Financial Planning Services

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Question #1

  • I want to feel financially safe while working and have a
    comfortable retirement in the future. How do I start
    understanding the present and future issues involved?

First define your values, then the goals that are based on those values.
Nothing matters as much as this first step. You may be the best driver in
the world, driving the fastest car, but if you are driving on the wrong
freeway you will not be satisfied with the outcome. Similarly, all the
knowledge about investment or other financial subjects are not that
helpful if you have not defined your short-term, mid-term and long-term
goals; goals that are driven by your values.

Question #2

  • After defining my values and goals, what's next?

You need to be in the right frame of mind to achieve your goals.  Your
frame of mind plays a much more important role in reaching your goals
than any specific financial information. Your values are the foundation,
and your long-term goals are the supporting columns of your future
fulfillment.  You would never consider removing a supporting column to
make room for an extra piece of furniture in your house. Similarly, if you
are truly committed to your goals, you would not compromise them by
submitting to short-term temptations.

Question #3

  • What comes next after defining values, setting goals and being
    committed to having the right state of mind?

The next step is financial literacy. There are many reasons why financial
literacy is an indispensable part of reaching your goals. Almost all goals
involve financial considerations. The following are some of the issues you
need to consider.

  • Globalization can affect your long-term income potential, either in the
    form of outsourcing of jobs or the impact of economic cycles.

  • Retirement pension plans are disappearing and social security benefits
    are not certain.

  • The rate of inflation you are experiencing may be much higher than
    what the government reports.

  • With the current rate of advancements being made in the medical field,
    it is likely that future retirees will live longer, thus need larger
    retirement funds.

Question #4

  • How do I go about choosing a financial educator or advisor?

The first step is to use your better judgment in selecting the course
material and the provider. The sources of financial information are many
and the motives of those who provide the information vary widely.
Answering the following three questions is a way of practicing your good

  • How relevant to my circumstances is the financial information provided?

  • What are the revenue sources of the provider of information or
    advice? The analogy is that you would rather get information about
    your medical condition from your doctor rather than a drug company

  • What is the qualification of the information provider and what is the
    legal standard (fiduciary versus suitability) to which he is obligated to
Your financial literacy is
to serve as your first
line of defense against
potential financial
mishaps. Furthermore,
it enables you to
identify the best way
(quality and cost) of
getting professional help
when needed.

If you took the money
out of the picture, how
would a typical day of
yours be spent? The
more clear you can
visualize the routines of
such a day, the easier it
would be for you to
align your goals with
your values.