The 3 Phases of Cash-Flow Based Financial Planning

What is Cash-Flow Based Financial Planning?

Cash-flow based financial planning is a process used by financial advisors to identify and educate their clients on future expenses that may occur both in the pre-retirement and post-retirement phases of life.  By implementing a cash-flow based financial plan, financial advisors can coordinate their investment planning strategy to ensure long-term cash flow for their clients and avoid costly investment mistakes.

What is the Difference Between Goals-Based Financial Planning & Cash-Flow Based Financial Planning?

Goals-based planning establishes pivotal objectives that lead the financial planner down a strategic path to meet each objective.Convert prospects to clients in 3 meetings or less with The Bucket Plan live Training

Cash-flow based financial planning takes a client’s current financial position and uses predictions and forecasting to determine their cash flow plans for the short- and long-term future. Cash-flow based financial planning gives you more freedom to explore holistic financial planning solutions you might otherwise not consider.

Cash-flow planning allows you to create suggestions that take multiple variables into consideration, whereas goals-based planning makes it difficult to evaluate more complicated circumstances.

What are the 3 Phases of a Cash-Flow Based Financial Planning?

At C2P Enterprises, we offer holistic financial planning services that address the client’s gaps and concerns, and we educate wealth professionals on our way of doing things.

A big part of what we do is mitigate the sequence of returns risk, but many clients have a hard time wrapping their minds around these concepts. They get overwhelmed by the various technical terms, investment charts, and different financial models that we as financial advisors use daily. This is why we deploy a simple holistic financial planning strategy like the money cycle to simplify the planning process.

Knowledge of the money cycle is critical to understanding The Bucket Plan® and how it can set clients up for a secure future. The money cycle includes three distinct phases we all go through in life: accumulation, preservation, and distribution.

No matter what phase your client’s cash flow plans are in, The Bucket Plan® provides a simple process to help them understand the benefits of your plan for their financial future

The Accumulation Phase

Accumulation usually starts when you’re a kid. You have a piggy bank or a junior checking account where you put our tooth fairy money, birthday cash, babysitting income, money from mowing the lawn, etc.

This accumulation phase of cash-flow based planning continues into adulthood and throughout our working years as you begin to build your life savings. Perhaps you open a retirement savings plan, and your employer contributes to it as well. Since you have a lengthy time horizon ahead before retirement, you can afford to take more risks with your money during this stage of life.

The Preservation Phase

As you get closer to retirement, you move into the preservation phase. At this point, you’re financially stable and looking forward to winding down your career, effectively ending the accumulation phase on a significant portion of your money. There’s less time to make mistakes or experience major volatility because you’re going to need this money sooner rather than later.

Remember: it’s not about how much money you make, but how much you keep. The preservation phase of cash flow plans is where you can strategically position a portion of your assets to keep them safe yet still, continue growing them to outpace inflation for the future.

The biggest mistake most retirees make is skipping over the preservation phase of the money cycle and going directly from accumulation to distribution.

Most people never preserve a portion of their assets to draw from in that all-important first retirement phase. Instead, they continue to invest all their money as if they were a long way from retirement when in reality, it’s right around the corner. That’s how so many pre-retirees got into trouble back in 2000 and 2008 when the market took nosedives.

The preservation phase is essential for financial stability and peace of mind in retirement. When the market has extensive corrections—as it always does—and you’re forced to take distributions during that time, you are essentially selling your investments for income when the market is down, and you can never make that money back. This leaves you depleting your savings much faster than initially anticipated. You don’t want to risk running out of money later in life.

The Distribution Phase

Finally, the last phase in the money cycle is distribution. Distribution is when you begin to draw from what you’ve accumulated and preserved and start taking an income from your savings and investments. In cash-flow based financial planning, you distribute to yourself in retirement and to your loved ones upon your passing.

At C2P Enterprises, we utilize The Bucket Plan® Best Interest Process to help wealth professionals simplify the planning process.

The Now Bucket is for the client’s safe and liquid money. This is where you set aside sufficient funds for a year’s worth of income if they’re about to go into retirement, an emergency fund, and sufficient money for upcoming planned expenses.

The Soon Bucket is the more conservative money that’s designed for the first ten or so years of retirement, plus an inflation hedge. It needs to be much less volatile but invested so that it outpaces inflation without subjecting it to the direct ups and downs of the stock market.

The Later Bucket is the client’s long-term growth money.

Why is cash-flow based financial planning the right strategy for you clients?

Cash-flow based financial planning is the right strategy because it uses a detailed approach by classifying income as earned or capital gains for tax projections.

When you combine holistic financial planning with cash-flow based financial planning, you get a 360-degree look at a your clients situation to ensure that you can properly guide them to reach their financial goals.

Would you like to learn how to incorporate a simple and repeatable process for your financial practice?  Register to attend the The Bucket Plan® live training.