Financial Planning: The Big Picture Part Three

Here’s the final installment of my blog series on Financial Planning Basics.  It includes a few of the most common asked questions regarding financial planning.  Please feel free to contact me at any time should you require assistance or have specific questions regarding your specific situation.

Staying on Track

The financial planning process doesn’t end once your initial plan has been created. Your plan should generally be reviewed at least once a year to make sure that it continues to meet your needs.   Often, changes with your personal circumstances or shifts in the economy dictate modifications to your plan.  Here are a few events that might trigger a change of your financial plan:

•    Your goals or time horizons change
•    A life-changing event such as marriage, the birth of a child, health problems, or a job loss
•    You have a specific or immediate financial planning need (e.g., drafting a will, managing a distribution from a retirement account, paying long-term care expenses)
•    Your income or expenses substantially increase or decrease
•    Your portfolio hasn’t performed as expected
•    You’re affected by changes to the economy or tax laws

Common Questions About Financial Planning

What if I’m too busy?
Successful people are typically busy.  However, proper financial planning should be a priority.  Don’t wait until you’re in the midst of a financial crisis before beginning the process. The sooner you start, the more options you may have.

Is the financial planning process complicated?
Each financial plan is tailored to the needs of the individual, so how complicated the process will be depends on your individual circumstances. But no matter what type of help you need, a financial professional will work hard to make the process as easy as possible, and will gladly answer all of your questions.

What if my spouse and I disagree?
A financial professional is trained to listen to your concerns, identify any underlying issues, and help you find common ground.

Can I still control my own finances?
Financial planning professionals make recommendations, not decisions. You retain control over your finances. Recommendations will be based on your needs, values, goals, and time frames. You decide which recommendations to follow, then work with a financial professional to implement them.

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