In many ways, planning for your personal cash flow is the most important planning you can do.
In your working years, it’s the money you didn’t spend each month (your excess cash flow) , that determines how much you have to allocate to the other areas of planning.
In your retirement years, the amount you desire to spend each year drives many of the other decisions that need to be made. How we help you depends upon which category you fall into.
Cash Flow Planning in Your Working Years
The first step we take is to show you where you currently stand as well as making some projections about where you will be in the future based on your current savings pattern. The current savings pattern is a number you give us. While we do give general advice around spending plans (including thoughts on which of the various philosophies might work best for you and our favorite software to assist with the spending plan), we do not make a spending plan with you.
In our projections, we’ll show you alternative savings plans that are slightly different from your current reality, so that you can see the impact of doing things differently. It is often through seeing how things change with small adjustments that leads to using your cash flow with true purpose.
Cash Flow Planning in Your Retirement Years
Once retired, the cash flow planning does not end, it merely shifts to a discussion of how much income to take from your investments. There are still numerous variables to consider including claiming Social Security benefits, managing tax brackets, pension options, as well as personal preferences such as what sort of legacy you desire to leave to heirs or spending more on travel during the earlier years of retirement. Again, projecting the effects of these choices is one of the main ways we help you align your spending with your desired lifestyle.