With only a few months until the holiday season, many of us are already preparing for the festivities that will occur soon. And with the traveling, holiday parties and gatherings around the corner, financial and tax planning is not at the top of many of our agendas.
While it may seem easy to simply put off your financial planning until next year and bundle it together along with your New Year’s resolutions, there are several reasons why now is the perfect time to create a financial plan that will allow you to realize the dreams that are most important to you.
The key advantage of starting early – especially for young people – is that insurance premiums are usually much cheaper, you’ve got the power of compounding that will exponentially increase your savings, which also helps you build up a portfolio which you can use to invest.
There are two basic steps that should be taken when establishing an executable financial plan. First is to have a complete overview of your financial standing. Do you have any outstanding debts? How much savings and assets do you have? To truly understand your current assets, liabilities, and net worth, it is important to identify – concretely in writing – the status of your personal and professional income and expense balance sheet.
Next, think about your financial goals and objectives. Your financial goals largely depend on the life stage you are at and your age. For instance, someone who just got hired recently is more likely to focus on paying off his/her student loan and saving up for an emergency fund, while a senior professional could focus on acquiring more assets and investments.
After you’ve broadly identified some of your financial goals, think of HOW you can get there. This usually includes setting up a monthly budget, saving and investing on a regular basis, and reviewing your plan annually or when your life stage changes (getting married, having a baby, buying a house, etc.)
The first step in developing your financial plan is to meet with an advisor. An expert and reliable financial advisor is one who doesn’t just focus on the insurance protection part but also on other equally important aspects of financial planning as well. Overall, your chosen financial advisor will be able to help you create a holistic financial plan that includes the following elements:
- Cash flow management
- Investment management
- Tax planning
- Tax-deferred investment options
- Insurance assessment
- Estate planning
- Business succession planning
Besides from ensuring an all-inclusive financial plan, having a professional financial advisor can also help you stay committed to your financial goals by regularly monitoring your financial situation, and help get you back on track in case you run into inevitable life disappointments or setbacks.
Here at Joseph F. Fragnoli, CPA, PC., we help our clients develop an effective and actionable financial plan based on their needs and dreams for the future. If you are interested in fee-based financial planning services please feel free to contact us at (615) 678-4751.