Financial Planning – Your Roadmap to Retirement

With a name like Compass Financial, we better be able to help you navigate to your financial destinations.  Unfortunately, it is all too common for us to meet people who have never really given thought to where they are trying to go, to say nothing of creating a plan to get there.  It’s interesting that we will “plan” a vacation or even a trip to the grocery store.  But when it comes to the financial stability of our family, we so often seem to find reasons to leave it on the back burner.  At Compass, we believe financial planning is critical.  That’s why we endeavor to make it as simple as possible.

As goal based planners, we will spend more time talking about your goals and dreams than how much you spend on milk or your cell phone service.  Don’t get us wrong.  Prudence in managing your cash flow is critical.  But if you don’t know where you are trying to go, the only thing certain is you will never get there, regardless of how frugal you are.  And lets’ face it, it’s a whole lot more interesting, fun and exciting to dream than it is to count pennies.  Once our clients see what’s possible, they can often experience greater financial confidence and a new level of motivation to pursue their goals and dreams.

We can help with everything from planning for specific goals, like funding college education or purchasing a vacation home, to comprehensive strategies that can encompass all your dreams, goals and objectives in one, easy to understand, plan. 

Just the Beginning – Your Financial GPS

If I’m planning a trip from Raleigh to San Francisco and I only look at my map when I first set out, I might eventually get there, but it is highly unlikely I would do so by the most efficient and effective route.  In fact, by this method it seems just as likely I would never reach my intended destination at all.  Likewise, a financial plan is essentially useless if it gets stuck in the “glove box”, never to be consulted along the way.

Today we can plug an address into our phones, plot the most efficient course and receive real-time updates along the way.  Unexpected traffic ahead?  Here’s an alternative course that may get you where you’re trying to go faster, and with less frustration, than the original course.  We want to deploy your financial plan in a similar fashion.  By consulting it regularly, we can assess the road traveled, the road ahead and suggest any necessary course adjustments, ensuring you stay on track and arrive as expected.

The Process

  • Goal Identification – Name your desires, dreams and needs.  Assign a priority to each.
  • Evaluate Resources – Compile your financial assets.  Determine their use in your plan.
  • Probability of Success – Simply put, the likelihood you won’t outlive your money.
  • What If? – Understand the potential impact of changing the variables at work in your plan.

Simply Sophisticated

Have you ever really thought about that GPS app on your phone?  We plug in a couple data points and somehow, behind the scenes, the app figures out multiple routes, estimates time to complete the journey and highlights potential trouble spots, all in nearly real time.  Imagine the complexity of the programming required to accomplish that.  Imagine the enormous database of roads and traffic information evaluated in seconds.  If we could see the process, it’s likely we would be incapable of understanding it.  But we plug in our locations and trust it to get us where we want to go.

Similarly, while the results are designed to be simple to understand, the process is supported by complex, state of the art, financial planning software and more than 40 years combined, practical planning experience.  Like that GPS app on your phone, we evaluate numerous variables and their influence on your plan.  We can even estimate the impact of changing those variables.  But we’ve learned that clients won’t engage in a confusing, cumbersome process, regardless of the potential benefits.  So we have been intentional about creating plans that are, in equal parts, overwhelmingly sophisticated and elegantly simple to understand.  Feel free to dig in “under the hood” to explore the interplay of the nearly countless variables or simply follow the course provided.  Either way, you will be glad you engaged in this process.

Financial Planning offered through LPL Financial, a Registered Investment Advisor.