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Financial Planning: Helping You See the Big Picture

L Haelen 2016
Laurie Haelen, AIF®
Senior Vice President, Director of Wealth Solutions
[email protected]
(585) 419-0670 x41970

Do you picture yourself owning a new home, starting a business, or retiring comfortably? These are a few of the financial goals that may be important to you, and each comes with a price tag attached.

That's where financial planning comes in. Financial planning is a process that can help you target your goals by evaluating your whole financial picture, then outlining strategies tailored to your individual needs and available resources.

Why is financial planning important? One of the main benefits of having a financial plan is that it can help you balance competing financial priorities. A financial plan will clearly show you how your financial goals are related--for example, how saving for your children's college education might impact your ability to save for retirement. Then you can use the information you have gleaned to decide how to prioritize your goals, implement specific strategies, and choose suitable products or services. Best of all, you will be more confident that your financial life is headed in the right direction.

The financial planning process. Creating and implementing a comprehensive financial plan involves working with financial professionals to:

  • Develop a clear picture of your current financial situation by reviewing your income, assets, and liabilities, and evaluating your insurance coverage, your investment portfolio, your tax exposure, and your estate plan
  • Establish and prioritize financial goals and time frames for achieving them
  • Implement strategies that address your current financial weaknesses and build on your financial strengths
  • Help ensure that the services you are utilizing are tailored to your goals
  • Monitor your plan and prepare to adjust as your goals, time frames, or circumstances change

Some members of the team. The financial planning process will likely include a team of professionals to ensure the plan is effective. Financial planners typically play a central role in the process, focusing on your overall financial plan, and often coordinating the activities of other professionals who have expertise in specific areas. Planners who have the CFP designation are held to a high standard and have expertise in all areas of the planning process. Accountants or tax attorneys provide advice on federal and state tax issues. Estate planning attorneys help you plan your estate and give advice on transferring and managing your assets before and after your death. Insurance professionals evaluate insurance needs and recommend appropriate products and strategies. Investment advisors provide advice about investment options and asset allocation and can help you to build and manage an investment portfolio to meet your long-term goals.

The most important member of the team, however, is you. Your needs and objectives drive the team. Once you have carefully considered any recommendations, all decisions lie in your hands.

Staying on track. The financial planning process doesn't end once your initial plan has been created. Your plan should generally be reviewed at least once a year. It's also possible that you'll need to modify your plan due to changes in your personal circumstances or the economy. Here are some of the events that might trigger a review of your financial plan:

  • Your goals or time horizons change
  • You experience a life-changing event such as marriage, the birth of a child, health problems, or a job loss
  • You have a specific or immediate financial planning need
  • Your income or expenses substantially increase or decrease
  • Your portfolio hasn't performed as expected
  • You are affected by changes to the economy or tax laws

No matter what type of help you need, CNB Wealth Management’s financial planning team can help ensure you are on track to meet your financial goals and will gladly answer any questions you have. Schedule an appointment with one of our financial advisors.

This material is provided for general information purposes only. Investments and insurance products are not FDIC insured, not bank deposits, not obligations of, or guaranteed by Canandaigua National Bank & Trust or any of its affiliates. Investments are subject to investment risks, including possible loss of principal amount invested. Past performance is not indicative of future investment results. Before making any investment decision, please consult your legal, tax or financial advisor. Investments and services may be offered through affiliate companies.