Most people have money goals, whether short term or long term ones. It might be paying off college loans, buying a bigger house or building a retirement fund.
Whatever you wish to achieve, your actions need to be directed in order to attain your objectives. This is where financial planning comes into play.
Financial planning is the process of wisely managing your resources so you can achieve your goals and objectives.
It is important to have a plan that serves as the anchor to your actions to keep you on track in achieving your specific goals.
At Leeward Wealth, our belief is that a good financial plan is the first step towards financial security. We also believe a financial plan needs to be flexible and regularly updated to ensure as life circumstances change, it continues to reflect your financial goals.
In our minds, a good financial plan has these intrinsic qualities:
A sound financial plan starts with an extensive evaluation of your current financial status and future expectations. Here are the key steps we use in creating a financial plan that addresses your specific needs:
Calculate Your Net WorthYour current net worth is the total worth of your assets less the total of your liabilities. In order to understand this fully, let us define terms:
Assets - is anything you own of value. It includes your car, home, artwork, expensive furniture, cash in the bank or investments like stocks, property or money invested in a 401(k) plan.
Liabilities - refer to your financial obligations and may include credit card debts, unpaid student loans, outstanding mortgage or a car loan.
To look at it another way, your net worth is what you will have in cash if you sold off all your assets and paid off all your debts.
Determine Your Cash Flow
Before any financial plan can be drawn up, it is important to determine where you spend your money on a monthly basis.
This is a crucial step to determine how much money you need for monthly necessities.
It is also important to determine how much money you have left to put away in savings or for investing.
Done properly, it also gives you a clear picture where you may be able to cut down on spending, if necessary.
How do you determine monthly spending?
A good way to start is to review your checking account and credit card statements. This will give you a fairly accurate record of your spending. It is advisable to total your spending for an entire year and divide this by 12 to derive a more precise estimate. This is to insure yearly expenses and non-monthly recurring expenses like property taxes are not forgotten in your calculations.
Monthly expenditure can further be broken down into categories, which may include:
Define Your Goals
The most intrinsic part of a financial plan is your well defined and specific goals. These vary from person to person depending on your situation.
Leeward Wealth is experienced in financial planning. We can help you choose a detailed savings and investments plan that can help you achieve your short term and long term goals.
Creating a sound financial plan can spell the difference between financial failure and independence.
Our knowledge and expertise help to anticipate and avoid pitfalls, to actively plan, execute and help you manage certain financial aspects of your life, and to regularly analyze and adjust to current situations and life changes.
Here’s how a Leeward Wealth Financial Planner can help:
Financial planning is the foundation for our recommendations to our clients.
Sometimes the planning is done informally and sometimes it is important to do a formal plan.
How do you know which one is for you?
Informal Financial PlanningWith informal planning, our goal is to get to know what you have done in the past, what you are currently doing, and what your goals are. We look at your overall financial picture inclusive of estate docs, liquid savings, insurance, investments and retirement.
Upon understanding your overall financial picture we build recommendations for you to move forward towards your goals. This type of planning is usually done for younger people who are just starting out, or people with long-term goals.
Formal Financial Planning
Formal financial planning is more appropriate for when there is a deadline that needs to be achieved. For instance, if you are due to retire in 5 years, we will formulate a formal plan. You may want to answer certain crucial questions such as:
Can I afford to retire?Will I be okay?Will I run out or outlive the money I have set aside?
These questions need specific information to be answered accurately.
With formal planning we gather your income, expenses (current and in retirement), retirement accounts, bank accounts or any other investments, your future income streams inclusive of social security and any pension income you may be receiving.
We look at health expenses now and what they may look like in retirement. We gather all relevant information to be able to get a good picture of what your financial future will look like.
With enough time, we can help make necessary adjustments and fix any shortfalls that may exist so that when your time to retire comes, you may have the peace of mind to know that you “will be ok”!
Whether it is formal or informal financial planning, Leeward Wealth wants to be your partner in achieving your financial freedom!
Call us today to see how we can help set you on the right path for success!
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