What does the term “get your ducks in a row” mean? According to the wiseGEEK, when a person is fully prepared for any eventuality and has every element in place, he or she can indeed be said to have his or her ducks in a row. Jim Blankenship, CFP®, EA Getting Your Financial Ducks In A Row blog is a great resource, with a focus on retirement planning and tax planning. Jim also offers up witty quotes and commentary on Twitter, where you can find him @BlankenshipFP. Jim’s most recent post, Pension Payout: Annuitize or Rollover (Cash)?, walks through some of the issues that you need to consider when faced with the option to cash out a traditional pension plan, with particular emphasis on the value of money in hand versus a lifetime income stream. Important considerations to review when making one of these “once in a lifetime” choices.
When you have your ducks in a row, you have an investment plan, which includes an asset allocation that is aligned with your goals, time horizon, risk tolerance, and need to take risk. Russ Thornton, an Atlanta-based wealth manager at Thornton Wealth Management, provides some timely advice on When To Buy & When To Sell. This post, inspired by a recent voicemail from a client, about how emotions creep into our financial decision making and can lead otherwise smart people to potentially make some dumb and costly mistakes. That’s where an independent, objective advisor can add a lot of value – by providing a consistent voice of reason in the face of emotional influences. You can also find Russ on Twitter @RussThornton
Another benefit of having your ducks in a row is peace of mind. Roger Wohlner, is a Chicago-area Fee-Only Financial Advisor and Twitter devotee(addict?) @rwohlner. His recent post, Financial Conferences and Stock Market Drops, describes how most of his clients are reacting to the recent market volatility. As luck would have it, he has been away from the office attending financial conferences twice now on days when the stock market experienced sizeable drops. Rather than a lot of voice mails from frantic clients, he generally receives few if any calls on days like this.
By now you’re curious how to find a trusted advisor to help you get YOUR ducks in a row. Nathan Gehring CFP®, who is based in Appleton WI, illustrates how by way of a medical analogy in his latest post And About That Free Financial Plan. Would you select a doctor who was paid by a pharmaceutical company? Yet, this is what people do every day when selecting a financial professional. There is a better way.