The 6 Essential Steps to Financial Security

For Today and Tomorrow


When people come to us for financial planning advice, we find that no matter where they are along their journey, they share a common desire for prosperity. After all, prosperity is living your best life, free from anxiety to face the future with confidence in where you’re heading, and clarity on how to get there.

Think about this:  your journey in all areas of life follows a unique and personal path that can be mapped with milestones. Ideally these milestones should mark your path towards a state of contentment that is founded on certainty and confidence. This picture can be applied to almost any of life’s facets, from personal wellbeing to family, careers, and relationships.

Even money – your money is a journey that should follow this path just the same.

WestStar’s focus is the financial and emotional side of your prosperity, and how this serves your personal circumstances, goals, and dreams. Our financial planning services, guidance and advice are valuable in determining the direction and trajectory of our clients’ financial journeys, and they help us and our clients keep sight of the milestones on the way to financial wellbeing.

For useful information on how to craft a financial plan that suits your money goals, dive into this financial planning article.

Let’s define financial planning and talk about why it’s so important.

What is Financial Planning?

In simple terms, financial planning is a deliberate step-by-step approach to meeting your life’s goals. Why is this approach so valuable?

“I enjoy going through the process of molding specific relationships with each of my clients. For some, the advisor they need is a secure backbone to keep them feeling confident. For others, they may need more of a casual personality to help talk through ideas. I am comfortable trying to be the best advisor possible for each person’s needs. Providing that specific level of service is what makes this career so rewarding.”

Jason Hewett, Financial Consultant

While many people try and reach their life’s goals by going it alone, walking the journey beside a professional financial advisor will make the paths to follow far more certain, and your choices crystal clear.  Everybody knows the adage – “Failing to plan means planning to fail:” this truth is particularly relevant in the financial world.

Financial planning provides the tried-and-trusted approach through which to manage your finances and target your personal goals; it also charts the paths to follow every step of the way. These paths come together in your personal financial plan.

Your financial plan acts as a guide to follow through your life’s journey. Essentially, it enables you to take control of your financial future – your income, taxes, expenses, investments, and risks – in pursuing your personal goals.

As part of the financial planning process, a professional financial planning advisor will help you determine your short – and long-term financial goals, and create a balanced plan to target them. This may involve aspects such as sensible spending, careful budgeting, and tax planning, to help you put more of your hard-earned money towards increasing cash flow and building your capital.

A qualified financial planning advisor will also get to know what matters most to you, and will craft your journey with you, breaking it down into the steps that need taking. Your advisor will establish the nature and sequence of those milestones unique to your journey and goals.

“Focusing my energy and knowledge on helping my clients to prosper is why I do this work, and my goal is to be a trusted advisor on their financial life journeys.  To me, their trust is precious, and means being dependable, honest and devoted to their success. Nothing thrills me more.”

Paul Nelson, Certified Financial Planner™

Everyone’s money journey is as unique as they are, and while there is no universal model from which to build a template or rehash strategies, you’ll find some key financial components at the heart of most comprehensive financial plans.

These are the six essential touchpoints upon which a journey to prosperity is built.

  • Individual Financial Planning
  • Tax Advice & Social Security Planning
  • Investment Planning
  • Risk Management
  • Retirement Planning
  • Legacy (Estate) Planning

At WestStar our financial advisors guide our clients through a journey that focuses on these six interlinked financial planning imperatives. In our personalized prosperity planning approach these imperatives are brought together and find direction and dynamism in our client’s customized roadmaps.

Depending on your life stage, your financial planning advisor will build many of these components into your financial plan as they guide and steward you towards your goals.

The four key components of financial planning

Let’s take a look at four financial planning components you’re bound to need along your journey.

  1. Investments
  2. Insurance
  3. Retirement
  4. Legacy (Estate Planning)

 Investment Planning

While traditional saving is generally focused on meeting your short – and medium-term goals (and can prove beneficial in difficult times), investment strategies are used to target long-term goals like  retirement, your dream or vacation home, and securing your financial independence. Your investments are the growth engine of your financial plan, ensuring that – by earning interest and beating inflation – your money increases its buying power over time.

Your financial plan will act as a roadmap in helping you and your advisor navigate the right types of investments to fit your needs, circumstances, personality, and goals. Your plan will also take your personal circumstances, objectives, and risk tolerance into consideration.

With your advisor’s help and guidance, you can custom-build an investment portfolio to target your money goals, at your comfortable level of risk.

Insurance Planning

Insurance is an essential part of any sound financial plan. The main reason for buying life insurance is to safeguard you and your family from unforeseen circumstances or events, but it can also help you accumulate and preserve wealth, while providing access to emergency funds at the right time.

  • Life Insurance
  • Health Insurance
  • Disability Insurance
  • Long-term care Insurance
  • Home Insurance
  • Motor Insurance

Beyond life insurance, there are additional types of insurance that you need to consider, such as health insurance, disability insurance, long-term care insurance, home insurance, and motor insurance. These can be of real importance in safeguarding you and your family against life’s storms.

Your financial advisor will help you establish these protective supports as part of your financial plan, so you can manage risk at all times on your money journey.

Retirement Planning

When your working life comes to an end, you’ll want to retain the lifestyle you’re comfortable with for decades to come. It pays to establish your retirement priorities and a personal plan that’ll get you there, and to begin implementing a dedicated savings and investment plan with your advisor. Your future self will thank you for doing so when your working days come to an end.

For more on the importance of retirement planning, read this great article.

Legacy (Estate) Planning

Creating a legacy to be proud of requires real considered thought and careful planning.  After all, it’s your final milestone, and with it comes the establishment of the legacy you’ll leave behind for those you love and cherish.

A professional retirement financial advisor will help you calculate the value of your estate, and help you determine how best to distribute assets to your loved ones. After all, when all is said and done, their future protection and happiness is a worthy culmination of any life journey.

The Importance of Financial Planning

As we said earlier, financial planning is a deliberate step-by-step approach to meeting your life’s goals. Without financial planning, you may be leaving a great deal to chance. The crux of financial planning is for you to build and maintain adequate funds and investments throughout your working life, to ensure the right level of income throughout your retirement. Also, to safeguard what you’re building from unforeseen events that can derail you along the way.

There’s real joy to be found in facing tomorrow with the confidence that comes from knowing where you’re heading. By targeting your goals with a sound financial plan, you’ll be able to maintain your financial health, and be able to relax and enjoy your journey without anxiety and concern.

If you have questions about your specific circumstances, or want to make sure you’re equipped with the knowledge and advice to pursue your financial security with real confidence and clarity, please get in touch. We’d love to chat with you about your goals and dreams.

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We wish you every success in the future and hope to hear from you soon.