Successful financial planning involves more than the balance in your portfolio. A strong financial plan represents what is important to you as an individual—in other words, your Fiscal Philosophy. An engineer might say that your financial plan must meet your personal design requirements.
Understanding your own fiscal philosophy, or requirements, begins with a series of questions to determine your unique set of values and circumstances:
Debt: How much debt do you have? Are you comfortable with that level of debt?
Savings: How much savings do you have? Are you comfortable with your level of savings?
Spending: What is your level of spending? Are you comfortable with your level of spending?
Giving: What is your level of charitable contributions? Are you comfortable with your level of charitable contributions?
Stock Market: Does investing in the stock market make you nervous? Are you comfortable with your level of investment in the stock market?
Insurance: How do you feel about insurance? Are you comfortable with your level of coverage?
Children: What is your attitude regarding supporting your children? Do you expect them to earn their own way, or do you want to give them every advantage? Somewhere in between? Are you comfortable with what you can provide them?
Retirement: When do you plan to retire? As soon as possible? Never? Somewhere in between? Are you comfortable with your current retirement plan?
It is important that we understand and appreciate how you think about money, including how you got to where you currently are. Just as you can’t expect your doctor to diagnose what’s wrong with you without knowing your complete medical history, it is difficult for us to develop a comprehensive plan without knowing your fiscal philosophy.
If you have a spouse or partner, it’s important that both of you answer the questions above. You may be surprised to learn that you don’t always share the same fiscal philosophy. The areas you disagree on are the ones you need to especially focus on. After all, if you aren’t aligned, you’ll have difficulty fulfilling your dreams and reaching your goals, even with your advisor’s help.
We have a digital version of the fiscal philosophy profile that tracks your results and shows the variance between you and your spouse or partner. Contact our office and we’d be happy to meet with you to review it.
Visit Lyon Park Advisors at lyonparkadvisors.com.