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The “perfect” plan is what the individual client says it is. That’s because the individual has a vested interest in the outcomes of the financial decisions. The individual attempts to do what’s best for themselves, their family, and loved ones. Ideally, this is in context with all available knowledge and information.

Can there ever be ‘No Doubts’?

Any financial plan delivered to a client should assess the viability of that client’s financial planning journey. While truly more of a beacon for success, there is confidence and satisfaction to be found in the pursuit of ‘maximum preparedness.’

Effective planning provides peace of mind, often described as a ‘roadmap’ for a particular set of planning variables. Those variables form a cohesive strategy, plan of attack, and ideally report back a high likelihood of success. Great planning will help clients further identify, navigate, and, if needed, mitigate the impact of hazards. An effective plan will have realistic outcomes individually evaluated for accuracy and practicality, all with affected parties being on the same page. Still yet, effective panning can identify hypothetical scenarios off the present plan’s positioning, or a reasoned exploration of alternative planning scenarios.

Remember to be realistic! Check out our article Are Retirees Being Real?

The ultimate outcome of all this planning is to have no practical doubts about the believability or overall viability of a financial plan’s likelihood of success. It is the self-confidence many exhibit after settling on subjective courses of action. Clients can show this confidence during their pursuits of preparedness and later after having acted on a well-rationed set of procedures or upon achieving certain milestones.

For many, maximum confidence means being prepared.

Preparedness undoubtedly stems from the client having a clear, detailed understanding of plan dynamics, considering any viable alternatives and adjustments, and generally feeling well-prepared for the unknowable. I’d say that this is often what a client deems “complete,” “finalized,” or, in their eyes… “perfect.”

Having a process

Retirement decisions are often THE most consequential decisions a person can make, affecting all aspects of life, happiness, and long-term financial success in retirement. Sound financial decisions will come with assurances and a reasonable certainty of success.

Having a specified plan of approach helps individuals stay on track and accomplish financial goals in a less stressful way. A plan constructed in this fashion is more organized, never rushed, and should be motivated by self-interest. When preparing or revisiting a retirement plan, it’s a good idea to have a well-rationed process. This will likely reduce anxiety and confusion between any interested parties. 

Once complete, the totality of the financial planning landscape should become apparent. At this moment, a genuinely rational decision can be made and executed with complete confidence.

The benefits of having a rational planning process include:

  • Plan recall, or the ability to pick up where one left off
  • Higher decision confidence
  • Opportune pace building
  • More cooperative and substantial discussions
  • Getting  to the “truth”
  • Identification  of complex or time-consuming tasks
  • Better coordination and greater efficiency 
  • More authority over the implementation process

Have a ‘Battle Plan’

A financial planning strategy will not materialize through happenstance. It requires context and an in-depth analysis of all possible outcomes. A cohesive strategy forms, and a plan of attack ensues.

It’s called financial planning for a reason.

It’s possible many of the financial decisions an individual makes today will reverberate for generations. How are the financial planning game pieces distributed, and are pieces best positioned and deployed to win the game?

Financial planning is not merely a mathematical problem; subjective yet, critical decisions can have consequential long-lasting effects on the viability of financial success. Many variables may not be known or easily predictable. Furthermore, certain complications may be unavoidable. Retirees should familiarize themselves (at least once) with as many financial concepts as possible so that only the unknowable “wildcards” remain – reducing the number of unknown variables that can potentially disrupt the plan.

When to consider professional help

There is value in the financial professional. This value is the direct hands-on experience working with a multitude of clients. That is the experience of evaluating how others accomplish goals, avoid failure, settle subjective matters, and ultimately bring those experiences to the discussion.

Reasons to seek the guidance of a financial professional:

  • Avoid mistakes
  • To find objective guidance
  • As a mediator
  • When needing inspiration

Wouldn’t someone who does plans and educates the public have the best insights into financial planning?

At some point, the individual must make the best judgment possible and ideally base these decisions on as much qualitative and quantitative information as possible. This is the critical moment when it makes the most sense to seek the guidance of a qualified, ideally objective, financial, tax, and estate planning professional(s).

Respecting others’ perspectives

Every family member will have a role in the financial planning process. While some may choose not to participate, most are interested in the important decisions that affect them.

Good and bad financial experiences shape our opinions and the decisions we make. So it is no surprise that conflict can occur.

Do you enjoy sleeping on the couch?

Neglecting family awareness will inevitably result in uncertainty, confusion, and even distrust. Allow loved ones the opportunity to participate. Not allowing the opportunity may later result in backtracking, re-explanation, inaction, and even emotionally driven disagreements.

Since most people have done just one plan in their lives (their own), they may not have the proper experience to navigate disruptions, resulting in delay, inaction, and ultimately frustration in the planning process.

In general, if an individual is going to have a say in consequential financial decisions, then there should be active participation throughout the totality of the planning process. The financial planning process is most inefficient when matters become settled, and someone who chooses not to participate suddenly becomes interested.

Everyone is interested in what will happen to them financially.

The most common excuses for avoiding the planning process include:

  • No time
  • Anxiety with money
  • Prior bad experiences 
  • No interest
  • Not being good with numbers
  • Being overly frugal

Getting educated about retirement

From our prior experience, we know that it is generally in a user’s objective best interest to be fully engaged, maintain a positive attitude, and complete the base education and assessment requirements conveniently available through this app prior to making consequential financial decisions.

By following along, users will gain valuable insight that will save time, money, and prepare oneself to confidently make consequential financial decisions.

This course will help by…

  • Saving time
  • Saving money
  • Avoiding mistakes
  • Reducing uncertainty
  • Identifying personal preferences
  • Developing a more cohesive strategy
  • Enhance confidence with decisions 

Want to learn more about how we do what we do? Check out our FAQs and About pages on our website.

Furthermore, you can read more free articles on our Blog page written by real financial advisors

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Editor’s note: This blog offers informal investment and financial planning advice. We know nothing about your unique financial situation. The buying and selling any financial product or security should only be considered in context. If appropriate, seek the counsel of experienced, ideally objective, financial, tax, or estate planning professionals. Past performance is not indicative of future performance.

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