Three Simple Steps For Sound Financial Planning

They never send good news by mail. Have you ever seen someone get the interoffice envelope from corporate? You know, the one where they announce layoffs or early retirement packages. It can come out of the blue and bring with it a tremendous amount of uncertainty.

We’ve received the call dozens of times with the familiar questions, “What will I do now? Do I have enough?” The good news is, we know how to figure out whether or not there’s enough to last. You can too by following three simple steps.

STEP 1: Reality Check

The key to any plan is a solid, realistic foundation. The first step is to be honest with yourself. There are four key components that you should dive into in this step: what you have, what you owe, what you make, and what you spend. Before you do anything else, you have to know your numbers.

STEP 2: Define Your Signature Life

If it were up to you, what would your life look like? Think like a journalist and focus on answering the Four W’s: Who, What, Where and When. WHO will be a part of your life in the future (or who would you like to be?) WHAT will you be doing? WHERE will you be? And if it is up to you, WHEN will you start living it? Don’t be afraid to dream a little, just put it out there. It’s hard to hit a target if you don’t know where you’re aiming.

STEP 3: Create A Plan

In this step you get to the HOW. You’ve outlined where you are and where you’d like to be – are you on track to get there? If not, what do you need to do next? In this final step, you’ll want to develop a step-by-step plan for the actions you can take to move forward toward your goals. This plan is important, because every decision you make will take you closer to or farther away from your ideal life. There are a number of financial calculators available via the internet to help you or you can work with a financial advisor. If you’re wondering how to find the right one, here are three questions you can ask to help with the process.


Change can be scary – we’ve all been there – but it doesn’t have to be. By following our three simple steps, you can develop a clear vision of the future you want and a path to follow that leads to a life lived intentionally. If you have any questions or would like help in the process, schedule an Ask Us Anything – we’d be happy to help!





About Chip Munn

Managing Partner, SWS Senior Wealth Advisor, RJFS Chip is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of Clemson University, where he earned a degree in education and was selected as an Academic All American by USA Today. He began his career in finance as a financial consultant with Wheat First Union in 1998. He specializes in retirement and education planning and the transfer of wealth among generations. Chip lives in Florence with his family. Follow Chip on LinkedIn.

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