Financial Planning Perspective on Life Stages | money matters

My daughter recently graduated from a university in Texas with a master’s degree. My wife and I attended the ceremony and took a road trip, visiting the Grand Canyon and other national parks along the way.

Her graduation was an important step for her and for us. The trip made me think about planning, how my daughter planned it, and the importance of planning to successfully navigate life’s milestones.

For a person to graduate from any apprenticeship program, there must be planning on the part of both the student and, in many cases, the parent or guardian. Many planning questions and assumptions go into the decision to embark on an intense study program. On the part of the student, of course, the questions are about career opportunity, personal strengths, which school may have the optimal curriculum, or what resources and curriculum are best for achieving the desired result.

On the parent or guardian side, some key questions might be: What advice can I give my child in choosing this path? How could we better house financial and non-financial resources to support the person in this endeavor?

Is there a connection with financial planning in this type of planning? I would say absolutely.

In financial planning, we take everything we know about an individual or family’s finances and financial resources and help them develop the best roadmap to achieve their financial goals. As planners, we very often carry out educational analysis for our clients with young children. Preparing beforehand to estimate the cost of a child’s future education and setting up a savings program to fund these expenses is not only an essential part of a young family’s financial goals, but helps also go a long way to reducing the stress and concerns associated with funding future studies. expenses.

Reaching milestones in life takes planning. Take retirement, for example. Isn’t preparation the best and least stressful way to reach this stage? There is no better way in my mind to prepare for a major life goal than to plan it well.

From a planning perspective, I would view these “milestones” as goals that, in many cases, require financial resources to achieve. A comprehensive financial plan takes into consideration a myriad of elements that are necessary to achieve many life milestones and, most importantly, provides the client with important information on the best ways to achieve the multiple goal or goals.

Whether for education, retirement, estate planning, or other life goals, there is usually a financial component involved that can be analyzed and understood in a way that not only improves the likelihood of success, but also reduces the risk and stress of achieving the goal. desired result.

Robert Toomey, CFA/CFP, is vice president of research for SR Schill & Associates on Mercer Island.