Financial Planning FAQs
Two times in the last decade, investors were dealt a serious blow in the form of major market corrections. Those that had a comprehensive financial plan were able to avoid making serious mistakes because they already understood the concept of risk and how it may impact their life goals. We believe so strongly that financial planning is the cornerstone of any investment strategy, we give all of our clients their own planning website.
The short answer? It's anything you want it to be.
Financial planning begins as a conversation about what is truly important to you, your values, and what you want to accomplish over your lifetime. Many studies have shown that you have a better chance of reaching goals and realizing your potential if you write them down, or record them in some way. So, the financial planner will use some method of doing so (we use a state-of-the-art web-based platform that gives our clients the opportunity to add and edit much of the information we work with). Once we understand your values and what is important to you, we examine the resources you currently have, including investments, life insurance, and just about anything else that might help you reach your goals.
Then, we develop a plan to fund or protect some of those goals. For example, if you want a secure retirement, we can target specific investment strategies and lifetime income scenarios. If education funding is a major goal, we can develop tax-advantaged strategies to help you get there. Often overlooked is the importance of protecting your current and future income, and making sure there are ways to replace it if something happens to you. Life insurance, health insurance, car insurance, disability insurance, and umbrella coverages can be examined to determine if they are adequate to meet our current and future needs. Long term care funding can be analyzed and planned for. Just about anything important to you, and which can impact you in either positive or negative ways, must be considered in the plan.
There are far too many other important elements of financial planning to mention here. Please give us a call at (855) 786-9584, Option 1, to discuss them with us.
One surefire way to knock a financial plan off course is to realize, too late, that you did not have adequate life, auto, home, health, disability, and other coverages to meet you goals. If you should pass away, will your family have to completely change their standard of living? Will your surviving spouse live in a secure retirement? Will the kids' college education be funded?
What happens if you are unable to continue working due to disability? Will your current plan cover your needs, which include the mortgage, additional healthcare, food, and other necessities? What if someone is injured on your property, or as a result of an auto accident? Will your coverage pull you through, or will your assets be seized in a lawsuit to satisfy the other party? There are many, many potential challenges that can jeopardize a financial plan, and much of it can be avoided by reviewing current coverages.
Few things in our economy increase in cost as much as healthcare each year. And long-term care needs are increasing. A 2014 American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance study revealed that 65% of married women age 65 will need long-term care in their lifetimes. 35% of married men may need it to. Why the difference? More often than not, women are taking care of men who need long-term care, only to find they need it themselves and may not have prepared for it.
Americans are living longer and, as a result, will increasingly need long-term care later in life. By weighing the rate of inflation of such care, and the funding necessary to meet it when you need it, we can develop a plan that will help you find ways to cover some or all of needed care. The plan may, or may not, include using one of the types of insurance products. In any case, a failure to plan invites failure in meeting needs later in life.