When it comes to our money, it is important that we have a financial plan to meet our goals both short term and long term. If we have no plan, we are wandering aimlessly, in the dark. Luke 14:28-30 says, “For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’”
Planning is foundational. I’ve seen people save for retirement diligently for many years. Suddenly, they’re at the point of considering retiring and have no clue whether what they’ve done has been enough or even too much. By this time, it’s often too late to plan; or it at least makes planning options that much more limited. Planning is on-going. It is never a one-time event in life.
As a Certified Financial Planner professional (CFP®), when I ask new clients whether they’ve put together a plan, I often hear something along the lines of, “Oh I don’t have much”, dismissing the idea of the need to plan. No matter what you have saved, it’s important that you plan. Luke 16:10-11 says, “One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much. If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches?” God wants us to take seriously what He has given to us, regardless of amount. Planning can provide a roadmap for our future and can illustrate what to expect.
Proverbs 15:22 tells us, “Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed.” It’s important that you consult with someone who is experienced in planning. A CFP® has demonstrated knowledge and ability in all areas of planning and is held to a fiduciary standard in which CFP®’s must always place a client’s interest first. Speaking from experience a client/advisor relationship is more personal than many other professions. For this reason, it is important to choose someone to work with that you feel you can trust and someone who shares your values/morals.
As always, we must consider God’s role in our planning. The saying goes that man plans and God laughs. That’s from Proverbs 16:9, “The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” This goes back to what we may be idolizing (see Part 5 here and Part 6 here). If we plan with the sole focus on our money without considering God’s role, then we have planned foolishly.
A final verse on the concept of planning comes from Isaiah 55:8-9: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” When we’ve removed God from our planning, we’ve diminished our planning potential. Be sure to include Him and what His Word says in your planning and you will never go wrong!
As always, if I can assist you in any way, do not hesitate to drop me a line or give me a call. Christopher.Hull@CeteraInvestors.com or 716-707-1818.
Coming Up: Debt
The views stated in this letter are not necessarily the opinion of Cetera Investors and should not be construed directly or indirectly as an offer to buy or sell any securities mentioned herein. Due to volatility within the markets mentioned, opinions are subject to change without notice. Information is based on sources believed to be reliable; however, their accuracy or completeness cannot be guaranteed. Past performance does not guarantee future results.