The Biggest Financial Mistakes I See

By Jeff Gilbert

Life is hectic. If you’re like me, you run around day after day trying to finish a to-do list that never ends. This infinite to-do list is loaded with tasks we know we should do but can never seem to find the time to do them.

One of these neglected tasks is taking time to examine our financial health and make sure we aren’t making mistakes that will come back to bite us down the road. Unless we are constantly reminded of these common financial mistakes (and their consequences), life tends to take over and we forget.

Well, today I’m giving you a friendly nudge. Here are the three biggest financial mistakes to avoid—mistakes that are easy to make but that have huge consequences.

1. Failing To Set Up A Will And A Trust

One mistake I often see with new clients is that they don’t have a will or a trust set up. Nobody likes to think about accidents or death, but if you fail to set up these documents, you’re putting the well-being of your loved ones at risk. Let me explain.

A will is a document that gives instructions on how to distribute your assets when you die. It also indicates who will become the legal guardian of your minor children. Without a will, you are leaving this all up to chance—not a good idea! So, unless you are single, broke, and have no kids, you need a will.

A trust is another document used to transfer your estate when you die. Depending on your situation, a trust could make the asset distribution process faster (and less expensive) for your beneficiaries. The best way to find out if you need a trust is to speak with a financial advisor. 

2. Waiting Too Long To Start Saving

When you’re young, life is complicated. You’re busy studying, starting a career, finding a life partner, raising kids, and frantically trying to squeeze in a social life. That’s a lot of time, energy, and expenses. And unfortunately, it usually means your retirement plan is put off until “someday when things settle down a bit.”

This common mistake has serious consequences.

If you wait until mid-life to start saving for retirement, you lose your most powerful wealth-building tool: time. Every year you wait to contribute to a retirement account is a year less of compounding interest.

Whenever I ask people why they waited so long to start, it’s usually related to procrastination. “Oh, I’ll start contributing to that Roth next year when I have fewer expenses.” But then one year turns to two, two to five, five to 10—and before they know it, they’re 45 years old with zero dollars saved for retirement.

Please don’t do this!

3. Not Having A Plan

The last critical mistake I see is when people move through life without a financial plan. They have no written road map outlining the steps to reach their short-term and long-term goals. Many times, they don’t even know what those goals are!

Here’s a hard truth: You can’t just save some money here and there and hope for the best. It doesn’t work that way. This path leads to disaster. If you want to build the wealth needed to reach your lifestyle goals, you first need to define those goals, and then you must work backward to create a step-by-step plan.

This is exactly what we at Balboa Wealth Partners help our clients do. If you’re interested in a no-obligation conversation about how we can help you design a personalized program to reach your financial goals (and avoid the above mistakes, among others), give me a call at 949-445-1465 or email me at [email protected].

About Jeff

Jeff Gilbert is the founder and CEO of Balboa Wealth Partners, a holistic financial management firm dedicated to providing clients guidance today for tomorrow’s success. With nearly three decades of industry experience, he has worked as both an advisor and executive-level manager, partnering with and serving a diverse range of clients. Specializing in serving high- and ultra-high-net-worth families, Jeff aims to help clients achieve their short-term and long-term goals, worry less about their finances, and focus more on their life’s passions. Based in Orange County, Jeff works with clients throughout Southern California as well as Arizona, Oregon, and Washington. To learn more, connect with Jeff on LinkedIn or email [email protected]

Advisory services provided by Balboa Wealth Partners, Inc., an Investment Advisor registered with the SEC. Advisory services are only offered to clients or prospective clients where Balboa Wealth Partners and its Investment Advisor Representatives are properly licensed or exempt from registration.

Securities offered through Chalice Capital Partners, LLC, member FINRA, SIPC.

Balboa offers advisory services independent of Chalice. Neither firm is affiliated.

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