A financial plan is the road map for your financial life. It covers major financial areas of your life addressing aspects such as cash flow, savings, debt management, risk management, childrens education planning, taxes, retirement, estate planning, and of course, investments and a strategy for managing them. It is more than a guide. It is a written strategy that gives you a clear, pragmatic path to follow towards the accomplishment of your most important financial goals.
Having a financial plan is like having a travel plan - it identifies where you're going, how and when you'll get there, how much will it cost, and things to do along the way. A personal financial plan looks at where you are today and where you want to go. Then it sets out all the steps you need to take to get there. Everyone who is earning should draw up a financial plan. The plan will help you get the most from your money and help you in achieving your financial goals in life.
Some people naturally resist the process of creating a Financial Plan. Initially, it seems overwhelming and/or just too much of trouble. However, the potentially devastating consequences of not having it are far greater than the initial discomfort that you experience of the process. For most people we have worked with, the hardest part is just making the decision to get started. Once the process has begun, most clients find it engaging and interesting.
Do you need financial plan?
Yes - if you have an income, a family or planning to have one in the future, retirement dreams, and for many other financial reasons / goals that are unique to you. No one can predict the future but one can certainly be better prepared for it. An effective financial plan will make sure that you are financially prepared to deal with the unexpected events and stormy times. If you don't have one, you're more likely to end up in a financial mess. On the contrary, if you have one and the recommendations thereon have been executed, most of your financial goals will be satisfactorily met. A good financial plan can alert you to changes that must be made to make sure a smooth transition through life's financial phases, such as decreasing spending or changing asset allocation.
By developing a financial plan you and your family:
You need not be very rich to have a financial plan. No matter how much you earn and at what age, a plan is important to make your life easier. As your financial situation influences almost every aspect of your life, a regular financial plan can help give you peace of mind and protect you from unforeseen, unfavorable situations. Once you have a working personal financial plan, you can use it to make informed financial choices. Having a good financial plan will allow you an over view of what you can afford. It will allow you to analyze your wants versus your needs. It also provides you a way to see how to avoid major financial mistakes in the future.
Risks of not having a financial plan:
You may be able to achieve what you want today but might not be able to achieve what you need few years down the line. Say, if you buy a new car now, you might not have enough funds later to buy your dream home.
You may not see the big picture. Say, you may grow your wealth by making good investment choices but end up being tax inefficient and pay more taxes than you need to.
You may take a short-term view of an opportunity and make rushed financial decisions, or fall into some scam trap. Worst of all, you may end up doing nothing (and just thinking of doing something) and never achieve your financial goals.
You might become a victim of mis-selling and build a corpus of investment products that neither suits your financial needs nor your risk profile.
You are very much likely to worry more about money and financial security. You may not know where you are today and where are you heading for.
Tips for Effective Financial Plan
The need for financial plan is all the more very important in the turbulent economic times of today. If you don't have one till now, don't delay any more and Get it Now. Don't be self-satisfied that you will be okay whatever happens. Face the reality. Unless you develop a financial plan early, it will be too late.
With retirement not far around the corner, your needs will be rapidly changing. And you will be asking the big questions what does retirement mean to me, and will I have enough? How can I be better off? As our lives change, our financial needs and priorities change too. Even if you are years away from retiring, you are wise to be thinking about retirement planning. Years from now you will be a lot happier saying, "I'm glad I did" instead of "I wish I had". A retirement plan is an assurance that you will continue to earn a satisfying income and enjoy a comfortable lifestyle, even when you are no longer working. Investment Locker will help you understand how much you need to grow your wealth before you retire and how to plan for it.
Concerns of Retirement
Most people are faced with three important questions when they start thinking of Retirement.
Retirement planning means saving sufficient funds to provide for a comfortable lifestyle after retirement.We can plan and advice you how to build up your Retirement savings over a period of time from now. We have proven asset allocation strategies that will help you get higher inflation-adjusted returns on your existing assets. We also track and re-balance their assets to protect it from the volatility of the markets.
The Optimistic Retirement approach can help you feel more confident about retirement and your financial future
Theres a confidence that comes with knowing you and your advisor are following a time-tested approach to financial planning. You will come away feeling more confident knowing you have the advice and guidance you need to help:
Cover your essentials now and in retirement Ensure your lifestyle. Your hobbies, travel and dining-out throughout your life Prepare yourself and the people you love against the unexpected things that come up every now and then Leave a legacy to the people and causes you care about
Children's Education & Marriage Planning
All parents dream of fulfilling all the requirements and desires of their kids. They want to give the best to their juniors. Best of education, best of toys, best of health, best of everything! The only problem with these best things is that these have the best price tags too!
But what can a father do, after all it is about the childs future. Or is this really the case? Maybe something could have been done. Think of a parent who started planning for their kid even before it was born and begun investing when the little one arrived. They had a pretty long time (about 18 years for higher studies and 25 years for marriage and house). It is no-brainer in investment world that the sooner we start, the better it is, and for a very basic reason - the magic of compounding.
For passive investors, those who find stock symbols like chemical formula, investing directly in equity mutual funds could be a preferred option.
Also to reap benefits of tax allowance on investments and their disposal, one can allocate some amount to products like Public Provident Fund.
Teachers have at their turn a key role in education planning. They are an authority who can advise what kind of activity might meet our expectations. Usually in high school, we have the chance to discover what suits as best in terms of career. Therefore, since a teacher has a sharp eye when it comes to students potential, we should ask them for an opinion.
All in all, education planning prevents us from experiencing gaps between our educational expectations and reality.
With flexible planning and a suite of investment options that are available, you may help put your child on the journey to a valuable college degree. Here are a few TIPS that may help kick-start you planning:
CREATE A FINANCIAL PLAN WITH AN END IN MIND.
First, make an estimate of the costs that will go into your childs education. Your cost should take into account inflation over the investment or saving period. With the estimate as a guide, start piecing together your investment plan. There are many education planning option, each with its own risks and benefits, which you may use alone or simultaneously to achieve your goals:
SET UP AN AUTOMATIC SYSTEM TO INVEST REGULARLY
Set in motion action plan that makes savings or investing automatic. Many savings, investment linked plan and unit trust funds often regular monthly, quarterly, half-annually or annual contributions option. By investing regularly, you will also benefit from Dollar Cost Averaging (DCA) which average out the high and lows of an investment and possibly lower the total average cost per share of the investment.
REVIEW THE PLAN
Regular reviews of the plan will help you stay on track with your target goals. Review it at least annually and with every major life change such as new child, career advancement or move to a bigger house. Find ways to top up if it is not up to speed in reaching your investment goal.
TOP UP ANNUALLY or WHEN YOU CAN
You could consider increasing the amount of contribution annually or top up your regular contributions when your income increase such as when you receive a bonus or get a pay rise, in order to meet your target earlier or achieve an even large fund.
NO DIPPING INTO THE FUNDS
Choose a plan that locks in your funds for your childrens education till they are ready to leave for college. If it is easy to cash out the education fund, chances are you may be tempted to use the money for other emergencies or needs that may crop up in life.
ENCOURAGE CONTRIBUTION FROM FAMILY MEMBERS
Encourage grandparents or relatives who shower your children with gifts to consider opting for a cash contribution towards their education fund instead.
MAKE IT A TEAM EFFORT
Get your children involved in saving for their education. When you are reviewing your investments for their education fund, talk to them about it and make them aware if the challenges and commitment you face in saving for their education. If possible, let them contribute a small portion of their allowance to their education fund too. And before they leave for university help them develop good money management habits to help them live within their means.