So many people today are looking for financial advice online. They want answers to questions like:
- Should I pay off my mortgage?
- Am I better off buying or leasing a car?
- Does it make sense to roll over my 401k when I change jobs?
- Should I invest in mutual funds, ETFs, or stocks and bonds?
- How much money will I need in retirement?
- How much money do I need in an emergency fund?
- Should I go with lower or higher deductibles for my auto and homeowners insurance?
- Should I take my social security at age 62, full retirement age or wait until 70?
The answer to all of these questions is “it depends”. It would be great if we just went online to find the best answers to all these questions but you are an individual with individual goals, values, and needs, so the answers to all of these questions depend on your unique situation.
I have worked with hundreds of different clients over the course of my career and I’ve yet to run into an identical situation. That is why there is no one-size-fits-all advice.
For example, does leasing a car make sense? Maybe. But not in all cases. It depends on how long you plan to keep the car, how many miles do you anticipate driving per year, and how does a lease payment vs. a purchase payment fit into your overall cash flow. Also, if you own a business, it may make more sense than if you don’t, but not always.
Each one of these variables must be taken into account when making the best decision for you.
One of the things I’ve noticed over the years is, whether I’m working with a financial planning/investment manage client or a coaching client, the best results occur when the right questions are asked.
It’s all about the questions. And where we often get tripped us is we, on our own, don’t know the right questions to be asking ourselves.
Ah, the benefit of experience. Yes, I’ve gained a lot of wisdom over the years, but as important as this wisdom is, just as important are the questions I’ve learned to ask.
And most of all I’ve learned that one-size-fits-all advice can be highly dangerous to your bottom line.
So, please, if you ever are in doubt that you’re asking yourself all the right questions, let me know and I’ll see if I can add a few to the mix. And you just might get a little advice, as well. After all, it never hurts to get a second opinion.