What is financial planning and why should you be thinking about it?
Financial planning is a very broad term that involves building strategies to manage your money and meet certain life goals. Indeed, your spending priorities are likely to change as you age, and financial planning helps ensure that these priorities are met when the time comes.
Examples of financial planning might include the writing of a Will to protect your family, making adjustments to your spending to afford a new dream home, or drawing up a plan to pay off any existing debt.
While these may sound like simple steps, the reality of handling your own money can be tricky, particularly as there are so many financial products out there that may or may not be beneficial in the long term.
If you're working towards a specific goal or you need help defining what your goals are, hiring a financial planner may be the best thing you do and an initial consultation with Yield is without obligation or cost.
Ultimately, financial planning is about easing worries you may have about the future and taking control of your money in a way that allows you to get on with your life.
If you are looking for a means to get on top of your finances and are curious to know what working with a financial planner can entail, the following guide will take you through a few of the basics.
What kind of people tend to use financial planners?
It is a common fallacy that only those with lots of money have any need for a financial planner. Regardless of how careful you are with your money, dealing with the tricky intricacies of taxation, investment, debt markets and financial regulations can be difficult for even the most money conscious of earners.
In many ways, dismissing the service of a financial planner as a luxury you don't really need can be an excuse to put off what may seem scary or overwhelming. The world of finance can be demoralising if you believe owning the home of your dreams or the ability to pay off all of your personal or business debt is out of reach, for example.
A finance professional will help provide innovative strategies to nurture a healthy financial outlook and make realistic plans that will allow you to reach your desired goals.
Why use a financial planner? Should I ever consider planning out my own financial future?
Ultimately, while many people believe they are fully capable of planning for their own financial future, a financial planner is trained to develop optimal strategies for monetary health.
Financial planning is not just something people can walk into and it takes years of training and reading up on the world of finance. What’s more, your team at Yield Financial Planning are passionate about the subject and are up-to-date with recent legislative changes that may affect your finances and treat continuing education as a critical part of our offering.
If you have sourced a financial planner from a trustworthy source, you can rest assured that they will be fully licensed and qualified to provide guidance. After all, feeling sorted and secure in your finances is a great way of relieving stress and contributes to your overall sense of well-being.
What are the considerations to take into account at particular life stages?
As mentioned, your financial priorities will tend to shift as you reach particular life stages. Depending on your age, here are some of the ways including a reflection of the people we are best able to help:
Young adult to early middle-age
Your early years of adulthood can be the most exciting and stressful, as you lay out your path for the future and decide what you want from life.
Financial planners can help you plan for events such as buying your first home, setting up a business, getting married, having kids, or even travelling the world.
In particular, for young women and men who are keen to build their own place in the world through a business of their own or as a lynchpin in a growing company, getting the right financial guidance can change their trajectory for the better.
By this point, you are likely keen to protect the lifestyle you have built up for yourself, as well as those that may be under your care.
Many people change gears in this phase, going from a growth phase to a harvest phase which can bring many changes. New considerations like children, spouses and multiple sources of income can complicate things.
In this case, financial planners may be able to help with tax management, inheritance considerations, income protection, investments, family healthcare, or planning for retirement.
Preparing for retirement
If you are on the cusp of retirement, you have a great deal to think about financially. We are, in general, living longer and that means longer retirement.
As you switch from earning a salary to relying on a pension or savings, financial planners can help with exiting a business, eliminating debt, healthcare concerns, helping the children of their clients, and the setting up of Wills and trusts.
Retirement represents a great opportunity to indulge in pursuits that you never had the time for before.
Financial planners can help make retirement as stress-free and enjoyable as possible by planning for capital preservation, estate planning, healthcare plans, asset protection, travel funds, and the mitigation of inheritance tax.
Retirement may be the last stage of your financial life, but that doesn't mean you can just set your finances on cruise control. Careful planning can actually increase your net worth while also helping preserve it well into retirement.
How do financial planning meetings work?
There is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to financial planning, and every professional planner will need to undertake thorough work with you to understand your goals and needs. This could include:
Establishing an understanding of what you both expect from the collaboration
Your financial planner will start off by explaining their role in full, finding out your monetary needs, and ensuring that they will realistically be able to meet them. They will also offer plenty of time for questions about their work and what they charge for their services.
Establishing what you value and what your financial goals are
The foundation of any good financial plan is understanding what you value most in life and what your goals are. Your financial planner will help you develop these goals.
A thorough assessment of your finances
Your financial planner will be able to come up with a realistic plan for you by looking at your assets, investment strategies, taxes, insurance, and liabilities.
Preparing and implementing a financial plan
A financial planning service will also be able to recommend the best products, services, and strategies to meet your goals, as well as answer any potential questions. They can then put this into action by liaising with the necessary specialists such as solicitors or accountants.
Undertaking regular reviews
Some aspects of your plan may need to be revised depending on the economy or changes to your personal situation, so a financial planner will review it regularly.
Planting seeds, in harvest mode or ready to relax
Whether you're just starting on your own financial journey, in the middle of your career or nearing the end of your working days, a solid financial plan can help.
If you feel comfortable with your finances but feel like your money could be doing more for you, please call the team at Yield. We're here to answer your questions.
Visit out Contact Us page to start the conversation.
Written by James McFall of Yield Financial Planning