I’m a sucker for musicals. In “Fiddler on the Roof” Tevye laments his three daughter’s choosing their own marriage partner verses a traditional marriage arranged by the parents. In discussing this new world with his wife, he asks Golde “Do you love me?” Her response is classic “DO I WHAT?” He asks again and she gives a fuller response listing all she has done for him in their twenty-five years of marriage. The list is more practical than romantic but it demonstrates her commitment to the marriage and by the end of the duet she admits that she does indeed love him.

Valentine’s Day is upon us, a day filled with sentimentality and romance, where almost every item in the store is heart shaped and some hue of pink or red. Don’t get me wrong, every good marriage needs a measure of romance. It’s these acts of affection that continue to kindle a warm relationship. No box of chocolates for my wife (the box will sit unopened), but a good chocolate chip cookie gets her every time. But genuine love is usually demonstrated by more mundane actions. A compelling way to demonstrate true love for another is by financial planning.

The object of my love can be a spouse, significant other, child, parent, or cause. There are actions I can take that will benefit them while I am alive and with them, as well as after I have passed away. I can protect them from some of life’s challenges, and I can provide resources and peace of mind.

A budget or spending plan can help keep your family on track toward your goals. Do you have a retirement plan in place? Do you even want to retire? Are you saving enough money to live comfortably if you reach a point when you can no longer work?

It is impossible to prevent all of life’s catastrophes, but good insurance policies can take some of the sting out of tragedy. Your homeowners insurance will rebuild your home after a fire. Auto insurance will get you back on the road after an accident. Health insurance can pay for much of the cost of your care when illness strikes. A disability policy will provide income when you are not able to work. And life insurance can meet financial needs after your death. Your Financial Planner can review your coverages and recommend a reputable insurance agent to make sure you are properly protected.

Death is inevitable and the more preparation you make now will ease the burden on those you leave behind. Do you have an Estate Plan? The basic documents are a Last Will and Testament, a financial Power of Attorney, a Living Will, and possibly a trust. There are attorneys who specialize in drawing up these documents. Naming beneficiaries on bank, investment, and retirement accounts can help avoid the probate process. You can even pre-plan and pay for your own funeral. Sit down with your loved ones and explain what will happen with your possessions after you die. A conversation now can eliminate heartache and anger later.

Love can be used as a verb (I love you) or a noun (I’m in love). I prefer to put the emphasis on the verb. Genuine love is a verb of action that has emotional punch. I focus on the one I love by the actions I take; actions I can take now, rather than have my loved ones experience regret later. We would be honored to help you demonstrate your love by guiding you through the planning process.