Whitlock Wealth Wisdom: Financial Planning Fundamentals | Company

Financial planning can help you better understand where you are financially, how to prepare for the challenges ahead, and how to plan where you want to go. If you haven’t prepared a financial plan for yourself or your family, a financial advisor can help. Here are the typical steps in the planning process:

Goal setting. In this fundamental step, your financial goals take center stage. This is an opportunity for you to identify what you hope to accomplish in your life and when you would like to get there.

Fact finding. During this phase, you will gather numbers with your financial advisor to see how things add up. The price of future goals should be quantified, so you can determine what you need to save to afford them. If your goals don’t match the reality of your financial situation, one or the other needs to change.

Creation of plans. A comprehensive financial plan outlines how to achieve personal and professional goals within the context of actual income and expenses.

Implementation of the strategy. This is where things get real. If your plan requires you to save a certain amount of money each month, that’s up to you. If achieving your goals means you need to increase your income, now is the time to put in the extra effort to get that promotion or change your field for increased compensation. Your financial advisor can help you select savings vehicles suited to your investment objectives.

Ongoing plan reviews. Ideally, your financial plan is a dynamic document that is periodically adjusted to reflect your life situation. Your financial advisor will recommend at least one annual meeting to check on your progress towards your goals and refine your financial plan.

Financial planning takes work, but the process can be very rewarding.

Bennett C. Whitlock III, CRPC®, is a private wealth advisor and CEO of Whitlock Wealth Management, a private wealth advisory firm of Ameriprise Financial Services, LLC. He specializes in fee-based financial planning and asset management strategies and has been practicing for 27 years. To contact him, visit whitlockwealth.com, call 877-WHITLOCK or email [email protected] Offices are located at 12848 Harbor Drive, Suite 101, Lake Ridge, VA 22192 and in Historic Downtown Manassas at 9073 Center Street, Manassas VA 20110.

Investment advisory products and services are made available through Ameriprise Financial Services, LLC, a registered investment adviser.

Investment products are not insured by the FDIC, NCUA, or any other federal agency, are not deposits or obligations of any financial institution, or are not guaranteed by any financial institution, and involve risks of investment, including possible loss of capital and fluctuation in value.

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