I contacted Ms. J at the mostly female and totally employee owned firm of financial advisors. We met for coffee and had a great talk. I did a data dump on my recent experiences but she didn't advise me to jump ship that moment. We decided to keep in touch as it might be easier to switch at the first of the year.
When Mr. X sent me a link to fill out a financial information document, which asked for policy numbers on auto, home, umbrella coverage ... I contacted Ms. J again. Why bother if I was going to be doing the same thing for her company. She said don't do it ... and that's usually what your consultant does FOR you.
She finally broke down and told me she was interviewing with Evergreen Gavekal! And would get ALL of Mr. X's clients, including me. After waiting a few more weeks, she sent me a letter of introduction! We recently met for coffee again, she brought me two sheets of summary information and then asked ME how I wanted to live and invest.
She explained that it’s her job to listen and help you navigate such things as:
- Prioritizing goals – how do you want to spend your time? Which goals are needs vs. wants?
- Clarifying the big picture – what does everything look like together ... to you?
- Planning and transitioning to generating your own paycheck.
- Planning for how you will spend your time in retirement.
- Working with an attorney to make sure your assets are properly titled and will be passed on to the people and/or organizations you wish.
- Understanding how both controllable and uncontrollable variables will affect your long-term cash flow such as lower market returns, a health event or spending more now.
- Working with an insurance agent to determine adequacy of insurance coverage – Too much? Too little? Long Term Care?
I told her I was using some of my profits NOW, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. For the next year (maybe two since Mr. D may not move on to Kindergarten for a year), I want to encourage and support one parent being home full time. It's a bit selfish, but I like to watch them enjoy their "inheritance" while I am around. After that, I shouldn't be helping them financially except extra activities for the boys although I wish I could send Mr. D to Montessori. She said why don't you? Investing in your family is a great choice.
Later that day she sent such a supportive, encouraging email WITH a link to a Montessori school near us. The grown ups have had several discussions and we can make this work. We can eliminate cable TV and just use Netflix, etc. Eat in more. Skip vacations. (they can go camping and hiking and fishing). So many things we can cut back on. One parent can work part time during school hours and Gramma can cover child care when necessary. And we are all three on the same page.
Plus, we decided Mr. B could benefit from Montessori as well! Kate found a non-profit school that goes to Grade 6 so we may as well have them both at the same place. Might even be a tax advantage. A friend's grandchildren attended this location and she had good things to relay. And ... Google "famous people who attended Montessori" ... WOW!
The next day Ms. J sent me a link to a program to track my expenses for a month or two. Then we will work on my first ever IN WRITING budget! I am willing to employ someone who wants to help ME achieve MY dreams. And not berate me for spending my own money.
Two lucky little boys. And the future.