Financial Planning

The goal of financial planning is to look at your financial life holistically, identify or clarify your financial goals, and create a financial plan to help achieve your goals. Like many people you probably have competing financial goals that you want to achieve. Financial planning helps to see how your goals are related, prioritize those goals, and identify and evaluate alternative strategies for pursuing them. It is an ongoing process incorporating regular reviews to address changes in your life as well as changes in the economy and markets. Most importantly, financial planning helps you gain the confidence knowing that you have a plan and your financial life is on track.  Some of the areas that financial planning may address include:

Financial Position

Risk Management and Insurance

Investing for My Future

Tax Planning

Retirement Planning

Estate Planning

Special Situations

Financial Position

  • Does my cash flow allow me to 'pay myself first' to save for my short and long term goals?
  • Given my cash flow, is my debt manageable and structured optimally?
  • Am I taking advantage of the long term benefits of systematic savings?
  • Do I review my cash flow and net worth on a regular basis to see that I am on track to meeting my financial goals?

Risk Management and Insurance

  • Have I recognized the different risks to which I am exposed?
  • Did I make an informed decision on the best way address each risk?
  • Will my family be able to maintain our lifestyle if something were to happen to one of the breadwinners?

Investing for My Future

  • Long-term savings and investments form the cornerstone of financial stability. Have I established measurable financial goals and am I saving enough to achieve both short and long term financial goals?
  • Do I have a structured investment process appropriate for my investment objectives, risk tolerance, and time horizon?
  • Do I have a disciplined process for portfolio monitoring and rebalancing to make necessary adjustments based on changes in the risk characteristics of financial markets, changes in my personal circumstances, or simply due to economic and market fluctuations?

Tax Planning

  • Are my investments structured most advantageously from a taxation perspective?
  • Have I considered how tax diversification can benefit me in retirement and am I taking the right steps now to take advantage of it?

Retirement Planning

  • Have I thought about when I want to retire and how much my retirement lifestyle will cost?
  • Am I taking the appropriate steps now to accumulate the wealth to support that lifestyle?
  • Do I understand how Social Security and Medicare fit into my retirement plan?
  • Have I considered how required minimum distributions will affect my retirement income stream and legacy planning?

Estate Planning

  • Do I have basic estate planning documents in place to ensure my wishes are carried out for myself and my family?
  • Are my beneficiary designations current and do I review them regularly?
  • Have I taken steps to address potential estate taxes?
  • Is my family and business protected if something were to happen to me?

Special Situations
Financial planning be particularly helpful in making good decisions when faced with a major life event/transition including:

Employment Change
* Change Employer
* Promotion
* Job Loss
* Retirement

Family Event
* Marriage
* Child Birth or Adoption
* Divorce
*
Death of Family Member
* Inheritance

Small Business Startup or Sale

 

Other Financial Planning Resources

Learn About Financial Planning

Consumer Financial Resources