The road to a secure financial future is a lifelong journey; you don’t get from here to there overnight. You need a plan: you need to know where you’re going, where you’re starting from, what route you want to take, and what you want to do when you get there. You also need to allow for unexpected detours. It’s a work in progress, from start to finish.
There are several steps in this planning process:
- Identify your goals and objectives
- Explore your alternatives
- Evaluate the potential of each alternative
- Employ the best ideas to meet your needs and achieve your goals
You need to consider your short-term, mid-term, and long-term needs, and make plans that take unexpected contingencies into account. Each life stage has its own financial planning concerns. There isn’t one plan that’s right for everyone – that’s like saying there’s only one way to get from the Atlantic to the Pacific.
A plan that’s right for you should:
- Be tailored to fit your personal needs and objectives
- Be flexible, to move with your changing needs
- Provide security during retirement or disability
- Provide for continuous competent asset management
- Minimize erosion by inflation
- Reflect your values and beliefs
- Use the most effective way to pass property to family, charity, and others
- Minimize income, gift, estate, and inheritance taxes.
Your goals, dreams, and values are at the heart of your lifelong financial journey.