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What Financial Planning IS and is NOT

financial planning retirement planning Dec 08, 2023
Girl beside pile of binders

Financial planning is NOT...

A good financial plan is not a giant document filled with 50+ pages of charts, graphs, asset mixes, and predictions of inflation 40 years from now.

It is NOT a ‘road map to success.’ 

And it is almost guaranteed to NOT come true!

Wait, what?


Financial planning IS...

Financial planning is a process. It is the exercise of updating all your numbers – your investments, your home value, the remaining term on your mortgage, your income, your kids’ education fund – and putting them in the same place. It is a snapshot of how you are doing today.

Nerds like me put your numbers into a fancy program and tell you that ‘everything is going to be okay!’  Sound legit? Let me explain.

Planning once allows you to know that you are okay at that moment in time. But there is nothing to guarantee that your plan will work. Things like your investment returns dropping off, inflation skyrocketing, or having to stop working five years sooner than you expected, can throw any good plan out the window.


Do a yearly check-up

At Lantern Wealth, we do a financial plan with our clients at least once a year. We check in, get their numbers on paper, and evaluate for that day. Once the bones of a plan are in place, updating it is easy. It can take as little as five minutes.

Another common time we do a check in is right before clients plan to make a big change in their lives.   They’ve filed their last TPS report at work and are ready to hang ‘em up, they’re about to buy their dream family cabin, or they really want to give themselves financial permission to start their own business. Big decisions are made easier with objective numbers telling you that you will be okay.


If it won’t come true, what the heck is the point?!

A financial plan is built on dozens of assumptions; rates of return on your investments, government benefit programs remaining consistent, how much money you’ll spend, what inflation will be, and – my personal favourite – the age at which you’ll die. I often use the phrase, ‘if you die on schedule.’ 😂

You won’t have peace of mind forever from financial planning once, but you will be able to take a calming breath and free your mind from stressing about having ‘enough’ for another year. 

We’ll run multiple ‘what if?’ scenarios to see what’s possible for you. When you realize you can retire early, treat your spouse to an anniversary in Maui, or help your kids buy their first homes, it all becomes worth it. I’ll still send you a summary of ‘the Plan’, but the real magic happens in our meeting; the conversation, the ‘aha moments,’ the teamwork we create as partners. THAT is why you do a financial plan.


The real magic happens in our meeting; the conversation, the ‘aha moments,’ the teamwork we create as partners. THAT is why you do a financial plan.


It's time to do something about it

If you are a client and have a big decision coming up, we need to chat. Below is a link to book a meeting – I’m here when you need me!

If you manage your own wealth and want to gain a feeling of control of your finances or your plan, start by putting all the information in one place. Collect your statements, put everything in a folder, or start building a budget/income statement/family balance sheet on a spreadsheet if you are a real keener.

Feeling overwhelmed and not sure how to start? I can help with that too. Book some time with me here.

A simplified wealth plan with a down-to-earth approach and continuous service, so you can get back to your life.


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