Jargon-less Financial Planning

| April 30, 2013 | 12 Comments | Email This Post Email This Post

There are a lot of financial terms and jargon that a financial adviser may throw out at you when it is time to address your retirement planning.  The important thing to ask yourself when you walk out of that advisor’s office, are you really sure you understanding everything he or she is telling you.

Other financial advisors will tell you they are moving away from fancy terminology.  Financial advisor and author, Minneapolis based Bruce Helmer is one of those.  He says, the piece missing from “personal financial planning,” is the personal part: your relationship and your values.

Helmer recently recorded a podcast for Active Seniors HQ and his new book on retirement planning called Real Wealth, How to make Smart Money Choices for what matter most to YOU.  “From my prospective I’ve read a lot of these books, and a lot of the ones I haven’t read I’m at least somewhat familiar with, and to me what’s missing from personal finance books is the personal part of it. They are very laboratory, they are very ‘how to invest,’ when to buy stocks or sell stocks. It really doesn’t start with what I think is the obvious starting point, which, you know, what is the purpose of the person, what are their core values, what are their goals and what are they trying to accomplish. And when we understand those things then the financial advice and making good advice, making good decisions gets far easier.”

Helmer says he uses a straightforward values-based approach to managing wealth. After the worst recession in our country’s history, we all have different sometimes difficult decisions to make about how to manage our money.  But he says:  “I’m a little bit blessed or fortunate in that, I didn’t really see this. Let’s say somebody wanted to retire or did retire in late 2007 – early 2008 and then their accounts got decimated in the great recession when the market declined. And now all of the sudden they are confronted with a situation where either they had to really reduce their standard of living or they had to find a part time job.   “I think that was fairly prevalent, although again I didn’t have personal experience like that,”  says Helmer.

“Our clients, we were very fortunate and did not go through anything like that. But on the bigger broader picture about positioning and getting ready for retirement, to me again it starts with questions that are not just financial. Financial is certainly a part of it and money is a tool, but I really try to coach my clients in being prepared for the synergistic changes and the lifestyle changes or even the changes in a relationship.”   That, Helmer believes, his how he uses his approach of “personal financial planning,” to his job of  retirement planning.




Category: Retirement Planning