Do You Need A Financial Plan?

Do You Need a Financial Plan?
Whether you’re in your 20’s or 60’s, a financial plan is a much needed investment in your future

Most people probably spend more time on vacation planning in their lifetime than on financial planning. We wouldn’t likely get in the car for a cross-country journey with no map or GPS system, or go to the airport without a flight schedule booked, would we? If there’s no destination, there can be no arrival. It also doesn’t make sense to go through life’s important milestones without a financial plan in place.

According to a recent financial planning survey conducted by the Certified Financial Planner Board, only about 31% of financial decision-makers in families said they have a comprehensive financial plan. A comprehensive financial plan can benefit everyone no matter what stage of life they are in. It can help define financial goals, determine timeline and help monitor spending.

An overall financial plan includes expenses compared to income, long-term savings and investments, as well as short term savings. It also takes into consideration current and future lifestyle, contribution time frame, investment risk, education costs, potential emergencies and major purchases. It also has a constant method of evaluation as there may be unexpected changes down the road such as job loss, a disability, or on the plus side, work bonuses or tax refunds. Financial plans are not for only older or established people, they are for everyone.

If you’re in your 20’s or 30’s it’s the perfect time to start the planning process. Whether you are just starting your career or a family, or are several years in, it’s important to understand where your financial picture is and what your goals are. A financial plan is just as important even if you don’t have a large savings yet, as it can actually help prevent financial mistakes that could impact individuals and families for years.

If you’re in your 40‘s, you’re likely looking ahead toward retirement and trying to accumulate wealth. The difference between having a financial plan and not having one could even cost you many retirement years. While inheritances can happen, it’s better to be prepared in advance in case of other unexpected life changes. In cases of job loss it’s much harder to find a job later in life and health challenges could present themselves or other situations could occur such as divorce.

Some people choose to seek professional advice at retirement in their 50‘s or 60‘s as they want to make the most of their money when it’s time to receive it. Yes it’s a crucial time to seek advice when money can finally be accessed and is needed on a daily basis, but ideally preparation should start long before retirement arrives to ensure there are no surprises when you get there.

If you’re thinking of handling your financial plan yourself, there are definitely questions to consider such as: Do you have a good amount of knowledge about investments and finances and do you enjoy reading investment research? Do you have significant time to monitor, evaluate and trade investments? Are you confident in all the financial decisions you’ve made in the past?

If you can’t answer these questions very confidently, it is best to at least schedule an appointment with a financial advisor. A financial advisor has the expertise and time to handle your plan objectively without the emotional component, which can be very difficult for self-planners.

The decision about when to start a financial plan is critical and there’s no question that everyone should have one. There’s no way of knowing what’s ahead and it’s never to late or too early to start planning for your future.

To discuss your financial plan, including investment accounts, insurance policies, college and more, contact the team at Bayntree Wealth Advisors at 480-494-2750.

Bayntree Wealth Advisors, located in Phoenix and Scottsdale, Arizona, provides comprehensive financial planning and wealth management. The Bayntree team specializes in all aspects of financial health, including retirement planning, risk management, investment advice, tax strategies, estate planning and insurance.

Bayntree does not provide specific legal or tax advice. Please consult with your tax advisor or legal professional for guidance with your individual situation.

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