Why Financial Planning – and Working with a CFP® Professional – Matters

August 22, 2023

Posted in How We Work

Building financial security and reaching your personal goals is necessarily imprecise and subjective, making a trusted guide invaluable. There’s a reason why one of the most common answers to financial questions posed to us is, “it depends.” Depends on what? On what’s most important to you. On your health status. Tax ramifications. Family dynamics. Saving/spending habits. And more.

Have you ever had a pain in one area of your body, only to find out another area is the culprit? As it is with our health, each component of your financial picture has value and depth that adds to the big picture. Your financial planner is your partner in putting the pieces together for your individual situation, providing information and advice to help you achieve your short- and long-term financial goals.

We use a comprehensive approach

To develop a plan that’s right for you, we look at all interrelated parts of your financial life—income, expenses, investments, retirement planning, tax liability, estate planning, and charitable giving—to make sure all are working toward your goals.

What to expect in a financial plan

Your financial plan may include:

  • personal net worth snapshot, which shows you what you own and what you owe. You can use it to see where you stand and as a benchmark to measure your progress.
  • full retirement plan that specifies how much you need to save each year to achieve the lifestyle you want to maintain. This includes recommendations on how best to maximize your Social Security benefits and other pension funds.
  • An analysis of your current investment portfolio and recommendations to align it with your long-term goals.
  • college savings plan for children.
  • A review of and guidance on your employee benefits.
  • A specific plan for any special needs to negotiate—for a child, an aging parent, or other dependent.
  • Recommendations for estate planning.
  • How charitable giving can fit into the big picture of your finances.
  • Legacy planning, setting your family up for continued financial success.
  • And other elements, depending on your unique situation.

Personal and personalized follow-up

Our work doesn’t end at putting a plan down on paper for you to file away. At regular review meetings, we help you identify the financial ramifications of life as it changes. Events like marriage, divorce, job changes, buying a house, birth, and death may dictate changes in areas such as cash flow and beneficiary designations, or in tax planning. Changes in the law may affect your financial plan as well.

Ongoing, you get expert guidance to help you navigate twists and turns and all the changes that life brings, and we adjust your plan accordingly.

The value of working with a CFP® professional

Most people think all financial planners are “certified,” but that’s not true. Just about anyone can use the title “financial planner.” CFP® professionals have met rigorous qualifications for financial planning. Only those who have fulfilled CFP Board’s rigorous requirements can call themselves a CFP® professional.

As CFP® professionals at Johnson Bixby, we are uniquely qualified to help clients pull all their finances together, solve financial problems, create a plan and help them stay on track to achieve financial goals. We’re also required to provide our financial planning services as a “fiduciary” – acting in the best interest of our clients.

Our financial planning team uses the CFP Board’s 7-step financial planning process.

As the saying goes: you get what you pay for

While many tools and websites offer helpful information and broad guidance, they cannot personalize advice to fit your unique circumstances. They cannot make eye contact with you, which many people find prerequisite to trusting the advice they receive. They also can’t hear what you’re saying and exercise judgment or discernment, which can only be offered by a professional with years of practical experience and an empathetic ear.

Reach out to us if you or someone you know would like a partner who can help you look at your whole financial picture and create a plan that can help you live out your goals.


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