Financial Planning

It's World National Financial Planning Day! Why Should You Care?

Sandwiched between National Name Your Car Day and National Cinnamon Roll Day is World Financial Planning Day. Here's how you should celebrate.

OK, as a Certified Financial Planner® professional, I will say it: Happy World Financial Planning Day!

The Financial Standards Planning Board* promotes the day (designated as Oct. 3) to raise awareness about the importance of investor education and protection. But, you know, Financial Planning (capitalizations intentional!) is more than just a day, right? What if I told you it was a lifelong journey?

What is Financial Planning and why should you care?

Investopedia defines Financial Planning as “a comprehensive evaluation of an investor's current and future financial state by using currently known variables to predict future cash flows, asset values and withdrawal plans.”

In other words, it is a plan to help you use what you have to attain the life you want. It is a way of benchmarking and goal setting as you earn, save, invest, give and spend money.

People with Financial Plans know what they have, and they know where they are going. They have peace of mind because their assets and liabilities and income and expenses are all known quantities.

Personal finance can be more complex than it used to be a generation or two ago. Most of us need Financial Plans to have the peace of mind to enjoy our lives.

Sifting through the noise of World Financial Planning Day

While you will see many articles throughout the month of October (also known as Financial Planning Month) that make helpful suggestions on how to handle “the holidays” financially, starting a savings plan and consolidating debt, don’t let them distract you from the big picture. That’s what this month really should be about.

I believe that Financial Planning is about more than what spreadsheets you can create today or where you can move money (or allocations) around this month. Financial Planning is about defining where you want to be financially in three years, five years, 10 years or by the time you are “retirement age” AND defining the path to get there.

How to ‘Celebrate’ This Day

So, my advice to you following this World Financial Planning Day? Just one thing: Reach out to a Certified Financial Planner® professional in your community who shares this long-range view and ask them if they will work with you on a plan.

There is not a single element of our lives that is not affected by financial planning.Like me, many CFP® professionals share a passion for helping our clients plan to achieve their life financial goals. Financial planning is intellectually stimulating, emotionally gratifying and financially rewarding — and it delivers positive societal impact to our community.

On a personal note, I wholeheartedly believe that I am truly fortunate to have found my calling. If I had not discovered this career, I don’t know if my family and community would have enjoyed the freedom and richness of life that a financial plan can offer.

Here are some questions to ask yourself today:

  • When do I want to be able to stop working if I want to?
  • How much money do I want to have in savings by the time I stop working?
  • Who is dependent on me, and how will they be taken care of when I am gone?
  • How much money would I need to live with dignity in my golden years?
  • How do I define financial independence?
  • Am I on track to be living my dream when I no longer need to work?

Financial planning is a lifelong journey. As I always say, don’t measure your self-worth by your net worth. EVERYONE deserves a Financial Plan.

*The Financial Standards Planning Board, Ltd. (FSPB) is the organization that oversees the accreditation for Certified Financial Planner professionals and the “CFP®” distinction that many people in my industry (including yours truly) has at the end of their name.

About the Author

Marguerita M. Cheng, CFP®

CEO, Blue Ocean Global Wealth

Marguerita M. Cheng is the Chief Executive Officer at Blue Ocean Global Wealth. She is a CFP® professional, a Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor℠, Retirement Income Certified Professional and a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst. She helps educate the public, policymakers and media about the benefits of competent, ethical financial planning.

Most Popular

Your Guide to Roth Conversions
Special Report
Tax Breaks

Your Guide to Roth Conversions

A Kiplinger Special Report
February 25, 2021
4 Strategies to Reduce Taxes in Retirement
retirement planning

4 Strategies to Reduce Taxes in Retirement

Don’t let the possibility of higher taxes in the future sink your retirement income plan. Consider these four ways to help manage your taxes, keeping …
May 31, 2021
12 Housing Stocks to Ride the Red-Hot Market
investing

12 Housing Stocks to Ride the Red-Hot Market

The U.S. has a housing shortage and a love affair with home improvement, both of which could create tailwinds for this group of housing stocks.
June 8, 2021

Recommended

Why You Need a Roth IRA
Roth IRAs

Why You Need a Roth IRA

With this indispensable savings tool, your money grows tax-free, you can invest in almost anything and you get several cool perks.
June 14, 2021
Everything You Must Know About "Backdoor" Roth IRAs
Roth IRAs

Everything You Must Know About "Backdoor" Roth IRAs

If you earn too much to contribute directly to a Roth IRA, there are still ways to move funds to this type of an account.
June 14, 2021
How Teens Can Start Investing Through a Roth IRA
retirement

How Teens Can Start Investing Through a Roth IRA

By beginning to invest in a Roth IRA at an early age, today’s teens can become tomorrow’s millionaires.
June 14, 2021
Taxes in Retirement: How All 50 States Tax Retirees
Tax Breaks

Taxes in Retirement: How All 50 States Tax Retirees

We rated every state, plus Washington, D.C. on how retirees are taxed. We considered taxes on Social Security and other retirement income, tax exempti…
June 10, 2021