When most people hear “financial planning,” they think investments. Financial planning is much more than that. Financial planning refers to the process of determining whether and how an individual can meet life goals through the proper management of financial resources. Financial planning integrates the financial planning process with the financial planning subject areas.
The financial planning process includes, but is not limited to:
Establishing and defining the client-planner relationship
Gathering client data, including goals
Analyzing and evaluating the client's current financial status
Developing and presenting recommendations and/or alternatives
Implementing the recommendations
Monitoring the recommendations
Financial planning subject areas include, but are not limited to:
Financial statement preparation and analysis (including cash flow analysis/planning and budgeting)
Insurance planning and risk management
Employee benefits planning
Income tax planning
Questions that financial planning answers include, but are not limited to:
How can I get my debt under control?
How can I be sure my family will be taken care of if something should happen to me?
How do I best take advantage of my employee benefits at work?
How do I balance risk and return in my investments?
How can I avoid paying taxes unnecessarily?
How can I have a comfortable retirement?
How do I ensure my wishes are carried out should I become incapacitated or die?