Having spent over 25 years in the financial services industry, I have worked with countless very different and very talented individuals. Despite my clients coming from all kinds of backgrounds and professions, they all seem to make the same mistakes. Let’s break down some of the biggest financial mistakes I see people make so you can avoid them.
Taking Too Little or Too Much Risk
Every single financial product comes with some degree of risk—even a simple savings account is subject to inflationary risk, which means your savings loses value as the value of the money drops. Some investors are quite conservative and don’t like to take on too much risk. Although taking it safe feels like the logical, pragmatic thing to do, you could be missing out on enormous gains. Shying away from more risky investment vehicles like stocks could result in painfully slow growth.
Likewise, dumping your life savings into the newest IPOs and trendy cryptocurrency a couple of years in your mid-50s can completely cripple your retirement savings. Finding the appropriate amount of risk for your age, income, goals, and specific circumstance is key to making the most out of your money without exposing yourself to too much uncertainty.
Not Staying True to Objectives
When things are going well in the markets, it’s easy to commit to investing based on your risk profile, but what are you going to do when you start to see the value of your account drop? As a naturally risk-averse person, seeing negative percentages and red text could lead to short-term choices that deviate from your logical, well-thought-out, long-term plan. If you don’t have an experienced professional to guide you through the inevitable ebbs and flows of the market, it could lead you to make mistakes with a devastating long-term impact.
Not Carrying Adequate Life Insurance and Disability Insurance
When it comes to insurance, you don’t want to wait until you need it and then wish you had it. Accidents can happen to anyone at any time, and not carrying adequate life insurance and disability insurance could have devastating consequences. It is heartbreaking when vulnerable family members find out their spouse or parent wasn’t carrying adequate insurance. In worst-case scenarios, homes are foreclosed on, family businesses have to be sold, or bankruptcy is declared. You can avoid these devastating consequences by purchasing adequate life and disability insurance before the worst happens.
Failing to Have a Comprehensive Estate Plan
Estate planning is a crucial aspect of a comprehensive wealth management plan, especially if you want to pass significant assets to the next generation, or properly plan for the succession of your business. Without a proper plan, your family could have to pay expensive probate fees and court costs as the government determines what to do with your estate. And probate processes are public information, meaning that creditors or even estranged relatives could have access to information regarding your wealth, and challenge your family’s rights to it.
An estate plan ensures that your assets are allocated to the family members or close friends you’ve chosen. An estate plan can also execute charitable donations you plan to make, business succession plans, and guardianship designation if both you and your spouse should unexpectedly pass away.
Not Planning for Long-Term Care Costs
Like disability insurance, most people can’t fathom not being able to fully take care of themselves. But the sad reality is, roughly two-thirds of today’s 65-year-olds will need some kind of long-term care support.1 Whether it’s needing someone to help you around the house or living at a nursing home with around-the-clock care, the costs of any long-term care can quickly add up. Planning ahead of time to cover your long-term care costs can keep you from exhausting your savings or placing an extra burden on your family.
Not Reaching Out for Help
Whether you are a teacher, doctor, business owner, or any other kind of professional, you likely don’t have time or simply don’t want to learn about the ins and outs of personal finance. Reaching out to an experienced financial professional can help you gain confidence in your financial future and can help you avoid the mistakes I mentioned without having to do all the research yourself.
At Infiniti Wealth Management, we are dedicated to helping you protect and grow your wealth by offering quality financial advice and asset management services. If you want to learn more about the value of partnering with a professional, call our office at 845-278-8638 or send us a message to set up a complimentary consultation.
Michael Durante is a founder, Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP®), and Certified Divorce Financial Analyst™ (CDFA®) at Infiniti Wealth Management, an independent, fee-only financial advisory firm. With over 25 years of experience, Mike specializes in serving women who are going through a life transition, whether that’s a divorce or the death of a spouse, as well as pre-retiree and retiree couples. He is passionate about helping his clients develop a personalized financial plan based on their values and goals so they enter retirement with confidence and peace of mind. Mike has both a bachelor’s degree in business administration and an MBA from Pace University. When he’s not working, Mike loves spending time outdoors hiking, biking, walking, golfing, campfires, the beach and doing yard work, as well as spending time with family and friends. Mike also enjoys to read, travel, and check out local restaurants and events. To learn more about Mike, connect with him on LinkedIn.
July 27, 2022 - Michael Durante, CFP®, CDFA®