I’m a huge fan of the Zombie movie and television genre. In fact, my favorite TV show is AMC’s The Walking Dead. When I watch Zombie movies and TV shows, I often think about what I would be doing if there were a Zombie outbreak. I think about where I would go and how I would survive. In spite of the dead crawling the streets in search of human flesh, I believe that financial planning is so important that everyone should continue to do it-even if we face the Zombie Apocalypse!
A comprehensive financial plan serves as a framework for organizing the pieces of your financial picture. With a financial plan in place, you’ll be better able to focus on your goals and understand what it will take to reach them-even with the walking dead beating down your door. It will also show you how your financial goals are related. For example, how saving for your children’s college may impact your ability to save for retirement. You may be thinking right about now, “What retirement? It’s a Zombie Apocalypse!”
Here are 5 Reasons to do Financial Planning Even During a Zombie Apocalypse:
1. Your goals or time horizons change.
Anytime you change a goal or even reach a goal your financial plan should be reviewed. Update your plan when a time horizon changes, like putting off retirement for a few years because you have the Zombie Virus.
2. You experience a life-changing event such as marriage, the birth of a child, health problems, or a job loss.
These are major life changing events and would definitely warrant an review of your financial plan. Anytime expenses change dramatically up or down would trigger a review.
3. You have a specific or immediate financial planning need (e.g., drafting a will, managing an IRA distribution, paying long-term care expenses).
Whenever you have an immediate planning need, looking at your overall financial picture is a must. Decisions you make can affect other aspects of your financial plan. So getting that distribution from your IRA for home repairs might just impact your overall retirement income stream.
4. Your portfolio hasn’t performed as expected.
Sometimes investments just do not work out, and for whatever reason an investment performs poorly. If you are not achieving the targeted returns that your financial plan assumes, then progress toward goals must continue to be assessed. Performance may have suffered because your financial advisor is now roaming the streets as a Zombie and not watching your investments.
5. You’re affected by changes to the economy or tax laws.
Tax increases and recessions can adversely affect your financial plan. One of the better times to update a financial plan was during the 2008 Credit Crisis. The subsequent pull back in the stock market changed many would-be retirees minds about leaving the work force. Who wouldn’t be affected by economic changes due to looting in the streets during the Zombie invasion?
Don’t wait until you’re in the midst of a financial (or Zombie) crisis before beginning the planning process. The sooner you start, the more options you may have. You never know what life, or death, is going to throw at you!