Money only goes as far as you allow it-and a sensible plan that outlines how you should save, allocate and invest your money can help you stay in line with your goals. Financial planning is a service that can assist you with this. Whether you are just getting started on your personal finance journey or you own a small business and are struggling to make sense of proper money management, talking to an expert can offer a significant benefit. If you are unfamiliar with financial planners and what they can do for you, here’s what you need to know.
What the Term “Financial Planning” Means
The term “financial planning” refers to a particular set of services that some experienced financial professionals offer to help their clients navigate and set goals for their own finances. While a financial planner will not organize your money for you or make decisions on your behalf, they can work with you as a team to establish reasonable (and achievable) goals for your life or business, grow your money, invest it, save it and more. A financial planner’s role is to offer guidance and advice based on years of experience so that you can make informed decisions.
How to Get Started with Financial Planning
Getting started with financial planning begins with you. You will need to determine your goals and a number of other elements of your complete money picture. The good news is that even this first step does not need to be done alone. If you are considering working with a financial planner, the first step is to locate one that you trust. If you operate a business, especially one where your personal and business accounts often meet (or in fact are the same), be sure to select someone with experience in this area so that you can receive more personalized, actionable advice.
Once you select a financial advisor, spend some time either with them or on your own to consider your personal goals. Do you want to grow your money so that you can retire early? Do you want to set your business up for success so that you are never short on cash? Do you want to utilize the right kind of retirement accounts to make sure that your needs are met in your later years? No matter your goal, these types of questions form the foundation from which a financial planner can start to help you to tailor your spending habits for future financial success.
Most Common Areas Covered
The types of areas that a financial planner will cover depend on your personal needs, as well as the type of planner you select. Some planners focus on retirement, others focus on business, while others may focus solely on investment. A reputable advisor will always be happy to answer questions about the types of advice they feel experienced enough to offer.
In general, a financial advisor will be able to assist you with:
- Setting goals and determining if they are reasonable
- Developing a budget
- Reducing debt
- Saving for important goals
- Maximizing your employer match, if applicable
- Planning and preparing for emergencies
- Choosing the right retirement funds
- Allocating money for your small business
- Navigating how to keep business and personal financial concerns separate
While those are just a fraction of the potential challenges and considerations with which a financial planner can assist you, this list should give you a better idea of the range of services that such professionals offer. Remember-an advisor will not make these decisions for you; instead, they will learn your specific financial story and background, then provide suggestions and recommendations for you based on their many years of experience.
What Financial Planners Bring to the Table
You may still be wondering: why hire a financial planner instead of making all of these decisions on your own? The reason that financial planners are such a powerful force in your corner is because they have years of experience learning what works and what does not for a variety of clients. They can leverage that knowledge to help you make decisions using information that you may not have realized or learned on your own. And because you work as a team, they will continue to adapt with you over time.
Trust the Experts to Help You Make the Right Decisions for Your Financial Future
Whether you are just starting out on the journey to improve your financial wellbeing or you have reached a point where the details have become too overwhelming, you need not make all your financial decisions alone. If you or your small business needs some guidance on how to make your money work for you, the experts at Inflection Advisors would be happy to help. Reach out to learn more about our services or to schedule an appointment to get started.