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Financial Planning: Checklist to Determine if You’re Staying on Top of It

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Determining if you have what you need to stay financially fit.

By Vittorio Mena, OD, MS

June 26, 2024

Why do people need financial planning? Many of my colleagues in optometry are skeptical when I tell them there is value to having guidance from financial professionals.

With that in mind, here are 10 points to consider. These points can let you know if you need consulting services from financial professionals, and if you already work with financial professionals, considering these points may alert you to the need for more help than you’re currently getting.

10 Big Reasons You Need Financial Planning Help or You Need Much More of It

  1. You are unsure if you have enough money for retirement and want to know your “financial independence number.”
  2. You have questions regarding both personal and professional taxes.
  3. You have excessive debt (student loans) or live paycheck to paycheck.
  4. You are purchasing a home or another large asset such as a practice.
  5. You are not sure if you are invested properly or how to invest.
  6. You are not sure where to invest.
  7. You want to roll over your retirement accounts from all the places you where you used to work.
  8. You do not know if you have adequate or appropriate insurance for yourself and your family members.
  9. You are not properly utilizing your employer benefits such as a 401K or SEP IRA.
  10. You are unaware of education funding methods for your own children or relatives.
  11. You have financial questions and do not know whom to ask or trust.

Why Do People (Maybe Even You) NOT Get Financial Planning Help?

Everything you see above is important to consider, and people typically want the answers to those questions, so why do people tend to not get financial planning help?

For many, it is on their “to do list,” but because of their busy schedules, it continues to get pushed down the list. The three biggest reasons they put it off are cost, not knowing whom to trust or where to go and the belief that they can do it on their own (which is possible, but hard).

Are You Doing the Same Thing Many Consumers Do When They Turn to Online Refractions Instead of an ECP?

I will pose this question to you the reader: With online eye exams coming to the forefront, would a patient be able to do their eye exam online or via a phone app and get a prescription and purchase glasses without ever seeing a doctor in-person?

As an eyecare professional, we would all agree that in-person would be best and getting care from, and communicating, with a doctor one-on-one provides the most advantages.

It is likely that most consumers only care about whether they can see with their glasses or contact lenses, but we all know there is much more to the eye than just a pair of glasses. There is eye health/disease diagnosis, vision therapy, concussion management, sports vision, low vision, myopia management–all of which an eyecare professional can provide.

The same principles apply in the financial services world. There is more than just investing and owning insurance to consider. It is the complete package of not only understanding the nuances of how it all works, but how it applies to your everyday life.

When I sit down with clients or colleagues there is maybe 5-10 percent of the population that has everything firing on all cylinders. That is because the financial services world is siloed and hyper-focused on sales.

To figure out the complete picture of one’s “financial house” you must sit down with an investment advisor, mortgage broker, insurance agent, banker, debt consolidator, lawyers, accountants, estate planners, and the list goes on and on.

That is why it is important to make sure that you are not only visually fit, but also financially fit.

Vittorio Mena OD, MS, is the sports vision director with Optical Academy. Dr. Mena is also an Optometric Financial Planner, with Series 6 and 63 investment licenses and Series 2-14 life and variable annuity licenses. To contact him:

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