Financial planning – an important process in work and life

WHETHER you work for a large or small business, there will be many plans in place; a business plan, communications, sales and financial.

As a business owner, you may have created these, if you are part of the team you are likely to be involved in implementing them.

In all cases each plan will have had input and advice from different experts to create realistic and manageable plans in order to achieve objectives.

Having a plan provides focus, control and confidence.

Outside of work, planning is just as beneficial.

The start of each year tends to be a popular time to review plans, and finance is often related to the overall objectives.

These can vary from moving house, holidays, family events, buying or selling a business or retirement.

While many manage their own affairs and objectives, the expertise of a financial planner can provide a clear view on exactly what is required by when in order to achieve your long term goals.

Financial planning and the work involved is much more than one plan and is described as:

an ongoing process to help you make sensible decisions about money that can help you achieve your goals in life; it's not just about buying products like a pension or an ISA”

A financial plan can be established by working through the following steps

  1. Establish your goals in life – short, medium and long term
  2. Work out what assets and liabilities you have – write them down
  3. Evaluate your current financial position – how close are you to achieving your goals?
  4. Develop your plan – create a “route map” for achieving your different goals
  5. Implement your plan – make the changes and make it happen
  6. Monitor and review your plan at least yearly and make adjustments when needed

Start by working out your goals in life, in the short, medium and long term.

Prioritise them, and consider the likely cost of those goals and when you will need the money, so you can start to plan your finances to work out how to achieve them.

Don’t forget to plan for some of the hurdles you may have to overcome too, such as redundancy or illness and consider how your family, or business will manage.

It’s about getting organised; being in control of your finances rather than letting your finances control you.

Acumen Financial Planning is a local firm, established in 2002 by managing director Sandy Robertson.

The firm has developed from a small team to an established accredited and chartered firm and has one of the highest qualified teams of financial planners in the country.

The firm currently has 35 staff with offices in Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Elgin and Peterhead.

The firm was recently awarded one of the highest accolades in the profession, Accredited Financial Planning Firm of the Year 2016 from the Chartered Institute of Securities & Investment (CISI).