Broker Check

Purposeful Planning

April 08, 2024

My name is Matt Bouthillette, I am a Certified Financial Planner® out of Rhode Island.  The majority of my time is spent serving individuals and families by helping them make informed decisions regarding their finances.  Said differently, I work alongside clients to understand who they are, what is important to them, and how they  can enjoy life today, while still having a good pulse on what the future could look like.

To digress for a moment, at the start of my career, I realized very quickly that a shockingly large percentage of what folks hear about financial planning is often misleading or blatantly not accurate.  As you comb the internet or speak with family / friends, there always seems to be a new ‘get rich quick scheme’, outrageous stock tips, options trading strategies, or the notion that purchasing rental properties is the ONLY path to retire ‘early’.

In reality, there is never a simple path to wealth or a clear cut ‘step by step’ guide.  With that said, if anyone finds this coveted guide or ‘crystal ball’, be sure to let the world know!  In all seriousness, properly managing one’s finances to encompass your investing, tax planning, protection planning, estate planning, and general life goals is extremely difficult.  Especially if certain areas do not seem to accurately depict your feelings on the topic -i.e. looking ahead to your future tax situation, investment goals based on your timeline, how you feel about your children inheriting / receiving wealth at a young age – the list is never ending. 

Furthermore, if you are a business owner, the variables involved become more complicated – ownership structure, considering the potential sale of the business, who would take over the management of the business if something were to happen to the owner (premature death, disability, etc.).  Along these same lines, the question I always pose to my pre-retirees, or clients who want to sell their business is that we know what they are ‘retiring from’ (I use this word lightly), but do we not know what they are ‘retiring to’. 

Ultimately, I hope to help them uncover their ultimate purpose after they leave their job or complete a long awaited business transaction.  Often, most folks do not have a clear-cut answer – which by all means is perfectly fine. Given today’s world, this ‘to’ reality can take on many forms and it is usually unique to the client’s situation.  Here, I also challenge clients to remember that the assets they have are simply present to ‘fund their plan’ - the assets are not ‘the plan’.  An individuals ultimate plan is where they choose to spend their time, who they choose to spend it with, and what they choose to do.  One phrase that someone I truly look up to mentioned to me is ‘Now that I am retired, I go through this constant battle of knowing I have enough assets to sleep well at night, but I cannot seem to find enough purpose to get out of bed in morning’.  Powerful words that I believe take on several meanings, and perfectly describes that we as humans are creatures of habit and purpose.

All this to say that an individual’s / family’s situation is complex enough on its own, but if each area is not in communication with the other it will take additional time to unwind and line up properly.  In addition, with all the misleading information that is out there, some may face unintended blunders or shortfalls. 

In closing, it truly takes hard work, coordination, and discipline to reach the level of accomplishment and satisfaction that we all strive for in life.  In essence, my intent to start this blog is to do my part in providing quality, concise, and accurate information that helps educate folks on the logistical facts needed in order to make informed financial decisions.  So, please join me on this journey, as we work to educate ourselves, and find a sufficient path towards our ultimate ‘to’.

For a comprehensive review of your personal situation, always consult with a tax or legal advisor. Neither Cetera Advisor Networks LLC nor any of its representatives may give tax or legal advice.

The views stated in this letter are not necessarily the opinion of Cetera Advisor Networks LLC. Information is based on sources believed to be reliable; however, their accuracy or completeness cannot be guaranteed.