In 2011 I started as a financial coordinator with Transamerica and by 2013 was ranked across the country as the number 3 financial coordinator with the company for retirement planning. The struggle I’ve always had was that there are generally two divisions in our industry. There’s the insurance salesman who is out there, 1099 self-employed, trying to make a sale in order to “bring home the bacon” at any cost… And then there is the financial adviser. Contrary to popular belief, these guys do not have to know about retirement planning or estate planning to manage your money. They are specifically licensed, or given the authority, to buy and sell stocks, bonds and other investments. They can advise you on investments, and are often called “stock brokers.” Well… who’s left to give you the leg up on your financial life? There are financial planners and the like but many people don’t know where to look.
The hardest thing hit me in 2014 when my client passed away from stage four lung cancer. I have since, and prior lost clients but this one was hard. It was a typical scenario, 50 years old and her husband worked, brought home the pay check, and she paid the bills. This guy had never written a check. From that point, over 6 months I crafted a system that would simplify and organize his finances into five sections. What he will use more often is at the front, and what he might see every few years toward the back.
- Your resources.
I made pockets to hold social security cards, marriage certificates, birth certificates and the like. I have excel sheets dedicated to making a cheat sheet for yourself or “Personal Profile” as I like to call it. Business card holders would be in this section to organize who you work with, who your advisers are. And a list of service providers so that you have the phone number and login information on hand for every electric company, phone company and so on that you work with.
- Personal Finances
I created a budget for both monthly tracking and annual goal tracking so that he could set targets for retirement and work toward them. There are goal sheets to document what you want to do. There are pockets for bank statements and bills to keep on top of. There are excel sheets to organize debt for working toward being debt free and so forth
- Wealth Management
This section doesn’t have to be daunting. It’s simply documenting everything you currently own and allows you to track where you are and where you want to be in the long run. Pockets include a place to put investment statements.
- Insurance Management
This section was designed to give you a few quick sheets on hand to know exactly what you have for auto, home owners, health insurance, life insurance, long term care, disability and so forth. There are pockets to hold your policies if you’d like to leave them in there.
- Legacy Planning
This last section allows you to really sit and think about what you want to have happen if you are no longer here. You can preplan your funeral, preplan your obituary and make life a little easier for your family. In this section you will receive a pocket with a 15 page disaster plan of exactly what your family would do step by step if you weren’t here any longer, so they don’t have to grieve AND scramble. Pockets are included here to hold wills, trusts, poa, and so forth.
The whole system is designed to make life a bit easier. Of the more than 600 clients I work with, in person people are very receptive to the benefits of having a system to organize their life. I only wish my one client had this before his wife passed away. It would have made things much easier on him.
I’d love to hear the feedback of the fiverr community as I think most anyone could use this to organize their life. Thanks for the honest feedback!
-Joshua Brooker, FFMC