Planning-Based Financial Solutions

February 20, 2024
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Authored by Russell Maltes, CFP®, CRPC®, Senior Advisor

Imagine for a moment you don’t feel well.  So much so, that you feel it necessary to schedule an appointment to see a doctor.  Now imagine the doctor comes into the examination room and before you can utter a single word, writes you a prescription and sends you on your way.  That would be a strange way of practicing medicine!

We all know what should happen.  A doctor will normally arrive at a prescription of care based on several factors.  They will ask you about your symptoms, how long you have felt this way, and perhaps your family history.  They will conduct an examination and maybe order tests.  They could even involve other specialists. Through a complete diagnostic process, they will determine what ails you.  Only then will they put together a course of treatment specifically for your situation.

Financial planning has some parallels with healthcare when it comes to advising clients.  Instead of making a spur-of-the-moment financial decision, we find clients can be more successful when making financial decisions from a planning-based perspective.  A well-crafted financial plan will address:

  • Employment and retirement income sources
  • Budgeting and cash flow analysis
  • Spending goals in the short term, long term, and retirement
  • Investment tax strategies
  • Education funding
  • Legacy and estate planning
  • Investment management
  • Debt reduction
  • Risk management
  • And most importantly, creating a healthy balance of enjoying life today while securing tomorrow

No matter what stage of life you find yourself at, putting a financial plan in place always makes sense.  It can help you take stock of your current financial status.  It will prompt you to create goals.  It will reveal whether you are on track or have some catching up to do.  Most importantly, it will take goals and dreams that may seem overwhelming and break them down into the daily, monthly, and annual actions needed to get you there—actions that are easy to understand and measurable.

Lastly, a holistic approach to planning helps clients better navigate periods of uncertainty.  Whether it be career changes, family changes, or volatility in the investment markets, a solid plan helps clients keep their eyes on the bigger picture.  Like many other endeavors in life, your probability of success goes up dramatically when you have a plan.  That is true for healthcare, and it is certainly true for your financial life.

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