Broker Check
The Ideal Financial Plan (Part 1 of 3)

The Ideal Financial Plan (Part 1 of 3)

January 10, 2022

The Ideal Financial Plan (Part One of Three)

The word “ideal” is a little squishy. One definition of the ideal is “satisfying one’s conception of what is perfect; most suitable,” while another definition is “existing only in the imagination; desirable or perfect but not likely to become a reality.” When we talk about the “ideal plan” we recognize that what is ideal for one person may not be for another. Though I think we can all agree that with financial planning an ideal plan for all of us is one that simply works. That’s it.

So, what do we mean when we say the “ideal financial plan”? To us an ideal plan is one that accounts and adjusts for risks, such as lawsuits, disability, or market volatility; for core goals such as funding retirement, a new business, or kids’ education; is in full alignment with your vision and core values; and then taps into time-proven principles, strategies and resources to deliver a clear roadmap for long-term success. An ideal financial plan not only helps take care of day-to-day financial obligations and long-term financial goals but also provides for an enjoyable ride along the way, creating memories with those who matter most in life. Finally, the amount of wealth we accumulate isn’t as relevant as the amount of wealth we can actually use for our purposes. If we accumulate wealth, but then pay half of it in taxes, how wealthy are we really? Accordingly, the final stage of an ideal plan is to help use our wealth as efficiently as possible and, when appropriate, to help transition the wealth on our terms, in the most efficient manner, to those people and causes that matter most. The blueprint of an ideal plan is built around four core modules: Protect your future, save for your goals, live in retirement and leave a legacy.


Few things are less interesting than the Protection Module of a well-structured financial plan. In fact, it’s about as interesting as the foundation of a home. It’s not something to invite the buddies over to brag about – just concrete and rebar. Yet we all know that a poorly constructed foundation of a home will lead to cracks in the walls and ceilings, doors and windows that won’t close, and, in extreme cases, the full collapse of the home. Likewise, a poorly designed protection module in a financial plan can leave the entire plan vulnerable to the impact of potential risks. Effective defensive planning addresses the financial impact of:

  • Loss of job
  • Lawsuits
  • Property damage
  • Illness and injuries
  • Long-term disabilities
  • Premature Death, and Intestacy

A well-designed protection plan accounts for and compensates for these kinds of plan “stressors” so the plan can continue to flourish despite these kinds of setbacks. Certainly, savings and investing are more exciting than protecting, but an ideal plan should begin by ensuring the protection module is well designed before moving to the other components. Efficient ways to address these risks include:

Loss of job

Debt elimination and liquid emergency reserves


Auto, homeowners, and umbrella insurance policies

Property damage

Auto, homeowners, and umbrella insurance policies

Illness and injuries

Medical insurance or health share programs

Long-term disabilities

Long-term disability insurance policies

Premature death

Life insurance


Living wills, family trust and other legal structures and documents

The sad reality is, "bad things happen to good people." Unfortunately, throughout my career, I have witnessed the tragic impact of misfortune on people who were willing to roll the dice and skimp on this component. Their sense of invincibility overran their sense to protect and the financial impact was devastating. When tragedy hits, a strong protection plan quickly jumps from annoying and boring to relieving and miraculous.