The Three-Year Review and the Three-Year Plan

Take a moment to review the circumstances of your life from three years ago. Think about what you knew and what you did not know about managing your wealth. What were the top five important lessons you learned? In what ways have your views about money and wealth changed? When you take this all into consideration, where would you like to be financially three years from now? Think about how to do this as efficiently as possible.

The Key Takeaways
–         Taking the time to review the last three years will help you see the accomplishments you may have overlooked in certain areas of your life.
–         Taking the time to imagine the next three years will help you determine financial goals and how to achieve them.
–         Working toward incremental accomplishments rather than the “big fix” prepares you for lasting and meaningful change.

Ben Franklin wrote: “Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement and success have no meaning.”

We see results because we learn new things and apply them. Very often we get caught up in the hectic pace of our lives and do not see the achievements we have already made, whether it is in our career, health, education, finances, spirituality or family. One area on this list may not be how you want it to be, but give yourself credit for the positive changes that did happen. In most important things in life, change seldom occurs overnight but when it does, it takes time to realize the results. It is valuable to review your life’s progress by marking it in three-year intervals.

Why in three-year intervals? By looking back just one year, you could be in the middle of significant progress but have yet to notice the results; five years, for example, may be long enough to dull the details. Three years is fresh enough to recall vividly how “things used to be” while having enough time to see positive change as it occurs.

In the same way, set your objectives within a three-year timeframe. For the same reasons listed above for looking back on your life, you will find that you can achieve the same results in looking forward. When it comes to making difficult changes, we can work on achieving one small result at a time as opposed to bearing the entire burden of finishing it in one short period (i.e., one year).

What You Need to Know
Just as you set financial priorities in spending and saving, you can set priorities in other areas of life. Try to make realistic expectations with gradual benchmarks, so will be able to notice your progress and measure the development you are making. Do not expect massive change overnight; you have your whole life to make yours work the way you want.

Actions to Consider
–         Keep records of your progress to remind yourself of your accomplishments. Setting gradual and achievable results is far more useful than trying to complete a large project all at once. A key focus of our wealth legacy is conveying to our loved ones the lessons we have learned, both good and bad. Share these life lessons as you implement a three-year review and three-year plan program.

Here at Thesenvitz & Mickelson, LLP, I like to take it just a little further: a two-year review and two-year plan program are provided to you at no additional charge when we help develop your estate plan. I look forward to working with you on this comprehensive service in order to help you preserve and protect your values, wealth and family.

Call or email today, to set up a no obligation appointment to meet with me to review your estate planning needs.

Doug Thesenvitz
Thesenvitz & Mickelson, LLP