Is It Worth Having A Financial Plan If You Are A High-Net-Worth Individual?
A financial plan is often associated with ensuring that your retirement will be sustainable and free of financial shortfalls. If you are a high-net-worth individual or part of a high-net-worth family and are not concerned about outliving your money and running into deficits in retirement, you may question whether the financial planning process is a valuable exercise.
While the sustainability of retirement may not be a concern, a comprehensive financial plan can absolutely add meaningful value beyond simply confirming that wealth is sufficient for your retirement needs. This article highlights 3 key areas where having a financial plan can be significantly meaningful and impactful for high-net-worth individuals and families.
1. Establishing a Legacy with a Thoughtful Estate Plan
For high-net-worth individuals, rather than indicating a need for additional savings or simply confirming that existing wealth will be sufficient for retirement, mapping out a financial plan can help identify what assets and wealth are superfluous to personal retirement needs, even with a margin of error. Identifying this surplus is integral to building out a meaningful estate plan that projects a legacy achieving the desired impact. With wealth beyond lifestyle needs identified, thought can turn to the sort of impact you would like to make for your future generations or for your community.
Long-term goals beyond your lifespan may include providing future income to children, helping purchase real estate, funding post-secondary education, or perhaps even giving to an existing philanthropic cause or establishing your own foundation. Realizing any of these ambitions will require an understanding of what exactly can be allocated to each in order to project out the true impact of this allocation in the future, with perhaps a need to calibrate as to whether more or less wealth is required for each goal. This process is fed by the input of the identified surplus, which can only be confirmed through thoughtful wealth planning.
2. Understanding the “What If’s”
As we all know, life doesn’t always go according to plan. Even with the added certainty of wealth, you may still wonder about the impact of certain life events in retirement, whether negative or positive.
In some cases, family medical history may prompt concerns around future long-term care and costly medical expenses, or perhaps a condition, the worsening of which could cause an unexpected business wind-down. Alternatively, the expansion of a family through marriage and childbirth could lead to new priorities that may merit allocations of time, wealth, or both.
The uncertainty around these “what if” scenarios may persist even with the best of mental accounting and estimates, but a financial plan can help make these matters tangible and quantifiable, and ultimately help you understand their impact should the scenarios materialize in the future.
Having an established roadmap capturing all details of your current financial picture as well as your future ambitions and allocations of capital will allow you to model alternative scenarios, introducing new costs or inflows arising from life events, to empower you to deeply understand their true impact on your finances. As well, it will provide insight as to how these scenarios could impact your long-term goals. Considering such possibilities proactively will allow you to keep your plan on track.
3. Context for Decision-Making
When presented with opportunities or faced with unexpected challenges, context is everything when it comes to making informed decisions. A comprehensive, up-to-date financial plan not only lays out the complete current financial picture, but also extrapolates into the future using reasonable assumptions.
While no one has a crystal ball, having such a roadmap can help you to thoroughly understand the backdrop against which your decisions are made and hopefully provide greater clarity and line of sight in assessing your situation, whether it is a decision affecting you today or one expected to have impact years into the future.
This content is provided for general informational purposes only and does not constitute financial, investment, tax, legal or accounting advice nor does it constitute an offer or solicitation to buy or sell any securities referred to. Individual circumstances and current events are critical to sound investment planning; anyone wishing to act on this content should consult with his or her financial partner or advisor.