Is Your Financial Plan Really a Plan..or Just an Idea?

September 22, 2014

During a recent radio show between the host and a political analyst, a poignant comment was made by the analyst that much of America’s discontent with US military involvement in the Middle East has been caused by an apparent lack of strategy, a clear objective, (i.e. a plan).

The analyst’s comment extends to a lot in life as well.  Whether the situation is foreign policy, a new program at your company, a succession plan for your business, a divorce, or your own retirement, the principal is the same: an objective without a plan is just an idea. Without a foundation, a clear, written, structure, without steps toward the goal, the objective is prone to never getting started or subject to missteps, frustration, wayward meandering and wasted time and resources.

If you are thinking about something as important as your family’s financial future, whether for the retirement lifestyle you’ve earned, getting your final assets to your heirs in the manner you want, or enabling your children to starting their lives on the right foot, why wouldn’t you take the same approach to these objectives as you might toward a coordinated summer vacation?

No doubt, it takes effort and time you probably feel you don’t have.  Through the midst of all that ‘busyness’, though, one day when there is a pause, you may find yourself looking back and thinking, “Holy Cow, I haven’t done anything about that yet and another year has gone by!” And then there may be less options, less wiggle-room, less time to catch up and make that “idea” a reality.

A plan is more than just a blueprint; it is also a good benchmark, a reality check, a way of measuring progress.   A plan serves to remind you it’s not the enormous moves that make the objective achievable; it’s the little day-day things we do that get us ever closer to the big-picture goal.  Step-by-step, guiding our way.