One of the stereotypical American traits is impatience. I want it, and I want it now! Sound familiar? This can be damaging from a financial standpoint…..not only from a spending perspective, but also from a planning perspective.
Financial planning is a process, or at least it should be. Some planning firms (mostly sales driven firms) operate as if the financial planning is event oriented. This means the planning is usually completed with the presentation of a hefty multi-page, disorienting, chart and graph filled report. While these plans are usually well done, they are missing one key component: the fact that life happens. A plan put into action today is usually obsolete tomorrow.
Life is constantly changing, and so should your financial planning. Every new job, home or car purchase, or a birth of a child can dramatically change a financial plan. Even smaller expenditures can throw a wrench in the mix. Ever had to pony up for a new HVAC unit? The ebb and flow of life can certainly be beautiful, but financial give and take is not conducive to a static financial plan.
As a comprehensive planner, I love the fact that my clients’ lives keep me on my toes. I love the challenges associated with the first time entrepreneur. Financial plans for entrepreneurs are always changing. I also love the challenges of a busy family with kids starting private school. Today’s education costs can certainly create a need for dynamic planning. The list of challenges goes on and on.
Developing a financial plan, implementing the plan, and then letting it go is dangerous. Financial planning is a process. Financial planning should be flexible. This is why I love my retainer business model. This allows me to assist my clients as their lives ebb and flow. Is your financial plan dynamic? Is it ever changing? The flexibility needs to come from your planner. If you don’t have the ability to be flexible, it may be time to search for a new advisor. Remember, life will not conform to your financial plan…..your plan needs to conform to life! Does yours?