Financial Planning Process In today's uncertain economy, financial planning has become increasingly important. With an overwhelming number of options for saving and investing, managing your finances can be difficult. Creating a financial plan helps you see the big picture and set long and short-term life goals, a crucial step in mapping out your financial future. When you have a strategy, it's easier to make financial decisions and stay on track to meet your goals. Working with a CFP® professional can secure your financial wellbeing and give you peace of mind.Some people decide to do their own financial planning, but you may want to seek help from a Certified Financial Planner™ professional if you:Want to better manage your finances, but aren't sure where to start Don't have time to do your own financial planning Want a professional opinion about the plan you've developed Don't have sufficient expertise in certain areas such as investments, insurance, taxes or retirement planning Have an immediate need or unexpected life event Retirement PlanningRetirement Planning involves insuring that the assets you worked so hard to obtain prior to retirement continue to work for you the rest of your life. Questions that are answered in this process include: When can you retire? What type of lifestyle will you be able to enjoy? And What do you need to do now to help you achieve your goals?Questions to consider:Is your retirement savings going to be enough to sustain your lifestyle throughout retirement?How will your budget change during retirement?Are you prepared for unexpected expenses?How can you protect your retirement nest egg? Investment PlanningInvestment Planning involves incorporating modem portfolio theory and asset allocation to maximize investment returns for the level of risk you are willing to take. A complete analysis of your portfolio will help align your investments with Nobel Prize winning technology.Questions to consider:Is your portfolio property allocated to match your risk tolerance?Do you worry about not having enough money in the future?Have you considered the long-term impact of inflation on your portfolio?Do you use an active or a passive approach to investing? Tax PlanningTax Planning involves the use of strategies to minimize the amount the IRS receives of your hard-earned dollars. This allows for more of your dollars to work for you so that you can better reach your financial goals.Questions to consider:Who would you like to receive the remaining portion of your estate after you are gone?Have you created the proper documentation to insure your wishes are followed?Are you concerned about probate?Would it bother you if the government took 50% of your estate in taxes? Estate PlanningEstate Planning involves maximizing the amount of your estate that will be passed on to your heirs and not the IRS. This might also include leveraging your assets for the benefit of your heirs as well as charitable giving.Questions to consider:Who would you like to receive the remaining portion of your estate after you are gone?Have you created the proper documentation to insure your wishes are followed?Are you concerned about probate?Would it bother you if the government took 50 percent of your estate in taxes? Liability and Insurance PlanningLiability and Insurance Planning involves protecting your assets against risks that could deplete what you worked hard to obtain. These risks include medical costs, long term care, loss of life, disability, property damage, and personal liability. Questions to consider:Do your loved ones have enough money to maintain their standard of living if you were to unexpectedly pass away?Are you concerned about long-term care?How would you fare financially if you lived through a natural disaster? Cash flow PlanningAsset Acquisition involves the accumulation of large ticket items into your estate including homes, automobiles, expensive collections, and so forth. When and how you pay for these assets may hove a large impact on your ability to reach your financial goals.Questions to consider:Are you worried about the cost of education?Are you using the least expensive method to purchase your home?Do you know how much you spend a month?Do you have adequate cash reserves?