What is Financial Planning?
Quite simply, financial planning is creating an idea of what you want your financial picture to look like at some time later in life, thinking about and researching the methods of getting there, and then establishing an actual plan of income accumulation to make sure you get there.
One of the keys to ensuring that your financial picture looks like you want it to later in life is to examine a series of goals or objectives and make a determination of which ones will help you reach your plan. Some goals may include:
Accumulating Money for:
- Starting a Business
- Other Personal Goals
Protecting What You Already Have
- Mental health problems
- Unexpected Death
- Long Term Health Care
- Liability Losses
Reducing Income, Estate or Gift Taxes
- During Your Own Life
- At Your Death
Passing on Your Assets
- To Your Spouse
- To Your Children
- To Other Heirs
- To the Government
This list is not inclusive and you may have your own goals that are either consistent or inconsistent with these. The purpose of financial planning is not to judge, but to help you get wherever you are going.
The purpose of this library is to help you and your family understand background information on financial planning, how it works, what your goals can be, what investments can help you meet your goals, whether you need a financial planner and how to find a good one, along with a number of other related issues.
Should You Plan?
As you can see from the list of goals, it does help to undertake some planning, since many goals may conflict with each other.
What should be clear is that financial planning is not just for the extremely wealthy members of our society. In fact, to best help your family, you may need planning even more, since you may have less disposable income with which to make mistakes. Whatever your income level, you ought to consider drafting some financial plan.
Many financial plans are not difficult. In fact, one of the purposes of this website is to help you create a financial plan, either that can serve as your guide for the future, or that you might utilize as a starting point with a financial planner. We are not advocating either method, but we will, later in this site, analyze whether you need a financial planner.
Many financial planning techniques are sophisticated, but surprisingly, many are not. Thus, you will not have to attend summer school, or have a new college degree to create your financial plan, or to at least start thinking about the outline of such a plan.