Financial Planning

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Financial Planning & Financial Freedom

What is Financial Planning?

Financial planning is a systematic process of setting, organizing, and managing one’s financial goals and resources. It involves assessing the current financial situation, identifying future objectives, and creating a strategy to achieve those goals. The goal is to create a well-rounded and sustainable financial plan that aligns with an individual’s or a family’s short-term and long-term financial objectives, taking into account their income, expenses, assets, and liabilities. A comprehensive financial plan helps individuals make informed decisions, manage risks, and work towards financial freedom and well-being. Some of these topics include:

  • Establishing Financial Goals
  • Budgeting
  • Savings Plan 
  • Debt Management
  • Investment Strategy
  • Retirement Planning
  • Insurance Planning
  • Tax Strategy
  • Education & College Savings
  • Risk Management
  • Health Insurance
  • Long-term Care
  • Estate Planning
  • Charitable Giving

Financial Advisor vs. Financial Planner

While the term “Financial Advisor” and “Financial Planner” are frequently used interchangeably, suggesting a degree of synonymity, they actually represent distinct roles with notable differences.

  1. Scope of Services:

    • Financial Advisor: this term is broad and can refer to professionals who provide advice on various aspects of finance, including investments, insurance, and retirement planning. Financial Advisors generally specialize in specific areas, such as investment advisory services or insurance sales.
    • Financial Planner: typically focuses on creating comprehensive financial plans that cover all aspects of an individual’s or family’s financial life. This includes budgeting, savings, investments, retirement planning, and estate planning.
  2. Emphasis on Planning:

    • Financial Advisor: may offer planning services, usually has a primary focus on investments and/or specific financial products.
    • Financial Planner: primary focus is to create a holistic financial plan that addresses the client’s overall financial goals and objectives.
  3. Credentials and Qualifications:

    • Financial Advisor: can have various credentials, however not required for the role. 
    • Financial Planner: often hold certifications specifically related to financial planning, such as the Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP®) designation, which requires a comprehensive understanding of financial planning principles.
  4. Fiduciary vs Suitability:

    • Fiduciary = a legal and ethical obligation that requires financial professionals to prioritize their clients’ best interests above their own. This duty implies a high standard of care, loyalty, and honesty. 
    • Suitability = the suitability standard requires financial professionals to recommend products that are suitable for a client based on their financial needs, goals, and risk tolerance. The recommendation must be suitable for the client’s financial situation, but it may not necessarily be the absolute best option available. 
    • Financial Advisor: the term “Financial Advisor” is broad and can include professionals in different areas of finance. Depending on their services, Financial Advisors more often follow the suitability standard over the fiduciary standard. 
    • Financial Planner: Financial planners, especially those holding certifications like the CFP®, generally follow the fiduciary standard. Make sure you are working with a fiduciary! 
  5. Client Engagement:

    • Financial Advisor: clients may seek Financial Advisors for specific services, such as investment advice or insurance planning. Often, the relationship is a one-time transaction. 
    • Financial Planner: clients typically engage Financial Planners for a more comprehensive and integrated approach to their financial well-being. The Client-Planner relationship is long-term engagement that involves regular meetings throughout the year to monitor the health of the client’s financial plan. 

Federal Retirement Planning Process

More information on how we help: Federal Employees Process


Discovery Meeting

Introductory meeting with a Financial Planner who specializes in federal retirement planning. Our goal is to understand what is most important to you and gain more insight into your federal service.


Financial Questionnaire

Our questionnaire reviews the 26 most important financial measures. It is crucial to gather a complete picture of your financial health. Absent information can lead to recommendations that are misguided.  


Goals & Getting Organized

We help gather your financial documents and information. We’ll meet to assess your financial situation, pose questions, and discuss where you want to grow.


Federal Benefits Report

Our team of ChFEBCs will create a custom, 22-page, report based on your federal service. We will review your numbers and provide guidance on opporutnties available and pitfalls to avoid. 


Deliver Your Action Items

A list of action items to consider in the short-term, long-term, and when important financial milestones occur. These action items help solve potential gaps in your financial plan.


Create a Financial Plan

Our team of CFP®s will build a custom financial plan based on your goals, values, risk tolerance, and more.


Investment Policy Statement

Investment goals and objectives specific to you. A formal agreement provides transparency and commitment for both parties.


Ongoing Reviews

Ongoing reviews to make sure you are on track with your financial goals and investments.

Federal Retirement Planning

At PlanWell, we are focused on federal retirement planning. If you have additional federal benefit questions, reach out to our team of CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ (CFP®) and Chartered Federal Employee Benefits Consultants (ChFEBC℠). Choose a Financial Planner for federal employees. We provide federal retirement planning workshops for federal employees. Federal retirement planning webinars for federal employees, designed just for Feds! Learn more about our process designed for the career federal employee.

Preparing for a federal retirement? Check out our scheduled federal retirement workshops. Sign up for our no-cost federal retirement webinars here! Make sure to plan ahead and reserve your seat for our FERS webinar, held every three weeks. Interested in having PlanWell host a federal retirement seminar for your agency? Reach out, and we can collaborate with HR to arrange an on-site FERS seminar.

Want to fast-track your federal retirement plan? Skip the FERS webinar and start a one-on-one conversation with a ChFEBC today. You can schedule a one-on-one meeting here.

Federal Retirement Workshops - FERS Webinars

Sign up today for our FERS webinar here. Federal retirement webinars designed to cover every benefit in only 3 hours. The FERS workshop covers: FERS pension, survivor benefit, Social Security, Special Retirement Supplement (SRS), Thrift Savings Plan (TSP), Federal Employee Group Life Insurance (FEGLI), Federal Employee Health Benefits (FEHB),  and Federal Long-Term Care Insurance Program (FLTCIP). Interested in having PlanWell host a federal retirement seminar for your agency? Reach out, and we can coordinate with your agency’s HR to have an on-site federal retirement seminar. PlanWell can do a FERS seminar or CSRS seminar. 

Financial Planner for Federal Employees Near Me

Secure your financial future with the expertise of a Financial Advisor for government employees near you. Choose PlanWell Financial Planning and benefit from our experienced federal retirement planning specialists. Choose a Financial Advisor for federal employees. Contact us today to embark on your journey toward a secure and prosperous future.

Chartered Federal Employee Benefits Consultant Near Me

Plan your federal retirement with the expertise of a Chartered Federal Employee Benefits Consultant near you. Choose PlanWell Financial Planning to sit with a Financial Planner for federal employees and benefit from our experienced ChFEBC team. Contact us today to receive your personalized FERS estimate.