Fall Financial Planning

It’s October and in addition to the cooler weather, changing leaves and pumpkins, we see the pretty pink ribbons showing support for the fight against breast cancer.  October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and during this time of remembrance, many might take the opportunity to donate to one of the various charities supporting research, medical care and respite services for those impacted by this disease. 

Charitable gifts such as this are invaluable and help organizations achieve their mission and provide much needed care.  But what if you were interested in making a larger gift or leaving a lasting legacy for breast cancer awareness or another charitable endeavor close to your heart? 

Luckily, October is also Financial Planning Month!  Questions about charitable giving are asked quite often, especially around this time of year, and can easily be addressed in a personal financial plan.  A common misconception is that financial planning is reserved just for the wealthy or just for the retirement stage of life.  False!  Not only should individuals begin working with a professional early but you should consult with that person regularly on all financial decisions to be sure the best course of action is taken for the best results.

A study conducted by CNBC and Acorns earlier this year found that 75% of those surveyed managed their own investments rather than working with a professional.  Simply investing without a plan in place is not enough to achieve important goals and dreams. 

From paying down debt to saving for children’s college tuition to making a charitable bequest, individual financial goals are unique.  A professional planner will help build a personalized and comprehensive financial plan to manage a wide array of savings and spending strategies.  These plans will include goals for the short and long term and will also provide guidance for investment allocation to achieve these benchmarks.  Furthermore, these plans can include more complex strategies such as charitable giving, tax management and insurance recommendations.  

For those philanthropic individuals, the question about how to give is key.  Write a check?  Transfer assets in kind?  Use IRA savings?  Create a foundation or endowment?  When deciding on giving strategies, tax benefits will vary greatly depending on the course of action and it will be critical to establish this plan ahead of time.  A financial planner is prepared to discuss the options and make recommendations to benefit all parties.  Additionally, a financial plan working in tandem with an estate plan is an invaluable tool to ensuring seamless transfer of wealth to heirs and charitable organizations when the time comes to leave a lasting legacy. 

As we approach the end of the year, regardless of your current goals or stage in life, the time is right to seek help!  Enter the new year on the best financial footing possible.  Celebrate National Financial Planning Month by learning about available savings options, prioritizing goals and reviewing current investment accounts.  Check in with your current advisor to review and make adjustment to your plan if necessary.  If you are not working with a planner, find one. A proactive plan will make all the difference in your financial health.   

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