The Personal Financial Planning Process
The Personal Financial Planning Process Identifies Financial Goals and Objectives And Creates A Plan For Achieving Them
The financial planning process is very individual and personal. Financial planning should focus on all the psychological and financial factors that may have an impact on your financial goals and objectives. In short, personal financial planning provides you with a long-term strategy for your financial future, taking into consideration every aspect of your financial situation and how each affects your ability to achieve your goals and objectives.
Personal financial planning can help you construct the foundation on which to build a secure financial future. Through six distinct steps in the financial planning process, financial planners help you:
1. Clarify your present situation by collecting the facts.
At MFA, we will assess all relevant personal and financial data such as lists of assets and liabilities, tax returns, record of securities transactions, insurance policies, employee benefits, wills, trusts, pension plans, anything that touches your financial life.
2. Decide where you want to be, financially.
We will work with you to identify both personal and financial goals and objectives for you and your family. We help you clarify personal and financial values and attitudes. These may include family financial planning issues like providing for your children’s college educations, supporting aging parents, or relieving immediate financial pressures that would help maintain your current lifestyle and provide for retirement. These considerations are as important as what is in your bank account in determining your best strategy.
3. Identify financial problems that create barriers to you.
We identify problem areas, which can include too little or too much insurance, a big tax burden, inadequate cash flow, or current investments that are losing the battle with inflation. These possible problem areas must be identified before solutions can be found.
4. Provide a written financial plan.
The financial planning recommendations will vary with the complexity of your individual situation. It should always be structured to meet your needs and objectives and provide a roadmap for your financial future.
5. Implement agreed-upon recommendations from your plan.
A financial plan is only helpful if the recommendations are put into action. We work in partnership with you to implement the recommendations presented in your financial plan. This may include coordination with other knowledgeable professionals, such as an estate planning attorney or CPA, as required.
6. Periodically review and revise your plan.
A financial plan can be no better than the data upon which it is based. Periodic reviews and revisions of the plan are essential to account for changes in personal and economic conditions.