In early October, 2007, I announced that I had retired in my forties. As promised, I am writing a Friday series on "How We Did It," of which this is segment #9. ( #1 is about our childhood , #2 is about education, #3 is about working, #4 is about lifestyle , #5 is about goals, #6 is about staying on track, #7 is about the role of luck and #8 is about my personal finance mind tricks.) This segment about the times we chose to use professional help.
Most of my life I have been a do-it-yourself type of person. My dad was a great do-it-yourselfer and I inherited his ability. Why hire an electrician when I can follow instructions to rewire a light switch? Correct a leaking faucet or toilet? I can be a plumber for a day. Of course, I know my limits. For the big jobs, I call in the pros, e.g. roofing, cutting down a large tree, painting the exterior of a 2 story house.
I also applied this approach to managing my personal finances. On my own, I learned about buying real estate (mainly my home), investing in the stock market (equities and options), buying fixed income securities (CDs, and municipal bonds), and managing IRAs. I still do my own taxes, by hand:-), and routinely do mortgage payoff or compound interest calculations on Excel spreadsheets. Finally, both my spouse and I are pretty good at paying ourselves first, putting money in emergency funds and paying our bills (including credit cards) on time. However, for the big, complex or way out of my league jobs, I hired a pro. Here are some key areas where we used professionals.
However, in both cases, I did not completely delegate responsibility to the professionals. For the trusts and wills, we already had a working knowledge about estate planning, the benefit of revocable living trusts and how we wanted to distribute our estates. For financial planning, I had already developed financial goals and investment strategies from which we could further refine with our financial advisor. In addition, I am very involved when new investment strategies are being considered.
As we get older, I expect that we will need additional professionals (e.g. a CPA and family attorney) and will be working to identify good candidates in the next few years.
Here's the series:
- Our Childhood Preparation
- The Value Of Higher Education
- Making The Most Of My Job
- Lifestyle and Spending Choices
- Setting Goals, Developing Plans and Tracking Process
- Staying The Course
- How Luck Played A Role
- My Personal Finance Mind Tricks
- The Professionals We Used
- When Preparation Met Opportunity
Photo Credit: morgueFile.com, Andrew
This is not financial or legal advice. Please consult a professional advisor.
Copyright © 2007 Achievement Catalyst, LLC