Financial planning allows you to understand how each financial decision you make; affects other areas of your finances.
For example, buying a particular investment product might help you pay off your mortgage faster or it might delay your retirement significantly.
By viewing each financial decision as part of a whole, you can consider its short and long-term effects on your life goals helping you adapt to life changes and feel more secure that your goals are on track.
Tips to achieve the best results from your financial planning:
Set specific targets of what you want to achieve and when you want to achieve results. E.g. Instead of saying you want to be "comfortable" when you retire or that you want your children to attend "good" schools, you need to quantify what "comfortable" and "good" mean so that you'll know when you've reached your goals.
Each financial decision you make can affect several other areas of your life. E.g. an investment decision may have tax consequences that are harmful to your estate plans. Or a decision about your child's education may affect when and how you meet your retirement goals. Remember that all of your financial decisions are interrelated.
Financial planning is a dynamic process. Your financial goals may change over the years due to things like an inheritance, marriage, birth, house purchase or change of job status. Revisit and revise your financial plan to stay on track with your financial goals.
People who save or invest small amounts of money early and often, tend to do better than those who wait until later in life. By developing good financial planning habits such as saving, budgeting, investing and regularly reviewing your finances early in life, you will be better prepared to meet life changes and handle emergencies.
Financial planning won’t change your situation overnight; it is a lifelong process. Remember that events beyond your control such as inflation or changes in the stock market or interest rates will affect your financial planning results.
If you're working with a financial planner, be sure you understand the financial planning process and what the planner should be doing. Provide the planner with all of the relevant information.
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