Why a Financial Plan is Important
Explore the top five reasons you need a documented, living, accessible plan for your financial future.
The Financial Plan
Sure, most of us think about retirement and leverage or have leveraged a 401(k) and other investment options or high-level planning to help get us there. But as you introduce your family and their financial health into the equation, a career change or job loss, owning a business, building an estate plan, or maximizing your charitable giving, your financial future can become a bit blurry.
That’s where a formal financial plan can help: Providing clarity in one of the most important aspects of your life—your financial well-being. So here are the top 5 reasons to explore and document your financial goals and challenges (and how to pursue those goals) in a formal plan.
1. Encourage healthy financial habits: Developing a formal plan requires you to match your assets (and future income) with your financial goals and dreams. As with many other things in life, those with a plan tend to develop the habits needed to make it happen. As a result, those goals and dreams are more likely to become reality.
2. Pinpoint your cash-flow needs: We all have various financial needs that must be met, and those change as we move through life’s various stages. A formal plan ensures you fully understand your needs and your budget and what adjustments are required, if any, to ensure you are able to live your preferred lifestyle.
3. Plan for life’s major events or purchases: Yes, retirement planning is often paramount, and achieving your optimal retirement age is something that must be carefully thought through. But what about a child’s or grandchild’s education, purchasing a retirement home or selling a business? These goals require preparation and intentionality. A documented plan can surface a milestone that may be two or three decades away, so you can address it now.
4. Transfer your wealth with confidence: Giving away your money to your family or other loved ones is not as easy as you think. A formal plan can shed light onto the planning needed to help minimize the tax burden to your heirs and maximize the wealth that is transferred. Likewise, it can identify the need for a trust or other entity to ensure that your wealth passes to your beneficiaries when and how you prefer.
5. Deliver peace of mind: A living, documented plan is a guiding reference point for you and your wealth advisor. As your priorities change, so can your plan, and it can be a discussion guide as you navigate life’s hurdles. You and your spouse may decide that you would like to share your plan with your children, so they understand your vision as you progress through your senior years. Additionally, this provides you with an organic opportunity to encourage them to get their own financial plan in place.