Raising a family is a rewarding endeavor, but it is also a financial commitment. Just like any financial enterprise, it can be handled well or poorly, depending on the level of preparation and care.
A spouse, child, or parent may rely on you financially - at school, in higher education, or during retirement. You must therefore save and invest accordingly. In other words, your financial plan must look beyond your own immediate financial needs.
How to Build a Family Financial Plan
Life is unpredictable, but life stages can be predicted with some certainty.
Family Financial Planning requires you to look ahead to the life stages and think about the important events in the lives of each family member that have a financial impact.
You can prepare for this impact by the following:
Define your own financial needs
Start by planning for your own life trajectory, particularly your retirement. You cannot take care of your family unless you are financially independent.
Map out predictable family events
Next, consider the needs of your children and your role in supporting them. Education, weddings, first homes are all financial obligations that may need your help. And with grandchildren, the process repeats itself!
Insure against the unpredictable
Other events can also have severe financial implications, such as job loss, illness, and bereavement. These cannot be predicted, but they can be planned for, with appropriate financial products and emergency funds.
Determine your legacy
Thinking further into the future, you may wish your wealth to be used for charitable purposes after your passing. Doing so tax-efficiently requires you to consult the right experts ahead of time. You must also check whether your aspirations are feasible in light of your other obligations.
Stay on track
When you have a comprehensive plan and a good sense of your financial obligations, you must live within proposed plan. Spend too much, and it may be difficult to get back on track.
Review your plan regularly
Similarly, no plan is bulletproof. In fact, financial planners often say that the plan is out of date the moment it is written. We can’t predict how families will grow, and how much (or little) help dependents will need. Reviewing your plan regularly ensures that you stay on course, and also to change course if needed.
A Financial Plan for Your Family
Good financial planning is not just about saving money, but also about avoiding stress. When family members are involved, planning appropriately becomes an important responsibility.
You can make a financial plan without professional help, but it is time-consuming and risky, as important details may be missed.
An experienced family financial planner would have learned from working with families and members at various stages of life to foresee issues and factor the necessary components into your family’s unique financial plan.
Choosing the Right Financial Planner for Your Family
To make an effective family financial plan, you need an advisor who can see the big picture, not just the portfolio. Your advisor should have experience with multiple generations and be comfortable with the complexity of multiple layers of financial goals.
Most importantly, a family financial planner should focus on the long term well-being of the client, rather than marketing a product.
Start Your Family Financial Plan Today
The Family Office has a track record of helping families like yours achieve their financial goals. Our advisors are chosen for their integrity and expertise, and our processes are rigorous, with a strong emphasis on risk management.
Schedule an appointment with one of our financial advisors to plan your family’s future.