Financial Planning: How often should you be reviewing your financial plan?

Have you reviewed your financial plan for 2017? Let a Summit financial planning advisor show you how to get started.

Financial PlanningMany of us engage in regular exams for our physical health, making sure everything is in working order and making changes when necessary, but the same isn’t always true when it comes to our financial health. While it is wise to create a financial plan for yourself, this plan will do you absolutely no good if it isn’t continually updated. The key to financial planning is to refer to plans and goals regularly to make sure you are still on track.

Think of your financial plan as a roadmap of sorts, one that will help you successfully get to your destination – whether it’s saving for retirement, making a large purchase, paying off debt, or achieving short-term financial goals. Seasons continually change, and for most people, finances and/or employment fluctuate over time as well, which is why your financial plan should reflect these changes and work in unison with them.

So how often should you review your plan? While there isn’t one concrete answer, what you definitely do not want to do is make constant changes to your plan. This could backfire, and cause you to not reach your end goal or reach it at a much slower pace. A good rule of thumb is reviewing and updating your plan annually. Many people opt to review their financial planning documents at the beginning of each year, offering a fresh start to their goals and finances. The New Year is when most people gather financial and tax documents, so you might want to consider doing all of these things around the same time.

Whether you are working with your independent financial advisor, or revisiting your financial planning documents on your own, here are a few questions to keep in mind during your timely reviews:

  1. Do you have any financial goals on your current plan that are not relevant any longer?
  2. Are there new goals you want to achieve that need to be listed on your revised plan?
  3. Do you have a retirement savings plan? Have your retirement needs changed, and do any adjustments need to be made concerning your savings plan?
  4. Have you paid off any debts, and if so, can this money stream now be transitioned into your savings plan or allocated for any purchases or goals in the near future?
  5. Are you able to save more money in your current season than you were when the plan was created?
  6. What is the level of risk in your current plan? Are you comfortable with the total level of risk of your financial plan?
  7. Are there one or more areas in your financial planning document that makes you uneasy or worried? If so, adjust and recalculate so you don’t pressure yourself into goals that are not attainable in your current season.
  8. Have you revised your current expense and budget list?
  9. Have you listed both short and long term financial goals in your plan?
  10. Do you or are you willing to create an emergency fund, which is separate from your retirement savings, etc.? The rule of thumb for an emergency fund is to have enough money to cover six months of your expenses should a crisis occur.

The majority of these questions revolve around the assumption that you currently have a financial plan. If you have not ventured into the world of financial planning but desire to get your finances in order, and in turn increase your net worth, an independent financial advisor can help you.

Summit Brokerage Services has been voted the #1 boutique independent broker dealer in the country. Let us show you why! To experience the Summit difference, learn more about our network of independent financial advisors, and begin creating your financial planning documents, visit or call us at (800) 354-5528.


About Summit Brokerage Services, Inc.

Summit Brokerage Services is part of Cetera Financial Group. Summit Brokerage provides a broad range of securities brokerage and investment services to primarily individual investors. Summit Brokerage also sells insurance products, predominantly fixed and variable annuities and life insurance through its subsidiary, SBS Insurance Agency of Florida. Summit Brokerage also provides asset management services through its investment advisor, Summit Financial Group, Inc.


About Cetera Financial Group

Cetera Financial Group® (“Cetera”) is a leading network of independent retail broker-dealers empowering the delivery of objective financial planning advice to individuals, families and company retirement plans across the country through trusted financial advisors and financial institutions.  Cetera is the second-largest independent financial advisor network in the nation by number of advisors, as well as a leading provider of retail services to the investment programs of banks and credit unions.

Through its multiple distinct firms, Cetera offers independent and institutions-based advisors the benefits of a large, established broker-dealer and registered investment adviser, while serving advisors and institutions in a way that is customized to their needs and aspirations.  Advisor support resources offered through Cetera include award-winning wealth management and financial planning and advisory platforms, comprehensive broker-dealer and registered investment adviser services, practice management support and innovative technology.  For more information, visit

*”Cetera Financial Group” refers to the network of retail independent broker-dealers encompassing, among others, Cetera Advisors, Cetera Advisor Networks, Cetera Financial Institutions, Cetera Financial Specialists, First Allied Securities, Girard Securities, The Legend Group and Summit Brokerage Services.

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