The Financial Planning Process
It is essential that all of us have some goals in life. Short-term goals include a good job, great career, and small investments. Long-term goals include buying a house, children’s education, retirement policies, etc. The financial planning process is one of the most crucial decision of one’s life. If you start planning early, you can get out of a financial mess that can arise later in life. It is very common to spend more than what you earn. Of course, there are facilities, like credit cards, buy now pay later schemes, installments, etc.
which compel one to overlook their finances. At the end of the month, when bills keep pouring in your mail boxes, you find yourself in a sticky situation. And this mounting bill payment adds a semi-colon to your long-term dream of owning your own house. Sometimes, medical emergencies also forces you to dig into your children’s education fund. Marriage plans for your only daughter? You borrow some money from your retirement fund. There goes the trip to Egypt, you have planned all those years!
The answer to all the above mortifying financial situations is ‘Financial Planning’. The financial planning process helps give a direction to your financial decisions. It helps you decide various investments that can bail you out of your financial problems. For example, investment in mutual funds may help you repay the loan or save enough for your retirement. Once your financial goals are set, it helps make your life more secure and flexible for any financial emergency that may arise.
You can carry out your own financial planning process by taking guidance from self-help books, newspapers, magazines, the Internet, or discussing your financial needs with your spouse. If you feel, you can’t handle it yourself, then opt for a professional financial planner. This Buzzle article, will help explain process related to financial planning.
Six Steps of Financial Planning Process
It is important to be well versed with the entire process of financial planning. This will help you plan major updates of your life as well as unseen occurrences. It is you who needs to be in control of your finances, not the other way round.
Establish Mutual Relation
Develop a relationship of trust and respect with your financial planner. The purpose is to help both parties know what is to be expected. During this stage, the services that the financial planner will offer you should be discussed in detail. It is also the right time to decide how will the financial planner be compensated for his/her services. You can also come to a decision as to who will keep a track of the finances once invested.
The financial planner will meet you and discuss your financial situation. You should come to a mutually agreed goal regarding your financial and personal goals. You should decide the time period and the expected results from your investments. You should be made aware of all the risks, if any, involved. The financial planner should help you make the financial goals, which can be made possible from utilizing your current income into savings and investment program.
Estimation and Assessment of Current Financial Status
Your current financial situation should be assessed by your financial planner to decide the plan of action. This may include estimation of your current assets, liabilities, and cash flow. The insurance coverage, investments, and tax strategies are also considered.
Presenting Recommendations and Alternatives
The financial planner should prepare an investment program based on the information provided by you regarding your financial goals. The planner should explain the recommendations and inform you about all the minor details. This will help you decide your financial move. He should also be able to come up with alternatives, if you are not satisfied with the recommendations offered.
Execution of Financial Planning Recommendations
The planner becomes your guide during the implementation of the recommendations of the financial goals. He takes decisions on your behalf and coordinates with your attorney and stockbrokers.
Management and Auditing Financial Plan
You and your planner should decide who will keep a track of your investments. If your planner is in charge, he should give you periodic reports on your financial situation. If there are any sudden changes in your life, he should be able to give you alternatives for the same.
It is wise to set goals, which are achievable during the financial planning process. If you understand the importance of becoming financially stable, planning for the future will become very easy. You should take into consideration all the possibilities that can affect your life due to your financial decisions. It is good to start early in life and not wait till you near retirement age. You should get over the notion that the financial planning process is for rich people.
Investments should not be considered as financial planning. You should be in charge of your money and monitor it at every step. It is wise to plan your finances according to your income. Better be well-prepared financially, before a crisis comes barging at your door. In this unpredictable world, it is best to have a safe financial security, not just for yourself, but for the future of your whole family.