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Financial Planning 101: Why Updating Your Documents Are Important


Financial Planning 101: Why Updating Your Documents Are Important

What are you worth? This is one question that catches people off guard. That is because it offers an array of answers, and it is difficult to provide a suitable answer. 

One area many people look into for an answer is their finances. A common mistake is that many leave financial planning for their retirement years. 

It is important that you develop and effect a good financial plan because the absence of one is costly as you grow older. With some smart planning, you can avoid many issues

What is financial planning? Financial planning is a careful analysis of your financial situation. It involves assessing your assets, including your savings, taxes, investments, and estate. 

According to CNBC reports, about 33% of Americans are void of any financial plan. (CNBC is a media news outlet, it is best to quote the source they use) The numbers are monumental, considering 67% of Americans have no estate plans. 

Most people put off estate planning resolutions as it involves several aspects of finance they may not understand. Yet, there are several financial planning benefits, including making smart business decisions. 

Luckily, technological advancements have made it possible to complete the estate planning process effectively. These online estate planning services, typically from an all-in-one digital platform, makes completing estate and inheritance plans simple.

By utilizing software estate planning, you gain from a robust estate planning process. That is because users gain access to all necessary estate planning documents and complementary financial products and services. This allows for a comprehensive estate plan.

Yet, these may be useless if you do not understand certain aspects of finance. This article focuses on crucial financial tips. These will set you on your way to reaping financial planning benefits in estate planning.

What to Know About Financial Planning

Financial planning may not be at the top of your list when making plans, but they do require your attention. It is crucial to decide how you will distribute your possessions once you pass away. 

A survey by reveals that young adults’ interest in estate planning leaped by as much as 50% since the pandemic.

A great financial plan is the greatest gift you can give your loved ones. You do not want them to have to deal with your financial baggage after you, so it is best to set up a will.

So, what should you know when making a financial plan?

1. You can have a Financial Plan at any age

No specific group of people has the right to financial planning. Financial planning is independent of your age, financial status, or job. Financial planning can include a wide range of services. It is comprehensive and all-encompassing. 

It does not concentrate on just one area of your money. Rather, it sees clients as actual individuals with a range of objectives and goals. It discusses several financial ideals and realities. This helps individuals live their lives to the fullest as they achieve financial goals.

2. Saves Costs and Time

It is sad that everyone dies at some point. However, if you die without leaving a will, that leaves your estate for the government to manage. 

In this scenario, the state, per its laws, distributes your assets and possesses property. The probate courthouse chooses a representative to distribute your assets, and the surviving spouse typically receives the position. The court will appoint a public trustee to distribute your assets. 

They will do this per state law if you do not have a surviving spouse or if no other immediate family member is available or willing to take on the responsibility. 

But with a financial plan, you can avoid all the above hassles. Your financial planner drafts your will and monitors it. You can also make routine upgrades to these documents. 

3. Finance Tracking

With a financial plan, it is easy to track your financial progress. This helps you make smart decisions in business and investment. You can also get such benefits as bank loans. 

What to Do as Part of Financial Planning

Most people want to have a better handle on their finances. They have heard about the advantages of personal financial planning. Yet, sometimes financial planning can feel overwhelming. 

This financial planning overview is useful if you are unsure of where to begin. It outlines how to take charge of your finances in eight easy steps. It also defines priorities for anyone at any point in their financial life.

1. Review Old Plans and Create a New One

A financial plan is essentially a documented list of goals and how to achieve them. It is a holistic system of building your finance and assets. It may include buying a house, fees, debt payments, or starting a business.

Start by writing all your goals down. It may be on a yellow pad or using estate planning software. This is a simple step in the right direction. It gives you a baseline to measure your success. It also aids you in setting priorities for the best use of your financial resources.

It is best to make routine revisions to your plan and documents to include new changes. Changes such as shifting financial conditions or preferences and life events. These may include new marital status, job loss, retirement, death, or birth.

2. Have Up-to-date Financial Records

Knowing your financial status helps you manage your resources. So, have the following financial documents:

  • Bank statements for investment accounts
  • Mortgage and credit card statements and tax returns
  • Insurance contracts
  • Estate planning paperwork

Arrange them so you can find and use them when necessary. Placing them all together will make it easier for you to assess them. Your current financial status gives precedence to achieving your financial goals. 

Always make an inventory of your personal belongings while you consider your situation, as it will serve as your estate record. It gives a record for your insurance company when you lose assets. Estate planning documents are also valuable in business planning.

3. Have an Expenditure Plan

An expenditure plan outlines the sources and uses of your money. Your salary, bonuses, and interest earnings are all your inflows. It is quite easy to monitor this aspect of your financial plan. 

The outflow section contains a thorough breakdown of where you spend your money. Your savings should be your primary outflow. Your inflow and outflow are equal if you are living within your means.

Whatever your net worth, having a balanced expenditure plan should be a top financial concern. A spending plan indicates the major areas where you want to allocate your money. Also, it can serve as a warning sign for coming money issues.

4. Have an Emergency Fund

Should you lose your normal sources of income, you should have enough money on hand to meet your basic living expenditures for three to six months. You might want to raise the number of reserves depending on your employment. For instance, self-employed people may desire to keep twelve months’ worth of reserves. This is most necessary if your income is erratic.

5. Minimize Debt

If possible, try to have no debts! Debts can ruin your financial plan. You must make paying off your consumer debt a top priority in your books. 

These include credit cards, school loans, auto loans, and personal loans. And why spend money on your loans and credit cards when the interest rates are almost always very high? Making money choices are what makes a financial plan impeccable and successful.

Why You Need a Financial Plan

Here are some reasons you need to implement financial planning.

1. Frames Your Choices

The issues around financial planning don’t stop at your private life. Understanding financial planning in business is integral in securing wealth. 

Making difficult decisions and learning about trade-offs are part of life. Financial plans can assist in defining your options and maximizing them. Among them are choices regarding the type of retirement account to fund. 

They also include investment options and strategies, the kind of insurance to buy, debt management, and handling family finances.

2.  Helps in Risk Assessment and Management

A financial plan helps you determine which risks an insurance covers. It is challenging to decide what kind and how much of the various insurance to purchase. 

A sound financial plan can help you and your loved ones reduce these risks. This puts less burden on you when a financial risk goes south.

3. Provides Great Life Satisfaction

According to the Australasian Accounting, Business and Finance Journal, financial planning benefits go a long way for your emotional and mental health. Compared to those who do not have any sort of financial plan, people with a plan experience less stress and are more upbeat about the future.

A financial plan can help you pay more attention to your finances. This reduces your stress levels related to money. You are more likely to succeed when you have a plan in place to handle obstacles.

More importantly, when people make changes in one area of their lives, those changes inevitably affect other aspects of their lives as well.

Why You Need to Update Your Financial Plan

Financial plans change over time as situations arise. Therefore, having a great financial and estate plan is not enough. You must have a routine check to keep it great. This involves updating your documents and altering plans. But why is it necessary to update your financial plan?

  • You can stay on track with your financial goals and have the satisfaction of being on course.
  • You have the motivation to do better when you see how far you have come.
  • Clarity on the decisions to make and what you need to implement.
  • New events and alterations enter into the financial documents.
  • You recognize and avoid curveballs in business.
  • You have an organized estate plan.


Financial planning does not have to be an expensive process, nor is it only for the wealthy. However, you need to understand why finances are essential to get a good idea of your priorities. 

The earlier you start a financial plan, the better. Yet, keep in mind that an estate plan is only helpful if you keep it up to date. 

Regularly review your plan, as well as after significant life events like a death in the family or a divorce. Observe any modifications to tax laws or other financial legislation. Your beneficiaries can still face issues with an outdated estate plan.



The cryptocurrency (‘crypto’) market is on the rise. Bitcoin, the main altcoin with a market share of over 60%, has seen its price increase from around $4,000 in April 2019 to over $10,000 in July 2019, despite the recent Congressional hearings on Facebook’s Libra.

In tandem with increasing prices, institutional investors are getting more involved in the market. Last year, we saw institutional investors surpass high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) for the first time in terms of purchasing cryptocurrencies. It’s fast becoming part of a diversified investment strategy. Whilst there is still a strong UK/US footprint, we’re seeing deals in Switzerland, Hong Kong and Canada.

The speed of professionalization in the cryptocurrency market has ramped up, with much of the recent growth driven by more efficient financial infrastructure. This is helping financial institutions to take a more considered look at crypto, and use it to revamp their portfolios. As of July 2019, the total market capitalization for these digital assets in circulation is just under $300bn. It’s likely that this will rise above $300bn in the near future, though longer-term prospects depend on how the industry adapts to upcoming regulatory framework, with the likes of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) looking to apply rules that will provide a stable platform to trade digital assets while reducing risk.

Trading volumes have been boosted by a sharp rise in over-the-counter (OTC) trading as crypto projects look for liquidity. In the so-called ‘Crypto Winter’ of 2018, crypto-centric OTC desks, including Genesis Trading and Circle (backed by Goldman Sachs) started reporting tremendous growth and this trend is continuing. According to research by Diar, over 25% of Bitcoin in circulation now sits in addresses that have a balance of between 1,000 and 10,000 BTC – volumes that point to financial institutions.

These institutional investors opt for OTC trading as opposed to spot exchanges for a number of reasons. Exchanges often have low liquidity in their order books which rules out large orders, OTC allows large orders without an unfavorable impact on the price, and exchanges limit the total number of Bitcoins that can be traded in one go – Coinbase, for example, has a daily trading limit of $25,000.

That said, there are a few complications that both buyer and seller could run into when they want to set up an OTC trade. There is often no guarantee that the asset (altcoin) will be delivered or cash paid. Most OTC brokers don’t provide an appropriate custody solution, which increases this settlement risk. It’s also worth noting that current OTC trading doesn’t include suitable Know Your Customer (KYC) procedures as it lacks the monitoring and surveillance tools of traditional trading systems.

A Safer Trade

However, there is a different avenue that institutional investors can explore. OTC trading via escrow can effectively tackle these risks and issues. This more robust approach benefits both sides of the trade as the escrow agent will follow everything to the letter. The seller benefits from dealing with a party that has funds to make the purchase, whilst the buyer can be confident a trusted independent party won’t release funds until the altcoins have been received. Crucially, by trading via escrow there is no need for participants to seek out an additional custody solution – it’s already in hand – and the escrow agent will perform KYC as part of the service provided.

If you go down this route, it’s important to select a global partner to avoid any multi-jurisdictional issues cropping up. The right partner will always start with a rigorous KYC process. Once both parties have been positively identified and no red flags are raised, they will move to exchange the cryptocurrency and the cash.  In most cases, it is best to first run a simulated deal with a small exchange of cryptocurrency, backed by cash in escrow, between the address of the seller and that of the buyer to establish a working link to build on.

Crypto represents a good opportunity for investors and it has a big future. There will undoubtedly be market consolidation, with a small number of the 1,500+ altcoins in circulation emerging as a favored core. As institutional investor appetite increases, bigger names will enter the arena. You can stay ahead of the game by using an escrow agent to implement custodial arrangements and manage the risks associated with this emerging asset class.

Assessing Job Security For Those Over 50

Generations ago it was unusual to bounce around from employer to employer, as the working world was very different and people had a strong sense of loyalty. In 2019, all of that has been turned on its head, and sticking with the same organization for several decades is practically unheard of. Even if someone doesn’t want to leave their place of employment, the desire to bring in younger and cheaper help is something that employers have to evaluate regularly.

Unfortunately, this new dynamic means that people in the latter parts of their career journey end up getting the short end of the stick. A study conducted by ProPublica and the Urban Institute found shocking results that support this claim: of the people they evaluated over the age of 50, a whopping 56% of them were laid off before retirement.

Major Changes

Being forced to find new employment is never fun or easy no matter what age you are, but for individuals who are nearing 65, it can be particularly challenging – especially if they rely on a certain level of income to make ends meet. Far too often, those who were laid off after 50 had a difficult time obtaining employment that gave them the same level of financial security. In fact, only 10% of those in the study were able to make just as much at their new job as they did at their previous one.

What’s more, getting a college degree today is practically a prerequisite for most decently paying jobs, and as people in their 20’s graduate with a completely fresh and updated set of skills, they become major competition for older folks. While you’d think that nothing beats 30 years of experience, employers also have to look at their bottom line and determine which candidates offer the most overall value.

Stopping The Bleeding

Unless you can predict the future, you never really know when you might be in the position of finding a new job later in life. Aside from careful financial planning to ensure you have backup funds in the event your new job doesn’t pay as well, it’s important to take other actions to set yourself up for success. Above all else, networking will be one of your most important tools to rely on when looking for other opportunities.

There are a lot of online platforms that allow you to connect with others, but none of them offer quite as much potential as Here, you can not only detail your work experience but can gain valuable feedback from others that you know. Think of it as an enhanced resume, where your personal relationships are highlighted and potential new employers can see just how amazing you are. If you’re over 50, there’s no reason to not sign up for your free profile today.