Brittany Heard, RP®

April is one of the best months of the year because spring is in the air and includes my favorite event of the year, the Drake Relays. Watching some of the world’s best athletes compete in Des Moines, Iowa is simply magical. Not only are world class athletes in attendance, but athletes from colleges and universities, high schools, middle schools, and even elementary schools.

I grew up running the 100 meter hurdles and had the privilege of running for the University of Northern Iowa. I enjoyed running the hurdles because I loved the challenge and felt such an accomplishment after successfully completing each race. To run a clean hurdle race, you must carefully calculate your steps while making sure you use the best form to avoid tripping and falling over a hurdle.

Throughout life, we have financial hurdles to accomplish with various ways of completing those goals.  As financial advisors, we look at each individual or family’s overall plan to help them make those decisions. Here is a list of financial hurdles that could impact your financial plan:

  • Saving for retirement
    • What percentage of my paycheck can I save?
    • How much should I save into 401(k)s, IRAs, Roth IRAs, and non-qualified accounts?
  • Reviewing insurance and overall protection
    • How much life, disability, and long-term care insurance do I need?
  • Paying off student loans
    • Which loans should I eliminate first?
    • Should I pay extra, and how much?
  • Setting up an estate plan
    • What should happen to my wealth if I am no longer around?
  • Purchasing a home
    • How much should I use as a down payment?
    • Where should I get the funds?
    • When should I pay off my mortgage?
  • Saving for college
    • How much should I save for my children’s education?
    • How can I save in tax-efficient ways?
  • Making the decision to retire
    • When can I retire and what will I do next?
    • How much money do I need to spend in retirement and do I have enough?
  • Giving away wealth
    • What are the most tax-efficient ways to pass along wealth to my family?
    • What are different ways to give money to charity?

Each of these hurdles has its own unique challenges with important decisions you must make. Your financial advisor can help you work through each of these steps and answer your questions while looking at all the hurdles together, not just individually. We want each of our clients to be confident in the race they are running and to finish without stumbling at any hurdle.

I have hung up my spikes and am no longer racing the 100 meter hurdles, but you can still find me at the Drake Relays each year at my normal spot in Section X which gives me the best view of the hurdle races.

Photo Taken by: Denise Fritz

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