Thursday, July 30, 2009

Why Financial Planning is so Important

After a meeting with my financial planner this morning it made me think about how hesitant I was to use one in the first place. My hesitation came from the fact that we have very little assets and not a whole lot in savings. My first thought was that we wouldn't receive a lot of attention from the planner and why not just do some research and pick a mutual fund to invest my money in. Boy was I wrong. Our planner is great and provided us with some great help as we think about our goals. She asked good questions like what is the goal of your general savings? How much money do you want at retirement?

All questions I didn't really know the answer to. Turns out that while I'm a good saver, I'm saving for the point of saving and as Budget Babe mentioned before having goals is critical to saving. Our problem stemmed from we didn't know how much we needed to achieve those goals.

We knew we wanted a comfortable retirement, but had no idea what that sum looked like or how much we needed to save based on our returns to achieve that. My planner is currently creating a spreadsheet that will let us know exactly how much we should be saving each month to reach our retirement goal at our specified ages. I'm looking forward to (and a little nervous) to find out how much we will need to save.

So I encourage everyone if you haven't met with a financial planner, do it immediately. The cost is minimal (usual a percentage of what you initially invest, plus a few annual fees) but the valuable is fantastic. And the sooner you begin saving the larger retirement you will enjoy. If you need a referral don't hesitate to e-mail at

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