February 2024 Newsletter: Hot Topics

Topics That Have Come Up In Our Meetings Lately As CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERS™

January was a cold month, let’s warm up with some of the “hot” topics that have been brought up in our meetings over the last month. (And with this sentence, I have officially used my allotted financial planner cheesiness for the whole year!)

Headshot of Sara Kate Garman, Certified Public Accountant at Hess Financial

Sara Kate Garman


As we navigate 2024’s election year, investors may feel uneasy. It’s worth sharing Stephan’s timeless reminder, “It’s time in the market, not timing the market that matters.” Historical trends have shown minimal impact on long-term investments, regardless of election results. The common pitfall? Sitting on the sidelines. Though he reinforces past performance can’t predict the future, hopefully, his reminder offers some reassurance this season. As elections unfold, remember our advisors share – it’s often about enduring trends, not fleeting moments.

Headshot of Kevin Flint, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ at Hess Financial

Kevin Flint


There have been a lot of headlines recently about inflation cooling so we’ve gotten a lot of questions about why prices of groceries, houses, etc. aren’t coming down. As the inflation rate slows, this just means that prices are still going up, just at a slower pace. Although we’ve seen good progress on inflation (~9% a couple of years ago vs. ~3% now), the reality is that cost of living for all of us is still increasing. This means that it remains critically important that your investment and budget strategies continue to be adapted to a world where our favorite things still cost more than they used to.

Headshot of Stephan Hess, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ at Hess Financial

Stephan Hess


Financial Anxiousness is always a hot topic. According to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, financial security fits in the second group after food, water, and shelter. Many people, including myself, have struggled with financial anxiousness. One positive to this is that it often motivates people to prioritize savings and living within in their means. The downside is that it unnecessarily takes up real estate in our heads and can negatively affect our general peace of mind. Many people seek refuge in avoidance, but over my career, people do much better by looking directly at their finances. It’s way more effective and it is typically not as bad as you think.

Headshot of Derek Hess, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ at Hess Financial

Derek Hess


We’ve had a few conversations with clients lately about downsizing or moving into retirement communities. As people get older and retire, they typically want to spend their time on the activities that give them the most happiness, like traveling and being around family. Maintaining a larger home and yard are things that people want to let go of, with quality of life and convenience often times becoming much more important. It’s never a bad idea to consider alternatives, and we always enjoy helping our clients make big life decisions like these and figuring out what’s important to them now.

Road Mapping 2024 With A Financial Planner

Looking to take control of your finances and achieve your financial goals this year?

In this month’s blog, Derek Hess, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, including hot topics, current market updates, 2024 financial road mapping and more. gives some tips about mapping your year!