What we can learn from Doc McStuffins

What is your favorite episode of Doc McStuffins?  Tough to narrow it down, I know.  Likely, it is either when Lenny the Fire Engine learns about proper hydration, or when Stuffy the Dragon is carted to the hospital in an ambulance.  Perhaps it’s when the crew learns how to properly bounce in a bounce house at Boppy’s birthday party.

As far as Disney Junior shows go, Doc McStuffins does a good job introducing kids to social norms.  All of the concepts are relatively brand new to them: why you need to drink more water than you think, why we pull over to the side of road when ambulances are driving by, or that you should take any sharp objects out of your pocket before going into a bounce house.

What happens at our house after most every episode is a flurry of questions from my kids.  Kids are naturally curious and unabashed when it comes to asking questions.  It is a great quality.  Unfortunately, a quality that is suppressed as we age for fear of being impolite or appearing unsophisticated.

At P&A, we want to create an environment where you feel comfortable asking questions, any question. Even if you may feel they are childlike, we do not.  We also feel it is incumbent upon us to create an environment whereby you freely learn about new financial concepts that can enhance your financial lives.

One of the ways we accomplish this is through a 15-minute process we developed called, “The Five Uses of Your Money.”  This represents step one of the financial planning process.  Every dollar you earn as income can go to one of five places:

  1. Debt
  2. Taxes
  3. Savings
  4. Giving
  5. Living

When it comes to financial planning, the basic objective is to ensure that you are building enough investable assets and recurring future income to recreate your “Living” when you’re done working.  We could either ask you to comb through your bank statements, categorize, and quantify all of your expenses for a year…or walk you through this simple 15-minute process.

Once we know your income and items 1-4, we simply subtract the latter from your income to determine your “Living.”  Then we can easily launch into the planning process and define strategies that help you find the balance of living in the present while saving for the future.

Whether you’re working and in your 30s or retired and in your 70s, this process is worthwhile and enlightening.  Who knows, maybe by the end of it you may be humming, “I feel better, so much better, thank you Doc for taking all the ouches away,” just like Stuffy and Boppy.  In the likely event that doesn’t happen, our process will hopefully create an environment for you to ask questions, and for us to answer questions that you may not know to ask.

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Since 1995, Pittenger & Anderson has guided individuals and families going through money-in-motion events. We are a fee-only Registered Investment Advisor and a full-time fiduciary providing investment management, financial planning, and complimentary services to 800+ clients in over 30 U.S. states.

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