If knowledge is power, then perhaps the most powerful knowledge you can have is self-knowledge. In fact, financial planning can be viewed as simply a lifelong process of updating certain aspects of your self-knowledge. While planning for, and reacting to, life events often is more art than science, financial planning gives us the power to deal with the quantitative aspects of some possible scenarios and their consequences.
Navigating competently through the life stages of employment, marriage, home ownership, parenting, eldercare, divorce, retirement and ultimately death -- and all the stops in between -- requires knowledge acquired through continual self-education. The conscious management of your financial circumstances, however modest they may be from time to time, enables you to anticipate opportunities and prepare for contingencies. This approach should give you better choices when life's inevitable events, adverse or otherwise, occur.
Let's begin by helping you determine where you are now -- your starting point in your quest for self-knowledge! Then we'll encourage you to decide where you want to be, helping you to define goals and objectives for the future. The next step will be developing a road map for getting from Point A to Point B. Then we turn to the nuts and bolts of the planning process: investing, managing risk and insurance, handling debt and credit, understanding the all-important concept of the time value of money, and planning for your retirement and your estate.
Whether you work your way through this material systematically or dip into its various topics serendipitously, we hope these tools will smooth your journey and assure your success.