Financial planning is related to investing, but they are not the same thing.
The Financial Plan
There are many types of financial plans. The broadest plan will identify and encompass every financial aspect of your life. It will catalogue all of the goals you have that touch on money (most do). A broad plan looks into every nook and cranny of your life including your bank accounts, brokerage accounts, earnings potential, insurance needs, retirement spending projections, debt use and elimination, college expenses, estate issues, current and anticipated tax issues, and more.
A plan like this is rather involved, takes thousands of dollars to produce, and will take months to complete. There are families would be best served by spending the money and taking the time to do one. For the rest of us, abbreviated plans make more sense.
The most common one covers retirement planning: Determining how much you need to save for retirement, how that money should be invested, how to protect yourself from risks (think insurance and emergency funds), and ensuring you get some basic estate documents done (wills and powers of attorney).
Other people will want to concentrate on college savings, insurance, debt management, or other specific issues.
Everyone’s needs are different. If you’d like to discuss this further, schedule an appointment and we can talk about your specifics and help you figure out what you need. Our initial meeting is at no charge.