My New Year Resolution – get financial organized! How?

My New Year Resolution – get financial organized! How?  Dale in Monroe, WI

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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?

Whenever we do a workshop or talk about our DREAM Retirement Process, we have a quote we like to share. “A dream (insert new year resolution) without a plan is just a wish.”

Our DREAM Retirement Process isn’t for wishers; it’s for planners! In reality, the four steps in the process can help in any area, not just retirement. So, to answer the how question and give you a framework for a plan, let’s review the process.

First, what with what you want. This is more than just what but why. Why do you want to get financial organized? So you can retire with confidence? So you can better prepare for the future? So you can grow your business?? What do you want to do, who do you want to spend time with, how do you want to make an impact and what financially do you need to accomplish that. For example, if retiring is what you want, what income will you need to be able to do all you want.

Second, what do you have. This starts with a simple financial inventory and then goes deeper into an analysis of what you have. For example, it goes beyond the dollar amount in your retirement account to what the risk and expected return of the portfolio. If retiring is your goal, then calculating the income you will be receiving in retirement and how long that income will last is another deeper analysis you need to do. Maybe it is taxes or debt that needs a deeper dive.

Third, what do you need. Simply put, if what you have isn’t going to get you what you want, then you need to look at what you need to make your wants a reality. Back to the retiring example, do you need a portfolio with less risk or more tools to provide more guaranteed income? Maybe you need a tool to help you stay organized and track your money. Maybe you need a plan to pay off debt or a tax and marketing plan to grow your business. Steps one and two will dictate step three.

Lastly, what to do. This may seem too simple, yet it is here that most resolutions fail and where most dreams turn into just wishes. You have to implement whatever you identified you need in step three; this is where the rubber meets the road. You should have action steps for immediately, 90 days and beyond. Your ability to do will turn your dreams and resolutions into reality!

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

For more information, to request a free copy of our book to read more about the DREAM process or to submit your questions, go to

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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