Before gaining knowledge on how can financial planners help you reach your financial goals, you need to understand what is meant by personal financial planning. In order to achieve your financial goals, you need a plan just as a start-up requires a business plan to raise capital and succeed in business.
A personal financial plan is a vision of your financial future. There are various complex aspects of your total financial picture such as estate taxes, education funds for your children, income taxes that need to be considered in totality without losing sight of your goals.
A true practitioner of personal financial planning would follow the steps specified below in order to assist you in achieving your financial goals:
- Helps you assess you current financial situation by collecting and evaluating all financial data relating to you.
- If you are in a financial mess, the planner helps you to free yourself from it.
- Helps you to identify financial and personal goals. The idea here is to align the two.
- Helps you to identify financial problems that could be barriers to your achieving your financial goals.
- Provides you with written recommendations and alternative solutions.
- Assists you to implement the right strategy to help you achieve your financial and personal goals.
- Reviews your plan periodically and makes recommendations of any changes to be made in your strategy to achieve your financial goals.
How do you know whether or not you require a financial planner? Ask yourself the following questions to determine whether or not you need a financial planner:
- Do you have the time to attend to your financial affairs?
- Are you looking for definitive direction in your financial affairs given the conflicting advice that you have been receiving from various sources?
- Do you have a problem with saving money?
- Are you finding it difficult to make ends meet?
- Do you feel you are paying too much tax?
- Has there been a major change such as addition to the family, job loss, inheritance, loss of spouse that could affect your financial future?
Personal financial planning focuses on you as an individual – bringing together all the financial and psychological factors that have an impact on your life. A financial planner is a trained financial professional. They should understand the principles of accumulating wealth, limiting your liabilities and protecting your assets.
This is how a financial planner can help you. If you do not know about these principles then it is worth engaging in the services of one.
Most investors invest so they can accumulate wealth. Most people though do not understand how to accumulate wealth. A financial planner can talk to you, assess you needs, your retirement plans and draft a financial plan for you and your family. A certified financial planner will know about asset allocation, diversification and investments that should be utilized for you to achieve your goals.
Most financial planners come across as cautious. This is because they hold a long term view of your finances. Most people want quick gains. Financial planners understand that you can reach your goals by achieving moderate gains in a strategic way. They can also structure your investments so your tax liabilities aren’t large.
Limiting Your Liabilities
The reason most people aren’t rich is because they have more liabilities than assets. They often spend more than they earn. They enter a debt cycle. The road to financial freedom is based on a combination of accumulating wealth and limiting your liabilities.
A financial planner will talk to you about how you can get rid of debts, how to limit your tax liabilities and where you can make savings on your essential expenditure. If you feel you are stuck in a debt cycle a financial planner can assist you.
Protecting Your Assets
The accumulation of wealth is based on the building of assets. Assets include property, vehicles, cash, investments, furniture, debt owed to you, jewelry and a host of other things including yourself.
Financial planners know how long it takes to accumulate wealth so they place a lot of emphasis on insurance. Insure your home, insure your car, insure your health. Financial planners know about insurance, the level of cover you need and the piece of mind you will receive.
A good financial planner will examine the three key points highlighted above in great detail. Their aim is to make you financially secure. Their business depends on it.