If you have money that you would like to take care of, then you would benefit from financial planning.
Financial planning is important regardless of the amount of money in your possession. Managing your finances is not necessarily about your wealth, but making efficient use of what you have. A financial plan is a comprehensive arrangement of the uses and balances of funds for a period of time. The financial plan will take into account your goals, cash flow, debt, investments, and more.
If you want to feel comfortable with your financial position throughout your lifetime, then you should consider a financial plan. Although it is impossible to know what will happen in the future, a financial plan can simplify the expected, to better prepare you for the unexpected. There is no better time to start than now.
What is a Financial Plan?
A financial plan is a document that looks at an individual’s unique situation and eventually projects their future financial position. Behind these projections are a number of different factors, each of which are unique to the individual’s needs and goals.
What does a Financial Plan account for?
- Cash Flow
- Any other pertinent aspect unique to an individual
Cash flow is an essential aspect of a financial plan. Analyzing your cash flow will give insight to how much money is coming in versus the amount coming out. The financial plan will look many years into the future, adjusting your balance according to you net cash flow each year. Further, the plan will look beyond retirement and determine how much money will be needed for the remainder of your life, after income slows/ceases.
Financial Planning takes into account the debt you have. There are many different types of debt: secured debt, unsecured debt, revolving debt, and mortgages. Whether you have all, none, or only some of these subcategories, a good financial plan will outline how to pay down balances and what effect it will all have in the long run.
Your personal goals are extremely important to consider when financial planning. Goals can be short-term, mid-term, or long-term, but regardless of what they are, starting a financial plan is a step in the right direction. Whether your goals include a large future purchase, gifting money to your children/grandchildren, or simply to start an emergency fund for unforeseen financial needs, we can incorporate them into your financial plan, in order to help you get there!
A financial plan is not a sound one if your individual risks are not taken into consideration. Accounting for risks help in financial planning to answer some of the ‘what ifs’ that loom throughout the plan. Some risks to consider may be inflation risk, life event risk, and interest rate risk. Some risks may be major while other of them minor. Regardless, good financial planning can lessen the impact when one or all of these risks become relevant.
Herein lies the beauty of a financial plan. While there is a general outline for a plan, it can always be tailored further to fit you and your needs. Whether big alterations or small, a financial plan can include anything you need it to. Once a financial plan is set up, change(s) can be made along the way. The plan will show the differences that come about due to the intermediate change(s) made.
How to Start Your Financial Planning Process
Decide what you want to get out of your financial plan. Financial planning allows goals to be unique to you, so decide what you want, and we, as financial planners, will help lay the roadmap to get you there.
Create a Budget
Evaluate your current spending and what you want your future spending to be. Set categorized limitations on spending and do your best to stay within these limits.
Build an Emergency Fund
Save money that is not to be used unless an emergency occurs. Building up this fund will give you peace of mind that you are planning for unforeseen expenses.
Figure out what your current debt balance is, and financial planning will help you develop a strategy for managing and paying down this balance.
Plan for Retirement
Decide how much money you want to have going into retirement and how you are going to get there. Whether that be investing in a qualified plan like a 401k plan, or an Individual Retirement Account, financial planning can help you maintain financial stability after retirement.
Create an Estate Plan
One aspect of financial planning is estate planning (hyperlink to estate planning page on TTG website). Estate Planning explains and implements the passing down of your possessions upon your death.
Weigh the Value of Professional Help
Regardless of your amount of assets in your possession, you should work with a professional when financial planning.
Plan to Revisit Your Plan Regularly
Is Your Financial Planner a Certified Financial Planner?
A good place to start may be: What is Certified Financial Planner (CFP)? Certified Financial Planners receive their designation from the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. These individuals have an expertise in financial planning, taxes, estate planning, and more. CFPs commit to uphold the standards detailed in the Code of Ethics and Standards of Conduct.
A Certified Financial Planner professional must:
- be a fiduciary, always acting in the best interest of the clients.
- act with due care to protect the private information of each client.
- behave in such a way that reflects positively on the certification and the financial planning profession.
- act with honesty and integrity.
- avoid conflicts of interest, but when unavoidable, disclose and manage them.
Talk to us at TTG Financial to learn more information regarding financial planning and how it might work for you.