Financial Planning: Achieve What Matters Most

Having a well thought-out financial plan is the essential stepping stone to achieving your financial and life goals. But, the plan itself should be part of an ongoing process that aligns your daily decisions with a clear map of your future. Through a comprehensive financial planning process, you are able to clarify your goals, digging into the details that make them truly achievable. Then, you use your financial plan as a guide, giving you the means to measure progress and make adjustments. It is a process that places you in control and gives you the ability to move forward confidently.

But, not all financial planning is created alike.

To start, details do make a difference. If you were looking to buy a home, you would provide the real estate agent with more than a price range and area of town. You take the time to identify a style, the number of bedrooms, the size of the garage, acreage, and many other preferences. You may need to work out family differences of opinion. Then, you would prioritize what is important. It becomes a collaborative effort between you and the real estate agent to find the best fit. The same rings true in financial planning.

Setting the Course to Actionable Insights

The caliber of financial plan depends on clearly identifying what you want to achieve with specific goals and a vision for you and your family. Taking the time to establish goals that are specific, realistic, meaningful and measurable provides you with a solid foundation. You build a clearer picture of your future, free from complexity and inconsistencies. You create a plan that will guide your decisions, enabling you to answer questions important to you:

  • When I retire (at the age you specify), will I have enough money to maintain my current standard of living?
  • What will be my cash flow given what I want to do in retirement?
  • What do I need to do now to prepare for my future?
  • If something should happen to me, will my family be secure?
  • Am I prepared for my children’s educational expenses?
  • How will I transfer my wealth to my children?
  • How can I support the charities that are important to me?
  • How can I transition my business or practice?
  • Or, all of the other questions that matter to your specific circumstances.

An Integrated View

Another critical component is to ensure that your plan is comprehensive. This process should go beyond investments to include: taxes, estate planning, health benefits, life insurance, long-term care insurance, business owner planning, college funds, parental care, retirement, charitable giving and legacy planning, to name a few. The plan should embrace your personalized investment philosophy, building a portfolio that suits your risk tolerance and maximizes your real return. To create this personal plan, it should incorporate a detailed analysis of your resources, lifestyle preferences, philanthropic goals and family needs. A good financial plan brings together all of these disparate parts to give you the complete view of your financial situation.

Living the Plan

Time and effort should be dedicated to develop a thoughtful lifestyle spending plan. This incorporates an in-depth analysis of all of the important variables of your personal situation. Using your clearly defined vision, the financial planning process then focuses on maximizing your cash flow, income and assets. This involves evaluating your current position and determining whether you are on the right path to reaching your goals. Do your current financial decisions match your values for your life? With insight into your spending habits, you are able to align your current actions with your priorities and defined goals.

Removing Obstacles to Success

With a clear financial plan in place, you are able to remove the obstacles that can take you off track and are not consistent with achieving your goals. Often times, noise is created in the media about the markets. Television and print media use the news to attract an audience. They may imply a clear cause-and-effect relationship for essentially random results, As humans, we have a tendency to look for predictable patterns, even when they do not exist. This leads to spending an inordinate amount of time and energy in this futile endeavor. You avoid this when you have thought out your investment philosophy and have a detailed financial plan in place. You are able to make confident choices that optimally support your future goals and remove the noise of the media from influencing your decisions. Your plan empowers your to make the right decisions by removing the uncertainty and provides peace of mind.

Taking the Next Steps

Navigating all of the details necessary to develop a comprehensive financial plan takes expertise and experience. A Certified Financial Planner®, like all of the advisors at Wealth Dimensions Group, works in your best interest. It is also important to understand the differences between financial services firms. For instance, our services are provided on a fee basis, eliminating conflicts of interest inherent with many “financial advisors” and empowering us to provide you with personalized financial strategies. Our advice is solely based on your situation and needs, where you are today and where you want to be. We believe it’s our fiduciary responsibility to you to operate independently without investment product affiliations or limitations.

Building a clear path toward your financial goals relies on having a plan. Success results directly from actions taken to reach specific goals. By replacing good intentions with good decisions based on in-depth analysis of your financial situation and a defined vision, you are able to gain clarity, security and freedom the life you want and deserve.

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