Have you ever had one of those dreams where you’re driving in a car and you need to get somewhere by a certain time – but you have no idea how to get there and you keep encountering obstacle after obstacle that blocks your path? Nearly everyone has. Although it’s stressful, it’s actually a pretty common theme in dreams, often representing the stresses we feel in life. If only you could conjure up someone in your dream who could hand you a map, or better still, guide you down the road toward your destination.
Financial planning can be a lot like that dream: You know where you want to be or where you want your business to be in, say, five or 10 years – or maybe by the time you retire or sell your business – but you have no idea how to get there, and each path you take seems fraught with uncertainty and frustration. Maybe you’ve even hit a few dead ends or found yourself completely off the path you hoped to travel.
Even when we think we’re doing the “right” thing – maybe following the well-intentioned advice of a magazine article or close friend – often that generic advice doesn’t work for us and we wonder why. It’s pretty simple, actually: Each of us is unique and that means that each of us needs a financial strategy that suits our unique goals, income levels, spending patterns, personal and business needs and even our tolerance levels for risk. In fact, there can be a dozen or more variables that go into developing a sound financial strategy. No wonder “well-intentioned advice” is so often far off the mark for most of us.
The good news is that unlike those anxiety-ridden travel dreams which, if you’re like most people, you’ll probably end up having again and again during your lifetime, in real life, there is someone who’s ready to hand you a map and make sure you stay on the right path to achieve your financial goals and get to your destination: Your accountant.
When people hear the term tax accountant, they tend to think – well, taxes. But your accountant is actually a lot more than a preparer of tax forms. Accountants can help you develop a financial strategy that’s ideal for you or your business; yes, they can help ensure the strategy minimizes your tax bill, but they can also develop a plan that addresses all your unique needs to help make life a much less scary and unpredictable place to be.