Financial Planning-Define Your Goals

A comprehensive financial plan with objective advice should be your first step to planning your financial future. Your financial plan should be about you-your dreams and your priorities. Your goals are important, not just the ones that are of immediate concern, but all of your goals, both short term and long term. As life events occur, goals change and your plan should be updated accordingly. Choose to develop a comprehensive plan that will provide the strategies and guidance needed to help answer your pressing financial questions.

An important first step is to look at all of your financial needs as part of a bigger, interrelated picture. You need to examine a number of important areas.

Assessing your financial situation
  • Tracking income and expenses
  • Examining your employee benefits
  • Taking a look at all your assets and liabilities
  • Determining your net worth

Protecting against financial crises

Saving for education and major expenses

Investment planning
  • Assessing your level of risk tolerance
  • Understanding your investment objectives and time horizon
  • Developing an asset allocation strategy that's right for you

Tax planning

Work with your tax professional to:

  • Project federal income taxes
  • Develop a tax-deferral strategy
  • Stay abreast of tax law changes

Retirement planning
  • Estimating retirement income
  • Estimating the value of government programs
  • Determining the amount you need to save now to help meet future retirement income goals

Estate planning
  • Working with your attorney to plan the orderly distribution of your estate
  • Working with your tax professional to minimize excess estate taxes
  • Funding estate taxes