Goal: Your Fourth Number

I’ve already posted about your First, Second, and Third Numbers.

Here’s your fourth number:
You need $2,000 to put a lawyer on retainer.

  • You’ll pay out $500, give or take, to have the lawyer on retainer.
  • Put the rest of the money in a high-interest bearing account – SEPARATE from your other accounts.
  • This is the hired gun that is going to provide you with CPA’s, help with companies (insurance, banking, credit card), help with wills, help with trusts, help with problems with your neighbors, help with your landlord, help with the police, etc.
  • By the time you realize you need a lawyer, it’s already too late. That’s why you need one on retainer.
  • You might think you know enough about The Law. That’s you’re first clue that a) you’re dangerously wrong and b) you need to put a professional on retainer.
  • SHOP AROUND! This is going to be one of the top three most important professionals you will ever hire. Often, this person will be more important than your doctor. Make sure you get references. If you’ve got a good one, make sure you give out this lawyer’s business card as references.
  • Keep your lawyer’s emergency phone number in your cell phone’s memory.
  • Keep your lawyer’s emergency phone number memorized. You’ll need it if you get arrested. Or worse, sued.
  • You will use your lawyer to recommend other professionals (CPA’s, other specialist lawyers, etc). These recommended professionals are less likely to screw with you because a) It’ll ruin their reputation with a lawyer who can then b) sue them out of existence in court and c) ensure they never get another client from your lawyer or anyone else your lawyer does business with.
  • Meet with your lawyer AT LEAST once a year to go over your finances, housing, review the performance of your lawyer-recommended professionals (he or she will want to know if the CPA they recommended treated you well or screwed you — it means an increase or decrease in their own money!), any issues you’re having with your insurance companies, any issues you’re having with your doctors. It’s also a good time to bring up any questions you’ve written down. After all, you’re paying by the hour. Rehearse this meeting! Practice what you will do and say. Come prepared. See if your lawyer is OK with you recording it. Make sure your lawyer is OK with putting his or her answers in writing (if not, find a new lawyer pronto).
  • That other $1500 I talked about above? You’ll need that to help pay your lawyer to get your butt out of jail, deal with the shady tactics the people suing you will use (yeah, they will wait until the absolute last moment to serve court papers on you with fair certainty that you, a non-lawyer, will screw it up in the rush to get it done), and convince that talented CPA that you really are serious about following her advice. (Many talented professionals have an up-front consultation fee to weed out the goofballs. You don’t want to be a goofball.)

That’s your GOAL for your Fourth Number.

Next, I’ll talk about your Fifth Number.

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