A professional who helps individuals to set and achieve their long-term financial goals, through investments, tax planning, asset allocation, risk management, retirement planning, and estate planning is known as a Financial Planner. People obtain the help of a financial planner because of the complexity of knowing how to perform the following :
Allowing the person to understand how each financial decision affects the other areas of finance; and allowing the person to adapt more easily to life changes in order to feel more secure.
Personal financial planning is broadly defined as “a process of determining an individual's financial goals, purposes in life and life's priorities, and after considering his resources, risk profile and current lifestyle, to detail a balanced and realistic plan to meet those goals”. The individual's goals/objectives are used as guideposts to plan a course of action on 'what needs to be done' to reach those goals.
Along the data gathering exercise, the intention of each goal is determined to ensure that the goal is meaningful in the context of the individual's circumstances. Through a process of careful analysis, these goals are subjected to a reality check by taking into consideration the individual's current and future resources available to achieve them. In the process, the restrictions and obstacles to these goals are noted. The information will be used later to find out if there are sufficient resources available to get to these goals, and what other things need to be considered in the process. If the resources are inadequate or absent to meet any of the goals, the particular goal will be adjusted to a more realistic level or will be replaced with a new one.
Frequent Planning requires consideration of self-constraints in postponing some pleasure today for the sake of the future. To be effective, the plan must consider the individual's current lifestyle so that the 'pain' in postponing current pleasures is tolerable over the term of the plan. In times where current sacrifices are involved, the plan must help to make sure that the pursuit of the goal will continue. A plan must consider the importance of each goal and must prioritize each goal. Many financial plans fail because these practical points were not satisfactorily considered.
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