By Frank Legan
If we were to fast forward to the year 2024, what would need to happen between now and then for you to feel comfortable and confident with where you are in your life? That is a powerful question inspired by my friend and mentor, Dan Sullivan. If you have never considered it before, take some time to do so now.
Our goal at Cedar Brook is to help our clients make progress in their lives, so this is a very important question for us. However, just naming your definition of success is not enough. There are three very important elements that we address in order to help our clients move from where they are now to where they want to be. First, we look at your dangers, your greatest concerns. Next, we assess the opportunities that are available to you. Finally, we identify the strengths that you already have for dealing with those dangers and opportunities.
What are your dangers? Dangers can be economic, such as job instability or sequence of return risk in relation to retirement. Dangers can also be physical, such as health problems or the risk of contracting the coronavirus. Often dangers also have an emotional side, such as those brought about by the pandemic, or by conflict in the world. Dangers are not just risks in your portfolio.
It is important to identify your dangers so that you know what you are up against. Clearly stating your top concerns allows you to prioritize them and prepare to face and overcome them.
Next, we move from the negative to the positive, from your dangers to opportunities. If there were no dangers, what would you do? The answer to this question varies based on who is answering. Some of the answers we hear are travel, spend time with family, retire sooner, buy a vacation home, take time to work on creative projects, take on a less stressful job, help out kids or grandkids more, or give to charity. Take a moment to really consider what you would do with your life if money weren’t an issue and all of your dangers melted away.
Finally, what are your strengths? Not the strengths that you would like to have, but the ones you already have. Nothing may immediately come to mind, but if you think about it, they are there. Do you have a stable job? That’s a strength. A good income? That’s a strength. Are you debt-free, have good relationships, or a solid retirement plan? Those are all strengths. When you take the time to think about it, you will realize that you already have a lot of strengths that you can depend on as you face your dangers and look to take advantage of opportunities. Just recognizing all of the strengths that you have in life may help you feel better about the dangers, even before you take any action.
How We Can Help
At Cedar Brook, we help our clients recognize their dangers, assess their opportunities, and articulate their strengths in order to develop a plan to get them from where they are to where they want to be. Do you have a plan that will allow you to look back on the next three years with satisfaction? If not, we can help. Give us a call at 440-683-9213 or email me at email@example.com to learn more.
Frank Legan is Partner, Financial Advisor, and member of the Investment Committee at Cedar Brook Group, one of the largest independent wealth management firms in Northeast Ohio. Frank spends his days designing and implementing personalized financial planning strategies for corporate executives, closely held business owners, artists, families, and retirees. He specializes in lifetime income strategies, investment advice, and estate planning services. He also works with businesses to develop strategic and succession planning strategies. Frank has a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from the University of Dayton, as well as a Master of Public Administration degree focused on municipal management from Cleveland State University. Prior to joining Cedar Brook Group, Frank was a financial advisor in the private client group at Merrill Lynch and with NatCity/PNC Investments. Frank is active in his community, serving on various councils, boards, and committees. When he’s not working, you can find Frank spending time with his wife, Laura, their daughter, Reese, and their beloved collie, Charlie. Frank and his family are volunteers at St. Francis of Assisi church in Gates Mills. Frank serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors for Catholic Charities Diocese of Cleveland. To learn more about Frank, connect with him on LinkedIn.