Have you ever wondered if you need a financial plan or if a financial plan could help you improve your financial well-being? Financial planning may not be at the top of your priority list right now, but it is one of the most impactful things that you can do to improve your current financial security and future financial outlook.
Savology’s market research found that households are more than 2.5x more likely to save enough money for retirement if they have a financial plan. Charles Schwab’s research, as published in the Modern Wealth Survey, also supports this finding, while identifying additional benefits of planning. The Modern Wealth Survey indicated that planners were:
- 2x more likely to be able to pay their bills and save each month
- 2.6x more likely to have an emergency fund
- 1.6x more likely to never carry a credit card balance and make other loan payments on time or have no debt.
Yet, the same Charles Schwab research found that only 28 percent of Americans have a written financial plan. With this understanding, Savology is on a mission to remove any perceived barriers that might hinder the other 72% of Americans from preparing and benefiting from a written financial plan. This started with creating the technology to enabling free financial planning but now requires evangelizing the benefits of financial planning.
So, we asked a few other personal finance experts, “How can financial planning or goal setting improve personal financial outcomes over time?”. This is what the experts had to say:
Derek Sall, Life and My Finances:
Derek is one of those personal finance experts that walks the walk. He doesn’t just write about improving finances, he lives it. He personally experienced the power of setting specific and actionable goals, which is a fundamental part of an effective financial plan.
“Goal setting is HUGE. It’s what allowed me to pay off my $54,000 in under 12 months while making only $62,000 a year at my day job,” Derek says. “The math doesn’t add up…That’s the power of goal setting. You stop succumbing to the probable and you start problem-solving for what everyone else perceives to be impossible.”
Philip Taylor, PT Money:
Philip is the creator of and mastermind behind the Part-Time Money site, which focuses on improving personal finance outcomes by increasing income to pay off debt, save more, and get the most out of life.
“By setting financial goals – no matter how big or small – you put yourself on a path toward something specific vs just wandering aimlessly with your money,” Philip explains. “In addition, goals give you a huge confidence boost when you achieve them. This will propel you toward future successes.”
We also found, in the Savology research, that having a financial plan provides emotional benefits. 83% of people reported feeling more confident about their finances after having a written plan for just one year.
Dave Lowell, Up Your Money Game:
In his practice, Dave combines traditional calculated planning with behavior and mindset analysis to provide financial advice and financial coaching for millennials more effectively.
“When you go through the process of planning, you realize the impact your decisions now have on your future and it re-frames those decisions from ‘Can I afford this?’ to ‘Am I willing to make that trade-off?’ With that clearer perspective, a good financial plan provides you the freedom to live your ideal lifestyle now and later,” Dave answers.
Financial planning isn’t generally a fun process, but many important things aren’t fun. Most people don’t enjoy going through their personal finances to find out where they are and determine where they should be going. But the good news is that financial planning is getting easier, quicker, and more enjoyable.
Technology can help you aggregate and track your finances or even make specific recommendations for you how you can do better. With these advancements in technology to reduce the work involved and the cost, there are fewer reasons to put off creating and benefiting from a financial plan. What is holding you back?