Let Technology Help Drive your Financial Planning

Author: Alex Larson

The critical principle to remember when investment and planning for your future is there is no replacement for the time value of money and the impact that it has on your financial future. Compound interest and a disciplined investing approach can play an extraordinary role in laying the groundwork for a solid financial future.

For most of us, planning is not something that we get excited to do, unless it’s deciding where to take a week-long vacation. However, whether it’s a big work project or your schedule for the week, a detailed plan of attack can help you pursue your goals in the most effective and efficient manner. Creating a detailed personal financial plan is important as you look to your future. This is something that you should take the time to complete and update as time goes by and as your life evolves.

As a wealth advisor, one of the most common questions that I am asked is, “How much money do I need to retire?” This question is typically where financial planning begins, because there is no magic number that fits everyone. Each person is unique; what may be plenty of money to live comfortably for one person might be nowhere near enough for another. Factors such as age, where you live, desired income and what you want to do in retirement will factor into how much you need to save over the course of your working years.

Technology has begun to play a much more significant role in helping to create a unique personal financial plan. Software today allows individuals to aggregate all financial assets and liabilities in one place. Bank accounts, credit cards, investment accounts, real estate details and debts can all be linked together in one centralized location. For our clients, this solution is SAVVY Financial Planning. Many programs, like ours, can create an accurate and updated balance sheet that displays your assets and liabilities. By doing this, you and your financial advisor can gain a clear picture of your present financial situation, discuss your financial goals for retirement and determine the steps that are needed to work toward these goals.

Monitoring your cash flow is another important aspect that must be considered when creating your plan. By having your bank account and credit card information together in one location, your income and expenses can be monitored in real time. You will never again have to ask the question, “Where does all of my money go?” Taking an in-depth look at this can lead to some tough observations and decisions. However, making any necessary changes as soon as possible can put you in a better financial position. Taking these steps to evaluate your own individual situation is a great way to determine where you stand and what you need to do to pursue your goal.

As a wealth advisor, I find it satisfying to have these discussions with clients and help guide them toward the goal they are trying to achieve. By going beyond your balance sheet and cash flow statement, a financial advisor can examine what things you need to do in effort to accomplish your financial goals in the future. Many advisors today use advanced software that will help plot out and analyze where you stand with your retirement goals and objectives. These tools allow financial advisors to have detailed discussions with clients about how to accomplish these goals. Whether that be increasing your 401k contributions, opening a Roth IRA or purchasing life insurance—these tools allow financial advisors to uncover any needs that may exist.

Financial Planning isn’t something that happens on its own. By taking advantage of a wealth advisor and technology resources that exist, individuals can make more informed decisions that will ultimately lead them toward their objective. Taking the time to create a customized financial plan as soon as possible can pay great dividends in successfully working toward accomplishing your financial goals in the years to come.

Securities and Advisory services offered through LPL Financial, a Registered Investment Advisor. Member FINRA / SIPC . Insurance products offered through LPL Financial or its licensed affiliates. Dubuque Bank and Trust and DB&T Investment Services are not registered broker/dealers and are not affiliated with LPL Financial.

This site is designed for U.S. residents only. The services offered within this site are offered exclusively through our U.S. registered representatives. LPL Financial U.S. registered representatives may only conduct business with residents of the states for which they are properly registered. Please note that not all of the investments and services mentioned are available in every state.