Financial Planning Tips—Mapping Out Your Financial Future

Achieving your long-term investment goals typically requires a meticulous financial plan built specifically to help you succeed. But not just any plan can get you there. To reach your investment goals, this plan must address your individual needs, incorporate advice and help you avoid common pitfalls. Most importantly, your financial plan should place your needs first—not your advisor’s.

At Fisher Investments, we’ve developed a distinct approach to financial planning. Our method is designed to help you make the right decisions for your future—not to sell you complex products you don’t need. The process starts by asking you to consider four critical questions outlined in our guide, A Financial Plan You Can Trust:

  1. Does your plan answer the basic questions you have about retirement?
  2. Is your plan personalized to your situation?
  3. Does your plan address key financial planning subjects?
  4. Is your plan easy to understand and act on?

We believe the answers to these questions are the foundation of a successful financial plan. They help you address questions such as whether you’ll have enough money to last you in retirement, how inflation might affect your savings and the potential cost of long-term care.

We believe a successful plan also includes these factors:

  • Access to professional resources with minimized conflicts of interest
  • Personalized investment recommendations
  • Income and expense timelines
  • Legacy and charitable giving planning
  • Estate planning advice for establishing your will, trust and power of attorney
  • Capital gains and Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) guidance
  • Social Security benefit optimization
  • Perspective on annuities, life insurance and long-term care insurance
  • Plan updates and informational review reminders

Importantly, we don’t use our financial planning process as a primer to sell you annuities or other insurance products you don’t need, we focus on learning your investment goals and identifying the best approach to help you achieve them. Once you’re comfortable with your plan, we provide you with a dedicated Investment Counselor who knows your plan and your personal situation.

We approach financial planning comprehensively—seeking to help you prevent negative surprises and prepare you for the unexpected. Together, we’ll work with you to build your monthly budget, calculate retirement plan contributions (if applicable), and evaluate annuities or other insurance products’ effectiveness (as applicable) in meeting your long term investment goals. We’ll discuss the differences between income and cash flow and provide guidance on how to avoid financial predators who often seek to take unfair advantage of retirees.

We also take into account some potential life events and their potential impact on your financial plan, including caregiving responsibilities, the loss of a spouse, your health and where you’ll decide to live in retirement.

At the core of our financial planning process is “99 Retirement Tips From Ken Fisher,” a comprehensive guide that covers everything from long-term savings and trusts to cash flow in retirement, asset allocation and life expectancy. Financial planning means considering these factors and many others, as well as a system in place to ensure regular reviews. That way, your plan can evolve with changing circumstances both in your own life and in the financial world around you.

Avoiding the Big Mistakes

Successful financial planning requires more than just evaluating your current assets and estate plan. Throughout the process, it’s easy to make mistakes that can seriously impact your long-term financial well-being. Some mistakes we can help you avoid include:

  • Planning for your financial security based on improper goal-setting
  • Underestimating the complexity of estate planning
  • Failing to determine an effective tax strategy for your cash flow needs
  • Ignoring the impact of capital gains and losses
  • Underestimating how long you’ll need your assets to provide for you
  • Disregarding Social Security
  • Relying too heavily on annuities for income in retirement
  • Purchasing insurance products to cover future income gaps without considering alternatives
  • Not hiring the right professionals to assist you

We place great emphasis on helping our clients avoid these mistakes in their financial planning. In addition to addressing your individual needs, we spend the time necessary to educate you in each of these areas and answer any questions you might have. We want you to feel confident and comfortable with your tailored financial plan.

Creating Your Financial Plan

When you work with us, you will understand the importance of creating a financial plan to help address your needs in retirement. We will work with you to provide a better sense of how much your retirement may cost, how you will pay for it and whether or not you will need to generate additional income in retirement. Our resource, The Definitive Guide to Retirement Income, further explains how we can help you answer these kinds of questions.

The guide takes you through key considerations, including:

  • Making sure your plan takes into account potential life expectancy and all expenses you might incur.
  • Determining what sort of income you can expect in retirement and whether it meets your needs.

We help explain how you might benefit from specific investments, asset allocations, and discuss tax strategies which may fit into your plan.

How Fisher Is Different

Some financial firms focus on selling life insurance and annuities. However, we work with you to determine the necessary steps to help you reach your financial goals—not sell products for a commission. We learn about your entire financial picture and seek to understand your financial goals and objectives. Our financial planning service is based on your goals.

When you work with us:

  • Your portfolio is constructed based on your needs, taking into account your investment objectives, time horizon, cash flow needs and other factors specific to you.
  • You receive proactive service from your Investment Counselor, who will keep you up-to-date on your portfolio.
  • You have the opportunity to interact with the people making investment decisions through in-person events including exclusive client programs.
  • You can take advantage of global investing opportunities with our significant experience investing domestically and overseas.
  • You won’t be limited to a single style of investing (like growth or value), because we can shift our strategy based on our forward-looking view of market conditions.
  • You will have competitive, transparent and easy to understand fees that align our interests with yours.

We believe that our team here at Fisher Investments can help build you a more secure financial future, and taking advantage of our financial planning service is a great first step. You can request an initial meeting with your local representative by either completing our form or calling us at (800) 568-5082 for a complimentary portfolio evaluation. We look forward to hearing from you.