The Financial Planning Process
If you're asking yourself, "do I need a financial plan?", the answer is yes! The first mistake that so many people make is thinking that they are too young, too old, or not wealthy enough to create a financial plan. The reality is that everyone can benefit from a great financial plan at any stage of life.
There are six basic steps you can take to determine the best route to achieve your financial goals and prepare for the future. While you can always try to create and implement a plan on your own, the team at Extraco Wealth & Trust has the expertise and resources to help you each step of the way.
Step 1: Set Goals
While this seems pretty basic, this step often gets overlooked. Consider your short-term, long-term and "wouldn’t it be nice to have..." term goals. Be as honest as possible with yourself when setting your goals. After all, this is your life! How do you want to live it?
Step 2: Gather facts
Take the time needed to gather and organize your financial documents. This may include sorting through digital folders, paper file cabinets and tax records. Be sure to include assets and debts, cash flow, tax returns, insurance policies, wills and legal papers that could include relevant information.
Step 3: Identify challenges and opportunities
Take a moment to quantify the picture you have painted in your head. Identify any challenges or opportunities you might face as it pertains to cash flow and debts, college planning, retirement planning and risk management. Remember, this is just how things look today. We can work together to adjust your future.
Step 4: Develop your plan
Let’s get to the nitty-gritty. Your plan should take into consideration your values and risk tolerance. At the end of the day, your plan should provide you with a variety of options to consider and implement.
Step 5: Implement your plan
Taking action is quite possibly the hardest part of the planning process. Your plan may involve an increase in your regular savings, purchasing additional insurance, contributing to an IRA or making investments. Whatever the next step looks like for you, we can help.
Step 6: Follow up and review yearly
This final step is often overlooked and is critical to reaching your destination. You should review your plan annually to adjust your goals for your current life situation. While this may sound difficult, it isn’t! We’re always here to help you stay on track.
Working with a Consultant
Choosing to work with a professional who can provide a holistic plan is an important decision. There are specific certifications these individuals obtain to be considered a true Financial Planner.
At Extraco, our team of experienced and investment professionals is available to provide you strategic advice and solutions.
If you choose to use someone else, be sure to ask the appropriate questions:
- What experience do you have?
- What services do you offer?
- Can you provide me with a complete range of products?
- What’s your approach to financial planning?
- How will I pay for your services?
- Can I have it in writing?
It is important to go with professionals you can trust and that clearly understands your unique needs.
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