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Plan for Success Posted on October 9, 2018
I have found while consulting with many clients over the past 20 years that once plans are actually written down, dreams are given a direction, whether they are for short-term saving or long-term wealth. The plan helps you to figure out where things are going wrong or could go wrong and keeps you motivated by proving it’s possible.
The process of making a financial plan identifies steps that must be taken and turns a “hoped-for” result into a viable goal.
I have found in turbulent economic times (as we are experiencing now), that a written plan allows you to keep your eyes on the long-term prize, rather than making panicked decisions. With the help from your financial adviser, it also gives you the chance to make far more accurate fine-tuned decisions and to ensure everything stays on track towards the agreed goal.
The long-term nature of a financial plan can help ease any short-term concerns, as it allows time for the market to smooth out the bumps and dips along the way, while providing the opportunity for growth.
The first and most obvious step is to determine your priorities. When it comes to retirement this means figuring out what type of lifestyle you’re hoping to have. Are you looking to travel the world regularly and stay in five-star hotels or is a shack down the coat and a few afternoons of fishing a week, your idea of retirement heaven?
Armed with this information, your adviser will be able to crunch the numbers to determine what your final dollar amount needs to be.
A good adviser will show you numerous ways to ensure your long-term hopes become a reality including the utilisation of:
Tax effective financial vehicles
Protection of your financial future with insurance
Constant fine-tuning as regulations change and new opportunities present themselves
A thorough plan will have smaller milestones along the way that serve to break up the major plan and act as checkpoints to ensure you’re still on track.
Such a strategy is known in some circles as a SMART plan.
A SMART plan sticks to these principles:
S – Specific & Simple
M – Measurable & Meaningful
A – Actionable & Attainable
R – Realistic & Relevant
T – Timely & Timetabled
Perhaps a final ‘R’ should be added to the plan to represent”
R – Review and Reassess
Once the plan is in place, it must stay current.
I review and fine tune plans with my clients at least once every 12 months as the markets rise and fall, new products become available, governments introduce new legislation, regulations are altered and changes to tax laws offer new strategies and opportunities.
If you’re confident about your future, you’re more likely to enjoy the present.