Financial planning is the process of creating a strategy to help meet your life goals through the proper management of your finances. Life goals can include buying a home, saving for your child's education or planning for retirement.
The financial planning process consists of six steps that help you take a "big picture" look at where you are financially. Using these six steps, you can work out where you are now, what you may need in the future and what you must do to reach your goals.
The six step process is as follows:
- Gather relevant financial information.
- Set life goals.
- Examine current financial status.
- Come up with a strategy, or plan, for how you can meet your goals.
- Implement your plan.
- Monitor the success of your unique plan.
Financial planning provides direction and meaning to your financial decisions. It allows you to understand how each financial decision you make affects other areas of your finances. For example, buying a particular investment product might help you pay off your mortgage faster or it might delay your retirement significantly. By viewing each financial decision as part of a whole, you can consider its short and long-term effects on your life goals. You can also adapt more easily to life changes and feel more secure that your goals are on track.
The financial planning services at Financial IQ incorporate Risk Management, Retirement Planning, Estate Planning, Tax Planning and Education Funding.
Risk management is the process of identifying and understanding how life events can impact the success of desired goals. Disability, death, health concerns, accident liability, property liability, cognitive impairment and many other catastrophic events can consume resources and cause the best laid plans to fail. Addressing these potential events through appropriate risk coverage with insurance is the foundation of any successful financial plan.
Retirement planning is the process of setting retirement goals, developing income needs to meet those goals, and understanding how your retirement income sources can generate the income needed. Our role in this process is to evaluate the resources available and create a plan that is consistent with your retirement goals. The analysis we provide will address the current plan for your projected retirement income need and determine a plan of action that matches your goals with a defined strategy.
Estate Planning is the process of managing your assets in the event of an incapacitation, and the orderly disposition of your assets in the event of death. These assets may include cash accounts, investment accounts, insurance proceeds, real estate, business interests, and personal property. Common goals of successful estate planning are the avoidance of probate, reducing or eliminating estate taxes, equalizing beneficiary inheritance, maximizing charitable giving, and providing for a smooth transition of assets from one generation to the next. When legal documents are already present, we will work with you to evaluate the appropriateness of the current plan and if needed offer you good options for updating your legal documents.
Tax Advantage Strategies
Our concern isn't with how much you make but with how much you keep. The primary focus of tax advantage strategies is identifying the tax saving opportunities that may be available to you and helping you and your tax professional formulate a plan of action that will help you manage your tax burden.
Funding a child or grandchild's education is an area that many of our clients want to participate in. It is critical to get ahead of the increasing costs of higher education as soon as possible. Many of our clients have a college education and they encourage their children and grandchildren to pursue a higher level of education as well. Our role in the educational funding process is the assessment of future educational costs, finding appropriate savings programs and developing a consistent savings strategy to meet the determined funding goals.