3 Unbroken Rules for Vacations and 3 for Financial Planning

As an Investment Advisor and Financial Planner, I’m quite familiar with the anticipation that my clients feel in preparing for retirement. And while I’m still years from retirement myself, I feel a similar thrill with the arrival of summer and our family vacations.  

For months, we plan and look forward to visiting our family cabin in northern Minnesota. It's more than just a scenic retreat; it's a cornerstone of our family history, a place where generations have forged countless memories.

Our Long Lake retreat ticks all the boxes for Robert, Jillian, and me. It's peaceful and relaxing, but we can dial up the excitement when we want to. Our daughter absolutely loves tubing with cousins, fishing and swimming in the lake. We're not much for the hustle and bustle of crowded summer beaches. Instead, we savor the calm of the lake and the sound of her laughter echoing across the water. Year after year, including this one, we keep adding to our treasure chest of Long Lake memories.

Throughout the years, we've kept a cherished set of rules that we stick to during our vacation. Each one of us has contributed to creating a unique set of guidelines that's just perfect for us. (You're welcome to borrow these rules if they resonate with you!)

Rule No. 1: Unlimited Ice Cream! It was my husband's brilliant idea to make this a rule. Every vacation, we make sure we get our fill of this delicious treat!  We won’t say no to a sundae from DQ, and we’re always ready to stop at one of the local ice cream shops for a hand-dipped double scoop!

Rule No. 2: Lots of Snuggles! I came up with this one when Jillian was just a 5-year-old bundle of cuddles. No matter where we go, the time we spend cuddling with our family is simply precious.  I hope she will let me keep this rule at least another 20 years!

Rule No. 3: Nothing But Fun! Jillian proposed this rule when she was six, and we loved it! This rule reminds us to let loose and enjoy every single day of our trips. After all, vacations are about creating unforgettable experiences.

Whether they're for fun vacation times or guiding life decisions, personal rules can provide a foundation for great outcomes. In my career, I've also put together a similar compass for my clients, made up of three key rules for financial planning.

Rule No. 1: Start with the Finish Line in Mind. Apart from having enough for a comfortable retirement, what else matters to you? Travel? Charity? Leaving something for your kids? Your goals are the compass that steers your financial plan.

Rule No. 2: Teamwork Makes the Dream Work. Your take on your financial plan is vital to make sure it aligns with your goals. You don't need to become a financial guru. That's our job. But your input helps us shape a plan that considers everything; your investment strategy, cash flow to assess what is needed or available, inflation and stress tests, strategic tax planning, and more.

Rule No. 3: Stay Flexible. A financial plan should be adaptable, not set in stone. Changes in life, tax laws, or market dynamics may call for updates to your plan.  An annual plan update can ensure we make necessary adjustments and measure how well the plan is meeting your goals.

These rules have helped our clients better understand our process. Just as my family and I look forward to each vacation, knowing we'll enjoy ice cream, share cozy cuddles, and have tons of fun, I want each of my clients to know that our work together will begin with their dreams, involve active collaboration, and remain flexible to changes.

Krista McBeath is an Investment Advisor, Chartered Financial Consultant, a Licensed Insurance Advisor, a Fiduciary, and an experienced tax advisor who specializes in financial planning, investments, and insurance.

She utilizes advanced tools for in-depth calculations that analyze tax and retirement scenarios to help her clients avoid a future tax time-bomb.  Whether this means enjoying more of your hard-earned money in retirement or passing along assets to loved ones with less tax burden, planning makes the difference.

Her new book, The Generational Wealth System outlines a holistic approach to preserving lifestyle, wealth and legacy.

click to schedule an appointment with financial planner Krista McBeath of Normal IL