We’ve all heard Benjamin Franklin’s famous quote, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” His mantra is no less applicable when it comes to financial/retirement planning, and unfortunately many of us fall short on this crucial area of our lives. Whether you’re making your own plan or paying someone to make one for you, keep the wise words of Dr. Thomas Stanley, author of The Millionaire Next Door, in mind: “Even the best financial plans are ineffective if you don’t follow them.”
Financial Plans come in many forms (written list, word docs, spreadsheets, etc.) and many have different names (Written Financial Plans, Investor/ing Policy Statements, Personal Financial Plan, etc.). Don’t be overwhelmed or intimidated by this. What your plan is called and the medium by which it’s recorded are far less important than starting the conversation and setting some reasonable goals that will ensure your financial success; furthermore, the more plans you look at the more you’ll realize they don’t all look the same. Use a template to get started, but the more you sit down and hash out your priorities and goals the more personalized your plan will become.
Here are a few tips and forums with templates to get you started:
- Make sure your goals are feasible and that you create them as a team (if applicable).
- Put steps in place that ensure your goals are met.
- Share your plan/goals with others!
- Post your goals/plan somewhere in your home.
- Revisit your plan at least once a year.
- WikiHow – Write a Personal Financial Plan
- WCI – How to Write an Investing Personal Statement
- PoF – Investor Policy Statements
Our Written Financial Plans
We want to practice what we preach here at TeachFI. In an effort to do just that, and to also continue to be as transparent as possible with our readers, we are posting our own Written Financial Plans below:
Share Your Plan
Once you’ve written a plan, share it here or elsewhere and try to get some feedback! There are many forums and facebook groups that are happy to have you share your plan and give you constructive feedback. Speaking of feedback, what do you think of our plans? Our upcoming posts will include our own tips/tricks for tracking spending, budgeting, and asset allocation. Keep an eye out and subscribe or give us a shout if you haven’t yet – we’d love to hear from you!
If you already have a Written Financial Plan, what are some of the goals you have included in it? How is your progress going on meeting those goals? If you don’t have a Written Financial Plan yet, what are some of the goals you find valuable?