A Financial Plan: What is it & Who needs one?

 October is Financial Planning Month and Center Partner Tim Wyman takes this opportunity to bring us back to the basics. In this blog 5-part series he clarifies some general questions about financial planning and the financial planning process. 

I must admit, I cringe a bit when hearing the question, “What is a financial plan?” That’s because of my firm belief that the focus should be on the “ing” in planning.  However, a financial plan, done correctly, is a comprehensive road map designed to assist in achieving whatever goals are important to you.  

A financial plan should include analysis and recommendations in areas such as: 

  • Cash management and financial statements
  • A review of risk management needs
  • Analysis as to needed retirement savings goals
  • A plan to reduce income tax liability
  • A comprehensive investment plan
  • Coordination of estate goals 

Most importantly, a financial plan should be an ongoing guide and not a leather binder placed on the shelf to collect dust!  A financial plan can be used to align financial strategies and decisions as life events occur. 

Do I need a financial plan? 

Who needs a financial plan? Financial planning provides a method or structure to help you achieve your life’s goals, no matter how wealthy (or unwealthy) you are.  Whether you work with a Certified Financial Planner™ practitioner or do it on your own, the financial planning process can be the catalyst in making good decisions and achieving your financial goals. 

In the 4th blog of this 5-part series, we’ll look at how to prepare a financial plan and how much it might cost you.

Timothy Wyman, CFP®, JD is the Managing Partner and Financial Planner at Center for Financial Planning, Inc. and is a frequent contributor to national media including appearances on Good Morning America Weekend Edition and WDIV Channel 4 News and published articles including Forbes and The Wall Street Journal. A leader in his profession, Tim served on the National Board of Directors for the 28,000 member Financial Planning Association™ (FPA®), trained and mentored hundreds of CFP® practitioners and is a frequent speaker to organizations and businesses on various financial planning topics.

Any opinions are those of Center for Financial Planning, Inc., and not necessarily those of RJFS or Raymond James.  Every investor’s situation is unique and you should consider your investment goals, risk tolerance and time horizon before making any investment.  Clients should evaluate if an asset-based fee is appropriate in servicing their needs.  A list of additional considerations, as well as the fee schedule, is available in the firm’s Form ADV Part II as well as in the client agreement.