Almost two years ago, we decided to do a kitchen renovation. And it wasn’t a little reno either.
The process went like the process we use in our new three hat Whole Picture Lifestyle Financial Planning. It started with what we wanted, in a similar way to what Bryan does in the television show Leave It to Bryan. Our want was relocating our kitchen with a custom kitchen and replace a load-bearing wall to create an open concept.
In our business, we call this life planning. It’s about what we want to do while we’re still able to do it before we run out of time.
Before we started, we obtained building permits. I like to save a buck also but was reminded of the value of permits. Most importantly is to make sure the work is done right. Secondly, is to make sure in the event of a claim that the insurance company will pay the claim – not just my insurance but to ensure the contractor’s insurance will pay.
Engaging a professional financial planner is your permit in the financial planning business. It provides you with a professional in the field to ensure the work is done correctly.
Next, we hired a professional contractor. I’m as good as many at watching YouTube videos and could have done a lot of the work, but I didn’t want to do it, I didn’t have the time to do it, Lori didn’t want the project to take years, and most importantly I was not as qualified as the professionals.
We all know the story of someone who tried to do a project themselves. Sure, you can save money, but when it comes time to sell, and it’s noticed you did not get a permit and meet codes, you will not be happy.
It’s this same reason why people should hire a professional financial planner and not do it themselves.
We also contacted our property insurance provider, who added a renovation rider to our coverage to cover us during the reno and then, at completion, increased our insurable coverage.
The next part was the numbers – determining the money required to complete what we wanted. In our business, it’s us putting on our financial planning hat. Many people plan in the reversed order – they determine what they want to spend and see what they can get for it, often cheeping out on the finishes and possibly quality.
We did our reno the other way around. We determined what we wanted and then found the money. Life is not a rehearsal. Money is simply a tool to get what you want. We encourage our clients to use this process also. The project took about five months, and for some, that would cause a lot of disruption in the household.
However, because we were moving a kitchen to a new location, we still had a fully functioning kitchen available to use. For anyone wanting or thinking of doing a kitchen reno, that would be the most optimal but not always possible way.
Financial planning is not the same as a meeting with your financial advisor, who focuses on products. It takes time.
As with any renovation, there will always be surprises. Like where to run your HVAC once you remove a wall. Thankfully, we were able to utilize the space wisely. The same with financial planning, thinking outside the box at times can be a valuable exercise.
When it came time for advice, we utilized the professional advice of our contractor. And when they needed professional advice on a particular trade, he reached out to a professional in that trade. They provided the guidance we wanted to help us make decisions, and they implemented what we wanted. If they needed a ¼” hole for a water line, they would reach in their toolbox and pull out their ¼” drill to make the hole.
Similarly, when financial advice is needed, we need other professional expertise, we contact them. And when required, our toolbox is full also, except ours is filled with investment and insurance product tools.
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