If you’ve ever walked into a mess hoping to accomplish something—whether it’s the kitchen, your desk at work, or your tax return—you know that disorder and disorganization add time and difficulty to simple tasks. The same applies to your financial life.
Finances left unattended can wreak havoc down the road. Don’t let procrastination and stress dictate your financial future.
Getting the proper guidance financially can make a world of difference. At Brown | Miller, we believe that the power of compounding capital with a well-designed financial plan can profoundly transform and improve lives.
Establishing clarity around your finances is vital in maximizing your financial potential. When your economic life is streamlined and straightforward, you can quickly take in your complete money picture to execute intelligent and timely choices.
Who Can Help?
Setting up and maintaining financial order may require more time, effort, and expertise than you can spare. Who can help?
An accountant can create reports and file taxes, but they don’t advise you on organizing and planning your finances.
Some financial planners offer limited services or are salespeople for specific lines of investment products.
A fee-only, fiduciary financial advisor, on the other hand, can advise or orchestrate all aspects of your economic life. You can use them as an investment advisor, financial planner, estate planning advisor, tax strategist, retirement income specialist, risk management advisor, and more.
1. Consolidate Financial Accounts
Old bank accounts, mutual funds opened years ago, and 401(k) accounts from previous employers are all opportunities to consolidate your bank and financial accounts. Even better, you have the chance to improve your interest rates or lower fees while you do it.
Your financial advisor may be able to suggest institutions that charge lower fees or pay better interest. They can help you strategically consolidate various investment accounts. With old 401(k)s, they can help you roll everything over into a single IRA or time rollovers into a Roth IRA to minimize tax consequences now and during retirement.
Similar to gyms and subscription services, financial institutions count on inertia. Even if your accounts are well-organized, comparing fees and interest rates every few years pays off. The deal may look good at the start, but, over time, they fail to keep up with what is available.
With your financial accounts consolidated and organized, you feel more in control and can access your records with less time and effort.
2. Automate Your Savings
Paying yourself first or automating your savings and investment allocations is a tried and tested way to build wealth. Rather than trying to avoid spending a portion of your monthly income, you isolate the amount you want to save upfront.
Setting up the automatic deductions so that a portion of your income into a separate account is simple. Where your Washington D.C. financial advisor can help is in the following ways:
- Determining how much you can realistically and consistently save
- Strategy on how to invest and allocate savings
- Using investment funds to minimize tax liabilities where possible
- Articulating short and long-term investment goals and creating a timeline for each
3. Evaluate Your Insurance Coverage
Life moves fast sometimes, and essential but peripheral things like insurance can fall through the cracks. Most people can improve their insurance. You may have too much or too little coverage or be overpaying for what you have.
Your financial advisor can review your insurance coverage to identify where you can save money and where you may need to fill gaps in your coverage. They can also help you compare plans to make sure similar programs are actually offering equal coverage.
4. Spend Wisely (Stop Buying Stuff You Don’t Need)
Close to 25% of U.S. homeowners cannot park their car in the garage because it’s already too full of “stuff.” Close to 10% of Americans pay for a storage unit. If you have a few things in your house, yard, or garage you don’t use—you’re not alone.
As our income grows, it can be harder to maintain spending efficiency because the immediate consequences of overspending are relatively small.
However, when you skim from funds you could otherwise invest, the lost potential is real and significant. It can be the difference between a reasonably comfortable retirement and total financial independence.
There are various strategies for changing your and your family’s spending habits, from reducing your number of credit cards to using cash only for regular transactions. A more straightforward approach may be to work with your financial advisor to trim unnecessary expenses and identify areas where you can improve your budget while still enjoying your life.
5. Streamline Your Debt
Mortgages, home equity loans, car loans, and credit card debt may all be available at lower rates or fees. If a better rate isn’t available, you may be able to reduce your payment or total repayment amount by adjusting the loan term.
If you’re dealing with significant consumer debt, your Washington D.C. financial advisor can help you organize a plan to pay it down without inappropriately sacrificing your savings and investments.
6. Estate and Tax Planning
Having an estate plan doesn’t save you money now, but it does clarify your financial well-being and may help you identify new long-term financial goals. Even if you update it down the road, knowing it’s in place brings peace of mind.
Your fee-only financial planner in the D.C. area can coordinate with an estate attorney to help you execute an estate plan.
On the other hand, strategic tax planning saves you money both now and later. Whether you are early in your career or already retired, your financial advisor can help you formulate a tax strategy to maximize your income and minimize tax liability.
Let Your Financial Advisor Do The Heavy Lifting
A CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ in the D.C. area should serve as your partner and ally, not just someone who watches over your money. A professional can tackle tasks with a level of speed and expertise that you may not possess.
Using a qualified and independent financial advisor can help you minimize stress and maximize your net worth.
Our Brown | Miller team can help you mindfully map out your savings, investments, insurance coverage, budgeting, debt repayment plan, and tax planning needs with a white-glove approach. We will keep a watchful eye on the markets for opportunities.
Working with our financial planners will increase your confidence that you aren’t missing anything important regarding your finances (especially in an area that you’re not familiar with) and will save you money in the long run.
Call us to start a conversation to see how we can help simplify your finances. Life can be stressful enough. You deserve a process that is simple and pleasant.