Financial Planning: The Best Defense Against Financial Fear

Worried about job loss, health crises and other issues? Proactive planning, especially with a financial adviser's help, can ease your anxiety about the future.

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Financial anxieties can often overshadow our aspirations and hinder our ability to plan for the future with confidence. However, by embracing these fears and tackling them head-on through holistic financial planning, we can turn potential obstacles into stepping stones toward financial security and peace of mind.

The first step in conquering financial fears is to identify them. Common worries include the fear of job loss, health crises, market downturns and the overarching concern of not having enough money for retirement. These fears are not only common but also valid. As I discussed in my previous article, Nervous About Retirement? Ask Yourself These Five Questions, understanding your current financial situation and future aspirations is crucial. Reflecting on past achievements and future goals can provide a strong foundation for addressing these concerns.

Open and honest communication with your financial adviser is vital. A good adviser listens to your concerns, assesses your current financial situation and helps you develop a plan that aligns with your life goals while mitigating risks. It's about creating a financial plan that isn't just about numbers but also about your life's journey, taking into account your fears, hopes and dreams.

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The power of proactivity

Let's consider a few scenarios to illustrate the importance of proactive financial planning:

  • Job loss contingency planning. Take the example of Sarah, a marketing executive. Despite a stable career, Sarah always feared sudden job loss. By discussing this with her financial adviser, she was able to set up an emergency fund and diversify her investment portfolio, providing her with a safety net that gave her confidence.
  • Preparing for health crises. John, a freelance graphic designer, was worried about the financial impact of a potential health crisis. With his adviser, he established a health savings account (HSA) and reviewed his insurance coverages, ensuring that he was prepared for unforeseen medical expenses.
  • Market downturn strategies. Consider the case of Emily and Michael, who were nearing retirement. The prospect of a market downturn was their primary concern. By working with their adviser, they adjusted their asset allocation to balance growth with preservation strategies with the goal of shielding their retirement savings from market volatility.

Again, a holistic approach to financial planning goes beyond mere numbers. It's about understanding the interplay between different aspects of your life and finances. This approach aims to ensure that you are prepared for the ups and downs of life, turning financial fears into managed risks.

The key to overcoming financial fears is not to avoid them but to plan for them. Assessing your current situation, understanding your retirement goals and acknowledging the uncertainties of life can help you create a robust financial plan.

Embracing your financial fears and transforming them into a comprehensive financial plan is a journey that requires courage, honesty and the right guidance. By working closely with a financial adviser and taking a holistic approach, you can navigate through your financial fears and toward a future of financial confidence and security. Remember: It's not just about securing our finances; it's about gaining confidence by planning for the unexpected.

Securities offered through Cadaret, Grant & Co., Inc., an SEC Registered Investment Advisor and member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services offered through Cadaret, Grant & Co., Inc., and Cedar Brook Group, an SEC Registered Investment Advisor. Cadaret, Grant & Co., Inc., and Cedar Brook are separate entities. The return and principal value of stock prices will fluctuate as market conditions change. And shares, when sold, may be worth more or less than their original cost. Asset Allocation and diversification are approaches to help manage investment risk. Asset allocation and diversification do not guarantee against investment loss. Past performance does not guarantee future results.

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This article was written by and presents the views of our contributing adviser, not the Kiplinger editorial staff. You can check adviser records with the SEC or with FINRA.

Frank J. Legan
Partner, Financial Adviser, Cedar Brook Group

Frank Legan is Partner, Financial Adviser and member of the Forward Look Committee at Cedar Brook Group, one of the largest independent wealth management firms in Northeast Ohio. Frank spends his days designing and implementing personalized financial planning strategies for corporate executives, closely held business owners, artists, families and retirees. He specializes in lifetime income strategies, investment advice and estate planning services. He also works with businesses to develop strategic and succession planning strategies. He is the author of "The Humanity Factor," a book about focusing on your strengths, guiding you through a personalized, step-by-step guide to financial planning.