Simple Certainty | What Is a Financial Plan?
What Is a Financial Plan?
We all need a financial plan. There is no other way to turn the money that we earn into the lifestyle we aspire to. But what exactly does a financial plan look like? What’s involved in the process of developing one? And – importantly – how do you use it?
As you no doubt suspect, there’s a fair bit to cover when it comes to developing a financial plan – more than can be fit into a single blog. In this edition of Simple Certainty, we’ll cover the broad strokes and then take a deep dive into each component over the coming instalments.
Start at the finish line
When creating a financial plan, the best place to start is at the finish line. Ask yourself these questions:
- What are you looking to achieve?
- What do you want your life now and in the future to look like?
The first step involves establishing your lifestyle and financial goals. What does ‘wealthy’ mean to you? It’s never just about money, so we need to find out what your picture of ‘wealthy’ is. Only then can we start thinking about developing long-term strategies that will see your goals realised.
At Halcyon, we take the team approach. This means getting your accountant involved, your lawyer, your broker. A wide range of input gives us a greater chance of reducing risk and building wealth in the most tax effective manner. This is what’s going to give you the most certainty, confidence and – importantly – a good night’s sleep.
The specific components of a financial plan
- Investment Portfolios. Purpose-built, robust, designed to deliver great long-term outcomes and – very importantly – tailored to your risk tolerance. Financial plans are meant to provide certainty and confidence – not increase your anxiety.
- Superannuation. How can we use your super to achieve your financial goals? Depending on your situation, it might be worthwhile looking at an SMSF or maybe a simplified, hands-off approach.
- Risk management. No one likes thinking about the worst-case scenarios, but no financial plan is worth its salt without this vital consideration. We need to think about how we can protect and preserve your way of life.
- Estate planning. We make sure nothing is left to chance so that your wealth is distributed in precisely the manner you want, to whom you want, when you want, in the most tax effective way, whilst protecting vulnerable beneficiaries.
- Philanthropic considerations. If you’re in a position to give something back to society, we can help you do so with an effective, structured approach.
- Projections. As it indicates, this aspect of a portfolio looks into a client’s financial future and details how it will look. This capability allows us to demonstrate how achievable your goals are and whether our strategy needs adjusting. This is something we review on an ongoing basis, and it’s the most important aspect of a financial plan when it comes to providing certainty and reassurance for the client. What can my future look like and can I achieve it? That is what projections is all about.
Don’t miss the coming instalments for a deeper dive into financial plans
That’s a brief outline of what’s involved when developing a financial plan. There are a few components to it, but covering all of these bases will give you the certainty and confidence that your money will translate into wealth – whatever that looks like for you.
Over the coming instalments of Simple Certainty, we’re going to take a deeper dive into each component and their most important considerations. Do make sure you stay tuned so you don’t miss out on all the important aspects of a financial plan.
Please note this is general information only and you should always seek your own personal