“ A Proposal for Financial Success”
(Reflections on planning for the future)
By, Tabitha Miki Floral Designer for Jolene Kaneshige Photography
Typically, financial advisor doesn’t automatically come to mind when you say surprise destination engagement. It doesn’t normally cross my mind either; but in order to put on an amazing proposal, beautiful wedding, and start your lives together, having a budget and a helping hand to advise you along the way makes the transition simpler.
Recently, I sat down with Jason Segawa of Segawa Consulting Group LLC to help advise our readers on “financial fitness” for their upcoming proposals. I hope you will be able to find a few pearls of wisdom to help you on your journey!
Q: Is there a difference between an advisor and a planner? If so, what are the differences? What should someone look for when searching for a financial advisor/planner?
A: “People in our industry can call themselves advisors or planners regardless of the services and experience they offer. Because of this it is important to look for professional certifications and licenses. Certifications can also be misleading, as some are easy to obtain by just paying a fee. The most prestigious certification in our business is the CFP (Certified Financial Planner). To receive the CFP certification a comprehensive financial planning curriculum offered only by colleges and universities have to be completed, followed by a 12 hr exam (which has a less than 50% passing ratio). In addition they need several years of certified hands on financial planning experience, and are bound by our industries highest professional ethics standards and rules of conduct”.
Q: When should you start to see a financial planner/advisor?
A: “It’s good to see an advisor when your life changes, for example, new/change of job, large purchases (house or car), marriage,kids,divorce”.
Q: What would you advise couples looking to get married to do to become “financially fit” together?
A: “Work on communicating with each other what their idea of successfully managing their finances look like. We all come from different places with assumptions and baggage in our finances. The sooner couples realize their similarities and differences when it comes to managing their finances, the better they can plan to meet their goals together as a couple.”
Q: Before someone is even thinking of proposing, what financial advice would you offer to them?
A: “Get to a comfortable level of communicating with your partner on finances. Finances are a major contributor to divorces in the US for a reason. It’s not about changing your partners financial tendencies, but more about understanding them and reasons for it. This can lead to a productive conversation on how their financial decisions affect both of your future goals positively or negatively”.
Q: How far in advance would you advise people to save for an upcoming proposal and marriage in general?
A: “They should set a budget on how much they want to spend and stick to it. If you budget $10,000 on your proposal, $10,000 on a ring, and $30,000 on your wedding, your budget is $50,000. You can now have a tangible financial goal to save for, and understand how reaching that goal will affect other goals you have. This also emphasizes proper communication with the couples so they are on similar pages and understandings. It is an argument easy to foresee if they are not communicating effectively. Imagine if one spouse valued buying a house over a nice wedding. If $30,000 was spent on a wedding it would definitely postpone or limit buying a house. Compromising $15,000 for the wedding and $15,000 for the home may be a better balance for both”.
I hope this little Q&A session helped you, I know I definitely was able to learn a lot from the interview! Need more financial advice? Segawa Consulting Group LLC is the perfect place to start! Already prepared to embark on that journey with that perfect partner and just need to “pop” the question? We can help! Contact us at email@example.com We would love to tell your story!