Covering Your Bases

By Darlene Duncan
Publish Date
April 30, 2024

Ahhh, spring! A time when the world seems to start anew. Trees are budding, flowers are blooming, animals are building little nests for their young’uns, gardens are being planted, houses are being cleaned, and investors are covering their financial bases.

Yes, just as in our beloved national pastime, baseball, there are financial bases of Plan, Protect, Facilitate, and Transition that all need to be covered. And what better time than spring to cover yours?

Plan – Understand where you are financially, where you want to go, and develop a roadmap to help get you there. You could do this the old fashioned way with a pen, paper, and calculator. Or you could work with a financial planner who will help you compile and evaluate what you have, what you want, and what you need. Have no doubt, you need a plan. Those that don’t have one only get to home plate by sheer luck, and I have found that it is best not to leave things to luck.

Protect – Everything you value needs some degree of protection. Investments need a degree of risk protection, property needs insurance, and loved ones need contracts and legal documents to protect their financial wellbeing. Here you need an insurance review, estate plan – including a review of your beneficiaries, will, trusts, powers of attorney, medical directive, and valuation of your assets for estate tax purposes. To protect yourself and your loved ones, most of us need a review of each of these items at least annually.

Facilitate – This base is all about relationships, communication, and education. Are you and your significant other communicating well on financial matters? Are you communicating your plans for your retirement and your estate to your loved ones? Are you finding avenues for you and your loved ones to increase your knowledge of investments and finance? Do your loved ones understand where your money came from, what you hope it will do, and the legacy you are building and will leave behind? We call these intentional conversations and emotional heirlooms. They are much needed and, I think you will agree, priceless.

Transition – One thing we can be certain about life is change. And goodness, does life ever have a lot of changes. Some of them are delightful and some difficult. But they are all changes we must navigate personally and financially. Marriage, divorce, birth of children and grandchildren, sale of businesses, loss of jobs, death, senior living, change of health are but just a few of these changes. If you have any of these on the horizon, now is a good time to take stock of what implications they will have for your plan, your finances, and your life.

There is a saying that goes “ We plan, God laughs.” I think there is some truth to that. It doesn’t mean that we should not do our jobs and plan, it simply means that life sometimes throws you curveballs that you didn’t see coming and that weren’t factored into your plan. Plans, like life, should be ever changing.

If you are feeling like this is all much bigger than you, we recommend you just take one base at a time until you can cover each of them. Just like in baseball, you can’t skip any and one is not more important than the other. So, take your time until you check them all off your list. Your hard work will be richly rewarded when have put your financial house in order.

Ahh, spring. Step outside, breathe in that sweet spring air, and know that regardless of what storms may appear, you have your bases covered.