What Is Financial Planning And Why Do I Need It?
How many times have you taken a trip to somewhere new without having a plan or directions? My guess would be never. So why would you treat your life differently?
Financial planning is the process of assessing where you are today, determining what is important that you wish to accomplish, making assumptions and predictions along the way, and mapping out a path to get you where you want to go. Rather than just letting life happen to you, financial planning helps you take control and create intention and thoughtfulness around your financial decisions.
When you make financial decisions within the context of your financial plan, you better understand the impact of those decisions. Financial planning is NOT about pinching pennies. Rather it is about making informed decisions with your money, allowing you to enjoy the present while planning for the future.
A financial plan is just about investments, right? Simply put…No.
While your investments play an important role in your planning, there is much more to it. Financial planning covers topics such as:
- Financial wellness – Net worth, cash flow, debt maintenance
- Goal prioritization and planning
- Retirement planning
- College planning
- Estate planning
- Tax Planning
- Insurance Planning
What Are The Benefits Of Having A Financial Plan?
A good financial plan begins with determining what is most important to you. Everyone will have a different answer to that question. Fortunately, there are no right or wrong answers!
For example, you may want to provide a strong foundation for your children’s future. In that case, creating a college savings plan to avoid them graduating with a large student loan burden may be at the top of your list.
Or perhaps you want to ensure your loved ones are provided for in the case an unfortunate event occurs. Estate planning and insurance planning may be at the top of your list, providing you and your family the comfort of knowing they will be taken care of financially if something tragic were to occur.
Ultimately, a financial plan should leave you feeling informed about every area of your financial life, but there will be certain areas that are of utmost importance. Benefits include, but are not limited to:
- An understanding of your short-term and long-term financial outlook
- Likelihood of achieving financial goals
- Planning strategies to improve your financial situation
- An investment strategy aligned with you financial plan
- An advisor proactively looking out for opportunities and threats to your financial situation
- A framework from which to make intentional financial decisions
- Time, peace of mind and confidence knowing you have a financial professional looking out for your best interest!
You should realize and accept that your priorities will change over time. Life is comprised of different stages and unexpected events. Financial planning is about making informed decisions every step of the way.
How Does Investing Fit Into The Picture?
Investing is an important piece of planning for the future. Please note that investing may need to take a backseat to more important priorities such as creating an emergency fund, paying off debt, or meeting other short-term needs. However, once you are ready to invest, your investment plan should go hand in hand with your financial plan.
Investing is not necessarily about maximizing your return. In order to achieve maximum returns you have to take increased risk, which may not be appropriate for you. Rather, it is about having your investments aligned with your financial goals. It is about understanding what is needed to achieve certain objectives and making sure that your investments are allocated appropriately and in accordance with your risk tolerance.
Is Financial Planning A One Time Event?
Life is unpredictable, which is why your financial plan should be viewed as a work in progress that will require continuous monitoring and adjustment. Your life will change, your priorities will change and your goals will change. The assumptions and predictions made today are bound to change over the years (no one can predict market returns and inflation for the next 40 years!). And on top of all that, life has a way of throwing curve balls that you never could have anticipated. However, by having a financial plan you will be better equipped to handle those unexpected events because you will have a frame of reference from which to make important decisions.
At Crest Wealth Advisors, financial planning is at the heart of what we do. Our goal is to help people be more thoughtful and intentional about their financial decisions, allowing you to enjoy the present while planning for the future.
If you think you could benefit from a financial planning relationship, then Schedule a Call Today!
Disclaimer: This article is provided for general information and illustration purposes only. Nothing contained in the material constitutes tax advice, a recommendation for purchase or sale of any security, or investment advisory services. I encourage you to consult a financial planner, accountant, and/or legal counsel for advice specific to your situation. Reproduction of this material is prohibited without written permission from Jason Dall’Acqua, and all rights are reserved.