5 Steps to Solving Your Financial Planning Puzzle

Lindsay Carter |

5 Steps to Solving Your Financial Planning Puzzle

By Jason Silverberg, CFP®, CLU®, ChFC®


1.      Visualize the picture on the puzzle box

It’s important to start with the end in mind, otherwise it’s hard to know where you’re going. By identifying what you want your life to be like, it will be easier to figure out how to get there.

Think about the answers to the following questions as this will give you a vision of what you want your financial plan to achieve. This will help to refer back to as you build out your plan.

·         What are your major financial goals?

·         What does retirement mean to you?

·         If money was not an issue, what would your ideal lifestyle be?

·         What impact would you like your estate to have after you’re gone?


2.     Inventory your pieces

Taking stock of where you are today, will give you a benchmark for how far you are toward your goals. Start by identifying your assets, liability, income, and expense. Itemize your insurance policies as well as other important financial documents. This will give you a clear picture of the financial pieces you currently have as a resource to hitting your targets.


3.     Identify what’s missing

After you know where everything is, and what everything’s worth, it’s a lot easier to identify pieces that you’re missing. You may realize that you don’t have enough insurance or that you have too much debt. Maybe you don’t have enough saved for retirement or college either. Not having the right puzzle pieces in place will prevent you from achieving your financial goals.


4.     Create your strategy

Now it’s time to formulate the strategy you will use to fit all of your pieces together. Creating a Financial Plan will put everything together and show you the steps to take to move you toward hitting your goals. It will also identify potential pitfalls that could derail your planning.


5.     Finding the missing piece

Don’t go at it alone. Find your missing piece by hiring a Financial Advisor or Professional to help you efficiently and effectively put your puzzle together. It’s a lot easier when you’re working together with someone else to put your puzzle together. Find someone who fits well with your personality and values too.

Be sure to hire an experienced professional who has the proper registrations and licenses.  Make sure they are acting in your best interest and aren’t just sales people. 


In my book, The Financial Planning PuzzleI discuss these steps in more depth. Buy the book now on Amazon.com here.


If you’d like to discuss your own personal finances, you can email me directly at jason@finadvinc.com or call me at 301-610-0071.




Jason Silverberg CFP®, CLU®, ChFC®, specializes in comprehensive financial planning. His practice aims at helping families and small business owners to fit their financial pieces together to create financial freedom. He uses a values-based process to connect with his clients on a deeper level than most other advisors, diving into the "why" behind the numbers. He focuses on helping clients achieve and protect their goals through methodical investment strategies and calculated risk management and insurance solutions. Separate from the financial plan and our role as financial planner, we may recommend the purchase of specific investment or insurance products or accounts.  These product recommendations are not part of the financial plan and you are under no obligation to follow them.

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