“If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s, and guess what they have planned for you? Not much.”– Jim Rohn
Financial planning should not be confused with making an investment in your retirement account or buying life insurance to protect your family. Financial planning involves creating strategies to help you better manage your financial resources so that you can achieve the goals you have.
To ensure a thorough analysis and a full understanding of your current financial situation, you will want to make your financial planner a Collaborator and give them full access to all Tiles and Records. Ask your financial planner to review this information and follow-up with you for answers to any question they may have.
Once your financial planner has a clear understanding of your values, intentions and goals for your wealth, they should be fully prepared to create an integrated financial analysis, or Big Picture, complete with projections and forecasts. Typically, your financial planner will do this using professional grade financial planning software that is designed to provide answers to the most common questions people have about their goals and finances:
- Are my goals realistic based on my current income?
- Where should I be invested based on the goals I have?
- How much of my income do I need to contribute to my goals?
- What is the one thing I should focus on accomplishing first?
Starting with the above questions enables you to examine your financial situation in relation to your goals. This provides you with an understanding of the options available and the changes you may need to make to accomplish what you want.
Next, using the Financial Review Checklist included here as a Resource, have your advisor provide you with an assessment of the following areas:
- Cash Flow
- Financial Assets
- Income Tax
- Insurance Needs
This will help you and your financial planner to better understand which aspects of your financial situation may need to be focused on in the short, mid, and long term, and help to clarify the following 4 questions:
- Do my financial goals align with how I manage my money?
- Does my current lifestyle support my primary financial goals?
- Are the fees I pay on my investments in-line with the advice provided me?
- What is the best use of the money I have available today?
With the initial assessment completed, your advisor should then address your other financial planning needs and provide you with suggested next steps tailored to your unique situation. Recommendations may cover one or more of the 6 elements of financial planning:
- Financial Management
- Risk Management (Insurance)
- Investment Management
- Retirement Planning
- Tax Planning
- Estate Planning
It is estimated that over the next decade approximately one in ten small business owners will retire each year, making financial planning and succession a critical issue. Many business owners are not prepared for this transition, as it is estimated that 90% do not have a written plan.
As a business owner there are several reasons you should be doing advanced planning:
- Prior to your retirement an unforeseen tragedy such as the death or disability of you, a business partner or key employee, can greatly impact the future value of your business.
- If the business is going to be a source of income in your retirement, having no succession plan can result in a retirement that is less than you had hoped for.
- Transition to a management team that is not ready can negatively impact the future success of the business and the quality of your retirement.
- If you plan to pass your business to a family member, not properly structuring income taxes can bring added financial pressure that may result in a business failure.
MyWealth Records can help you create and document your business succession plans.
RECORD TYPE: Financial Projections
Financial projections are used in the financial planning process to identify obstacles that may prevent you from achieving your goals. Usually included as part of your financial plan, they consist of concepts and product illustrations designed to validate the recommendations made by your advisor.
Suggested Action: Upload copies of your Financial Plan, along with any Sales Concepts and Product Illustrations provided by your financial planner and/or other advisors.
RECORD TYPE: Recommendations
Recommendations are made to help you achieve the goals you have and can include lifestyle changes, strategic actions and products that will improve your financial situation. Regardless of the type of planning you are doing, the Financial Review Checklist is a simple yet powerful tool that helps your advisor identify any areas of concern that may prevent you from achieving your goals, and the next steps you should take
Suggested Action: In your next review meeting, ask your financial planner to use the Financial Review Checklist included with this record to bring clarity and added insight to the planning process. You should also upload all written recommendations and suggested next steps for safe keeping.
- Download Resources
Click the Resources link to download and print the various worksheets and templates applicable to your needs. Set aside some time over the next few days to complete each one. Remember to involve your partner/spouse should you have one.
- Gather Documents
Locate your Financial Plan, Sales Concept and Product illustration documents provided by your financial planner and/or other advisors.
- Upload Documents
Using a scanner or the Sidedrawer Mobile App, upload all statements and documents to the appropriate Record for secure storage and collaboration with your family and trusted advisors.
- Add Collaborators
From the Sidedrawer home screen, click on the Collaborator icon to add someone you wish to give access to one or more of your Records. Enter their email, name and relationship to you, then select the Record and permissions to be granted.
Click here to print the Analysis & Planning Document Checklist.