Financial Planning – Why you need to do it!

In order to get there, you have to know where you’re going!

Would you take a road trip without a map or a GPS?  GPS DeviceFinancial planning is the process of wisely managing your finances so that you can achieve your dreams and goals – while at the same time helping you negotiate the financial barriers that inevitably arise in every stage of life. Identifying financial goals and a plan to achieve them in a systematic way is the heart of financial planning.

A realistic, comprehensive plan can help you meet your goals by addressing your financial weaknesses and building on your financial strengths!

Like most people you have hopes, dreams and life goals for yourself and your family. These might include buying a home or business, sending your kids to college, taking a dream vacation or retiring comfortably. Without a plan and a strategy there can be a lot of unnecessary risk in achieving these goals; risk that can cause emotional stress and financial distress if not managed properly. Managing your personal finances is ultimately your responsibility. However, you don’t have to do it alone. A qualified financial planner, such as Certified Financial Planner (CFP) professional, can help you make decisions that make the most of your financial resources.

How do you know if you can benefit from the services of a financial planner?

You may not have the expertise, time or desire to actively plan and manage certain aspects of your financial life. You may be the type of person that needs help to get started. In addition most people will benefit from an objective, third-party perspective on what are often emotional, difficult decisions. In today’s hectic, information driven world, having the input of a financial planning expert to help you make sure you stay focused and follow through on your financial plans may be the solution you need. Life events often trigger the desire for professional planning guidance.

These events may include:

  • Making sure your money will last during retirement
  • Taking control of a retirement plan from a previous employer
  • Handling an inheritance or other financial windfall
  • Preparing for a marriage or divorce
  • Planning for the birth or adoption of a child
  • Facing a financial crisis such as a layoff, serious illness or natural disaster
  • Caring for aging parents or a disabled child
  • Coping financially with the death of a spouse or close loved one
  • Funding Education
  • Buying, selling or passing on a family business
  • Determining how to be create a stream of income in the most tax sensitive way

Without prior planning funding these type of events can result in additional debt which can create a financial hardship. Interest costs can add up quickly and debt can easily become unmanageable. Anticipating these events in advance, developing and implementing a savings strategy can help to reduce risk and make financial burdens more manageable. Having a solid financial plan in place can help you weather these storms without putting your financial future at risk.

photo by: avlxyz

About Sara Seasholtz

Sara Seasholtz, CFP®, was voted one of "50 Most Influential Women in Charlotte" by The Mecklenburg Times in 2011, and she's been a trusted financial advisor to her clients for over 30 years. Have a financial question?ASK SARA!

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