Jun 10, 2019 9:12:14 AM / by The Retirement Group
Financial Planning--Helping You See the Big Picture
Do you picture yourself owning a new home, starting
a business, or retiring comfortably? These are a few of the financial goals
that may be important to you, and each comes with a price tag attached.
That's where financial planning comes in. Financial
planning is a process that can help you reach your goals by evaluating your
whole financial picture, then outlining strategies that are tailored to your
individual needs and available resources.
Why is financial planning important?
A comprehensive financial plan serves as a
framework for organizing the pieces of your financial picture. With a financial
plan in place, you'll be better able to focus on your goals and understand what
it will take to reach them.
One of the main benefits of having a financial plan
is that it can help you balance competing financial priorities. A financial
plan will clearly show you how your financial goals are related--for example,
how saving for your children's college education might impact your ability to
save for retirement. Then you can use the information you've gleaned to decide
how to prioritize your goals, implement specific strategies, and choose
suitable products or services. Best of all, you'll have the peace of mind that
comes from knowing that your financial life is on track.
The financial planning process
Creating and implementing a comprehensive financial
plan generally involves working with financial professionals to:
Develop a clear picture of your
current financial situation by reviewing your income, assets, and liabilities,
and evaluating your insurance coverage, your investment portfolio, your tax
exposure, and your estate plan
Establish and prioritize
financial goals and time frames for achieving these goals
Implement strategies that address
your current financial weaknesses and build on your financial strengths
Choose specific products and
services that are tailored to meet your financial objectives
Monitor your plan, making
adjustments as your goals, time frames, or circumstances change
Some members of the team
The financial planning process can involve a number
Financial planners typically play a central role in the process, focusing on your
overall financial plan, and often coordinating the activities of other
professionals who have expertise in specific areas.
Accountants or tax
attorneys provide advice on federal and state tax issues.
Estate planning attorneys help you plan your estate and give advice on transferring and
managing your assets before and after your death.
Insurance professionals evaluate insurance needs and recommend appropriate products and
Investment advisors provide advice about investment options and asset allocation, and
can help you plan a strategy to manage your investment portfolio.
The most important member of the team, however, is
you. Your needs and objectives drive the team, and once you've carefully
considered any recommendations, all decisions lie in your hands.
Why can't I do it myself?
You can, if you have enough time and knowledge, but
developing a comprehensive financial plan may require expertise in several
areas. A financial professional can give you objective information and help you
weigh your alternatives, saving you time and ensuring that all angles of your
financial picture are covered.
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's up-to-date. It's also possible that
you'll need to modify your plan due to changes in your personal circumstances
or the economy. Here are some of the events that might trigger a review of your
Your goals or time horizons
You experience 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
You're affected by changes to the
economy or tax laws
Common questions about financial planning
What if I'm too busy?
Don't wait until you're in the midst of a financial
crisis before beginning the planning 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.
material was prepared by Broadridge Investor Communication Solutions, Inc., and
does not necessarily represent the views of The Retirement Group or FSC
Financial Corp. This information should not be construed as investment advice.
Neither the named Representatives nor Broker/Dealer gives tax or legal advice.
All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however, we make no
representation as to its completeness or accuracy. The publisher is not engaged
in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If other expert
assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a
competent professional. Please consult your Financial Advisor for further
information or call 800-900-5867.
Retirement Group is not affiliated with nor endorsed by fidelity.com,
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Alcatel-Lucent or by your employer. We are an independent financial advisory
group that specializes in transition planning and lump sum distribution. Please
call our office at 800-900-5867 if you have additional questions or need help
in the retirement planning process.
Retirement Group is a Registered Investment Advisor not affiliated with
FSC Securities and may be reached at www.theretirementgroup.com.
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