Financial Planning Services

Financial Planning Services For Retirees, Pre-retirees and Government Workers Near Maryland, Virginia and D.C

What Is Financial Planning, and Why Is It Important?

Balancing expenses today against what you will need in the future is an important trade-off. Financial planning is the process of strategically managing your finances to reach your short, intermediate, and long-term financial goals. This is achieved by gaining an understanding of cash-flows across different time periods and matching savings and assets with future liabilities. A financial planner can assist you in assessing the source of your funds and then investing those funds in an appropriate manner to meet the expenses of the future, with the goal of helping you hit your financial goals and set your retirement up for success.


Objectives of Financial Planning

There are many reasons to get started with financial planning services, including the following:

1. Determining your current financial status: Being smart with your money requires first knowing where you stand by answering such questions as “Am I spending too much?,” “What’s the quality of my current investments?,” and “What is my net worth?”

2. Framing personal finances: This requires exploring your cash-flow, liabilities, and investments.

3. Getting a picture of your portfolio structure: Your portfolio structure involves the composition of your investments, diversification, and costs.

4. Risk management: Understanding what is at risk if things don’t go according to plan. Ensuring adequate insurances are in place to protect your financial well-being against unforeseen events.

5. Determining capital requirements: Knowing what you will need to spend in the future informs two important aspects of financial planning.

  1. How much you need to save today and
  2. How your investment portfolios should be allocated to meet those needs.

6. Ensuring the productive use of scarce resources: Financial planning strives to make sure that you are optimizing the use of your money to better serve your financial needs.

Our Financial Planning Process

Our personal financial planning process is designed to let us get to know each other. We believe the success of a financial plan is built on a foundation of trust between a client and their financial advisor. That’s why we strive to learn everything about your current financial situation, your financial goals, and even some things you may not think are relevant but can greatly influence how you make financial decisions—such as your beliefs, attitudes, and values.

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Comprehensive Financial Planning Services

You name it, we plan for it. Know where you stand financially, and make sure that you and your loved ones are—and will be—taken care of.

Estate Planning

While it is never something that is fun to think about, putting plans in place to decide who will inherit your money or property when you’re no longer around should not be ignored.
Estate planning can help ensure your wishes are carried out after you’re gone. This also includes things like who can make medical and financial decisions on your behalf. Notable elements of an estate plan should include beneficiary designations, a will, a health-care proxy, power of attorneys, and trusts.

Budget Planning and Cash Flow Planning

To have a healthy financial life, you need to know when to save and when to spend.
Creating a budget plan and a cash flow plan helps lay a foundation for these kinds of decisions and allows you to better navigate and manage how much money is coming in and going out.

Retirement Account/Pension Planning

Retirement and pension planning allows you to organize your savings and investments over time to optimize your financial security for retirement.

Social Security

Representing a percentage of your average lifetime income, social security is another form of paycheck for retirees and individuals who are unable to work. Proper financial planning can help optimize when to take Social Security benefits and how to incorporate this income alongside other sources in retirement.

Finding the Right Financial Partners

Choosing an expert to manage your finances and help you make important decisions is no small task. A CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ is an ideal type of advisor suited to helping you navigate your financial journey.
CFP ® Professionals have met rigorous qualifications for financial planning, are committed to high ethical standards. They must also pass the comprehensive CFP ® Certification Exam before they can claim the title of CFP ® Professional. This helps you have confidence that you and your finances are in good hands.

If you’re ready to take the next step in securing your financial future, don’t wait to get professional advice. Contact Ferguson-Johnson Wealth Management for your free wealth management consultation and get started on fee-only personal financial planning

Frequently Asked Financial Planning Questions

1. What does a financial planner do?

A financial planner plays a crucial role in helping individuals and families manage various aspects of their financial lives to achieve financial freedom. They create comprehensive plans that help identify financial goals and challenges.

This includes developing strategies for managing debt, cash flow, and structuring investments to meet those financial goals. Additionally, they provide guidance on saving for significant life events such as purchasing a home, funding a child’s education, and planning for retirement through investment strategies, tax planning, and estate planning.     

2. What is the difference between a financial planner and a fiduciary advisor?

Fiduciaries and financial planners both work to help you manage and grow your wealth, but there are key differences. Fiduciaries are obligated by an ethical duty to help you make decisions solely in your best interest rather than theirs or that of the organization they work for. In contrast, financial planners work to account for your goals and needs in considering advice on all areas of your financial life, including investments, taxes, estate planning, and insurance.

Fiduciaries must follow strict rules and regulations regarding how they can charge for their services, resulting in fair and transparent fees for service. However, it is important to note that one can be both. At Ferguson-Johnson Wealth Management, we take pride in being fiduciaries and financial planners. Learn more

3. What type of financial planner is best for retirement?

There are many types of financial planners who can assist with growing wealth. When it comes to your retirement nest egg, your family may benefit from choosing to work with a Certified Financial Planner (CFP®)  who specializes in building and protecting retirement portfolios. By hiring a fee-only CFP®, you can help ensure that your retirement account will be managed without hidden fees or commissions. It is important to build a good working relationship with your financial planner, who should review your financial situation regularly to be able to adapt or update the strategy for your changing needs as you move through different stages of life.

4. What are independent financial advisors?

Financial advisors come in many forms and can either work for big asset management houses like Vanguard or Charles Schwab or they can work independently with no corporate connections. Independent financial advisors usually offer more flexibility in the way they serve clients and are more likely to be able to provide services that are free of potential corporate requirements and investment product preferences.

5. What is the major advantage of using a fee-only financial planner?

Different types of financial planners structure their fees for services in various ways. Financial planning performed by a bank or insurance company may have commissions from third parties in addition to charging fees based on your earnings and the services they provide. These commissions may compromise the advice they are rendering, as its possible they are recommending the products or services that pay them more favorably as opposed to what may be best for the client.

Fee-only financial planners offer a different and more straight-forward approach. Rather than taking third-party commissions, their earnings are based either on fees for service (either hourly or flat rates) or on a percentage of the assets that they manage, that is clearly disclosed up-front. This approach often results in a stronger relationship between financial planners and their clients.

6. What is meant by the fiduciary duty?

Fiduciary duty refers to the way a financial advisor works with clients and handles their clients’ assets. Fiduciaries are required to always act in the best interest of their clients. Additionally, fiduciaries must take great care to clearly disclose potential conflicts of interest when dealing with clients and their assets and are responsible for duties such as confidentiality, care, and good faith when handling a client’s information and assets.

About Ferguson-Johnson Wealth Management

Ferguson-Johnson Wealth Management is a Registered Investment Advisory firm that has been providing financial planning, investment management, retirement planning, and tax planning services to pre-retirees, retirees, and government employees since 1978, across Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia.

At Ferguson-Johnson Wealth Management, our mission is to help clarify and optimize your financial life. We aim to eliminate our clients’ stress from the uncertainty in their financial lives. We craft financial plans for our clients in order to give us, and you, and full picture of your financial life.

This financial plan then serves as a blueprint to begin taking positive steps toward improving your financial situation. We work right by your side and guide you in every aspect of your finances, including directing investments, planning for retirement, optimizing portfolio withdrawal strategies, saving for college, assessing insurance needs, and formulating estate plans.

As NAPFA-registered, fee-only financial advisors, we do not sell products or accept commissions or referral fees; instead, we provide personalized investment management services that are tailored to your needs alongside continuous financial planning.

If you’re ready to begin taking the steps you need to achieve financial success, then give us a call. We look forward to hearing from you.

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