Everything usually works out pretty well when life is simple and normal. Most military families will have a great life, great career, and great experience as long as things move along as expected. What happens when your life changes, when your family faces unexpected situations? These situations can have a major impact on the financial security and well-being of your family.
Plan For the Future
In a recent Investment webinar, I talked about having a financial partner. As you invest for retirement, save for college or invest during retirement, have a person you can talk to about your strategy. This will help avoid bad decisions as markets change and adjust. If you are married, you should share your investment accounts, life insurance documents and other financial accounts with your spouse to ensure they know where everything is located. It is also good to periodically review the beneficiaries for all accounts. I have seen statements mailed to a client for over 15 years with the wrong beneficiary designation. Often times a client forgets to update a beneficiary and this could be a battle to change after the fact.
Spouse and Family Care
One group that works hard to help military spouses and their families is MOAA. The organization has active duty, retired and veteran military members that can help guide and assist military families. This is a network that can be helpful in a time of need. There also might be other local communities that can help when a situation occurs. These military organizations and communities are always there to help so find the right one that can provide the right support when it’s needed most.
Are you actively talking to your financial advisor about your investments? When you are saving for retirement, you should formulate a plan to reach your financial goals. As you hit retirement, your investment strategy will change as you start to withdraw those assets. What about when something unexpected happens during your lifetime? It is important to introduce your financial advisor to your spouse and family. If the account transfers to a surviving spouse, the risk tolerance may change. Maybe they will need to start withdrawing assets for a child’s education. The investment goals and objectives can change. Is your financial advisor familiar with these changes?
It is important that you trust your financial advisor. If something happens, your advisor is going to need to meet with your family and understand their objectives. The advisor also needs to be concerned about these changes and about the financial security of your family. Are they going to make the right changes when an unexpected event occurs?
Are You Comfortable?
Often times a client feels comfortable with an older advisor. Maybe you are 30 years old and your financial advisor is 45 years old. Who is going to retire first; the client or the financial advisor? In this case, it might be the advisor. You want to find a financial advisor that is going to be with you for most of your career. If your advisor retires, is there another one stepping in? Does the advisor have the same qualifications? You could spend 15 years building a relationship with an advisor but then the company changes or the advisor retires and now you need to work with a new one.
It is important to find a financial advisor that can handle your account as your life and career changes. With an institution like AAFMAA Wealth Management & Trust, you know you are going to find strong advisors. We constantly reach out to our clients to ensure their objectives are updated and we are a part of a legacy that has consistently provided superlative personal service to military families.
About the Author
Ross Cutler is a Senior Relationship Manager at AAFMAA Wealth Management & Trust.