Comprehensive Financial Planning in the Carolinas

How confident are you in your financial plan? If you don’t yet have one or aren’t sure how to answer that, we highly recommend reaching out for professional support from an advocate advisor. Having a firm grip on your finances is multidimensional, calling for in-depth efforts. 

If you’re considering or already retiring in Greenville, SC, comprehensive financial planning can help you reach your financial goals, reduce financial stress, and create peace of mind. People equipped with a financial plan are more inclined to feel financially stable and have multiple financial foundations in place, such as good credit, no debt, and an emergency fund. 

If you’re confused about where to begin or simply don’t know whom to trust, read this quick guide to understand the ropes and components of comprehensive financial planning. At Global View, we are certified financial planners in Greenville, SC, who can help you create your comprehensive financial plan.

If you don’t want to become another retirement horror story, take this advice seriously. Our complimentary eBook can point you in the right direction.

Chapter 1

What is comprehensive financial planning, and why do you need it?

Building a comprehensive financial plan requires a microscopic view of your current financial picture. This includes your income, investments, expenses, debt, assets, tax returns, trusts, wills, goals, etc. In crafting a plan, it helps to first consider your financial goals in order to develop financial strategies to get from point A to point B. 

A CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ can serve as your advocate and financial ally to protect your assets, increase cash flow, build wealth for your retirement, minimize taxation, reduce risk, pass assets to heirs, and much more. An effective investment advisor will ask the right questions to be as thorough as possible.

Some of these questions/concerns push people to hire a financial advisor or planner to help them conquer their financial challenges. 

  1. What is my current net worth?
  2. How do I create a retirement plan? 
  3. What if I suddenly lose my job?
  4. Do I have the proper selections in my retirement or 401(k) plan?
  5. What if something happens to my partner or me? 
  6. How much money is automatically taken from my bank account?
  7. How much do I spend out of pocket monthly? 
  8. Am I borrowing money most efficiently?
  9. How can I get out of debt quicker? 
  10. How much money am I saving?
  11. How much money should I be saving each month?
  12. What will my child’s wedding eventually cost?
  13. How am I going to pay for my child(ren)’s education? 
  14. What am I paying for health insurance, and what does it cover?
  15. Will I need long-term care someday? 
  16. What are my responsibilities to my parents? 
  17. How will my children learn about money management?
  18. What am I paying my broker in fees? 
  19. How much risk am I taking in my investment portfolio? 
  20. How involved do I want to be with my investments? 

Read: Moving to the Carolinas? What You Need to Know

Chapter 2

The different stages of life that require different types of financial planning

Lifestage 1: Establishing your career and entering the workforce  

Whether you are paying off a student loan or other debt, establishing credit, or all of the above, this phase helps set the stage for many of your financial habits. Building a strong credit history is key in order to be approved for future loans for major life events. This often includes buying a vehicle or home or starting a business.  

If you are blessed to have an employer that offers retirement savings such as a 401(k), 403(b), or Roth IRA, take advantage of them. Even if you are young and single, having a disability insurance policy can be a lifesaver to protect your income in case something were to happen. Here’s your quick to-do list for this life phase:

  • Live within your means
  • Create and abide by a budget
  • Establish a good credit history
  • Start building your savings 
  • Avoid increasing consumer and high-interest rate debts 
  • Pay off outstanding debts as soon as possible
  • Start setting up your financial and retirement accounts
  • Acquire disability insurance
  • Find a reliable fee-only financial planner you can trust for life who will act as a fiduciary (in YOUR best interest over their own) 

All of these efforts will get you off on the right financial foot. 

Lifestage 2: Family and career-building 

If you’re like the majority of your fellow citizens, chances are you’ve gone on a few dates, shared some laughs, and learned what you don’t prefer in a mate. If you are lucky enough to have found the one, you might be ready to settle down, nest, and maybe even have a child. Settling down involves more than marriage and finding or building your dream home—it requires agreements and compromise. 

Getting past that, you can secure a budget for homeownership, upkeep, utilities, amortization, improvements, etc. Protecting your family becomes one of your main responsibilities. This includes protecting your income and assets. You must consider and plan for the worst to ensure financial safety for all family members at this point. 

In your to-do list in this phase, you should:

  • Purchase life insurance
  • Get health insurance
  • Update disability insurance
  • Review your estate plan 
  • Prepare a will
  • Save for your child’s college education
  • Build your career or start your own business
  • Grow your savings
  • Start considering other streams of income
  • Ask investment advisors in Greenville, SC, about diversifying your wealth
  • Lifestage 3: The pre-retirement years 

    At this stage, some people have been married, divorced, or lost the love of their life. That’s not to assume that everyone chooses to partner up. Maybe you’ve changed jobs a few times, lost a job, been promoted, or started your own company. 

    Whatever the case, pre-retirement years are when people really wish they would have started planning sooner. Maybe you are one of the few who started planning well in advance (phase one), and early retirement is circled on your calendar. 

    Here’s your to-do list if you fall into this phase:

    • Pay off your mortgage and other debts
    • Put kids through college 
    • Review your options to reduce taxes in retirement
    • Maximize your retirement plan savings 
    • Consider other income streams for extra retirement income 
    • Re-evaluate how your portfolio measures up with your financial goals and plan

    Lifestage 4: Early retirement years 

    Although the lists get shorter through each phase, each point becomes even more crucial as your risk tolerance and time horizon shift, calling for more conservative investments. The number one fear of retirees is running out of money. All of the tips mentioned above can help you avoid that at all costs.

    In this phase, how you spend your money will differ from your earlier life stages. Here are items on your to-do list:

    • Have a clear idea about your retirement expenses 
    • Know what your monthly budget is
    • Update your will 
    • Evaluate your estate plan
    •  Determine if and how you will leave a legacy to your family 
    • Put a plan in place to receive a “Retirement Paycheck” from your savings and investments.
    • Apply retirement strategies learned from your financial planner, like which accounts to withdraw from first 

    Lifestage 5: Later retirement years 

    Well into your golden years, you deserve to keep what you’ve worked so hard for. So remember, your tax bracket matters here: 

    • Continue optimizing taxes
    • Understand how much taxes you pay on your social security benefits (up to 85%)
    • Update your estate plan every time you buy or sell new assets
    • Adjust your will if needed
    • Consider assisted living options or backup plans if relatives cannot support you when that time comes. 
Chapter 3

The benefits of comprehensive financial planning

There are ample benefits of comprehensive financial planning, such as achieving financial goals, preparing for unexpected events, improving financial well-being, creating opportunities, improving your standard of living, providing financial stability, supporting an early retirement, creating financial freedom, and providing the retirement of your dreams. 

Achieve financial goals

A financial plan sets in stone how much money you need to achieve each of your goals. You can plan finances according to your benchmarks. This ensures you don’t spend the money before you achieve this goal. 

Prepare for the unpredictable

Unpredictable events, emergencies, illnesses, and injuries are to be expected and planned for. Not prioritizing health-related financial issues is a common factor that leads to debt and struggle. However, with a stable financial footing backed by an emergency fund, you can conquer the unforeseen. 

Improve financial understanding 

Have you ever had to come up with money quickly? With a solid financial plan, you will know where your money is invested and how quickly you can access your funds. This can ensure you don’t miss out on opportunities as they arise. 

Improve standard of living 

A financial plan allows you to use your wealth to pay off debts/loans without compromising daily expenses or dreams. Additional expenses don’t have to feel like a financial chokehold. 

Financial stability and security 

Your finances don’t need to create relationship turmoil and stress. Equipped with a good financial plan, you can make sure you and your family have enough funds to cover monthly expenses. This provides a sense of security, which can essentially provide peace of mind and better sleep at night. 

Financial freedom and independence 

You can stay in control of your finances by abiding by a comprehensive financial plan that accounts for all areas of your financial life. This means you are no longer tied down to loans, debt, or a fixed income.

Early Retirement 

If your goal is to quit working sooner than later, you should plan for an early retirement via a comprehensive financial plan. If you don’t want to work up to your full retirement age or beyond, hire a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ who can serve as your lifelong financial guide.

Chapter 4

The benefits of using a financial advisor

There are almost endless benefits of investing in a financial advisor who can help you plan for retirement and the unexpected. They can provide emotional guardrails, a sense of calm in a volatile market, and a long-term financial strategy customized just for you. Essentially, your advocate is full of ideas to help you preserve and grow your wealth throughout your journey.

No matter what life stage you’re in, a planner or advisor can help you avoid unnecessary taxes, bad investments, and reacting fearfully to market downturns. Financial and physical wellness can be planned for using data-driven decision-making along the way. Are you feeling excited to start yet?

Chapter 5

The different aspects of comprehensive financial planning

Through a full discovery process, timeline, investment strategy, and financial stress test, you and your advisor can cover the bases of:

  • Budgeting
  • Tax planning
  • Retirement planning
  • Insurance planning
  • Education planning
  • Investment planning and ongoing portfolio adjustments
  • Estate planning (multigenerational handing off of wealth)

Within a comprehensive financial plan, you will be assisted in taking an inventory of your finances, setting goals, crafting a unique strategy, and staying intentional about your investments. Ideally, your effective financial accountability partner will lead the way, taking the load off your shoulders.

Chapter 6

How to get started with comprehensive financial planning today

A comprehensive financial plan is like a roadmap to financial success, laying out strategies for every part of your financial life. To design your plan, reach out to our team, who wants to put ourselves in your shoes. If you are more inclined to work solo as a DIY investor, take careful precautions.

If you are researching financial planners, do your due diligence by investigating their investment methodology and pricing structure. Proceed with extra precaution if working with a professional who is paid by commission. 

We founded Global View because investors need a true advocate, not a crafty salesperson with a hidden agenda. As your advocate, our advice is valuable as we become a team working in your favor. Read our story to learn more.

Chapter 7

How to save for retirement and invest your money wisely

Did you know that fear and greed are the two common factors that hold people back from succeeding financially? It’s true! We’ve touched on many saving tips, but allow us to expand on a few more for retirement. 

To forge through your human tendencies, it pays to work with an advocate advisor who can help you with these vital tasks:

  • Pay off debt 
  • Don’t be greedy
  • Remove fear
  • Save, save, save
  • Watch your spending
  • Invest in products you understand
  • Make investment decisions with your trusted source 
  • Know your risk tolerance and time horizon
  • Take advantage of tax-advantaged investments
Chapter 8

How to find a qualified financial planner in the Carolinas

If you are not an expert in matters of money, hire someone who is. Because you have options, take time and don’t settle for the first financial advisory firm you find. Use this guidance in the final steps to begin investing in your future.

  1. Find a professional who will act as a fiduciary at all times
  2. Ask about and check credentials
  3. Understand how the advisor is compensated
  4. Search for a fee-only advisor
  5. Look for clarity and transparency
  6. Find a financial planner who can keep you on track
  7. Ask all the questions when interviewing potential planners

You deserve to feel confident in your hired advocate’s objectivity, competency, and responsiveness to your needs. Get what you can in writing, especially their pricing plan. You need to know what you are paying for every step of the way and not be surprised as you acquire new assets. 

At Global View Investment Advisors, risk management is a serious ongoing responsibility. Are you ready to explore comprehensive financial planning? Let’s talk about your goals to begin a trusting professional relationship and your methods to get you there.