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The What, Why, and How of a Financial Plan.

What is a Financial Plan? How is it created? Why Do You Need One?

What is a Financial Plan?

The Certified Financial Planners organization defines a financial plan as a roadmap that outlines your financial goals and how to achieve them. Below are the seven steps of the process:

How is a Financial Plan Created?

At Walk You To Wealth, I take a collaborative approach that combines technology with personalized guidance from a Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) and Certified Public Accountant (CPA®). Below is my process working with clients:

  • Goal Setting: I begin with a survey to understand your financial aspirations. Sure, everyone wants more money, but we delve deeper to uncover the "why" behind your goals.

  • Financial Snapshot: I utilize RightCapital, a financial planning software, to get a clear picture of your current financial situation. This system allows you to securely input information and connect your financial accounts for real-time updates.

  • Tactical Goals: You'll also have the opportunity to set more specific goals, like retiring by 58 or funding your child's education.

  • Expert Review: A human CFP® and CPA® (me!), not AI, reviews all the data and crafts personalized recommendations to help you achieve your goals.

  • Collaborative Discussion: We then discuss these recommendations in detail to ensure you fully understand and feel confident about them. This will include a fair amount of education, which is a step that's glaringly missing from the formal seven step process noted above.

Financial planning isn't always black and white – there can be a fair amount of uncertainty involved; however, my goal is to empower you to make informed decisions you feel confident about. Your financial plan should also be a living document that adapts to your evolving goals and changing circumstances. That's why ongoing collaboration with a professional is key to keeping your plan on track.

Why Do You Need a Financial Plan?

Below are the top three reasons why everyone should have a financial plan:

  1. Cut Through the Jargon: The world of personal finance is rife with confusing terminology: expense ratios, exchange-traded funds, IRAs, and the list goes on. A financial planner acts as your translator and guide, helping you navigate this complexity.

  2. Avoid Costly Mistakes: Financial missteps like credit card debt, personal loans, or overly concentrated investments (e.g., solely in your company stock) can have serious long-term consequences. A financial plan not only helps you avoid these pitfalls but also charts a course out of any current financial challenges.

  3. Beyond Unsolicited Advice: Family, friends, social media, and even traditional media are often filled with questionable financial advice. A professional financial planner provides objective guidance based on your unique circumstances and goals.

drake meme about financial advice

If you are looking for a financial planning experience that looks and feels different, then fill out the contact form below:

Disclaimer: The information in this post is provided for your convenience only and is not intended to be treated as financial, investment, tax, or other advice. The information is intended to be educational and is not tailored to the investment needs of any specific individual.  It is also not intended to be relied upon as a forecast and is not an offer or solicitation to buy or sell any securities or to adopt any investment strategy.  The opinions expressed are those of the author.  Reliance upon the guidance and information in this presentation is at the sole discretion of the individual.


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