Have a Long Term goal? Financial Planning can Help You get you There

Sheila Willis |

After several years of wallowing in financial upheaval caused by a severe recession and financial crisis, Americans are looking to the future once again.  A renewed confidence has many people setting their sights on long term goals that may have seemed out of reach just a few years ago.  However, as too many people have painfully learned, simply having a long-term goal is not enough to realize your ambition.

Financial peace is a life destination and requires a map to get there.  All of us have certain things in life we want to accomplish and many of them require financial resources.  Living a secure and enjoyable retirement is a goal shared by most people.  In addition to that, many parents want to be able to provide a college education for their children, buy a bigger house, or expand their business.  These all become intricately linked pieces of your financial puzzle.

A financial plan is about carefully forging those pieces and fitting them in their proper place so that they work effectively together towards your vision.  If a piece is missing or doesn’t fit quite right, it could skew all of the other pieces.  As your situation changes and you become more financially successful, more pieces are needed to complete the financial puzzle (such as risk management, tax strategies, and estate planning).  The financial planning process enables you to focus clearly on your specific goals while addressing all of your concerns.  And, having a well-conceived financial plan enables you to shutout the constant drone of doom and gloom.

Although financial planning is not rocket science – there are plenty of resources available to develop your own – it can become more daunting than the average person is able or willing to tolerate.  The body of knowledge required to navigate multiple disciplines (i.e., investments, insurance, taxes, retirement planning, estate planning, etc) is vast.  A financial advisor can guide you through the process of planning your future, designing your strategies, and navigating the complex universe of investments and financial products.  Of equal importance, he or she can also be your financial coach, holding you accountable to your plan while coaching you through the touch times and encouraging you to the finish line.