Many people think the right time to do financial planning is “someday”. It’s something they will do when they are more secure about their finances, or their life circumstances. Some also think that even if they were to start now, no one would be able to help them. This couldn’t be further from the truth. The best time to start is always NOW, and you do not have to go it alone, regardless of your assets, or stage in life.
Why now? The answer is time. It’s the biggest ally you have. Being proactive in financial planning allows your money to compound, allows you to make adjustments along the way, and takes the stress out of achieving financial goals. Otherwise, you may be forced into hasty, stressful reactive financial decision-making. The difference can be night and day. Families who have saved for college can feel confident in their children’s future, while those who did not must scramble for student debt options, or perhaps put off college altogether. Those who have diligently saved and followed their retirement accounts could open up a whole new life for themselves, while those who put it off may have to go back to work in their later years, or even worse, not retire at all.
Planning now is always the best time regardless of where you are in your life. In your 20s and 30s, paying off debt can get you more quickly on the road to saving and the compound interest that comes with it. Folks in mid to late-career may begin to take notice of how their parents are faring and may consider steps such as increased savings, insurance, and long-term care planning. Those nearing retirement age have an opportunity to assess their risk tolerance, income spending, and personal goals before a dime is spent in retirement. Regardless of life stage, planning now puts you in control of the outcome, instead of the outcome controlling you.
You don’t have to go it alone. Starting planning with a financial planner who is a fiduciary, looking out for your best interest, could be the best way for you to start your planning journey. When you ask would be a good time to start? Now, of course.