Financially Possible

What Good is a Financial Goal Without Doing Financial Planning?

 Financial Checklist

The Background

Recently (mid 2016) I became aware of the value of having a financial plan. For years, Nina and I set financial goals. Those goals were:

  • Saving as much as possible with the target being at least 50% of our income.
  • Growing our net worth as much as possible.
  • Retiring in our early 50s.

Despite being committed toward achieving those goals (and we were doing great), somehow we didn’t integrate them into our daily habits (e.g, we didn’t budget and we didn’t use a retirement calculator). We planned on retiring earlier than the majority of Americans, but we didn’t know how much we would need to fund an early retirement.

If we had stayed the course, we were going to overshoot our goal. We would have accumulated more than we needed and and we would have spent time working that we could never get back. Why were we saving so aggressively? To what end? We simply didn’t know. We didn’t discuss such questions. We did not prioritize taking the time in our busy lives to discuss where we would like to go, what we would want to do, and why. Quite simply, we had financial goals, but we didn’t incorporate elements of financial planning (also see here) to help us achieve our goals.

The Change

Then something changed. Nina was doing research for a project and got really plugged into the early retirement community (FIRE) and started sharing this wealth of knowledge with me. We started getting really excited about all the possibilities that are now available to us. We began discussing frequently about those possibilities. We started making financial plans; not all at once, but through a series of talks. We checked out several books from the local library on a variety of financial topics (you can see the complete list here) and began devouring them. We became more creative with our thoughts, actions, and use of time. It’s been like we woke up one day and realized that we, too, can pursue financial independence now that we have a financial plan. And boy, does it ever feel good!

Sometimes the feelings were a little too good. We both have had nights where we struggled going to sleep due to all the ideas and exciting possibilities racing through our heads. This was compounded by the fact that we have a 2 year old and desperately need every moment of sleep we can get. We’re excited about all the options we will be pursuing with financial independence — spending a much greater portion of our time with our daughter during her formative years, traveling the world, arranging our own schedules and working on our passions instead of being bound to an employer’s desires. Our current financial possibilities are due to never spending half of our income and then investing that difference in a logical & nearly emotion-free way.

Comments Welcome and Appreciated

I am certain we were not the only ones who had set financial goals without having a financial roadmap. Somehow, in some ways, life got in the way of living. Ironic, isn’t it? Seven years feels like a really long time to be wandering through life without a financial roadmap. I’d really like to know:

  • Are you familiar with the financial planning process? If so, how did you learn about it?
  • How long did it take for you to incorporate this habit into your life?
  • If this is the first time you’re getting acquainted with the concept, do you see yourself doing research to learn more about financial planning and how the process might benefit your situation?
  • If you already have a financial plan, what was the most challenging part getting started?
  • What would you do with your life if you are already financially independent?

The Future – Will Our Paths Cross?

If you like what you’ve read and think you can benefit from my future contents, then our paths have already crossed. I’m happy you’re here. I’m happy sharing financial planning information freely to anyone who is open to improving his/her financial position. Building a better and more secure financial life begins with financial literacy. Ultimately, this endeavor at the global level will benefit future generations. My plan for this blog is to share my own perspectives on financial planning, my money philosophies, how people interact with money in the real world, essential mental techniques of a disciplined investor, and occasionally my views of current events (while still tuning out the “noise”). If at any point you decide you need more individualized guidance, I do offer a fee-based service for individuals or couples.

At this point in my life, I’m helping other people turn their dreams of financial freedom, security, and independence into realities. And financial planning is the first step. This is something I wish I had known in my early 20s. I help others by encouraging them to be constantly thinking about their life goals and values, giving them tools and pointing them to good resources. Another value I bring my clients is step by step guidance in areas of financial and goal planning, insurance, investing (asset allocation and asset location), taxation, fear management, asset protection, etc.

I have a background in computer science and economics. My other areas of interest are probability, statistics, game theory (zero-sum and non zero-sum games), and strategic board games. My love of problem solving helps me view each client’s financial situation as unique. This way of thinking allows me the opportunity to work through the challenges with my clients. I also work with my clients helping them discover their financial strengths.

I enjoy the personal satisfaction I get from helping clients reach a better financial position. I love teaching, math, and money. It’s easy for me to talk about money and I enjoy doing so. I value honesty, transparency, one’s desire to learn, privacy, and playing by the rules. Prior to playing any new board game, the first thing I do is read the rulebook inside and out. I like to win and knowing the rules helps greatly in that endeavor. Similarly, understanding the rules (tax-code and laws) is an integral part of my service helping my clients win.

I want to share what I have learned from my own financial success so that others can benefit. I’m looking forward to hearing from anyone and everyone. Thanks for taking the time to read.

Help spread the message. We all can benefit from financial learning and I always welcome referrals!

4 thoughts on “What Good is a Financial Goal Without Doing Financial Planning?

  1. Qinyi Wu

    I respect your responsible attitude and think about the big problem of national debt. It will be nice to see your future posts talking about how to achieve individual financial goal.

    1. Trip Post author

      Hi Qinyi,

      Thank you for the support. It’s my goal to provide future content that has high value to you and many others seeking to improve their knowledge of financial goals and investing.

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