Time versus Money

GUEST POST BY GREG WALSTRA

Itʼs the conclusion that all busy and affluent people come to at some point in life: Once you have more money than you need, money is no longer the most precious resource you must save up and spend wisely. Time is the only resource for which there is an unchangeable limit.

No one can create more than 24 hours in a day, but everyone has the ability to “trade” money for time. So how does one go about getting more time?

An hour and a half to pay bills. 20 minutes on hold with the mortgage company. Eight people in line at the bank on Wednesday. A 45 minute phone call with the realtor at the lake house about contesting the property taxes. Two hours trying to find a trustworthy dealer to appraise Grandpaʼs shotgun. A half hour paying Momʼs bills for assisted living and balancing her checkbook. A few daily tasks add up to 10-15 hours each month. And that isnʼt counting the opportunity cost of all the things that youʼre not doing, like comparison shopping for your insurance coverages, spending time evaluating the charity you are considering a major gift to and making sure that you are adhering to your financial goals on a monthly basis.

In 2006, CFA Magazine predicted that demand for concierge services among financial planning firms was about to soar. Since then, banks and credit card firms have hired concierges to make their offices more customer oriented, especially for wealthy and elderly clients. There's also been growth in small boutique firms dedicated to offering concierge services for anyone who needs them.

The 2008 recession caused a road bump in this (and almost every) industry, but demand is coming back. Whether itʼs the affluent family that is starting to feel confident in spending again, or the trillions of dollars that will be inherited as baby boomers start to leave their wealth to the next generation, people are again reconsidering the time/ money balance.

Most people have a financial advisor, a tax accountant and attorney. But even with quality professionals watching over the big picture, a great deal of precious time is consumed by day to day financial and administrative affairs. A Financial Concierge -- combining trustworthy daily money management with high expertise in managing tangible assets -- can be a powerful tool in to get your time back.

Of course it can be hard to let go of those personal affairs, and trustworthiness is the key to being worry free. Do they outline their fees and services clearly? Do they have a track record with the type of services you need? Are they your advocate in every situation, or can their opinions be swayed by compensation from outside parties? Most
importantly, do they speak with intelligence about details...because attention to detail can be the difference between a cost and an investment.

A Financial Concierge is not something everyone needs, and certainly something that few people have. But it is no longer reserved for the ultra-wealthy. When you add up the hours per week...per month...per year...and picture yourself instead spending more time with family, traveling or getting healthier...it soon makes sense why people have a renewed interest in better ways to preserve the most precious commodity of all: Time.

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    Caitlin Hofherr

    Before founding Alter Ego Concierge, Caitlin Hofherr worked as the director of a lifestyle management and staffing agency in New York, catering to the needs of elite clientele ranging from Fortune 500 CEO’s to today's biggest celebrities. Beginning her career in the fashion industry working in public relations, Caitlin brought unparalleled customer service to the staffing industry, finding the perfect fit for her clients' household needs. Highly regarded by her clients and peers in the industry, Caitlin has taken her expertise to Chicago, establishing Alter Ego Concierge to bring the finest in lifestyle management services. Alter Ego Concierge is Chicago’s premier full service concierge and domestic staffing agency, offering clients the ability to truly maximize their time to live a stress free life. Caitlin is a contributor at Simply Magnificent, the blog for the Ritz Carlton Residences of Chicago, and has been featured on DailyCandy, ABC News Chicago, Chicago Parent, NBC Chicago, and Mommy On A Shoestring Radio. Caitlin lives in, and loves, Chicago.

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