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Why Everyone Needs a Financial Plan

Why everyone needs a financial plan.

One of the most common questions asked by clients is if they are saving enough for retirement. This is not an easy question to answer without knowing their specific situation. Below are a few important questions that you might want to start thinking about:

  • When do you want to retire?
  • What have you (and your spouse, if applicable) saved so far?
  • What monthly income do you think you will need in retirement?
  • Will be you be counting on Social Security to help fund your retirement?


As a "numbers girl," I really enjoy the investment side of my business, but I also enjoy the planning side. Going through the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNING accreditation process a few years back gave me the knowledge to put together detailed plans for clients. I believe that a financial plan can help you determine how much you need to save in order to achieve the outcome that you desire. This plan will lay out what resources you have: your bank accounts, IRA’s, 401(k)’s, and pensions, and it will project them forward until your goal retirement age. It includes current contributions to any plans and any employer matches that you are receiving. Once we have the dollar amount that you have saved for retirement at your optimal retirement age, the plan will project how long these accounts will last, based on a previously discussed longevity age. The results of these numbers are what everyone wants to know – are they going to okay? Will their money last? Will they be able to leave behind a legacy to their children?

The financial plan will give you a percent, based on your goals. For example, let’s say Daniel wants to retire at age 60, with $4,000/month in income until age 85. After Daniel shares his financial information with me, I run the financial plan. The plan reveals that Daniel is 80% funded for retirement, and that he needs to contribute an additional $100/month into his Roth IRA. There are other options in the plan, such as decreasing spending in retirement, or increasing the investment return, but our goal is to increase the current 80% score to a 100% for Daniel over time, so that he can enjoy his retirement for years without as many money concerns. We look at this routinely to keep Daniel on track and make adjustments as life happens.

If you have ever wondered if you are on track for the retirement that you envision for yourself, I can help with this. Even if most of your investments are tied up in a company 401(k), we can still work together to plan for your retirement.