A Goal Without a Plan is Just a Wish | Financial Planning Chapel Hill l Old Peak Financial Advisors

A Goal Without a Plan is Just a Wish

November 15, 2011

2011_goal without plan

A Goal Without a Plan is Just a Wish

November 15, 2011

“A goal without a plan is just a wish.”— Antoine de Saint-Exupery

The author of “The Little Prince”, pictured here, was probably not thinking about a financial plan, but his advice is just as relevant to our financial lives as it is to the rest of our lives.

The implication: whether you do it yourself or with the help of a professional adviser, you should create a financial plan, monitor it regularly, adjust it as necessary, and hold yourself accountable.

Build the plan around your big financial goals — retirement, children’s education, and maybe another goal like a second home or extensive travel. Make it comprehensive, addressing budgeting, investing, insurance, tax, estate planning and retirement planning. It should answer questions such as:

• Am I saving enough to afford retirement, and if not, what adjustments can I realistically make?
• Are my investments earning the best possible return given the risk I am taking? If not, how can I build a better portfolio?
• Do I have the necessary estate planning documents (will, powers of attorney, trusts, etc.), and are they accurate and current?
• Do I have too little, or too much, insurance?
• Can I reduce my tax burden?

Because planning is so critical and multi-disciplinary, I spent the past year studying for and earning a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ or CFP® designation. Only a small percentage of financial advisers has a CFP® designation, and even fewer are independent (not beholden to in-house products of a brokerage firm or insurance company). However, you would be wise to use an independent adviser who has a CFP®, or who has expertise in each of the disciplines mentioned above. That way, you are more likely to have a plan that is comprehensive, objective and achievable.

Please, take the time to plan, and then live by it. You’ll maximize the probability that your goals become a reality, not just a wish.

This article is not intended to provide tax, legal, accounting, financial, or professional advice. Readers should seek advice from qualified professionals who can review their specific circumstances. Old Peak Finance endeavors to provide information that is accurate and current. However, we cannot guarantee that this information has not been outdated or otherwise rendered incorrect by new research, legislation, or other changes. Old Peak Finance has no liability or responsibility to any individual or entity with respect to losses or damages caused or alleged to be caused, directly or indirectly, by the information contained on this website.

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