Get help translating goals into realistic plans

Financial planners can help create a cohesive picture out of pieces of information

If you had a 1,000-piece picture puzzle dumped on a table in a disorganized pile, what is the most important part of that puzzle? Most might say the corner or edge pieces. As a certified financial planner professional, I would say … the picture on top of the box!

Through a process of discovery and asking thoughtful questions, at Johnson Bixby we help clients create a cohesive picture out of the thousands of pieces of information available, whether from the internet, nightly news or conversations around the water cooler. In today’s over-saturated information age, it’s often hard to discern whether a great idea is a good fit with your overall picture and vision.

When helping clients translate their goals into realistic plans, it’s helpful to have as much information as possible in forming a recommendation. The more information, the more aspects we can consider and personalize the recommendations.

For example, if you want to sell a rental, retire, help pay for college or embark on a kitchen remodel, there are several ways to make any of those goals happen. But depending on the stock market, tax rules, your individual tax situation this year versus next, other larger expenses planned, health issues, etc., the recommendations will change based on your individual situation. There is not a one-size-fits-all mentality when developing a financial plan.

Much like a puzzle, there are nuances to financial planning. For a puzzle, there are times when you’re sure a piece should fit, but it doesn’t. In planning, it can be the same way – where a solution that seems like a good fit, isn’t. An example: sometimes paying cash for a new car can be easy and the best way if you have the cash sitting in savings. But, if you must withdraw funds from a retirement account, then consideration of factors such as tax impact, Medicare income limitations depending on age or dealer financing specials, might conclude financing a portion of the car as the better way to go.

At Johnson Bixby our goal is to help you paint the most vibrant and clear picture of your goals. Sometimes the pieces are in a pile and we help make the picture clear. Other times, the picture is clear and we’re there to help you efficiently put the pieces in place. Either way, it’s a privilege to help clients make their goals happen piece by piece.

Heidi Johnson Bixby, CFP® is CEO and President of Johnson Bixby, a financial planning firm located in downtown Vancouver. Principles of Johnson Bixby offer investment advisory and securities through KMS Financial Services, Inc.