What Is Financial Planning?
Like many people, you have probably set some goals for yourself and your family. Maybe you would like to buy a home … send your child/children to college … reduce taxes … take an exquisite vacation … or retire in comfort and confidence. Financial planning is all about getting organized to achieve these larger-than-life goals. It’s much more than just thinking about your retirement; it’s an ongoing process whereby you:
- think about your life now, identify where you are going, and create a financial roadmap that could help get you to your destination;
- identify possible obstacles to achieving your goals, implement strategies that will help overcome those obstacles, and create contingency plans;
- protect your assets with a smart and manageable tax plan, an intentional estate plan, well thought-out life insurance policies, and a clear list of beneficiaries; and …
- continually monitor and adjust the plan, based on your life achievements and experiences.
You can probably do some basic financial planning on your own, but you may want to consider the benefits of working with a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™.
What does a Financial Planner actually do to help you?
You may be very good with managing your day-to-day budget. But you may not have the time, desire or experience to look at your financial life from a higher level and evaluate it for its strengths and weaknesses. That’s where working with an objective, experienced Financial Planner can help. They can walk by you as you:
- Set realistic personal and financial goals;
- Conduct an assessment of your current financial “landscape” by reviewing your assets and liabilities, income and expenses, insurance policies, investments, taxes and estate plan;
- Design a comprehensive plan that meets your needs, considers your tolerance for risk, and that can help you achieve your personal and financial goals;
- Execute your plan and monitor it on a regular basis to see if it is performing well; and
- Make adjustments to your plan when “life happens.”
Why is it important to work with a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™?
A CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ is a professional who has the knowledge, skills and experience to guide you through the ongoing process of making informed and ongoing decisions about your financial life. A CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ has undergone rigorous coursework and has passed industry exams. This rigorous testing, along with their required mandate to take ongoing coursework to stay current in their field, provides evidence that they are competent and meet the high standards of professional and ethical practice.
When searching for an advisor who is objective, experience and trustworthy, you should always start by looking for a financial planner whose credentials carry the ™ mark after their title. This will assure you of their competency and their integrity, and you can be confident that they can help you create and implement a plan that considers your needs and your tolerance for risk.
A CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ is a professional who has the knowledge, skills and expertise to guide you through the ongoing process of making informed and ongoing decisions about your financial life.
When does it make sense to engage in financial planning?
Great question! It is never too soon … or too late … to begin the process of financial planning. Whether you are just starting your career, coming down the home stretch of your career, or are retired, it’s wise to always be in “the process of financial planning.” If you have not started the process yet, here are some life events that may indicate that you will need some expert leadership with your financial planning:
- Saving for retirement … or actually entering into retirement with a 401k plan, IRA or pension;
- Purchasing or selling a home or business;
- Funding your child’s education … or even your own education during your mid-life or later years;
- Inheriting a large amount of money or other unplanned acquisition of assets;
- Preparing for a life change, such as the birth or adoption of a child; an upcoming marriage or divorce; a serious illness; a layoff; a natural disaster;
- Caring for your aging parents.