We’ve all heard the old saying, “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there!” So it is with financial planning. If we don’t have the end in mind, then how will we know if we are on the right track? That’s why we begin by asking so many questions and taking the time to really understand who our clients are and what they really want to happen and when.
Being on the right track can apply to how much a client is saving, how a client is saving (before or after taxes in a company plan, individual savings outside the employer, individual IRA, etc.), how their saving is invested, how long before the money is needed, does the client have an adequate emergency fund, etc. Yes, a client can be on the right track but not moving fast enough to get there.
A plan will tell whether a client is on the right track rather than just doing the mental math and think they are OK. Most everyone underestimates the cost of living in retirement and do not save enough. Time is on everyone’s side in the sense that the sooner one gets started on the right track the sooner they’ll be OK! It is impossible to start saving too early.