I did it, I really did it! I found a financial advisor, and that’s a huge deal. I have been avoiding this step for a while now. I had the mindset that this was the most painful of the items on my post-marriage to do list. But instead it ended up being a good and somewhat pleasurable experience.
Let me start at the beginning. I have an advisor that my ex-husband and I share and although she was approachable and good at what she did, she belonged to us. I thought choosing a financial advisor of my own made sense. So I did what I said I would do in my prior posts: I asked my friends and colleagues which financial advisors they use or could recommend. One name came up twice so I decided to call him to just meet to see what would come of the face-to-face meeting.
To prepare for the meeting, I decided to take the advice that we have on this blog to create a quick budget and spreadsheet of my assets and liabilities so he could get a picture of where I was financially. I also decided to take advantage of a great interactive priority tool which is available to everyone on the Wells Fargo Advisors website. The tool is just a glimpse into the Envision® process* my Financial Advisor and I will go through together.
The priority tool helped me get my head around what was important to me in my future. Needless to say, my top two financial goals were: estate and legacy planning, as well as having enough money to fulfill my retirement goals, my dreams, and make major purchases. What was a potential obstacle to these goals? Increasing medical costs. The women in my family live well into their 90s and thinking about the potential pharmacy costs for the next 50 years (yikes) is enough to make you want to stay in bed.
So, armed with my budget and spreadsheet and a good idea of what I wanted my future to look like, we met at a coffee shop and spoke for about an hour. I was nervous that I might come off sounding unintelligent, especially being a person “in the business,” but he made me feel very at ease and he asked the right questions. What really made me feel good was that he came to the same conclusions on his own as I did from the priority tool about what was important for me now and in the future.
We’re off to a good start. Our first meeting was to get to know each other and see if I felt comfortable building a long-term relationship with this person. Because, if you think about it, a good financial advisor will know about your life, your hopes and fears, your family issues and most of all will help you pursue your financial goals “to and through retirement.”
I’ll keep you posted on how things go, but right now I’m very optimistic.
*Envision® is a registered service mark of Wells Fargo & Company and used under license.