South Florida Hospital News
Thursday August 6, 2020
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July 2017 - Volume 14 - Issue 1
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7 Ways to Help Protect Yourself from Financial Plaque

Your dentist defines plaque as a sticky film of bacteria that forms on your teeth. If left undetected and untreated, plaque leads to tooth and gum disease. In the same vein, financial plaque is a buildup of poor financial decisions over a period of time. The impact usually does not show up for many years or until a life-changing event occurs and has a negative or even catastrophic financial impact on you and your family.

Below are seven guiding principles that should govern the management of your finances and help you avoid financial plaque. Your advisors’ roles are to create awareness, deliver guidance and coaching, and mentor you through the stages of financial management and protection. Keep your financial smile bright, your financial brain sharp, and your financial arteries flowing freely by making wise financial choices.
 
1. You will always care more about protecting your family than any advisor will. Outsourcing your family’s financial advocacy to anyone other than your spouse or a trustworthy advisor could be considered family malpractice. Put a planning process in place with the right advisors behind you. Do the little things right: Write a will. Make a plan. Protect yourself from risk. Build a foundation for financial success. As the one who cares most, monitor your own financial health, research advisors’ recommendations, monitor progress, and ask questions.
 
2. You will always have to be the decision maker of your financial team. The right team culture produces the right results. The wrong team culture results in mistakes that ruin your strategy. Poor family governance, incompatible business partners, advisors’ conflicting compensation models, and conflicts of interest can damage or destroy your financial health. As team leader, you are responsible for communication. Establish and enforce a communication schedule for your team members that connects them both to each other and to you. Don’t assume they will collaborate regularly without your leadership.
 
3. Your Purpose, Vision, Values (PVV). It is easy to deviate from your plan. Toys, rewards, vacations, and “best thing since sliced bread” investments will come your way in abundance.
• Purpose: Create peace of mind and financial freedom for you and your family by having clear goals.
• Vision: Combine your purpose and your values into a powerful planning and action process by solving problems with your team of trusted advisors.
• Values: Always be trustworthy in your commitments so your financial goals happen.
 
4. Do more with less. Healthcare reform mandates efficiency and effectiveness. Being efficient and effective with your money when purchasing financial products and services is critical. You don’t necessarily need more advisors, more diversification and more risk. What you need is advisors you can trust. It’s not the quantity but the quality of advisors that creates powerful results.
 
5. Understand potential healthcare financial cliffs. Understanding who you work for, what control you have over your career and what control you have over your income is essential. Will your income be fixed, variable, or both? Can you be fired for cause or without cause? What employee benefits do you need to protect you and your family? Who pays for these benefits? How will you monitor all the things you need to keep track of financially, and who can help you?
 
6. Pay yourself first. Your strategy may not work out as planned. Invest in yourself first. Everything and everyone else comes second. Paying off current debt, paying for important insurance, and saving for a down payment on a house, are examples of paying yourself first. Always include an emergency reserve in your working capital plan. Your team should work together to develop a safe cushion for you. Start with safe money planning before you attempt speculative or unpredictable money planning. Debt and loss creates negative financial leverage and moves you further away from your financial freedom.
 
7. Time can be your best friend and your worst enemy. Time can cost you money; time can make you money. Time is the one thing you can never get back. Compound interest is about time. Stock market results are about your time horizon in the market, not about timing the market by shuffling in and out of investments.
 
In our next article, we’ll discuss some of the key cornerstones of financial planning.
For more information contact Howard Wolkowitz, Financial Advisor, at HWolkowitz@FinancialGuide.com or (954) 625-1517.
 
The opinions above belong to Howard Wolkowitz and the information contained herein does not necessarily represent the opinions of MassMutual or its affiliated broker-dealer MML Investors Services, LLC.
 
Securities and investment advisory services offered MML Investors Services subject to regulatory approval. Members SIPC®. Branch address: 2400 E Commercial Blvd., 11th Floor, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33308.
 
MassMutual Financial Group is a marketing name for Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual) and its affiliated companies and sales representatives. Securities, investment advisory and financial planning services offered through qualified registered representatives of MML Investors Services, LLC. Member SIPC. [www.SIPC.org] OSJ: 2400 E Commercial Blvd., 11th Floor, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33308 (954)331-5100. CRN201712-212634
 
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