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Financial Planning
Jun 2023

What Is Financial Planning?

By Kevin Mahoney, CFP®, CIMA®

Life is complicated, and most of us have many financial oars in the water, such as:



Estate Plan

Employee Benefits




Real Estate






Social Security

Kids and Tuition

Handling all of these disparate matters is a necessary part of life, but is not where most people want to spend time, and yet it can feel like it requires full-time attention to keep it all in good order. It is a lot to ask of anyone – even for those who are well-versed in financial matters.

You may have all the needed components (investments, insurance, estate plan, etc.), but there can be significant financial implications and stress if no harmony exists among them. Unfortunately, having all the oars in the water does not mean they are pulling in the same direction.

Financial planning, done right, ensures that you have the right components for your life and that they are synchronized, orderly, and efficient. Financial planning done right should feel harmonious and elegant.


• Do I have the right combination of investment accounts?
• Does my trust coordinate with my retirement account beneficiaries?
• Do I have the life insurance I need (or too much)?
• Do my charitable efforts optimize the impact on my chosen organizations and the tax and cash flow benefits to me?
• How much can I, and should I, be saving each year?
• Is my estate plan designed to be simple to unwrap for my loved ones, or will it be a nightmare to unwind?
• Does my investment portfolio have an expected return to meet my lifetime needs, accounting for inflation?
• Do I do tax planning before year-end, when there is still time to take action?
• How much can I spend each year for life and still be financially secure?
• Am I leaving employee benefits on the table?

These are the types of questions a financial plan should answer. Furthermore, all your financial matters should be addressed in one sleek package – one document, including their current status and action items. They should be so well coordinated that there are no unintentional overlaps or gaps. Your financial plan should feel like everything is in perfect alignment, and that all of your oars are rowing in the same direction to meet your needs.

Though our financial lives can feel complex and chaotic, financial planning should make everything simple, efficient, and accessible. If it does, your shoulders will drop, and you will be free to focus on your life priorities, which your financial plan is there to support, but from the background.


The information provided herein is for educational purposes only, and should not be construed as advice, including, but not limited to tax, legal, insurance, investment, or retirement advice. For your specific planning needs, please seek the advice of Integris Wealth Management, your tax accountant, attorney, insurance agent, or other professional as appropriate. Investing involves the risk of loss.


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