Financial planning explained.
In this article you'll learn:
- What lifetime financial planning is and how it can benefit you.
- How an accredited financial planner can help you achieve your financial goals.
However much we want it to, life never quite goes to plan. But even if things don't quite follow the script, it's helpful to make plans instead of leaving things to chance. After all, no ship sets sail without first plotting its route - even if an unexpected storm could force it to change course.
Whether you're a natural planner or slightly more devil-may-care, making plans often pays off. Successful companies start the financial year by setting targets and working out how they will hit them - the same process could help with your own financial matters.
Once you've reached a certain time in your life, a drop of cash flow planning and a dash of financial forethought can go a very long way.
Never a bad time to start
Perhaps you're in your 20s or 30s and are starting to think about building financial stability and a safer future for you and your family, or you're approaching retirement age and want to understand how to manage your money when you're not earning a salary. Whatever your circumstances, lifetime financial planning is a very useful tool to give you the best chance of hitting your goals and give you control over your financial future.
The process of lifetime financial planning takes you through seven fundamental stages:
1. Your goals
Your short and long-term life goals: buying a home, starting a family, setting up a business, funding your retirement or paying for care fees.
2. Assets and liabilities
What financial assets do you own? Property? Cars? Investments? And what debts do you have?
3. Your financial status
What is your current financial position - and how close are you to achieving your goals?
4. Roadmap to success
Build a plan to financial success. What are your best options? What changes do you need to make?
5. Accounting for tax
Tax can have a huge impact on your wealth and could be a risk to your returns. Understanding the rules around tax allowances is crucial to a successful financial plan.
6. Make it happen
Put the plan into action!
7. Reassess, reassess, reassess!
Lifetime cash flow planning isn't a one-time only event, it's an ongoing process that needs continuous reassessment.
Have a little patience
Making a projected cash flow plan isn't a one-off exercise, it's designed to be updated and re-visited to ensure it's still relevant and on track, just like a ship's course across the oceans.
Your circumstances may change - or financial regulation and products may change, and this is where guidance from a financial professional really comes into its own.
How to get started
Financial advisers understand how to help you achieve your financial goals. Most importantly, they will help you avoid the pitfalls of the modern financial landscape, setting out sensible, diversified strategies to help you realise your goals.
If you would like to chat to one of our independent financial advisers and find out how to plan more effectively, give us a call on 0333 241 9900.