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The pace and complexity of managing modern finances may leave some people unprepared to achieve a successful financial future. If you're feeling less than confident about your future having a well-prepared financial plan can help put you in control.
To manage your income and expenses effectively throughout your lifetime, consider partnering with your financial advisor, who has the experience to help you create a plan that strategically addresses your unique goals and needs.
Financial planning pulls together all your finances, and organizes them to help make management easy and effective. The more you understand and better manage your wealth, the more prepared you are for your goals and dreams.
Creating a financial plan will help you:
Your Partner in Planning
Creating an effective financial plan takes time, know-how, and experience. Even if you're using popular consumer financial tools, planning on your own may be overwhelming and frustrating. By consulting with a financial advisor who has daily professional experience, you can reduce your workload and ensure your plan is comprehensive and based on current trends and data.
When you partner with a professional, you'll gain:
The key to creating a successful financial plan is ensuring it covers your current and future financial needs. To determine your particular needs, spend time with your financial advisor considering your options, defining your goals, and evaluating your resources.
The following are some common areas to consider when planning your financial future.
Cash flow is a cornerstone in developing a comprehensive financial plan. Identifying what your spending habits are now will help us identify what your cash flow needs in retirement will be. Failing to have a clear picture of your bills and expenses can dramatically reduce your ability to meet your financial objectives.
Fundamental to building a secure, manageable future is saving for the unexpected as well as the expected. Saving is easier if you "pay yourself first" and build automatic savings into your budget.
Risk can take many forms: illness, accident, liability, and natural disasters, to name a few. Failing to manage risk properly can jeopardize your financial future. That's why smart financial planning evaluates the various levels and types of insurance you carry to make sure they're aligned with your overall goals and needs. In many cases, insurance can also be used effectively as an alternative revenue stream and a hedge against inflation and riskier types of investments. Life insurance policies contain exclusions, limitations, and reductions of benefits, and terms for keeping them in force. Your financial professional can provide you with costs and complete details.
The costs of education for children and grandchildren can be staggering and are seemingly always on the rise. Education is often one of the larges expenses families incur. Arm yourself with current information about the variety of proactive educational savings vehicles that can help you plan your funding goals while managing exposure to big surprises or long-term debt.
Social Security benefits, employer-sponsored plans, and personal retirement savings including investments, IRAs, and annuities typically combine to compose the retirement income for most Americans. Deciding which retirement choices will serve you best can be daunting, but your financial professional can guide you to the options that will help support and enhance our overall investment and tax strategies.
Your legacy is in your hands. Only through diligent monitoring can you be assured your assets will be transferred effectively and according to your wishes to the people and charities you care about most. Establishing trusts, regularly reviewing your legal documents and beneficiary designations, and examining tax implications for survivors are vital to establishing a plan that provides you and your loved ones with greater confidence and security.
Let your advisor know you want the potential benefits of financial planning for you and your loved ones, and schedule an appointment to begin the process.
The more information you provide your advisor, the better. Even if you drop off a box filled with your essential financial records, that's often enough to allow your advisor to start creating your customized financial plan.
Once your plan has been created, you and your advisor will review it regularly to help you stay on track toward your goals. As life changes, so does your financial situation. Your financial advisor will strategize with you to help you address these changes and keep you on the path to financial success.
These days, investing in financial markets is a common practice. Yet, many Americans remain under-informed about how various investment products really work. Want to know how you rank? Challenge yourself with our brief quiz, "Test Your Investment IQ."