Advice: Financial Fitness

Personal finance tips from Ellen DeSarno.

Why Are We Carrying a Lifeboat?

I read an article recently about an expedition to the North Pole in the late 1800s. The explorers traveled by sailing ship, and when the weather was clear, the sailors would resent carrying both lifeboats and sleds (in case they got frozen in the ice pack), because those items took up so much space on the ship. The wise captain had to prevent the sailors from burning them as firewood.

As a financial consultant working with LGBT clients, I would say that our weather has been very clear lately. With this summer’s Supreme Court decision recognizing marriage equality nationwide, my clients are feeling confident and legitimized. Add to that a stock market and bond market that have rallied since 2009, and clients are starting to forget why we are carrying lifeboats, sleds and financial consultants!

Here are a few of the ways a financial professional can help you succeed in any economic climate:

You can be honest and open about your financial hopes, and fears. Don’t hold back, because we’ve experienced hundreds, or perhaps thousands of clients who have faced similar circumstances to yours.

We’ll help you sort out your financial goals into five areas:  retirement planning, family protection, wealth accumulation for short-mid-term goals, estate planning strategies and tax-advantaged investing.

Your goals and dreams will be quantified and detailed. We’ll show you the progress you’ve already made, and we’ll lay out a realistic plan to get there.

Specific products can be introduced to implement your strategies in a cost-effective manner. Some of these may be disability income, life and long-term care insurance, the “life preservers” of your financial plan.

We’ll get to know you and your partner/spouse and become part of your decision-making team—sometimes as a neutral tiebreaker!

We’ll explain how time in the market beats trying to time the market.

We’ll seek to maximize your investment returns by matching your portfolio to your risk tolerance, choosing between available assets and seeking tax-free and tax-deferred vehicles.

We’ll show you ways to plan for lifetime income in retirement.

We’ll show you ways to help protect your loved ones financially.

When the seas get stormy again, we’ll calmly explain how market turmoil affects you. We’ll tell you where your lifeboats are.

By the way, when the ship in the aforementioned polar exploration was sinking, the sailors needed both lifeboats and sleds to get back to safety!

Ellen M. DeSarno, CFP®, CLU, ChFC is a registered representative who offers securities through AXA Advisors, LLC (212-314-4600), member FINRA/SIPC and an agent (CA Insurance Lic. #: 0H44952) who offers annuities and insurance through AXA Network, LLC, (AXA Network Insurance Agency of California, LLC; AXA Network Insurance Agency of Utah, LLC).  AXA Advisors and its affiliates and associates do not offer tax, accounting, legal counsel or any related advice or services. This article is intended for general information only, and AXA Advisors and its associates offer no guarantee as to its accuracy or timeliness. You should consult with qualified and appropriately tax professional and legal counsel regarding your needs, questions and particular circumstances.  GE 107090 (8/15)(Exp 8/17)