Financial Planning 101

What is Financial Planning?

Financial planning is the progression of meeting your life goals through the proper management of your finances. Life goals can encompass buying a home, saving for your children’s education or planning for retirement.

The Benefits of Financial Planning

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 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 to life changes easier and feel more secure that your goals are on track.

Can You Do YOUR OWN Financial Planning?

Some personal finance software packages, magazines or self-help books can help you do your own financial planning. However, you may decide to seek help from a professional financial planner if:

  • Expertise

    You need expertise you don’t possess in certain areas of your finances. For example, a planner can help you evaluate the level of risk in your investment portfolio or adjust your retirement plan due to changing family circumstances.

  • Professional Opinion

    You want to get a professional opinion about the financial plan you developed for yourself.

  • Your time

    You don’t feel you have the time to spare to do your own financial planning.

  • Life events

    You have an immediate need or unexpected life event such as a birth of a child, inheritance or major illness

  • Improvements

    You feel that a professional adviser could help you improve upon the way you are currently managing your finances

  • Knowing where to start

    You know that you need to improve your current financial situation but don’t know where to start.