So often, we wonder what our future holds when it comes to money. Money, the thing we always have too little of, is, by most of us, earned the hard way: by working. Through our hard effort, we manage our survival and our recreation; we enter into a style of life that consumes so much of our income, and then there’s what’s left over. It’s with what’s left over that we will build our future security against the time when we can no longer work or when we’ve finally grown too bored to continue the grind. We can follow the simplest wisdom and save the money; yes, that’s one way to accumulate, but is savings alone the best way to provide for our future? Money, after all, can make money. Is there anyway we can put that excess to work for us and our future? How do we do it? How do we avoid risks? Unless you’re a financial dilettante, you probably don’t have answers to these questions, but you can get the answers from somebody who specializes in answering just these kinds of questions; you can consult a personal financial planner.

A financial planner has been educated–usually possessing a college degree in economics, business, or some related field–has received specialized training in personal financial planning, has been certified by a competent authority, and has had experience in such areas as cash flow management, liabilities management, risk management, insurance, tax strategies, and investments. An experienced planner will have mastered retirement planning, estate planning, education planning, and will have developed an ability to relate to clients, to their concerns, needs, and goals. If you shop around, ask questions, you will probably find a competent planner with references in your own area.

You have hitherto focused on the fairly short-term and recurring goal of sustaining your current life style. Even here, the financial planner can help you optimize your spending so as to realize the greatest value for your output. He might recommend, for instance, that you consolidate all your outstanding loans and may demonstrate to you the savings you can achieve. Or, he can help you decide if you should buy or lease and can again show you the benefits. A good planner will assure that, whatever else might be achieved through planning, your current life style persists.

Most of us want to see our life styles improve. We have other goals besides those we now recurrently achieve: kid’s college, retirement in Maine, world trip, children’s inheritances. As well as planning for the maintenance of what you now have, your financial planner will help you uncover these desires and hopes for the future. In the light of these desires, both you and your planner will come up with clear and realistic financial goals to achieve these desires, and, within the limits imposed by both your resources and prospects, devise a plan that, if followed, will in all probability realize these desires. Through a mix of capital investments, insurance, tax strategies, and cash flow management, your planner will create a financial plan that is both practical and efficacious, and that provides the money you will need to make those dreams a reality in your own lifetime.

While you’re earning the money, while you’re young, plan for the future, plan for your happiness. Find a financial planner and make your way to fulfillment now.

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