Irish Pensions and Finance

6 Steps to Building your Financial Plan- Ian Garvey

Whatever life stage you are at, from starting a new career to approaching retirement, buying your first home or starting a family, a financial plan can give you a clear trajectory to help build a financially secure future. And it is never too late to put one in place.


So what exactly is a financial plan? A clear financial plan, reviewed regularly, will show you exactly where you stand financially today and outline what you need to do to reach your goals for the future. Most importantly, a financial plan will provide you with a road map of clear action steps to get you from here to there.


Your financial plan considers your current financial situation, your needs and wants, and any challenges you may need to overcome along the way.


For that reason, everyone’s financial plans will look a little different — but there are some standard elements:

  1. An outline of your current situation. Your Financial Advisor will assess your income and outgoings, assets, debts or liabilities, existing financial products/insurances, and current savings habits.
  2. An analysis of your financial goals. The next step in creating your plan involves being very clear and honest about your goals for the future. Your Financial Advisor will help you identify realistic and achievable goals within your given timeframe. Remember, it is crucial to consider your short, medium and long-term goals, as the time you have available will affect the options available with your money.
  3. retirement plan is an essential part of any overall financial plan. After retirement, your income can change quite dramatically, and it is important to understand what you will need to cover your living expenses while still making the most of your newfound free time. This can include an analysis of your current pension arrangements, how much you can and should contribute, and any tax reliefs you can take advantage of to maximize your retirement nest egg.
  4. Risk Assessment. Your Financial Advisor will complete a risk assessment with you to ascertain the level of risk you are comfortable taking with your money. They can then advise you on the types of funds available which align with your level of risk tolerance, while also helping you achieve your long-term goals.
  5. Recommendations. Having assessed all of the above, your Advisor will make certain recommendations specific to you and your financial life. This will largely depend on what you want to do with your money and what other financial responsibilities or obligations you might have. You might be saving to get on the property ladder or looking to change careers. Others may need a strategy to clear some debt or a savings plan for their kids’ education. Whatever your situation, your Advisor can point you in the right direction to get you there.
  6. Regular Reviews. Life can often change direction and can take some unexpected turns over time. For this reason, it is essential to review your financial plan annually to ensure it is still fit for purpose. Your financial responsibilities will change over time, as can your level of income. You will also need to consider the effect of changing inflation and interest rates on your money. Taking an hour to review your plan once a year could result in substantial savings in the long run.


A financial plan can help you give you clarity, stay accountable, and leave you feeling more confident about your money.


With a birdseye view of the numbers in your financial life, you will no longer need to rely on guesswork or simply hoping that it will somehow all work out. If you understand precisely where you stand, you can make informed decisions and smarter choices for you and your family.


Gain peace of mind and take control of your finances by taking the first step and booking a Financial Consultation. IPF Advisors have helped over 20,000 clients put their Financial Plans in place. Call 01 8298500 or visit to book your appointment today.


Written by,

Ian Garvey

Senior Financial Advisor


Important Disclosure Information

This content is general in nature and does not constitute legal, tax, accounting, financial or investment advice. We always recommend consulting with a registered professional before making any financial decisions.



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