By Melissa Shaw, CFP®

For me, the life lesson of 9/11/2001 was that the end can come on any day.  It’s not the sort of thing you get to plan.  You live life to the fullest every day, you be kind to the people you love, and you remember to put on clean underwear every morning, just like your mother told you to!  If you’re good in your heart and your soul, then any day can be a good day to die, not that you want it to happen!  This is where a little preparation can prevent poor performance.

Once you become of age, and you begin to own some assets we speak of financial responsibilities.  Having a Newport Beach Living Trust is a terrific solution if you own real estate or have some assets and some life insurance.  It becomes the family business plan for how things should happen if you live, die or become incapacitated.  We cover the will and minor children guardianship issues, and the living will lets you give thought to how long you are willing to live, and where quality of life trumps quantity of life.  You take some responsibility for life and death decisions.  It’s a kind thing to do for those that you love, and for those that love you!

In my house, the big picture is important, but life needs to be lived on a daily basis.  It truly comes down to cash flow and how sustainable is your present plan and strategy.  The only way to know is to INSPECT what you EXPECT.  The Financial Counselor Notebook is a fine companion to your Orange County estate plan.  It addresses how you are presently playing the “Money Game” and how you set up your own game of Monopoly® in the first place.  It allows us to look at how you have set up your cash assets, investment assets and personal use assets.  We inspect your debt, and consider your present strategy as well as your goals and objectives.  What are you trying to do?

Cash flow is the name of the game.  Grandma always said “Don’t slaughter the goose, just spend the golden eggs.”  It’s great advice, but it still requires a goose!  During your working years, YOU are the goose.  You create the income.  Financial independence comes from your assets creating the golden eggs, even if you are not earning them personally.  For most of us, that is the enviable position we strive to achieve!  It is when our money is working hard making money instead of us working hard earning money.

The peace of mind you have is priceless when your estate plan and your daily financial life work together.  We are better wives and mothers when we know our family is cared for and financially secure.  It’s good to do the “We Thing” with our spouse! The Financial Counselor Notebook is the tool to empower couples.