Have you ever wondered if you need a financial plan? Often, people come to us thinking financial planning starts and ends with investing and wealth management. They aren’t sure what else a financial plan entails, and how it might impact their lives.
At Abacus, we believe financial planning is much more than just managing your portfolio. We help clients focus on comprehensive solutions that leverage their wealth in ways that positively impact their life, and the legacy they want to leave. Our goal is to help you align your money with your values.
We firmly believe everyone benefits from a financial plan. Let’s dive into what a truly comprehensive financial plan covers, and why you need one.
Evaluate What’s Working — And What’s Not
How often do you stick with the same investment allocation, insurance provider, tax strategy, or money management system simply because it’s easier than searching for an alternative? The truth is many people, especially as they near retirement, have this experience.
A financial plan helps you evaluate what’s working — and what’s not. Why settle for “good enough” when you have bigger dreams and goals to accomplish? You want to ensure every piece of your financial puzzle clicks together to form a big, cohesive picture. In fact, when you evaluate different money management and investment strategies, you might be surprised that better options exist for your unique goals. Even small changes can make a dramatic difference in your ability to grow wealth and make an impact.
Clarify and Prioritize Your Goals
It’s challenging to clarify what you want from your wealth. People tend to have multiple life goals and aren’t sure how to achieve all of them successfully. If this sounds like you, a financial plan can help.
Common goals you may have could be:
- Paying for child’s/grandchild’s education
- Buying a vacation home
- Paying off your mortgage
- Leaving a legacy
- Investing for impact
Your financial plan takes a holistic view of your goals by pushing you to set priorities and create a timeline taking each of your goals into account. When you know what, why, and when you want to accomplish your goals, you can reverse engineer budgets and investing strategies to form the backbone of your entire financial plan.
Aligning Your Money with Your Values
When you start thinking of your wealth as a tool instead of a treasured commodity or cause of stress, you can start living out your values. Your financial plan looks at your goals, but it also digs deeper into your “why.” Why have you created these specific goals and how do they drive you?
We want to know what you value — the people, places, and causes that matter most — to help you build a financial plan that aligns with those values. There are many ways to simplify and “declutter” your financial life so the goals and expenses that bring you joy become the focal points of your plan. This could look like:
- Building a charitable giving strategy into your retirement plan
- Downsizing your home in retirement to create time and space in your budget for travel
- Impact-focused investing
- Exploring an encore career that empowers you to retire early and do what you love
Your money exists because of your hard work. Shouldn’t it be working hard for you as you look to this next season of your life? A thoughtful financial plan will help you work your wealth and use your money in inspiring ways.
Building a Roadmap
This is where your financial plan puts together all the pieces of your financial puzzle. Once you evaluate your financial situation, identify and prioritize your goals, and clarify your values, you’re ready to build your own unique roadmap that moves you toward the life you’ve always imagined — both now and during retirement.
The beauty of your financial plan? It’s uniquely yours. It’s built on a strong foundation of your goals and values, and can shift as opportunities arise throughout the many stages and transitions of your life.
The nuts and bolts of your financial plan might include:
- Charitable giving
- Insurance coverage
- An estate plan
- Retirement plans
- Savings goals
- Debt repayment strategy
- Legacy planning
- Strategic tax planning
And so much more.
Your plan should focus on every aspect of your financial life. Zeroing in on just one aspect (like investing) can actually be problematic. Why? Because you’re potentially ignoring something detrimental in another area that prevents you from achieving your full potential.
For example, let’s say you only plan an investment strategy but ignore debt, cash flow, and insurance. Any progress made from investing may be nullified by insufficient insurance coverage, interest payments eating into your nest egg, or overspending. This highlights the importance of a comprehensive financial plan. Every element of your finances is equally measured in your roadmap to success.
You deserve a financial plan that coordinates all elements of your financial life, and nurtures them toward your big picture goals.
You may be sold on having a financial plan, but what about working with a financial planner after the initial plan is created?
Sometimes we hear from individuals who want to build a plan and then walk away, tackling implementation on their own. While this is how some firms operate, we believe the biggest value your financial planning team provides is working alongside you — both now and in the years to come — to grow your wealth and maximize your goals.
At Abacus, we view your financial plan as a roadmap that can be broken into smaller, actionable steps. Having a plan is fantastic, but it isn’t worthwhile unless you’re able to implement it. That’s why we focus on helping you take one item at a time so you’ll see immediate progress that moves the needle, but without pushing too fast or risking burnout.
Your most critical tasks are immediately prioritized. From there, you’ll meet with an advisor in an ongoing capacity to track your progress and adjust your plan as needed. This helps you find more success, and holds you accountable as you work toward your goals. Your financial planner is with you every step of the way.
Finally, there are many stages in life, each with their own unique emotional and financial challenges. The roadmap you create today may shift tomorrow. Having the support and experience of a dedicated financial advisor is crucial to navigating unexpected (yet inevitable) transitions to come.Regardless, you’ll navigate through big financial decisions together and ensure all the pieces of your financial puzzle work in harmony to build your continued success.
Want to Learn More?
We’d love to talk about your financial goals, and how our team at Abacus can help you achieve them. Contact us today to learn more about our services, and how a financial plan can help you get organized, relieve stress, and live life to the fullest.