Dancing as a ballerina for so many years I was deeply passionate about the art and practice. Somehow, that passion transferred into how I approached learning in school, parenting, marriage and my career as a financial planner and business owner.
Equity compensation comes in multiple forms, each with its own rules, tax implications and strategies for maximizing the upsides and minimizing the downsides. Whether you work for a pre IPO startup or an established public company, a grant of stock compensation requires some careful planning and attention to detail.
Just like making dinner for a hungry family, planning for your financial future requires flexibility and creativity. Begin with where you are and what you have. Map out where you want to go. Design plans A, B and C to help you get there with grace as you find some ingredients missing from time to time. Who knows, those last minute substitutions could be the makings of a wonderful new recipe.
At first it may seem complicated, but if you spend time studying the items on your pay statement, you will be better informed about your income, your deductions and your taxes. You can compare your own calculations to the IRS withholding calculator and feel empowered to take charge of your pay stub!
When I meet or talk on the phone with someone who is experiencing a financial crisis, such as the loss of a job or spiraling debt, I try to bring the focus toward immediate next steps that can help bring relief. It is not until after this crisis is addressed that we can move on to bigger picture goals. The first thing to do is to recognize that you are not alone in your experience and that there are steps you can take to make things better day by day.
Whether you are a student looking to apply for financial aid, an employee needing to update your benefits at work, a retiree wanting to switch your Medicare plan, or anyone needing to enroll in health insurance coverage through the Marketplace exchange, now is the time to gather your documents and your wits and tackle the task!
Gardening and financial planning have a few things in common. In developing a financial plan, it is important to lay the groundwork, build a strong foundation, tend it along the way and try not to skip any steps. Also like gardening, if mistakes are made, or things get neglected, there are ways to bring things around.