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Create a Financial Plan

Updated: Sep 1, 2023

Goals and risks and savings, oh my! Planning is what I do for the people I work with, and it can get pretty detailed. That’s because we don’t leave any stone unturned, and we optimize each part of the plan to make everything work together in harmony. That said, if you don’t want to engage a financial planner, you should still get some of the basics down on paper (and review them occasionally).


There is a planning framework that involves seven steps, but I’m going to strip it down to just three - the first of which would be identifying your goals. You wouldn’t go on vacation without a destination in mind; your life should be no different. What does your ideal life look like? When do you envision living that life? What’s it going to cost?


The next step is to give yourself a good understanding of where you’re at now. If I ask you how to get to Disneyland, you’ll probably ask me where I am right now - you’re not just going to tell me to take the next left. Having a deep understanding of your personal situation starts with taking a look at everything you own and everything you owe, and the current dynamics that are changing those numbers (i.e. your income, spending, and savings rate). That’s not all of it, but it’s a good start.


Lastly, you need to take a good hard look at the risks that stand to screw up your plan. There’s a reason that every time you get on a plane, they tell you where the life jackets are and what to do if the oxygen masks pop out. It’s unlikely that a plane crash will end up being the thing that derails your plan - things you should think about are becoming disabled, a death in the family, lower than expected investment returns, higher than expected taxes or inflation, etc. There are a lot of things to take into account, but this is a good framework to get you started.

 

As always, keep in mind that you don't have to go it alone. Check out my website to see what it's like to work with me and reach out if you have any questions.


If you found this post helpful, help spread the word! But remember, this is solely for educational purposes - it's not advice.


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