With all the economic concerns and uncertainty around the world, it is imperative everyone pay very close attention to their personal financial house.
Careful and often extreme attention to one's future financial plan is needed and more important today than, I believe, it has ever been. Unfortunately, many have simply dropped the ball where financial planning is concerned.
A recent Northwestern Mutual survey found that 45 percent of Americans do not have a formal written financial plan, many of them because they approach finances informally or because they have not set financial goals at all.
While there is no specific template for a financial plan, most licensed professionals will include knowledge and considerations of the client's future life goals, future wealth transfer plans and future expense levels. Extrapolated asset values will determine whether the client has sufficient funds to meet future needs and desires.
A comprehensive financial plan can alert you to changes that must be made to ensure a smooth transition through life's financial phases, such as decreasing spending or changing asset allocation. Financial plans should be reviewed regulary, at least once a year and should also be fluid, with occasional updates when financial changes occur.
The first step toward planning your financial future is to understand where you are today, where you want to be tomorrow and when it is, that tomorrow will be.
Next in the process will be to clearly define achievable goals, as this is a crucial part of anyone’s financial plan. A financial goal is the amount of money needed for a specific purchase or service at a definite date. Making goals precise allows you to determine how much you will need to set aside each month and allow you to track your progress.
There are three types of goals: short-term, mid-term and long-term. Short-term goals are achieved in under a year, mid-term in one to five years and long-term in five years or more. Emergency savings, family vacations and home electronics are typical short-term goals. A down payment for a house or for the purchase of a vacation time share is a common mid-term goal. Long-term goals may include saving for retirement and your child’s higher education.
There are a few old saying that come to mind here;
“Nobody Plans to Fail … They Simply Fail to Plan”
“If you don’t know where you are going, you will probably end up somewhere else.”
I cannot state strongly enough how critical goal setting is to the financial planning process.
Goals-based financial planning involves not only defining your goals, but prioritizing them as well. As this will identify and allow for the proper adjustments in the plan if and when needed.
As a licensed professional, my job and passion, is to help folks enjoy their lives more by helping them plan better and invest smarter. And doing that job today is both challenging and rewarding, more than it has ever been.
Why? Because it seems there are more people now who are worried about retirement than ever before. Many are confused, scared and have lost confidence that they can have the future they dreamed of. Well, I believe I can help, as I have recently introduced a new service I believe will help my clients feel better about their retirement; including determining how their recent investment losses have impacted it.
It is called Retirement Lifestyle Planning.
I believe; A Retirement Lifestyle Plan will help my clients clearly identify and prioritize all their financial and retirement goals and determine how they may maximize their chances of attaining them, even after suffering investment losses. Creating your own personal Retirement Lifestyle Plan is easy and will only take a few hours of your time. I am confident it will help you feel more secure today and improve your chances for an enjoyable retirement.
If you or someone you know would be interested in learning more, I would encourage you to give my office a call 724-260-5492
Investment Advice is offered through E S Yetman Advisors, LLC
A Pennsylvania Registered Investment Advisor