Here's one of the secrets of financial success: a written financial plan

Kirk Fricke, CLU®, CFP®
January 15, 2019
Most of us work hard every day to earn money. We do this so we can pay for life’s necessities and care for our families. But beyond the necessities, have you ever wondered about the true purpose of your money? What are your favorite things to spend it on? Where in life do you want it to take you?
 
Your wildest dreams
Ask someone what their fondest wish is and chances are they’ll tell you, “I want to be free to live my life the way I want to live it.” How do you want to live your life? “I want to be able to do what I want to do instead of what I have to do.” 
 
Wouldn’t it be great if there was someone who could help you figure out how to turn your dreams into a reality by following a path, a direction, or a roadmap?
 
A financial advisor is such a person. We all know that financial advisors are very good at crunching numbers and analyzing data, but a good financial advisor also specializes in listening: to your dreams, your hopes, your plans – and your challenges. They can help you make the most of your present financial situation and create a written plan for your future.
 
Here's one of the secrets of financial success: a written financial plan 
 
What’s a financial plan?
It might be easier to describe what a financial plan is not. It’s not a spreadsheet, a piece of software or even one document. A financial plan is a process, and it’s different for everyone. A financial advisor listens to you, records your information, analyzes it and helps you create a strategy for your financial life, both your present and future self.
 
Your financial advisor will gather information about your current situation:
  • Personal priorities: what’s the purpose of your money?      
  • Income & expenses
  • Assets & liabilities
  • Your insurance strategy
  • Your investment strategy
           
Your advisor will also help you think about the why and how:
  • Who are your major influencers about money? Your parents? Your spouse?
  • What are your short-term and long-term goals?
  • Do you have the resources in place to make those goals happen?
  • How much risk are you comfortable accepting?
 
Why you need a written financial plan, regardless of age or income level
A written financial plan can benefit people at all income levels, not just the affluent. In fact, the way most people become affluent is by creating a plan early, making periodic adjustments, and sticking with it throughout their lives.
 
Persons in their 20s and 30s who are beginning and building their careers should have a plan that gets them into the habit of saving and investing and helps keep them from making financial mistakes. But it’s not too late in your 40s, 50s, and 60s to create a written financial plan that can help you meet current life goals, plan for retirement, and live throughout retirement successfully.
 
Financial planning isn’t just about retirement…
While preparing for retirement is an important part of the planning process, a good financial plan can serve as a guide for other aspects of your financial life. Financial plans can help you optimize your current resources, no matter what stage of life you’re in. For instance, do you have a strategy for paying off student loans or saving for emergencies? Do you have too much insurance, or too little? Do you plan to buy a house?
 
…but a successful retirement is the end game.
As you proceed through life and your priorities change, your financial plan will evolve and change too. In the years leading up to your retirement, your plan will reflect your shifting financial picture. Your expenses may be lower after your children are grown and your mortgage is paid off, but you will likely devote a larger portion of your income to travel and healthcare as you age. A written financial plan for this stage of your life will help prepare for these expenses and others, such as long term care and estate planning.
 
Even in your later years, as you reach your 70s and 80s, financial planning continues to be important so you can provide the legacy that aligns with your goals.
 
Ready to start? We’re here to help.
You can take the first step in the journey toward your dreams by working with a Hancock Whitney Investment Services financial advisor. We provide written financial plans as a complimentary service*, so why wait? As Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan.” Let’s talk today and start building the plan that can help make your dreams come true.
 
 Learn More
 
 
*While the financial plan is free, there will be fees/commissions associated with any investment or insurance products used to implement the plan.
 
 
Investment and Insurance Products are offered through Hancock Whitney Investment Services, Inc. Hancock Whitney Investment Services Inc. is a registered broker/dealer, member FINRA/SIPC and a Registered Investment Advisor. Hancock Whitney Investment Services, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Hancock Whitney Corporation.
 
Investment and Insurance Products: 
NO BANK GUARANTEE NOT A DEPOSIT MAY LOSE VALUE NOT FDIC INSURED
NOT INSURED BY ANY FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AGENCY
 



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