Your New Title: CEO
When I sit down with families, one of the questions in our first visit is: “If we fast forward to your retirement or if you’re already retired, how much monthly income do you need to live comfortably?” I have been surprised at how many blank stares or scratching heads I have witnessed. It can be a tough question. Between faith, family and work, we don’t have much time to think about those questions until we are finally a few years from retirement. I want to challenge you with this question: Would a CEO of a publicly traded company know how much her business’ revenue (salary), cost of goods (expenses) and assets/liabilities (what they own or owe) were? The answer is, of course. If not, her job might be in jeopardy. Sadly, even if we don’t want to be, we are the CEO of our household. A CEO’s job is to make the best operational decisions for the shareholders of a company. Your shareholders are you, your spouse and your family, and we have the responsibility to be good stewards for you.
Here are few things for you to consider as the CEO:
At a conference table somewhere, there are very important meetings happening and there may be an empty chair with your name on it. I encourage you to be the coordinator for meetings between your CPA, estate planning attorney, insurance agent and financial advisor. Your professionals should have a meeting agenda with your name across the top. Now, if there is no meeting happening on your behalf, you may want to get a new set of board members. Lack of coordination among these professionals is where many financial mistakes originate.
The Storage Room
No business has an empty filing room. There are vital documents in everyone’s life that need to be sorted, organized and easy to get to. We don’t need someone to just store our important documents, we must have it filed for our beneficiary’s sake. The Legacy Binder we have spoken about in other blog posts is an essential tool to help you know what documents you need to keep and how to organize them. CLICK HERE FOR THE LIST
Where is the money going? A cash flow sheet is very helpful before and after retiring because it shows you where your current income is going. A cash flow sheet enables you to input these figures in a easy-to-digest fashion to see where you can improve and make adjustments. Until we get those financials in front us, we may have an idea of where our money is going, but it won’t be accurate.
Many business owners and chief executive officers choose to outsource their chief financial officer role to a virtual CFO. Why? Because as CEO, you already have enough on your plate managing everything going on in your life. Never forget that CEOs must take hiring the right CFO seriously, because you live with the consequences of their plan. No financial advisor has a room for each of their clients to move in with them if things don’t go right. Therefore, it is vitally important to hire a CFO who is thorough and has your best interests at heart.
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