Don’t Look Now, But Your Check Engine Light is On

April 03, 2017

It’s Monday morning and you’re running late, yet again. You jump in the driver’s seat, start the car, and what pops up? That dreaded ‘Check Engine’ light.

You could keep driving for an indeterminate amount of time, but your car will almost certainly break down. Imagine the anxiety and worry surrounding even the smallest trip to the grocery store, knowing that your car has a problem that has yet to be addressed.

Would you choose to keep living like that when you knew of an easy solution? Simply taking some time out of your day to stop and fully assess the situation could prevent a significantly worse problem in the future. This is true with your car, and it’s true with your finances.

Just like the lights on your dashboard can indicate an issue with your car, there are signs in your financial life that can alert you to potential problems that should be addressed. Here’s a few we’ve considered:

  1. You have no idea what it costs to fund your lifestyle.
    Most people have a general guess, but it’s typically way off. Take a few minutes to sit down, look at what you’re actually spending, and adjust your budget accordingly.
  1. Your mental image of retirement is based on what your parents had.
    You might’ve seen your parents retire in their early 60s and think that’s how it should still be for everyone. However, the world continues to change, and retirement is not immune to that. Considering that you’ll probably live much longer than them, you probably don’t have the pension they had, and the costs for your healthcare during your retirement years will dwarf their costs. Age is no longer a prerequisite for retirement, but rather ensuring your financial situation shows you why and how retirement will be possible.
  1. You get worked up about current events.
    If you’re having trouble sleeping at night, tossing and turning thinking about your investments, you may have too much risk in your portfolio. Consider moving your money into something with a little less risk.
  1. You think nursing home expenses will take care of themselves.
    A long-term care policy? Giant nest egg? Both great things to have, but won’t guarantee that your healthcare plan is fully funded. At Kemp Harvest, it’s not uncommon to hear us say, “hope for the best, prepare for the worst.” We like to keep a positive outlook, but be reasonable in our expectations.

Just like the alerts on your dashboard, there are certain signs in your financial life that can identify potential problems up ahead.

If you’re having trouble identifying these signs, or you’re uncertain as to whether you are making the most of your current situation, we’d love to get the conversation started. Feel free to call our office and set an appointment with one of our advisors today.  

Securities and advisory services offered through LPL Financial, a Registered Investment Adviser. Member FINRA/SIPC.