Financial Planning 2014 Conference Recap

I recently attended the financial planning association annual conference that was held in seattle this september. This conference is a great opportunity for me to refresh my skills and learn about the areas of financial planning that are changing.

I attended many sessions over the course of three days, but here is a highlight of those i found most closely related to our client’s needs and/or most interesting.

Misunderstood social security issues – this session went over the many options you have for social security benefits. Most people are aware of the taking early (at age 62) option, but not much else. When it comes to maximizing your benefits, there are several different combinations for married couples and it might surprise you to discover the one that can provide the maximum lifetime benefit. We have met with a few clients already this year to discuss this very
subject. If you have questions or are concerned about this, we have the tools to show you in detail, the most effective solution for your situation.

Managing your focus and vision – this was a general session not specifically about financial planning, but it’s subject matter integrates so seamlessly with what we do as financial advisors. Having the ability to set specific goals and keeping your focus on maintaining those goals, but with the understanding that “goals are not the future; they just change your perception of today.” 1

Talking about financial issues with your adult children – this session was the highlight of the conference for me. It discussed the fact that there is a lot of information for adult children regarding how to deal with aging parents, but not information for how aging parents should deal with their adult children! Discussing your finances and more importantly, your wishes for how you want to live the rest of your life before a life altering event is crucial. Many people are
in denial and believe that when they pass, it will be a peaceful event. Unfortunately, that is not usually the case and the chaos left behind can be overwhelming for the people having to deal with their own grief as well as the problems created with a lack of planning and communication. It is also about decisions surrounding living arrangements, quality of life, etc. Sharing your thoughts about how you want to live is vital as well. I am very passionate about
this subject, so if there are issues you are having trouble dealing with, i would like to help you through this process.

As always, if you have a question about your financial goals or investments, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Sincerely, Michelle T.  Robinson CFP®

1 Quote from speaker, David Allen.