Having a financial plan in place is just as important – if not more – as your actual investments and acquired wealth. Without a proper plan in place, you could potentially be leaving your assets vulnerable to being lost.
While many Americans invest their money in an effort to build wealth over time, there is often one key factor that isn’t thoroughly thought-out – the reason to invest in the first place.
Everyone has different goals for their wealth and assets, and these goals need to be hammered out at the beginning of any investment endeavor. In addition, financial planning should be conducted at the same time and should follow the journey of the investments themselves.
Financial planning really is more of a process and a journey, rather than a one-time assignment that’s drafted up and filed away somewhere never to be looked at again until the time is right.
Instead, proper and effective financial planning takes carefully considered goals into account and is specifically designed to meet such goals. It’s an ongoing process that involves continual re-evaluations of a person’s financial situation, devising and implementing a plan, and keeping tabs on this plan to make any modifications if warranted. Without this process, it’s highly possible that time and money could be wasted on objectives that may not even end up being right for you.
Everyone is different, and that means everyone’s financial goals and needs are going to vary greatly. As such, financial planning will mean different things to different people. While one individual may be actively building a nest egg for retirement, another may be focused on building home equity. Some may be interested in living debt-free sooner rather than later, while others may want to utilize a financial strategy of investments or tax savings to influence their planning.
Similarly, different people will have different financial backgrounds. Financial planning will take into account an individual’s personal finances, including taxes, insurance, employee benefits, retirement planning, investments, and estate planning. There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to wealth planning and protecting one’s assets.
Each factor in a person’s life needs to be carefully scrutinized in the context of the others. Every financial decision made can potentially have a significant effect on all aspects of a person’s financial life. After the goals and specifics of a person’s finances have been established and detailed, the process of achieving specific financial goals can start with financial planning.
Financial planning is highly flexible and can be adjusted for different people and various financial situations. Some may be apprehensive about solidifying a financial plan, as it can often be mistakenly viewed as a contract written in stone. The truth is, however, that a financial plan remains flexible. Much like life’s circumstances can change at the drop of a hat, so too can a financial plan be altered to reflect such changes.
Consider some of the reasons why a financial plan is a critical component in a person’s financial portfolio:
- Health care costs are increasing at a significantly faster rate than general inflation
- Americans are living 25 years or longer in retirement, prompting the need to properly manage finances to maintain a certain lifestyle in the golden years
- Americans are not getting the retirement funds they may be expecting from employer pension plans or Social Security
- Credit card debt in households is almost $6,000 higher than it was 10 years ago;
- Only 13 percent of workers in the bottom 20 percent of income earners have retirement savings accounts, according to the Federal Reserve.
There are a number of investment options out there, just as there are numerous financial plans available. And like financial plans, investment choices should be carefully matched to meet the needs and circumstances of the individual. This is why it’s imperative to speak with a seasoned financial advisor who is well-versed in devising tailored financial plans for Americans based specifically on their financial position and life-long goals.
At Protect Wealth Academy, we believe that every American deserves to understand everything there is to know about wealth management and estate planning. That’s why we’ve gathered a plethora of resources and made them available for anyone interested in protecting their assets.
To learn more about financial planning and asset management, check out our extensive video library at