What is a “Financial Plan”?
A financial plan defines your goals and objectives; your hopes and dreams that take finances to achieve, and creates a plan to achieve them. It may involve saving for both short and long term, investing and having adequate insurances to protect you and your family. It should take maximum advantage of the benefits from your employer(s). It also should help you have the necessary legal documents in place to prepare your family in case of emergencies.
And why do you need one?
Do you have hopes and dreams? Will it take money to achieve them? Without a plan to get there, those hopes and dreams are mere fantasies that will never be realized. If you have a plan, you can take the appropriate action and be on your way. Most people spend more time planning a vacation than they spend on planning their financial lives. Don’t be in that group! We can help.
The next question you might ask is, “How do I go about selecting a financial planner to help in this complex endeavor and what might I expect?” Fortunately you won’t be the first to have asked this question!
This paper on Choosing a Financial Planner will go a long way in helping you get started.
Now you’ve started. What’s next?
With the paper above you found out much more about how a financial plan can be an important piece of your life plan, and how a CFP® licensed planning practitioner can help you. Our Planner Search tool can even help you find planners within your geographic area. If you’ve looked at the many choices, you still have some work to do. How do you decide on which of these planners is the best fit for you and your circumstances. To help you in that decision, our profession has come up with a series of questions you might want to ask of the potential planners you have identified. We suggest starting with these 12 Questions as you narrow down your choices.
The most important choice is to find someone with whom you are comfortable. Financial Planning isn’t a “one-off” exercise. You and your planner will work together over many years to help plan and chart your financial future. As your life changes your plan must change, and your CFP® should be with you every step of the way. Ideally, they will be there when you marry, when your children are born, when they graduate, when they marry, when you retire, etc. The best planning relationship is life-long; your planner is a confidante about the things that matter most to you. You work together to navigate a challenging course. Be careful in your choice and the results will be surprisingly satisfying.