When you think about where your money is located, what is the first thing that comes to mind? A bank checking account? An online savings account? An investment account? A workplace 401(k)? The motorcycle collection slowly growing in your garage?
Many people don’t realize their money is so spread out. When asked where they keep their money, automatic answers tend to be a bank checking and savings account, plus a workplace retirement account. But as you dive deeper into the conversation, many people come to realize that they are tied to more financial institutions than they initially thought — it’s just stashed away in “hidden” places like home equity, forgotten 401(k)s, multiple brokerage accounts and even our material possessions.
As we navigate financial planning discussions, one of the first steps we take with clients and potential clients is to sit down and take a holistic look at each person’s finances. Some of the key questions we ask include:
- Where do you do your local banking?
- If you own a home, who is your mortgage through?
- What credit cards do you have and what companies do you have these cards with?
- Do you have a 401(k) or 403(b) at work? Who manages that?
- Do you have any old retirement accounts from a previous employer?
- Do you have any investment accounts?
If a person gives a different institution for each answer, which is common, that means that half a dozen different institutions house a portion of their financial life. This in itself is not an issue, but when money is all over the place, most people don’t have an easy way to look at their assets and liabilities as one big picture. This is where a financial advisor can help.
When we work with clients, we not only help them keep an eye on their various accounts and those account balances, we also help them understand how much of their money is tied up in things like mortgages, vehicles or student debt. Advisors can help consolidate multiple retirement accounts, suggest debt repayment plans and create a streamlined, clear picture of their financial life. This helps clients understand just how much money they have which can help them feel peace of mind or reveal areas of concern. This holistic view is imperative to creating the proper goals aimed at financial security.
Are you unsure of just how many financial accounts you have or how much of your money is tied up in various debts? If you’re ready to piece together your financial puzzle, we’d love to help. The team at Girard has the tools and the knowhow to help you organize your finances and develop a plan for your money. Reach out to us to see how we can empower you in your financial journey.
This article is for general information purposes only and is not intended to provide legal, tax, accounting or financial advice. The information in this article, and any opinions expressed therein, do not constitute a recommendation or an offer to buy or sell any security or financial instrument. Viewers should consult with their financial and/or legal professionals before making any financial decisions.