Financial Planning Process

You might think the financial planning process to be some standardized A to Z formula for mapping your financial future. However, having been a purveyor of the financial planning process for the past 26 years, I can assure you there’s no one-size-fits-all solution.

While the practice of establishing short and long-term objectives and constructing a plan to meet those objectives is the essence of the financial planning process, its actual implementation on behalf of an individual or family would differ measurably than the process for say a business, a non-profit organization, or a pension plan.

With regard to a family, the financial planning process might incorporate retirement planning; where specific goals are set, such as age of retirement, whether or not to maintain a home mortgage post employment, the monthly income need, etc.

For college funding, the financial planning process would entail targeting specific schools, assessing current costs, factoring inflation and determining how much in terms of periodic investing would be required to secure an education at the desired institution.

For the purchase of a new home, the financial planning process would typically involve determining the family’s current debt to income ratio, how much the budget allows in terms of a monthly mortgage payment, the length of the mortgage, pre-qualification, and the securing of the down payment…

With regard to a business, the financial planning process might deal with the establishment of a working operating agreement and succession plan where a buy/sell arrangement and the mechanisms for it’s funding is established.

For pensions, the financial planning process would address the objectives of the employer (how to present the plan in a light that enhances its relations with its people and the public at large) as well as those of the employee (how to maximize one’s personal retirement account)…

In a nutshell, the financial planning process is any system in which the financial affairs of an individual, family or institution are organized for the purpose of moving from the present to a desired future…

An Independent View: Financial Planning Process and Your Advisor

Selecting the right advisor can so materially impact your future that I strongly suggest you take the time to interview several, narrow your search to the few with whom you’re most comfortable – provided they have extensive experience and have obtained the CFP and/or ChFC designations – then be sure to obtain and follow up with referrals before deciding whom you’ll work with in the years ahead. Here’s a list of the services we provide [].

Customizing Your Financial Planning Process

The right advisor will help you map the course of action, specific to your circumstances, that will give you the highest probability of acheiving your most important financial goals…


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