The Value of the Present Moment

beverly flaxingtonBeverly Flaxington is a practice management consultant. She answers questions from advisors facing human resource issues. To submit yours, email us here.

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Dear Readers,

I have been extremely fortunate to have spent the past week in Europe with my youngest daughter who is studying there. It is spring break, so being with her on her week off has been a true joy. I have not received many advisor questions, so I will provide some general insights I have considered spending this week together. There is no commodity as valuable as time – and once gone it can never be recaptured. Using time in all the best ways possible should be a lifelong goal and something you want to encourage your clients to think about too.

1. Get to know the next generation of your clients. Yes, I know this is the same-old, same-old, but it continues to stun me how few advisors I interact with have reached out to get to know this next generation. My older children have been working with our advisor – even though they do not have the resources to “justify” it, and they have learned more than I could ever teach them. A simple thing like having too much money sitting in a savings account would never occur to me to discuss with my kids. If you haven’t done the outreach yet, don’t waste another minute; if you have, but you have been rebuffed, try again. This is a valuable service you can provide. For most of us, nothing matters as much as our children and their peace of mind.

2. Encourage your clients to think in two tranches – what they want to do in retirement, and what makes them happy long before they get there and how to best save and plan for this. As I traveled around Europe, I was reminded how much more fulfilling it is when one is in shape, can climb the cobblestone streets and walk the miles and miles most tours require. I know many people who waited until formal retirement to make these trips. But it just isn’t the same when you aren’t able to enjoy whatever you want because you are not healthy enough to do it. This does require planning. With a third child in an expensive college, going to Europe was not in my budget. But I learned a while ago the importance of enjoying money now instead of waiting for that evocative time called retirement to have all the fun.