Small Business Questions & Answers

 

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Ask About Your Financial Plan

by Pathetic Procrastinator | May 24, 2012

Subject :Planning

Dear Toolkit,

I am guilty of a host of sins of omission, not the least of which is failing to create a financial plan for myself despite good intentions and several false starts. Now my 401(k) is headed for the critical list. Can you motivate me with some quick ideas for an action plan?

Thanks,

Pathetic Procrastinator

Dear Pathetic Procrastinator,

Well, at least you've got a lot of company. While most people think it is important to create a personal financial plan, or update an existing one, far fewer individuals have taken the necessary steps to set the process in motion, according to a recent survey on personal finances commissioned by the Consumer Federation of America (CFA) and the Financial Planning Association (FPA).

A recent survey showed that only 46 percent of respondents had developed any personal financial plan at all. Those without a plan said they intended to prepare one in the coming year, while 78 percent of individuals with an existing plan said they wanted to update it.

Luckily, we have a great resource to launch you on your new path to financial self-knowledge. You don't need to begin by hiring a financial planner or a lawyer or accountant, although these folks would sure be a big help if you can afford them. If you're like most of us, you'll have to start this out as a do-it-yourself project. And the very best place to start is at the Financial Planning Toolkit® .

This site covers everything from soup to nuts, and does so in plain English. It has tools and calculators, forms and examples galore to step you through all aspects of your financial future, from your initial evaluation of where you are now, to defining your goals, and through all the elements of investing, insurance, retirement and estate planning and even taxes.

As you work through this site, you'll see your plan taking shape. You'll recognize how each of the parts impact the whole and how they fit together. You can begin at the beginning and work down; or begin at the end, with tax issues, and work back up; or just dive right into the middle.....the important thing is to begin.