My New Year Resolution – get financial organized! How?

My New Year Resolution – get financial organized! How?

Learn what it means to be independent and free financially below 2 different ways.

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The DREAM Retirement Column

Published Regularly in the Dodgeville Chronicle, Monroe Times, Platteville Journal, Fennimore Times, Grant County Herald, Tri-Country Press, Republican Journal, Democrat  Tribune and the Post Messenger Recorder

My New Year Resolution – get financial organized! How?

When conducting workshops or discussing our DREAM Retirement Process, we often begin with a quote that resonates with our approach: “A dream (insert new year resolution) without a plan is just a wish.”

Our DREAM Retirement Process isn’t designed for wishful thinkers; it’s tailored for individuals who are dedicated planners. In fact, the four steps within this process can be applied to any area of life, not limited to retirement. To address the “how” question and provide you with a structured plan, let’s delve into the process:

First and foremost, start by defining what you want. This involves more than just identifying your desires; it’s about understanding the underlying “why.” Why do you seek financial organization? Is it to retire with confidence, better prepare for the future, or perhaps facilitate the growth of your business? Clarify what activities you want to pursue, who you want to spend time with, how you intend to make an impact, and the financial requirements to achieve these goals. For instance, if retirement is your aim, calculate the income necessary to support your desired lifestyle.

Secondly, assess your current possessions. Begin with a basic financial inventory, and then delve deeper into an analysis of your assets. This goes beyond merely knowing the dollar value of your retirement accounts; it entails evaluating the risk and expected return of your investment portfolio. In the context of retirement planning, this analysis should encompass calculating the income you’ll receive during retirement and its sustainability. Additionally, scrutinize factors such as taxes or outstanding debts that require closer examination.

Thirdly, determine what you need. Put simply, if your current resources won’t enable you to achieve your desires, identify the necessary steps to bridge that gap. Returning to the retirement example, this might involve adjusting your portfolio to reduce risk or exploring tools that offer more guaranteed income. You might also require tools to help you manage and track your finances, a plan for debt repayment, or strategies for optimizing taxes and marketing to grow your business. Steps one and two will guide your decisions in this phase.

Lastly, take action. While this step may seem straightforward, it’s often where most resolutions falter, and dreams remain as wishes.Outline action steps for the short term, the next 90 days, and the long term. Your ability to take action will ultimately determine whether your dreams and resolutions become tangible achievements.

Common Myths About Retirement ~ January 23rd 11am @ the Platteville Public Library

To learn more about the DREAM process, request a free copy of our book, or submit your questions, visit

Michelle Bertram and Beverly Bertram are financial advisors living in Mineral Point WI and serving the surrounding communities. Michelle Bertram does financial planning for retirees along with business consulting. Beverly Bertram specializes in retirement planning and income planning for her clients. Michelle Bertram and Beverly Bertram are authors of the book, Creating You DREAM Retirement and creators of the DREAM Retirement Process.
Serving Madison WI, Verona WI, Mount Horeb WI, Barneveld WI, Dodgeville WI, Dubuque IA, Platteville WI, Lancaster WI, Cuba City WI, Fennimore WI, Darlington WI, Monroe WI, Spring Green WI, Black Earth WI and beyond.

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