A Financial Plan is a like a roadmap. Before you can work out where to go, you first need to establish exactly where you are, and approximately where you want to be. Only then can you work out how to get there.
The areas a Financial Plan should cover can be any combination of the following:
Your Goals and Objectives
99% of people that come to see us don't know what these are. That's okay, we are experienced in helping you work these out without leading the witness. Want to know what a goal might look like? Take a look here at some market research that suggests we are not all that different from each other...
Day to Day Cash Management
Before you can embark on early retirement or making your first billion, we need to get your current situation under effective and efficient management. This is not necessarily the dreaded budget. Often it is being smart about debt - which debts to repay first to reduce your total repayments and get you debt free faster. How to effectively structure your mortgage to hedge against interest rates and to repay the debt more efficiently so that the bank gets less money, you repay the mortgage faster, and it not only doesn't cost you more, it costs you way less.
Protection for when things go wrong
To quote Kerry Packer, "major sugery is what you are in for, minor surgery is what is happening to the bloke in the bed next to you". It doesn't always go according to plan, so we need to cover risk mitigation so that your plan doesn't turn to custard if somegthing unexpected happens. Read Pete's story here to see how ACC and some insurances responded differently to what was anticipated.
This section is not only about insurance. Do you have two EPA's or even know what they are? They are two of the most improtant documents in your life, as a Will is in death.
Building for the future
So when would you like to retire? Okay, so when will you actually get to retire? You need to take responsibility for yourself here. No-one else is going to.
A Financial Plan will forecast your current retirement trajectory and it will also show you what you need to do to get to your desired retirement trajectory.
Implementation and Review
The critical piece is to not let the plan sit on a shelf gathering dust. The Financial Plan is the beginning of the journey, not the end. Implementation and tracking through reviews is critical to the success of the plan.