Why is financial planning important? Consider the following:
- 60% of U.S. adults lack a budget. This number has grown by more than 8% just since 2011.
- Less than half of Americans have a savings plan with associated goals.
- 34% of U.S. adults have zero non-retirement savings.
- 29% of adults save none of their annual income for retirement.
- 33% of U.S. households carry credit card debt from month to month.
- 30 of workers say that they worry about their personal finances while at work.
- 44% of adults age 50-64 do not have a will.
- Nearly 1 in 4 Americans admits to paying bills late.
- 30% of Americans are not at all confident about their retirement savings.
- 37% of workers expect to retire after age 65.
After reading the above statistics, the need for financial planning becomes clear. Seeking the counsel of an independent, qualified financial planner who has the education, experience, knowledge and character to guide your personal financial needs can help you plan for both short and long-term goals.
When you meet with a financial planner, he or she will ask you about your life goals, values and philosophies about money. Determining your current net worth by identifying your assets and liabilities, and gathering detailed information about your regular expenditures will help your financial planner create a cash flow statement, analyze your spending habits and develop a budget that you can stick to. Your planner will then help you identify your short and long-term goals, and map out the path that will get you there.
Your financial planner will be able to guide you on financial topics such as:
- The age at which you can afford to retire
- Financial changes to expect after marriage
- How the expansion of your family can affect your financial goals
- The amount of mortgage debt you can afford to carry
- The amount of monthly savings needed to reach your financial target
- Insurance concerns
- Diversification of your portfolio and your investments
- Estate documents in case of incapacitation or death
- Tax strategies
While many financial professionals refer to themselves as financial advisors, true financial planners complete rigorous training to earn the CFP® designation from the CFP Board. All NAPFA members have reached this standard of excellence, and are CFP® certificants. You can find a NAPFA member who is a CFP® professional to help with your planning needs by visiting NAPFA’s Find an Advisor portal.