Simply stated, financial planning puts you in control of your financial life. Unquestionably, financial resources are a prime concern to all of us, regardless of sex, age, marital or career status. Managing these resources effectively is becoming increasingly important in an age when taxes, inflation, the nation’s overall economy and inadequate financial management may lead to uncertain or unanticipated financial futures.
As a result, the relationship you establish with your financial planner is an important one. Financial planners have developed expertise in a number of areas including taxes, investments, risk management, estate planning, and income accumulation. All of these topics and more are vital to your financial planning objectives and, thus, can provide you with a balanced approach to your planning. As you may be aware, financial planners are not permitted to furnish tax or legal advice. We, therefore, encourage you to obtain independent tax and legal counsel as required.
Effective financial planning begins with a realistic assessment of your current financial situation. This entails gathering detailed background information covering all aspects of your financial life. This includes, but is not limited to, information such as income and expenditures, assets and liabilities as well as your individual and/or family financial position.
Once that has been done, financial objectives must be set and plans for meeting those objectives discussed. Stating your financial objectives in a concrete way is a difficult but essential part of the planning process. One reason many plans fail is that financial goals are not described in quantified terms but are vague and vague plans don’t translate into action.
Finally, the plan best suited to help you reach those objectives must be established. This planning stage includes the budgeting of income and expenditures for the near term along with a forecast of future activity. This will give you an idea of future growth and the returns necessary to reach your overall net worth objective.
The next stage of the financial planning process calls for you to set the plan in motion. This may involve the purchase or sale of various assets, changes in your life insurance protection, additional liability coverage, and other possible changes. Keep in mind that, like any process, continual updating and review are necessary to keep you on course and aware of any needed adjustments. By establishing a relationship with an experience and trusted adviser now, you will be in a position to review your situation regularly and to have someone to call upon with questions and concerns.
To your success,
Joe Maas, CFA, AVA, CFP®, ChFC, CLU®, MSFS, CCIM
President of Synergetic Finance