• Geoff Wells

What Is A Financial Plan?

Yes, we help our clients plan around financial assets, however, the term I have come to dislike is “financial plan”.  First of all, just saying financial plan sounds like a “snoozer”. Next, it is extremely hard to convey what a financial plan is since it is more of a service than a product.   Is it a 100-page report?  What will the outcomes of the plan be?  Will I understand it?  All of these things and more make the term financial plan something I personally dread.

What Alternative Names Are There? Unfortunately, we haven’t discovered a better option. A Roadmap?  A To-do List? Guidelines?  Everything sounds like work instead of something that should be exciting and beneficial.  While planning for retirement may never be as entertaining as planning a vacation, it does not have to be a tedious process either.

What Is A Financial Plan To Us? Simple, our goal is to provide a context and framework for you to make the best decisions possible.  There is often not one right or wrong answer in planning, but there is the right or wrong answer for you.

Filtering Out The Noise! Now more than ever, there is a constant stream of news and information that is often hard to decipher what is good and what is bad.  We provide a filter for both the news of the day as well as helping frame what decisions matter now versus later.  For example, if you are 40, Social Security is still important, but there is no decision to be made for 20+ years, so we focus on savings rate and investment allocation instead.

Short And Sweet! We strongly believe that all planning should be comprehensive, however, our goal is to not detract from the overall message.  Why use 2 pages when one will suffice?  We still complete the detailed underlying analysis, but if we can, we will streamline the plan down to the fewest number of decisions/pieces of information.  This allows for more meaningful and relevant discussions.

Bottom Line “Financial Plan” is a ubiquitous term that has a different meaning or connotation depending on the person.  Our version is to simply layout the easiest path to follow to help our clients reach their goals.