Do you have life goals? Hopes and dreams you hope to achieve before you die? What are they? Will it take money to realize these ambitions? Without a plan in place, these hopes and dreams will remain just, fantasies that failed to become realizations. Once you have a plan though, you can take the proper action and course corrections needed to accomplish these objectives. A sad fact is that far too many people spend more time planning their meals than they do planning their financial lives. With the proper plan in place, you can set achievable goals along the way to ensure you do what you set our to do.
Often, the term “financial plan” conjures images of monocles and polo, or a broker in a three-piece-suit screaming “Diversify! Diversify! Diversify!” into the phone. In reality, a financial plan is for everyone – even those who may not have a lot of “finances.” No matter how much money you have – or don’t have – everyone needs a financial plan. The good news is that it does not have to be overwhelming and can be a simple formula that, with discipline, can result in a future of which you can be proud.
A financial plan at its most modest is a path to reach your goals – financial or otherwise. Many people want to earn and have more money, but money should not the only means to realizing your dreams. You require a financial plan to reach your life goals, but money is just the means to that end.
What are your goals, by the way? Do you want to retire early and travel? Are you burdened with credit card payments and want to live debt free? These are not only common goals, these are life goals. And they require a financial plan to meet them. Consider where you are today and where you want to be tomorrow. It is the financial plan just connects these two dots.
Financial Planning is a regimen which includes all facets of personal finance, including planning for education, retirement, investment, taxes, insurance, and your estate. It is a necessity to define your financial goals and develop strategies for reaching those goals.
What Is Financial Planning?
A financial plan is a complete overview of your financial standing and goals in the form of an assessment of your economic goals and current finances. You begin by considering aspects like assets, debts and net worth. Then with that information, you decide the next steps needed to take charge of your financial goals.
Financial plans stretch over time, enabling you for long term success. Whether it be estate planning, savings, or family goals, it needs to be included in your financial plan. Through small steps, like having a monthly savings goal or paying off a credit card, your financial plan can lead to much better preparation for your future.
A financial plan defines your goals and objectives and helps identify how your hopes and dreams can come to fruition. It should involve saving for both short and long-term situations, making smart investments, and possessing acceptable insurances for the protection of you and your family. It should take full advantage of the benefits from your employer and it should help you have the essential legal documents in place to prepare for emergencies.
You must remember, financial planning is a process and not a product. It is the long-term technique of sensibly handling your finances, so you can accomplish your goals and dreams while, at the same time, overcome the financial obstacles that always seem to come up in everyday life. For you to create a sound financial plan, goals must first be set. Information is then collected to examine and appraise your financial standing. Once this is done, your plan can be established and put into play. The final step is to monitor the plan on an ongoing basis and make any adjustments or course corrections needed along the way.
Why Is Financial Planning Important?
Financial planning is important because it shows you how you are going to spend the later years of your life. Do you want to struggle and live social security check to social security check? Or do you see yourself spending your golden years in comfort?
Financial Planning has many intentions to consider before you can take the next steps. In order for you to put together this important roadmap, you must determine your capital requirements by assessing needs, assets, and short and long-term goals. You will need to determine your capital structure by analyzing debt to equity ratio and your net worth. Framing financial policies with regards to cash control, lending, borrowings, etc., will be a vital process in the construction of your financial plan. In fact, financial planning is a process of framing objectives, policies, procedures, programs, and budgets to ensure effective and suitable financial and investment policies.
In short, financial planning reduces uncertainty with regards to ever-changing market conditions, rising inflation, and personal circumstances. This helps ensure stability you can count on.
Who Can Benefit From Financial Planning Services?
How do you know if you could benefit from the services of a financial planner? You may not have the expertise, time, or the inclination to actively plan and manage certain financial aspects of your life. You may want help getting started to understand the importance of what a solid financial plan can mean for your future.
Making sure your money will last during retirement or rolling over a retirement plan are daunting aspects to consider. With a solid financial plan you are best prepared for life events like marriage or divorce, planning for the birth or adoption of a child, caring for aging parents or a disabled child, coping financially with the death of a spouse or close family member, or even facing a financial crisis such as a serious illness, layoff, or natural disaster. These things do happen and, if they don’t, it just makes sense to be ready. Procrastination is the greatest enemy of financial independence and it is important that you do not succumb to it.
Get Started With Financial Planning Today
When it comes to planning for the future, you may not even know where to begin. A financial plan can help you harmonize your everyday requirements against your long-term goals and increase the probability of a secure retirement. It also has the potential to introduce you to a way to help achieve a retirement income you cannot outlive.
The greatest tool – or the most detrimental handicap – to financial planning is time. The sooner you begin your path to financial freedom, the more time your financial plan has to pay off.
Where do you want to be in one year? What about five or 20 years? Create your own life goals and dreams. For now, it’s not about whether you’ll have the money or not. Don’t forget, money is a tool to reach your goals. Think about what you want and where you want to be, separate the steps, prioritize them, and then make it happen!
HeartStone Advisors can help. With over sixty years in the financial services industry, we’ve seen it all. We specialize in handling the financial planning needs of a variety of clients and know we can help you realize your dreams. Regardless of your net worth or the level of your financial situation, HeartStone brings an equal amount of care and attention to all of our clients.
Give us a call today and let us show you how we can help you plan for you and your family’s future.