Think back to when you were fresh out of high school. Whether you were starting your first full-time job or heading off to college — or some combination of the two — it is probably a safe guess that your idea of financial planning at that point was not particularly well developed. For so many 18 and 19 year olds, financial planning simply means having enough money in the bank to buy groceries and pay rent. At that age, it can be hard to think about nebulous future events like retirement because adult life has barely begun. And yet, that is a great time to start developing a true financial plan. Fortunately, there is no age limit on creating a financial plan. But, to what purpose?
What Is Financial Planning?
When talk about financial planning comes up, many people immediately jump to thoughts of choosing stocks and learning how to ‘play’ the stock market game. It’s not that at all! Well, stock market investing can be a part of financial planning, but it’s not everything and it’s not even necessary. Financial planning, at its most basic, is exactly what it sounds like — it’s a plan for your money. More specifically, financial planning is typically something done with the help of a financial consultant who will work with you to determine what your monetary goals are, both short- and long-term, and help you develop a plan to make those goals a reality.
What Can Financial Planning Do?
The long and short of it is that financial planning can do just about anything. A frequent focus is planning for retirement, but that’s not the only thing you can do with financial planning. It’s less about what you want to do with your money and more about what you want in life, what your values are, what is important to you, and how to strategically use your money to benefit you and your family based on your goals/values. With that in mind, financial planning can do a lot of different things. Specifically, it can help you:
Get out of debt
Prepare financially for retirement
Save for a large purchase, like a house
Create college savings for your kids
Adjust to changes in your financial situation
Make life-impacting financial decisions
Of course, that isn’t a comprehensive list. The idea behind financial planning as a whole is to find a financial consultant who will work closely with you to get to know your needs so they can offer personalized advice and planning. A financial plan should be all about your needs, so in essence, it can do just about anything.
Fiduciary Financial Planning
When you start looking into financial consultants in your area, we definitely suggest looking specifically for fiduciary financial planners. Fiduciaries are financial advisors, but they are a specific subset who are legally bound to act in the best interests of their clients. Generally, this means providing financial advice and services according to what will be best for their client rather than what will help them earn the most commission. Here at Anchor Wealth Management, our financial planning team has your best interests at heart, even without the fiduciary title — though, owner Adam Ludwig is a Fiduciary too. If you’re looking for a financial advisor in Lanark, or even if you just want to learn more about what financial planning has to offer, contact us today!