How To Set Up a Long-Term Financial Plan For Success

Understanding and planning for your financial needs is the most critical part of achieving economic security. A long-term financial plan can be a useful tool to improve your quality of life, while protecting and growing your wealth.

While budgeting can help you organize your finances now, a financial plan takes a broader look at your financial needs over time.

Your financial goals should reflect your future needs and wants such as children, education, retirement, or entrepreneurial endeavors. When building these goals, take into account where you and your loved ones will be in life, and any obstacles you may face.

Make sure your goals are S.M.A.R.T., meaning they are: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timebound. The Consumer Finance Protection Bureau has a worksheet on building S.M.A.R.T. goals that you can apply to your long-term financial plan.

What should you include in a financial plan?

Emergency Planning

Life is unpredictable, so having a plan in case something goes sideways can help you recover after a major setback.

Emergency funds, ensure that you can meet your financial goals even if there is a disruption in your stream of income. Typically, it is a good idea to save at least six months’ worth of living expenses in your emergency fund. An emergency fund can give you the peace of mind that you will not fall behind in your plan, or into debt.

Unexpected lawsuits can be a big financial drain, so it is important to arm yourself with an appropriate legal structure that protects your wealth from any legal setbacks. A good estate planning attorney can advise you or your business on steps to take to minimize your financial exposure.


The way you approach investing should suit your needs. Understand your time horizon for investing and risk tolerance before you begin. Generally, a longer timeline means you can take higher risks because you have a cushion to make up any losses that may occur. The best way to limit risks is through portfolio diversification. Spreading out investments across asset classes, geographic regions and market sectors limits your exposure to each area.

It is important to factor in tax planning when building up your portfolio to maximize returns and protect your wealth. Look for solutions with your wealth manager that will enable you to transfer your wealth to your beneficiaries easily and with minimal inheritance taxes.


Life insurance provides financial security, helps pay off debts, pays living expenses and can help take care of medical or end of life expenses. As an entrepreneur, business partner or owner, life insurance can protect your part of the business through a buy/sell agreement or through a cross-purchase agreement. This allows the business owner’s heirs to sell the deceased’s stake in the company back to the business. The earnings will go to the heirs, and the company avoids new owners coming in and disrupting the business.

Life insurance premium financing is a strategy that can help you save money on premiums. This method involves taking out a third-party loan to pay for your premiums, allowing you to avoid the capital gain taxes that would be triggered by liquidating the assets needed to pay for the premiums up front. Strategize with your wealth manager to find a plan that suits your needs.

Retirement Plan

Planning for retirement is one of the most critical parts of a successful long-term financial plan. Ideally you should start saving for retirement in your 20s. The earlier you start saving, the more you can grow your money.

The most common retirement accounts are Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) and 401(k)s, though there are many other options: such as Roth IRA, SEP IRA, Simple 401(k)s and IRA and Solo 401(k)s.

Each type of retirement account has its advantages and disadvantages so closely consider which is best for you. Talk to your wealth manager about how to set up a retirement account for yourself.

Estate Planning

Estate planning is the process of determining how your assets will be preserved, managed or distributed after your death. Assets can be defined as houses, cars, stocks, artwork, life insurance, pensions, and debt.

The first step to planning your estate is writing a will. A will is a legal document that provides direction on how an individual’s property and custody of any minor children should be handled after their death. In your will you should name an executor to your estate, and establish a guardian for any minor dependents.

Once you have an established will, other major things to consider are:

● Arranging a durable power of attorney (POA) to direct any other assets or investments.

● Establish healthcare directives in the event of incapacitation.

● Establishing or updating a beneficiary for life insurance or retirement plans.

● Setting up funeral arrangements.

● Opening trust accounts to limit taxes on your estate.

● Arranging a durable power of attorney (POA) to direct any other assets or investments.

Other long-term goals may vary depending on your plans or circumstances, but having your goals clearly outlined is critical. Financial plans are a long-term commitment. It may take decades to reap any reward from your plan, so consistency is key. Remember that your targets may shift or change completely over time. That is why it is important to evaluate your progress often, and make changes when necessary.

Planning for long-term financial success is a complex process. Ulrich Investment Consultants has the knowledge and experience to help guide you through it. Reach out to us here: We are ready to answer any questions you may have, and start finding the right solutions for you.

Disclaimer: Ulrich Investment Consultants is registered as an investment adviser under the United States Investment Advisor Act of 1940, as amended, with the Securities and Exchange Commission. This is for informational purposes only and its contents should not be construed as a recommendation. The information on this social media site alone cannot, and should not be used in making investment decisions. Investors should carefully consider the investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses associated with any investment.