Published by Christina Hester Snyder, Associate Partner and Wealth Advisor
Financial planning has long been perceived as something only the ultra-wealthy need to do. This common misconception plays a large part in why many families are not set up for long-term success, including when it comes to education and retirement planning. In fact, only 30% of Americans actually have a long-term financial plan and only 36% consider themselves prepared for retirement. Planning for the future doesn’t have to be difficult or overwhelming, though. Here are 3 ways a solid financial plan can guide your family to long-term financial success.
1. Maximize Income & Control Expenses
There are many levels to a financial plan, but the foundational pieces are maintaining your income and controlling your expenses. These are the pillars that will support all your other long-term financial goals.
This may seem obvious, but it can’t be overstated: your income is your greatest wealth-building tool. It will allow you to build an emergency fund and prevent the need to sell assets or take on debt to meet your basic expenses. When combined with budgeting and tracking spending habits, you can build a strong financial foundation that’s able to withstand life’s unexpected events, including job loss, reduced income, illness, or time at home with the kids.
2. Limit Exposure to Risk
A financial plan can also help provide protection from the major categories of loss that could jeopardize your assets and put your family at risk. Much like a pothole, unmanaged risk can mean the difference between a smooth ride and a flat tire. A family financial plan can minimize unmanaged risk, helping you to be thoroughly prepared for potential emergencies.
Be sure to review your insurance policies and make sure they have adequate coverage levels. This should include life, health, auto, and homeowners insurance at a minimum, but disability, umbrella liability, and long-term care coverage should be considered as well. These risks are often overlooked and can have devastating effects on your ability to build and accumulate wealth. Making sure you are adequately covered now will save you time, money, and energy in the future.
3. Plan for the Future
A financial plan is also a key component of setting and pursuing long-term goals. Most people have finite resources and a seemingly infinite list of needs and wants: buying a home, planning a wedding, going on vacation, buying a new car, education costs for your children, and retirement needs for you! The list goes on and on.
A financial plan is the road map that can help you navigate competing goals, allowing you to accomplish more than you would if you weren’t actively planning for the future. No matter what your goals are, a financial plan can help you get there.
Start Your Plan Today
If you want to take control of your finances and build a solid plan for the future, consider partnering with a professional. We at Jacob William Advisory know the ins and outs of how to build a family financial plan. Contact our office by calling 410-821-6724, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or scheduling an appointment at https://www.jacobwilliam.com/insights/#contact.
About Christina Hester Snyder
Christina is an Associate Partner and Wealth Advisor at Jacob William Advisory with a storied 20-plus year career in financial services. Christina is known for her commitment to her clients and is dedicated to helping them alleviate their financial fears through education and planning that goes far beyond investments. She believes in a comprehensive approach that addresses all facets of planning, including wealth transfer, insurance, taxes, investments, estate and trust planning, retirement, risk management, and business planning. Christina graduated from the University of Baltimore with a Bachelor of Science in Business with an emphasis in international business. She also holds many professional designations, including CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, Chartered Financial Consultant® (ChFC®), Retirement Income Certified Professional® (RIPC®), and Certified IRA Services Professional (CISP™). She is an active member of her community and is involved in many professional and nonprofit groups, including acting as the president of the Maryland chapter of Women in Insurance & Financial Services and serving on the board of a nonprofit that helps Maryland families with financial hardships. To learn more about Christina, please click here.