Financial Freedom without a Plan is wishful thinking.

There are 5 pieces to financial freedom. None are as important as having a Plan. The best thing you can do to achieve financial freedom and peace of mind is to have a plan. But not just any plan. You need a custom plan that suits your own unique needs and lifestyle. Your plan has to originate from a non-biased source.

It amazes me how few people have a unique and unbiased financial plan. Knowing that this is the most important thing you can do for financial success yet so few people have one. There are many different estimates of the percentage of people with a financial plan. My estimate based on experience is that roughly 10% of people have a unique and unbiased financial plan while another 30-40% has a cookie cutter template that is presented to them from a sales agent and called a financial plan. Such a templated plan based around generic financial principles is better to have than nothing at all.

Still, the preferred option is to have a custom plan that takes into account your unique circumstances. You know your needs. Given personal backgrounds and beliefs you will have established opinions on finances, lifestyle and legacies. No two household situations are exactly alike. This is what separates us and gives variety to the human species. Even as siblings will have different financial strains and stresses as they grow older and establish their own family units. To expect a templated form to encompass the unique needs of families and individuals is stretching its purpose.

A financial plan is best created by a non-biased source. By this I mean from a planner who is not selling you a product or service and whose sole purpose is to create a custom plan given your unique situation. When a sales agent offers a plan it will have a bias towards the product that generates revenue for the agent. This is just human nature. Even the sales agents with the best intentions will have a bias towards their product or service. When you have a plan created from someone who has no other product or services to offer then you know there is no other agenda in preparing a plan for your needs.

So where can you obtain a custom financial plan. One place to search is for a certified financial planner. This is someone who has gone through the training and education required to prepare a custom plan for you. There are also certified cash flow specialists (which includes your truly). I recommend dealing with a specialist that you know, like and trust. This will require you interviewing or otherwise getting to know the person who can help you achieve your financial goals. This is not something to be overlooked. After all your financial future is something that should be a priority for you.

Tomorrow I will share what must happen in order to become financially free. Here is a hint … you take a step forward when this happens.