Clay Budach, CFP®

Clay is a Wealth Management Advisor for Custom Wealth Planners. Clay enjoys writing on topics of retirement planning, taxes, and industry related news. Learn more about Clay here.

“If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.” – Yogi Berra

Someplace else, it lives in the future and takes no priority in the present. Tomorrow’s problems— cast to the wind, for good or bad. Planning is pulling forward the future and shaping it to match your dreams, goals, and values.

The Financial Plan

The plan is much more than portfolios and a balance sheet. The money is just a tool to leverage more of who we are. The plan encapsulates who you are as a person: thoughts, feelings, and emotions. A vault from the past & a vision of the future. How did we get to this point? What are the things that have shaped me into who I am today? What do you want to accomplish and why?

It’s important to make the plan unique to your situation and not overlay cookie-cutter advice. Rules of thumb are good when trying to make a quick & prudent decision, but not so much when success is the standard. Hearing about how others did it is not personalized to your unique needs or the challenges that you will face.

The 100-year hike

Could you imagine signing up for a multi-decade hiking expedition? Well, you didn’t sign up for it but here you are, living it. Some may just choose to leave from the trailhead and see where it takes them. Eventually— maybe, getting to their destination, or at least a destination. Even if it took longer or was less efficient, they did their way.

Others choose to enroll with the help of a professional, a guide if you will. Before you start the guide will ask some questions. Not all hikers have the same goals. Some wish to get to the top of the mountain as quickly as possible to see the sunrise while others want to see take in some scenery along the way. The guide knows the trails and can identify the different obstacles that will arise and has the right tools for the job.

The trail goes on forever — the plan never ends.

Working with a financial planner is having a guide in an ever-changing landscape. The plan is a living document because financial planning is a process, not an event. The plan should change as often as life does for you. Goals change when life goes into transition. Children and grandchildren are born. Divorce, disease, death — life happens, and situations change.

The plan’s purpose is not to predict the future. Rather, get clear about reality, align your financial and emotional capital to the goals, and course correct along the way. The true value in planning is not any single product, plan, or investment, it’s the process and the relationship that it builds.

Welcome to Custom Wealth Planning’s blog where founders Travis & Clay share their thoughts on topics that cover Money, Mindfulness, & History.

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