isn’t exciting, shouldn’t we still discuss them? Isn’t it the smart, responsible thing to do?

However awkward or how much it feels like a “downer” to bring up such contingency plans with our clients, including insurance and cash management, it is because we sincerely care about you and we understand that your journey can take unexpected turns.

If you’re asking yourself a number of “what if” questions, don’t hesitate to call your Johnson Bixby advisor or discuss at your next review.

What tools do you have in place to prepare for unexpected bumps in the road, and what do we need to add to your toolbox? Then relax and get busy planning your next big adventure!


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