Planning For Your Future
By Attorney Bruce H. Stanger
We intend to do it, but rarely find the time. I encourage my clients to allow me to schedule a meeting once or twice a year between them and their key advisors, not a series of separate meetings. We may include estate planners, a spouse, adult children, insurance agents, key employees, and their accountants. On occasion, we have also invited portfolio managers, retirement specialists, or key vendors to tackle a particular topic. Having a few key advisors in the room together allows for a comprehensive sharing of information about my client as well as multidiscipline planning.
The agenda is established by first contacting each person who will be in attendance for suggestions. The agenda often includes, questions about what challenges the client may be facing for the next year, goals the client may have for the business or entity, retirement planning or, simply, how they can make or accumulate more money. Given an opportunity to reflect with the professional resources immediately available, the suggestions often are immediately turned into action plans.
One of the more interesting meetings was a discussion of defining when it would be time to abandon a particular venture. Business plans are often prepared before an entity has the experience necessary to understand exactly when it is time to move on to another project. While engaged in the development of a business all to often with a drive to succeed, a client may continue to commit resources when a more reflective analysis would reveal the effort to be unlikely to produce the desired results. Defining what factors would establish failure, helps to avoid the natural tendency to keep trying to make it work.
The key to success is often reflection while planning. Those who you may trust have a knowledge base about their specialty and more importantly should be kept apprised of what is new in your personal and professional life. It is through this knowledge about unique and sometimes apparently insignificant facts and or goals, that the advisors best contribution will be formulated and presented.
Whether planning for your future or the success of a business, periodic meetings with those who you rely upon for advice will make a difference. Use these meetings to keep your advisors up to date on your goals and to seek their advice. Ask your lawyer or accountant to take responsibility for organizing these meetings and you will be more likely to realize your goals. We intend to do it, but rarely find the time.