Planning is an essential tool in life success and leadership. Our elders say that ‘he who fails to plan, plans to fail’.
Financial planning is making long, medium- and short-term goals towards achieving your lifetime financial goals. It is part of life planning.
Your financial plan should be in line with your life plans. Your life plans should cycle around the 5 fundamental items below.
- Vision: what you stand for and want to be known for. Where you see yourself in like 20 – 30 years from now.
- Spiritual plans: Like your vision and physical development plans, your spiritual development plan should be a combination of both but at a spiritual level. It is your plans for spiritual development and where you want to be in that journey in 20-30 years from now. Man is a spirit being, with a mind for will and decisions, representing his personae and aura, and all in a container called the body. There must be a balanced development in all three else your development is stunted.
- Mental development: this is the development of your mind, aura, and personae. In terms of education, enlightenment, exposure, experience, wisdom, information, and knowledge. This too should be a long-term plan over 30 or more years which you now breakdown to annual bits.
- Physical development: this is development of your physical body ensuring wellness and fitness to carry your person into your last days. It’s also a long-term view and plan you now breakdown into annual bits with milestones and goals.
- Social development: as a social being, this is your view of how you want to be perceived by your immediate and outer social circle like your family, friends, customers, on social media or online. This defines your brand image, your fashion style, your public image, your social networking circles, philanthropy models, social media platforms, who you marry or how you shape your family, where you will be based, work and play and so much more.
The essence of financial planning in all this is that all the plans you list above will be quantified in a currency (naira for example or dollars) and needs to be funded. So financial planning is now about how you source for finance and fund all the items you define above.
Financial planning is not age restricted and is not time bound, so no matter your age of stage you are in life, it is never too late to engage in financial planning. Also, anytime you embark on your financial planning, your life reflects a financially improved you immediately.
Financial planning is a fundamental necessity in life, especially for those that plan to live life successfully.
Succeeding in your financial planning is not a one-way straight path, it is more like a crazy zig zag with plenty of all kinds of up and downs to reach your ultimate goals.
Your financial plans unlike many other plans are meant to outlive you, especially if you have been able to build up a legacy, wealth, or both. When you are at the legacy point (which we all dream to be) you engage financial planning to live at least 20-50years after you.
This may sound difficult, but it’s not impossible.
- It guides your spending and financial goals.
- It helps define your financial goals.
- It helps to identify and minimize risks in your financial journey.
- It helps you to adequately build financial security.
- It helps you to prioritize.
- It helps you stay disciplined and focused.
- It gives you a sense of purpose and eliminates distractions.
- It always gives you a better life.
- It helps you stay debt free.
- It helps you improve your lifestyle in a sustainable way.
- It helps you to build your savings.
- It helps you to build a healthy investment portfolio.
- It helps you with a great retirement plan.
- It helps you to be able to identify possible financial risks and mitigate them before they occur.
- It minimizes financial misdemeanors.
- Financial planning makes your money work for you and not the other way around.
- Financial planning protects your family and everything dear to you.
- Financial planning gives you peace of mind.
- Financial planning gives assurance of the kind of future you want.
- Financial planning keeps you alive long after you are dead.
- Visioning skills. What is your vision for yourself, your family, your career, your business? For example. What is your stand as a Christian?
- You need to set financial budgets for everything you do.
- Economic analysis. You need to be aware of local and international economic trends especially GDP, inflation, and government budgets.
- Long term planning skills
- Time management skills
- Goal setting skills
- Continuous development and learning. Especially around your spiritual development, your career, your metal development, your physical health and wellbeing and your social development.
A financial plan is a comprehensive plan that considers your current situation and future aspirations towards achieving defined financial goals.
Financial planning for this session should cover the 4 main facets of your life which are.
- Your spiritual development
- Your mental development
- Your physical development and
- Your social development
These areas are now spread across the various types of financial planning as below.
- It is a skill that must be learnt and mastered. It is allocation defined sums to defined objectives from clear revenue sources. It is a periodic plan that must be flexible and reviewed periodically – daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, half yearly to ensure it is still in line with reality and meeting defined objectives.
- Investment planning: this is growing your income to far exceed your expenses. It starts with small sums planted like seeds into different investment vehicles that are now developed into revenue trees that forever produce fruits that more than keeps you going. You need a plan to define how you start, what you start with, how you re-invest your returns, what you spend out of the returns and what you plow back and so much more.
- Insurance planning: life is full of risks, and one of the major ways of mitigating these risks especially the financial and unforeseen risks is insurance. You need to get insurance, not when you need it, but when you don’t need it. Insure your finances, your life, your family, your business, your job, your health, and every other thing you can afford to.
- Tax planning: tax planning is about applying your funds in such a way that minimizes your tax liability and ensuring you always pay your tax on time. This is also about how to work towards ensuring tax savings and not incurring undue tax liabilities.
- Educational development: what is your plan on mental self-development and how will it be funded? That is what these covers.
- Philanthropy planning: in all we do, we must always give back to society in various forms and means. These too need to be planned and funded.
- Retirement planning: this is supposed to be your years of peace and rest. Financial planning is what will help you make it so.
- Estate planning: while alive or dead, your assets or estate needs to be effectively run to remain and grow to be able to fund your lifestyle or your legacy.
As financial planning is a process of defining your financial goals and setting up and implementing a plan towards achieving that goal, then we need to be aware of the process to implement to achieve financial success.
- Define your vision. What do you stand for? What do you want to be known for? What do you want your epitaph to be?
- Compute your net worth.
- Define your financial goals. Divide them into long, medium- and short-term goals and set milestones. You need to set goals covering items listed below as examples.
- Cashflow basis: what is the minimum cash balance you want to have in your account and most points in time? How realistic is this and why. You need to divide this cash balance to near and far money instruments. Near money instruments are items immediately convertible into cash like fixed deposits, bonds, stocks, commodities (like gold), etc. far money are those items that are cash based but not easily as convertible like real estate.
- Savings: always have your savings tied to an investment project, otherwise keep near money for transactions and emergencies also.
- Investments: what is your investment goal in monetary terms?
- Education, training, certifications, seminars, degrees, workshops, books, podcasts, etc.
- Family goals
- Extended family
- Friends and neighbors
- ‘Toys’ – cars/phones/planes for example
- Monitor and review your goals in line with current realities and new developments.
- Adjust and implement as necessary.
Your financial plans must be SMART. That is, they must be Simple & specific, Measurable, Accountable, Realistic & relevant, Time bound.
It’s time to start making your financial plans for 2024 and beyond!