By Cristin Rigg, CFP®, CDFA™

You work hard every day, giving a significant amount of your time, energy and commitment to your professional life. In the end you want your hard work to pay off, don’t you? Developing a long-term financial plan as part of your investment strategy is crucial to securing that payoff. Financial planning is important for everyone, not just for people of a certain age or income bracket, and it’s evolved in the 21st century. Nowadays it’s easier than ever for investors to paint a bigger picture about their futures and imagine what they want their lives to look like at various milestones.¹ With help from an experienced advisor you can start planning to meet your financial goals at each turn and ultimately enjoy the fruits of your labor.

Financial Planning in the 21st Century
While it was once standard procedure for people to calculate on the back of an envelope if there would be enough money to fund their retirement, today’s investors are asking nuanced questions that demand high-tech answers and sophisticated scenario analysis. Chief among their concerns: can I do what I want to do in retirement, and what does that really look like from a practical perspective?

While a written plan is still the touchstone for financial planning, today’s additional technology greatly expands support networks, contacts and information about how to plan. Investors benefit the most from 21st century planning strategies and tools that have grown more sophisticated and personalized.² How do you take advantage of the 21st century financial planning resources available to you?

Mapping a Financial Plan-Map and road

Step 1: Meet with a professional advisor to determine your unique financial and life goals. In addition to portfolio and wealth management expertise, our team has the skills to coach you toward strategies that encourage you to spend less, save more and make tax-efficient withdrawals in ways that better ensure your financial security over time.

Step 2: Develop a written plan with your advisor but also take advantage of the many technological advances and digital tools that can help you with your financial planning.

Develop a Financial Plan that Fits Your Unique Goals
Your financial health can be as important as your physical health as you move through various stages in your professional and personal lives. As part of your overall investment approach, Harris Financial Advisors recommends developing a long-term financial plan tailored to your specific goals so you are prepared to reach each work and life milestone in good financial health. How do you develop healthy financial habits?

Step 1: Start with a clear financial plan that you’ve developed with your advisor and which includes your perspective on issues such as: long-term financial goals, acceptable risk, planned allocations, expected income, account management and advisor fees.³ Do you want to travel? Save for health expenses? Afford education costs? Leave an inheritance or make a significant donation to a cause or institution? Invest in home improvements or buy a new home? Start your own business?

Having a clear and well-defined financial plan for what you’d like to afford and accomplish as you age, and establishing how you will communicate with your advisor about it, will make it easier for you to support lifelong healthy financial habits.

Step 2. Meet on a regular basis to update your financial plan as significant professional and life changes occur. From a change in job status to fluctuating stock markets, even the best-planned financial futures are subject to unexpected developments. Be open to adjusting your plans during times of transition and change. Know that Harris Financial Advisors gives you individualized support and an information network that works to ensure you remain financially strong whatever your stage of life.

Conclusion
Financial planning is a key part of any investment approach. As people seek to retire earlier and live longer (and wish to do so comfortably) it’s a smart move to start planning what you’d like your later years to look like from a financial perspective.4 Contact us to get started on developing a financial plan that’s right for you today and through the years to come.

 

1. Shin, Lauren. Forbes Magazine, “10 Reasons Why Financial Plans Aren’t Just for the 1%” August 7, 2013. https://www.forbes.com/sites/laurashin/2013/08/07/10-reasons-why-financial-plans-arent-just-for-the-1/#568792bad7a3

2. Halloren, Tom. U.S. News and World Report, “How Financial Planning Has Evolved” May 3, 2018. https://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/the-smarter-mutual-fund-investor/articles/2018-05-03/how-financial-planning-has-evolved

3. Brown, Jeff. U.S. News and World Report, “9 Critical Elements of Financial Planning” July 11, 2017. https://money.usnews.com/investing/articles/2017-07-11/9-critical-elements-of-financial-planning

4. Schwab-Pomerantz, Carrie; Schwab, Charles. Business Insider, “People Who Are Good at Building Wealth Tend to be the Same No Matter How Much Money They Have” June 1, 2018. https://www.businessinsider.com/people-good-building-wealth-have-common-traits-financial-planning-finances-2018-6