Over 40 years ago Paul coined the phrase “A financial plan without a concept is like a ship without a rudder. It will never get anywhere except by accident”. It was true then and even more so today.
Financial planning creates an ongoing living process that should reduce your stress about money, support your current needs, and build a nest egg for pre or post retirement.
We will nudge you to answer questions about your income, spending, and goals. The living plan will help determine how much money you’ll need to reach those goals, then guide you through the steps you need to take to get there.
Planning creates a roadmap to your finances, potentially maximizing each dollar no matter how many you have. Equally important, a living financial plan serves three very important functions:
First, it becomes a living report card. as needed we can revise the financial plan and ask the questions such as; "How are we doing? Did we meet the goals we had set for the last year? Are we ahead or behind target and were there any changes that require us to update the plan?".
Second, we can use the financial plan as a stress test system, creating scenarios specifically designed to stress your finances and uncovering under what circumstances will your plan fail and what we can do about it right now to mitigate those undesirable outcomes.
Finally, a properly laid out financial plan can create a license for our client to feel more comfortable spending some of their assets on living benefits. Such examples are buying that vacation home they always wanted or helping a grandchild graduate from college.
For our typical client financial planning is less about figuring out how to save for the future and much more about stress testing the existing finances to to help determine if they are adequate for the client’s future financial needs, and creating a license for the client to feel more comfortable with enjoying some of the benefits their accumulated assets can provide. As we always say, “you spent your life saving for a rainy day, now it’s pouring outside" what are you waiting for?
Steps to Financial Planning
Think broadly about your life goals and what you need financially to achieve them.
What’s your net worth — that is, the value of your cash, investments, and other assets versus your debts? How much cash is coming in and going out? The money you spent last year, where did it go? What did you spend on groceries, what did you spend eating out and going on vacations?
Contrast your goals with the data about your income, expenses, and net worth. Don’t be disheartened. Remember, you’re mapping how to get from where you are now to where you want to be.
Examining, Building, and following a budget is a common immediate step. Reducing credit card debts or other high-interest debts is a typical medium-term plan that can unlock long-term savings growth. Life stages will dictate things such as if you’re nearing retirement. You want to think about when you want to retire, and how to make the money last. If you’re a millennial, you need to start doing something now about retirement savings if you haven’t started.
Set realistic goals and check in on each of them often.
Financial planning isn’t a static process it’s a living thing, and you may need to make adjustments depending on how you’re progressing. Life interventions such as preparations for retirement, the birth of a baby, and emergency health situations are common times when financial plans need to be updated.
We combine the process of financial planning with all the other services and modules we provide for our family of clients from tax planning and retirement planning, to estate planning and asset management. By synchronizing all these financial facets of your life we create a living holistic financial plan.
We make it as easy as we can for you. After collecting some basic information (the hardest part of your personal engagement) we will create and maintain a living financial plan. All you have to do is keep us in touch with any significant changes in your life.
The drafting and maintenance of a comprehensive financial planning is a time consuming process. As a component of our Investment Management Services offering, comprehensive financial planning is included at no additional charge. This is our holistic approach to wealth management.
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