The Planning Process
Most planning processes start at the end. What is the final destination, the desired outcome, the prize at the end of the race? In this financial planning journey, the destination is your personal financial goals and objectives.
Identifying these goals takes a lot of thought. What are your priorities? Who is involved—people, charities, etc. What legacy do you want to leave behind? There will be short-term, mid-term and long-term goals in your plan.
Once you know where you’re going, you need a map to figure out how to get there. Every journey has both a destination and a starting place. Before you can determine what route to take, you need to know where you’re starting from. The first step is to complete a Personal Net Worth Statement and Cash Flow Analysis. This lets you know what you have to work with as you plan your journey.
Next comes planning the route. Go this way or that? Stop here, or bypass there? Here is where short-term and mid-term goals come into play. Education, buying a home, or caring for children or elderly parents may all be ‘stops along the way.’ Or there may be others specific to your personal situation.
What about bumps in the road? On a trip or in life, they’re always a possibility. Unexpected illness or disability, job loss, natural disaster or other unplanned events can throw obstacles in our way. So your plan has to include reserves and alternative options to deal with such events.
Finally, you approach your destination—your long-term goals. For many that means a secure retirement; peace of mind about the future; the satisfaction of a well-planned legacy.
You’ll never get anywhere if you don’t get on the road and start moving!
Do you know where you want to go? Are you ready to start? Are you already on the way and feeling a little lost? Covenant Trust Company® is ready to be your travel companion along the way. Your local Financial Services Representative can help you get going. [view Directory]