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Post Covid, Personal Finance Observations, Ep 40

Once again I’m breaking off from the world of equity compensation in this podcast episode. Instead, I thought I would take a step back and share some quick thoughts of what I've noticed in a post COVID world. These are just a few items related to personal finance. The observations come mostly from conversations with clients and prospective clients. This episode was initially a quick article I sent out through my weekly email list. If you want to sign up for it, just visit my website at forwardthinkingwm.com. If you go to the insight section, you'll see a box where you can sign up.

You will want to hear this episode if you are interested in...

  • Making life simpler [1:30]
  • Working differently and being as productive as before, maybe more so [3:10]
  • Not wanting to go back to the way things were [4:28]
  • Customized retirement styles [5:18]
  • This week’s FLASHBACK [7:29] 

Keep it simple stupid!

I'm having more conversations about making life simpler when it comes to investing. I have always been a proponent of K.I.S.S., not the rock band although I do enjoy them. But K.I.S.S. means “keep it simple stupid”. Over the years I've seen many clients do what I refer to as the squirrel method of investing. This is where they have multiple and often redundant accounts doing the same thing. A trend recently has been to consolidate and eliminate extra and unnecessary accounts if possible. This includes things like tracking down old 401k balances and moving them into one IRA. Call it house cleaning, consolidation, making life simpler, or any other term you like. We even did it in my house last year. Ultimately, it's about organizing your finances to get things as simple as possible and to keep them that way. 

Working differently and not going back to the way things were

Clients are realizing they can now work differently than they have in the past and still be at least as productive as before. The conversations have shifted from retiring in a year or two to continuing to work for another four to five years, but not as they had before. No more flying around the country, they are meeting with clients virtually from wherever they are.

Clients have also found themselves not wanting to go back to the old world, whether that is going into the office every day or visiting clients and customers in person. I have multiple clients who are in sales. One hit new sales records working from home because it allowed them to become so much more productive and it showed in their numbers for the year. The client explained to me they're actually a huge introvert and doing everything remotely was a much better fit.

This week’s FLASHBACK: Old school rack stereo system

I had some extra cash burning a hole in my pocket way back in the day and I decided to buy a big ol’ rack stereo system. It was about three to four feet high in height, giant speakers, all that good stuff. When I started college the dorm I moved into my freshman year didn't have enough room. However, sophomore year I was in a double and that system came with me. Although the system was powerful, I never blasted it or turned it anywhere near high. When I had it on I was always in the room listening to music and didn't want my ears to start bleeding. 

One day I was sitting in a class and there was a rap song playing as clear as could be. It was loud enough that my professor made a comment about it and shut a few windows to block the sound. I recognized the song and had a feeling. After class, I walked back to my dorm, which I swear was vibrating by the time I hit my room. The dorm room was wide open and my roommate was nowhere to be found as tunes were blasting away. I turned off the system and a couple of minutes later, he appeared. He had been down at the other end of the dorm, hanging out with some friends, and had turned it up so they could enjoy the music. It was good to know how loud my system could get.

I’m Dan Johnson, CFP®, founder of Forward Thinking Wealth Management. I run a flat-fee financial planning and investment management firm located in beautiful Akron, OH. Although I am in Akron, OH, I work with clients regardless of location. I cater to owners of equity compensation positions who are looking to organize their financial lives, keep more of what they make, and do the things they want in retirement and even now.