A key aspect of financial planning is the actual management of your wealth or assets as they relate to your overall financial priorities. Because everyone has different goals for their assets, it’s important to think through what your personal goals are for your financial plan and how your assets can help you achieve these goals. Communicating these goals with your financial planner will help to ensure that your plan and the particulars of your wealth management are in line with your overall objectives and viewpoint on your finances.
Here are a few things to consider as you set your own financial priorities:
Everyone is different
There is a lot of advice out there about how to handle your finances, your assets, and your debt. In reality, each situation is unique and needs to be approached with a person’s particulars in mind. What works for you may not work for another person and vice versa. Take advice with a grain of salt and be sure to consider your own personal goals, risk tolerance, and asset portfolio when making any decisions about your financial plan or wealth management.
Financial goals are important…
Your financial plan should be built around specific financial goals. Are you saving for retirement? Focused on college planning? Looking to shore up your savings? Each of these is a financial goal that comes with a timeline and specific needs. You’ll likely have multiple financial goals that need to be considered in your plan and will work with your financial planner to prioritize these goals across a longer timeline. Thinking ahead about what matters most to you financially will be important.
Here is a list of common goals to consider:
- Paying off debt
- Growing your emergency fund or accessible savings
- Saving for retirement
- Building a legacy
- Growing an educational fund
- Contributing to charitable organizations
- Consolidating assets
…But so are personal goals
Similarly, financial planning is rarely just about your finances. Many of your financial goals will have a foundation in “real life,” so it’s important to communicate your personal goals to your financial planner as well. Are you interested in supporting your favorite charities? Want to build a legacy for your family? Make sure you and your spouse are comfortable in retirement? These goals are less concrete but can be outlined with your financial planner and turned into aspects of your plan with timelines and specific financial goals.
Remember to consider your risk profile and liquidity
Financial goals are a big factor when it comes to setting your priorities for wealth management but risk tolerance and need for liquidity also come into play when deciding how and where to place your assets. Make sure to spend some time thinking about how much money you want to have accessible and how comfortable you feel about “risky” investments and to communicate your thoughts with your financial planner.
The best financial plan is one that is built specifically for your family with your unique goals, needs, and personalities in mind. Thinking through what matters most to you and your loved ones and how you see your life unfolding is an important part of allocating your assets. Make sure to have these conversations proactively and to keep your financial planner in the loop as things change on your end. Financial plans can and should be updated as your priorities evolve.