The Money Checklist: Phase 3
Phase 3 - True Wealth Creation
If you’re a money nerd like me, this is where all the fun is. Your foundation is laid and the basics are behind you, so now you get to think about other goals. I love to listen to my clients dream about what retirement can look like, paying for children’s weddings, leaving an inheritance, making generous charitable contributions, having a larger home or living on the water here in the beautiful Lowcountry.
I recommend that you start this phase by creating a brokerage account. This is an investment account that is not subject to the withdrawal rules of retirement plans like 401Ks, IRAs, etc. This investment account is considered liquid. In lieu of tax deferral, this account is subject to taxes on dividends as well as short- and long-term capital gains. Having said that, this type of account is used by the wise and wealthy to provide flexibility and mitigate taxes strategically.
During phase three you can also consider participating in deferred compensation and stock purchase plans that your employer may offer. Or you may want to start acquiring investment real estate and consider other alternative investments.
This is also when you start living the American dream… you can focus on paying off your mortgage. Remember, the dream is not living in a house where you pay the mortgage. The dream is owning it.
Finally, at this point you likely will have acquired more types of assets that are subject to the probate process, so you will want to visit an estate attorney and establish a revocable trust. Into that revocable trust you should place as many of your assets as possible, which is called funding the trust. Establishing the trust without funding it is as pointless as pouring yourself a glass of water but never drinking it. You must fund the trust for it to serve its purpose.
Regardless of your current financial status, these steps are generally applicable to everyone. Just start where you are and check items off the list as you accomplish them. Be patient; these aren't meant to all be accomplished in a week or even a year.
To keep yourself on track, I suggest downloading this pdf of the complete checklist, from Phase 1 to Phase 3.
If you would like some help deciding what your next step is or have questions specific to your household, give me a call at 843-972-4402 or schedule an introduction meeting with me here.