Making the right financial decisions is just as important as making any other major decision in life. It can be difficult to know what to do when you’re faced with a complicated financial decision, but having an organized process for developing a comprehensive financial plan will help you make those decisions effectively.
Here are seven steps that will help guide you through the process of developing a comprehensive financial plan:
Develop a strategy. Your financial plan should be your road map to reach your financial goals and objectives.
A financial plan is your road map to reach your financial goals and objectives. It’s the basis for all of your financial decisions, from investing to saving for retirement.
If you don’t have one already, it can take some time to develop a strategy that meets your needs. However, once you have one in place, it will help prevent mistakes and increase the odds of success when investing in securities or other assets.
Set goals. Financial goals are the heart of your financial plan. Without clearly defined financial goals, it is nearly impossible to formulate your strategy.
To set goals, you must first define what your financial needs are. You need to determine how much money you have and how much money you will need in the future. Next, make a list of things that are most important to you and rank them according to their importance. For example, if your goal is to buy a house, then it might currently be more important than saving for retirement. If so, then put “buy home” above “saving for retirement” on your list of goals (but not too far above).
Once this has been done, determine how much money each item would cost based on its priority level and write down those amounts in descending order from most expensive down to least expensive item so that they can be easily tracked.
Analyze your current situation. You must know where you are before you can get to where you want to go. Prepare a detailed financial statement that outlines all of your assets, debts and cash flow information.
Before you can choose the right product or asset class for yourself, you must first analyze your current situation. You must know where you are before you can get to where you want to go. Prepare a detailed financial statement that outlines all of your assets, debts and cash flow information so that you have a clear picture of what’s going on in your life at present.
A detailed financial statement will provide invaluable insight into how much money is coming into the house each month (income), how much money is being spent each month (expenses) and how much money is left over at the end of each month (savings).
Evaluate alternatives. The more alternatives you have for making progress toward your goals, the more likely it is that you will succeed in reaching them.
Before you buy a financial product, it is important to evaluate the alternatives and make sure that what you are buying will help you reach your financial goals. Consider:
- The pros and cons of each alternative.
- Your risk tolerance. Are there any potential losses or negative consequences involved in this investment? How much risk can you accept? What is the probability that things will go as planned?
- Your time horizon.
- Do you plan to use this money within five years or does it need to last longer than that (such as if it’s for college)?
- Does it have room for growth over time or do its benefits depend on being withdrawn immediately after purchase (for example when paying off debt)?
- Will inflation affect how much purchasing power these investments have over time versus other types of investments with similar risks but different strategies?
Implement a strategy to reach your goals. Having a comprehensive financial plan will help you implement the right strategies at the right time to achieve those goals, no matter how lofty they may seem now.
The most important part of the process is to implement a strategy that will help you reach your goals. It’s not enough to just have a plan in place; you need to follow through on it and be disciplined, adaptable when new circumstances arise and patient when things get tough. We have found that working with a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ (CFP®) is a great way to help you stay on track. Good news, we have several CFP® professionals on our team to help you out.
Monitor your progress and make adjustments as needed. You’ll need to regularly monitor and adjust your plan as conditions change and new opportunities arise along the way.
You’ll need to regularly monitor and adjust your plan as conditions change and new opportunities arise along the way. It’s also important that you monitor your progress against your financial goals, ensuring that you are on track with them.
By following an organized process, you’ll be able to develop an effective financial plan that will help you to achieve peace of mind about reaching all of your important life goals
When it comes to financial planning, there are many different ways that you can approach this important process. You may want to get started by learning more about the different types of financial products available and how they work. Once you’ve done that, it’s time to start thinking about your goals and how you will be able to meet them with the help of these products.
Not sure where or how to begin? Here are some tips on developing an effective financial plan:
- Begin by taking a look at what your current situation is like in order for us to know where we need to go from here.
- Decide exactly what your goals are going forward so that we can all work together towards those specific outcomes and make them happen!
- Talk to us. We can help you determine next steps and how to create a plan with clear action steps to put you on the right financial path.
If you have ever tried to develop a financial plan, you know that it can be a daunting task. There are many variables to consider, numerous resources available and no shortage of opinions on what the best approach should be. The key is to remember that your financial plan is just that: a plan for achieving your goals and objectives over time. You don’t need all the answers now—just a process for getting them!
Have a great weekend!
Source: Ballentine Capital Advisors
Golf Tip of the Week
Watch Clubhead And Ball Collide
Avoid The ‘Keep Your Head Down’ Trap
We have all heard it. The well-intentioned advice of “keep your head down.” Keeping your head down in a static sense is an unnatural and tense position, so let’s say “watch the clubhead and ball collide” instead.
This is because keeping your head down rigidly restricts the free-swinging motion of your body through the ball. You could easily wind up hitting at the ball rather than swinging through it.
Again, strive to “watch the collision” of the clubhead and ball. This thought will help keep your spine angle constant and your focus of attention on the ball. When the weight shifts and the rotation of the body occurs, the right shoulder passing under your chin will help your head come up after impact so that you can follow the flight of the ball, getting to the optimal balanced finish position.
Remember, impact occurs during the swing, not at the end of it. Let the ball get in the way of the swing by watching the collision, not by keeping your head down. We want to look at that great shot after we hit it, not while we are hitting it.
Tip adapted from golftipsmag.comi
Recipe of the Week
Air Fryer Okra
- 90g (1/2 cup) polenta
- 50g (1/3 cup) plain flour
- 1 tsp sweet paprika
- 1 tsp table salt
- 2 eggs
- 312g packet frozen or fresh chopped okra
- Place polenta, flour, paprika and salt in a shallow dish and stir until combined. Whisk together eggs and 1 tbsp. cold water in a separate shallow dish.
- Preheat air fryer to 200C for 3 minutes.
- Meanwhile, dip half the okra in egg mixture (set remaining okra aside), allowing excess to drip back into bowl. Add to polenta mixture and toss until coated.
- Spray air fryer basket with oil. Transfer okra to basket. Spray with oil. Cook okra, tossing okra and spraying with oil halfway through cooking, for 10 minutes or until golden and crisp.
- Repeat with remaining okra, egg mixture and polenta mixture.
Recipe adapted from taste.com.auii
Health Tip of the Week
The Science of Sleep: Understanding What Happens When You Sleep
Sleep accounts for one-quarter to one-third of the human lifespan. But what exactly happens when you sleep?
Before the 1950s, most people believed sleep was a passive activity during which the body and brain were dormant. “But it turns out that sleep is a period during which the brain is engaged in a number of activities necessary to life—which are closely linked to quality of life,” says Johns Hopkins sleep expert and neurologist Mark Wu, M.D., Ph.D. Researchers like Wu are spending many of their waking hours trying to learn more about these processes and how they affect mental and physical health. Here is a glimpse into the powerful (often surprising) findings of sleep researchers—and what they’re still trying to discover about the science of sleep.
All Sleep Is Not the Same
Throughout your time asleep, your brain will cycle repeatedly through two different types of sleep: REM (rapid-eye movement) sleep and non-REM sleep.
The first part of the cycle is non-REM sleep, which is composed of four stages. The first stage comes between being awake and falling asleep. The second is light sleep, when heart rate and breathing regulate and body temperature drops. The third and fourth stages are deep sleep. Though REM sleep was previously believed to be the most important sleep phase for learning and memory, newer data suggests that non-REM sleep is more important for these tasks, as well as being the more restful and restorative phase of sleep.
As you cycle into REM sleep, the eyes move rapidly behind closed lids, and brain waves are similar to those during wakefulness. Breath rate increases and the body becomes temporarily paralyzed as we dream.
The cycle then repeats itself, but with each cycle you spend less time in the deeper stages three and four of sleep and more time in REM sleep. On a typical night, you’ll cycle through four or five times.
Your Body’s Built-In Sleep Controls
According to Wu, there are two main processes that regulate sleep: circadian rhythms and sleep drive.
Circadian rhythms are controlled by a biological clock located in the brain. One key function of this clock is responding to light cues, ramping up production of the hormone melatonin at night, then switching it off when it senses light. People with total blindness often have trouble sleeping because they are unable to detect and respond to these light cues.
Sleep drive also plays a key role: Your body craves sleep, much like it hungers for food. Throughout the day, your desire for sleep builds, and when it reaches a certain point, you need to sleep. A major difference between sleep and hunger: Your body can’t force you to eat when you’re hungry, but when you’re tired, it can put you to sleep, even if you’re in a meeting or behind the wheel of a car. When you’re exhausted, your body is even able to engage in microsleep episodes of one or two seconds while your eyes are open. Napping for more than 30 minutes later in the day can throw off your night’s sleep by decreasing your body’s sleep drive.
Why You Need Sleep
If you have ever felt foggy after a poor night’s sleep, it won’t surprise you that sleep significantly impacts brain function. First, a healthy amount of sleep is vital for “brain plasticity,” or the brain’s ability to adapt to input. If we sleep too little, we become unable to process what we’ve learned during the day and we have more trouble remembering it in the future. Researchers also believe that sleep may promote the removal of waste products from brain cells—something that seems to occur less efficiently when the brain is awake.
Sleep is vital to the rest of the body too. When people don’t get enough sleep, their health risks rise. Symptoms of depression, seizures, high blood pressure and migraines worsen. Immunity is compromised, increasing the likelihood of illness and infection. Sleep also plays a role in metabolism: Even one night of missed sleep can create a prediabetic state in an otherwise healthy person. “There are many important connections between health and sleep,” says Wu.
Tip adapted from hopkinsmedicine.orgiii
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