It’s football season. Whether you’re following the Superbowl champs or D3, these teams all operate under the guidance of a system and a playbook. The team that executes their playbook most effectively is typically winner.
If the players were to disregard the playbook, they’d soon be riding the bench, or worse, cut from the team.
Your money life should be guided by the same principles.
What would a football game look like if there were no playbook? A pickup game in the park with friends. In other words, it would be made up on the fly. While that might make it on the playground, it won’t cut it in organized sports or with your financial life.
We all need a financial playbook that is designed to guide you from where you currently are all the way to success. Your financial playbook should include everything you need to know, which begins with a clear picture of your preferred future. In football, there are four quarters of a set time and the offense has four plays to go ten yards or more in order to get more opportunities.
In your financial playbook, it is essential to know the rules; for example, how much you need to save for a particular goal, like retirement, debt reduction, or to buy a car or a home.
In order to create your playbook, follow these simple steps.
1. Envision your desired outcomes. What do you value and why is it vital that you reach a particular set of goals?
2. Hire a planner that is willing to listen and ask great questions.
3. Work together with your team to gather all pertinent information.
4. Communicate your needs clearly.
5. Create the steps necessary to succeed.
6. Make changes where necessary.
7. Monitor your plan and adjust as appropriate.
The football playbook instructs players on the assignments for which they are responsible. The same is true in your financial playbook. Each stakeholder needs to understand the parameters of spending, savings, and what is needed in order to progress forward.
Look at the sidelines at any football game. There is a head coach and multiple assistant coaches, trainers, and other folks there to provide help and strive for the desired goals of the plan. In your financial life, your head coach should be your Certified Financial Planner professional who works for your best interest and is skilled in helping you execute your plan in a meaningful and strategic way. Other professionals, like CPA’s, Estate Attorney’s, and Insurance professionals, to name a few, also bring their expertise to help you reach your goal with excellent advice and assistance.
Your team is there to work FOR you and help you carry out your game plan. The benefit of objective advice is meaningful in achieving success. If you’ve never worked with a true financial planner, then ask yourself whether it was because you don’t know who to trust or whether you believe you are more competent.
If it’s the former, I get it. The waters of the financial services industry are murky, indeed. You can find those who will act as a Fiduciary by going through sources like NAPFA (NAPFA.org) the National Association of Fee-only Personal Financial Advisors. It’s a good place to begin your search. If your reason is the latter, it might be a good idea to consider how it is possible to be truly objective when your ability to see beyond your own experience or biases is limited.
Teams practice to enhance their chances of success. They make adjustments for variables and uncontrollables like the opposing team, injuries, weather, or field conditions.
The same is necessary when it comes to your plan because life happens. People gain or lose jobs, get sick, have children, get divorced, or some other transition that requires adaptation.
Equipped with your playbook, the conviction of your beliefs and your willingness to act, you will be more focused, organized, and prepared to succeed. Now, go put on your game face and get started before your game clock ticks down to zero.