Financial planning is an ongoing process, during which new information and life events often change the course of your plan. The discussions that follow are based on Maria and Joseph’s lives today, and the information that they provided. Some of the recommendations will be very specific, others more vague. This approach is based on the assumed evolution of their personal and financial situations.
Data Gathering & Assumptions
From a planner's side of the desk, it's important to start at the beginning. Financial planners and clients mutually define a client's personal and financial goals, needs and priorities. The next step is what financial planners call data gathering — financial planners obtain all the quantitative information and documents about a client before any recommendation is made and/or implemented. More>
For Maria and Joseph, a major hurdle to becoming financially secure is a large debt burden, including credit cards, car loans and a student loan, all of which carry an average of more than 10 percent interest rate. Debt management appears to be the most critical aspect of the case, so it was addressed first. More>
The most important step is that Maria and Joseph are actually saving from their income towards their long-term goals, and that the money is building up for future use. These savings habits will put money away towards their long-term goals, including education, net worth and retirement. More>
Asset protection is an area where diligence and a continual focus are important. Many of the solutions can be very cost effective, but the amounts and types of insurance needed will be ever-changing. Working with a financial planner along the way will help you to answer the myriad of questions that will undoubtedly arise. The recommendations that follow are items that Maria and Joseph should keep in mind as the future unfolds. More>